Issues GMB Must Curb To Succeed As Nigeria’s Leader
According to this detailed feature report published, Vanguard
newspapers have outlined the pressing needs that the in-
coming president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari needs
to focus on.
Buhari, 72, has said the corrupt and corruption will have
no place in his administration, sparking fears of a wide-
ranging crackdown similar to his previous time as
military ruler in the 1980s. But he has pledged outgoing
President Goodluck Jonathan has “nothing to fear” and
there will be no witch-hunt against the former
Some areas are likely to be too big to ignore, however,
such as the running of the opaque, state-run oil firm,
which is seen as riddled with corruption. Analysts predict
Buhari will beef up existing anti-corruption agencies,
while he has personally promised to declare his assets
and liabilities for greater transparency and accountability.
Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) estimates it
could save three trillion naira ($15 billion, 13 billion
euros) by streamlining government and plugging
“leakages” in the system.
Appears In Court
Jonathan’s administration will be remembered for the
rise of Boko Haram Islamists, who left least 15,000
people dead and more than 1.5 million homeless in a six-
year campaign of violence. Boko Haram is currently seen
as on the run but security experts say the war is far from
over, with sporadic attacks continuing and the likelihood
the rebels could regroup in border regions.
Former army general Buhari has recognised the need for
top-down reform to boost poor morale and end graft that
hit military procurement, leaving troops ill-equipped to
fight. But restructuring also needs to go hand-in-hand
with social and economic programmes to tackle the root
causes of the insurgency, namely lack of development
and unemployment in the Muslim north.
Buhari has indicated he will maintain regional cooperation
with Chad, Niger and Cameroon but he faces potential
trouble on another front from former militants in the oil-
producing southern Delta. Rebels wanting a fairer share
of oil wealth have threatened to resume their activities
against energy facilities in the region if a government
amnesty programme is not extended beyond this year.
Nearly two-thirds of Nigeria’s population of more than
170 million is under 30. But unemployment is currently
nudging 30 percent, despite strong overall rates of
economic growth in recent years. Outgoing Finance
Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in 2013 recognised the
benefits of growth needed to be shared more equitably.
The APC says some 110 million people still live in
Buhari’s administration has pledged to embark on a
massive programme of industrialisation, including
building railways, improving roads and ports, and
improving crumbling infrastructure. But those
programmes could be hamstrung immediately by lack of
funds, with Nigeria hit hard by the slump in the global
price of oil, on which it depends for 90 percent of foreign
Observers say diversifying the economy is a must, as is
educational reform to improve skills. Some 10.5 million
Nigerian children are currently out of school — the most
in the world.
Last Friday, the government said Nigeria was producing
just 1,327 megawatts of electricity — an all-time low and
down even on Buhari’s last time in power in 1983-85.
Reversing the country’s crippling power deficit is seen as
key to driving economic growth but has evaded
successive governments because of mismanagement,
incompetence and vested interests.
Buhari is expected to decentralise, deregulate and
privatise the transmission sector, opening it up to
competition. The APC has reportedly promised to triple
generation to 12,000 MW by 2019. He will also have to
address the oil and gas sector and controversial
subsidies paid to fuel importers who bring in petroleum
products because of a lack of functioning refineries.
The government’s alleged non-payment of arrears saw
fuel supply lines shut down in recent weeks, causing a
crippling shortage that brought Nigeria to a near
Government, How He Influenced Major Decisions
Meanwhile, ahead of the inauguration of Buhari, on
Friday, May 29, students body, National Association of
Nigerian Students (NANS) has issued a warning to the
South African president, Jacob Zuma, to stay away from
the inauguration ceremony.