WHY PMB AND PYO MUST TAKE NIGERIA TO THE NEXT LEVEL

President Muhammadu Buhari rode to power on the backdrop of providing an Eldorado kind of relief to the sufferings and yearnings of Nigerians. The APC had promised to address three cardinal issues which are Insecurity, Economy and Corruption. Boko Haram the dreaded and faceless insurgency group had almost overran the military apparatus of the country and controlling almost Fourteen Local Government in the North eastern part of Nigeria.

The economy was on a downturn as about Twenty Eight states out of Thirty Six states in the country were unable to pay salaries while the Federal Government led by Goodluck Jonathan was borrowing to pay salary before President Buhari took over power in 2015. Corruption was at high and low places and perceived corrupt government official flaunt their ill-gotten wealth. It was generally believed that government officials and political office holders siphoned funds meant for development purposes.

Majority of Nigerians who were hitherto tired of the dismal performance of previous leaders chose to elect President Buhari who was adjudged to some extent to have some sort of integrity to alienate poverty and hardship since the majority of the people were impoverished. Hopes were high that the messiah has come to end the sufferings bedeviling the teeming populace who are mostly the ordinary man on the streets.

However, just like every building and rebuilding process, the change and Eldorado promised was never going to be achieved in a short while. It is a journey that encompasses a lot of inputs and would require contributions, patience, perseverance and commitments of all and sundry to be achieved. The government faced some challenges which made it look like it will never make a move after hitting the ground. One of the challenges encountered was the dwindling oil price. Most OPEC member countries that did not have enough savings during the period of oil boom experienced between 2012 and 2014 like Venezuela, Nigeria etc. were hit with recession.

To make matters worse, the so called Niger Delta Avengers took up arms and went into the creeks and commenced vandalization of the pipelines. Icing the cake of challenges that prevented the APC government from hitting the ground running in the early days of this government is the continued weakening of the Naira against the Dollar. The decision of the government to blacklist Fourty two imported items and eventual instruction that importers of all the items to source for US Dollar for their imports further weakened the naira. From an average of 197 naira, the exchange rate rose to about 550 naira to a dollar and it is worthy to note that the intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria brought it down to the current 350.

There exists also the lack of cooperation by the National Assembly. The leadership of the National Assembly pitted itself against the Executive arm of government and as such they ensured they frustrated all the efforts of the Executive targeted at resolving some of the problems faced by Nigerians. Many legislations sent by the Executive arm of the government were treated with less seriousness or ignominy despite the huge benefits that such bills will bring to Nigerians. The impasse between these two arms of government reached its peak when the National Assembly failed to pass the Appropriation bill into law in 2017 and 2018 after several accusations and counter accusations by the Presidency that the budget was ‘Padded’. {a language that got into Nigerian lexicon in this present 7th National Assembly}

Despite these challenges, the government has put in some measures targeted at reducing the suffering of the masses for the short term, medium term and long term. The Federal government led by General Buhari has successfully grown the foreign reserves from about 29 billion dollars in 2015 having been depleted by reckless spending overseen by Goodluck Jonathan during the PDP era, to 47 billion dollars in late 2018.

The investment in power sector is yielding the desired results. Power supply has improved across the country and more roads were built and rehabilitated across all the geo political zones of the country without any zone complaining of neglect as being witnessed in the sixteen years rule of PDP led government. The Buhari led government through its initiative of strengthening micro scale business has provided loans to small and medium scale enterprises and farmers at single digit interest rate of 9%. These feats have led to the improvement in the supply of commodities and other agricultural products.

The social investment programmes such as N POWER, School feeding programme, GEEP loans are some short term schemes targeted at addressing the immediate needs of the beneficiaries while National housing projects across the 36 states of the federation , agricultural projects across the states of the federation, investment in the power sector which has led to improvement in the power generated and distribution are medium and long term projects that will aid the desired turn around craved by Nigerians if completed and allowed to blossom.

The rice revolutionary programme is another commendable effort of this government. The injection of funds to rice farmers has led to the increasement in the production of the staple food that is eaten in every house hold in Nigeria. The plan to buy back from the farmers by the Federal government is an initiative that has lured many unemployed youths to take a cursory look and eventual farming of rice most especially in the northern part of the country.

The rice revolution made the government to boldly ban the importation of rice in Nigeria and this singular step has lured many believers in locally made rice to patronizeNigerian rice. There abounds testimony of the sweetness of Nigerian rice compared to the imported rice that is known to many homes. If this feat is encouraged to continue in the rice farming sector, soon, Nigeria will be exporting her rice to neighbouring African countries and the world at large.

The ill health of the President at some point also affected his performance. He spent the best part of his tenure in office in London, United Kingdom seeing doctors due to his failing health. But despite his health challenges, it is clear to the blind that the President meant well for Nigerians as his Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo never allowed a lacuna to be preyed upon by the antagonists of the government. This is the first time Nigeria will have a good working relationship between the President and his Vice President and it is clear that the duo have forged a synergy in driving the economy to a point where all Nigerians will be proud to be called Nigerians.

It is clearly evident that if this government led by President Buhari and Prof Yemi Osinbajo is given another term and they are opportuned to consolidate on their achievements so far, Nigeria and Nigerians will be the greatest beneficiaries.

 

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