A whole one year has gone in the four year term of President Muhammadu Buhari as precisely on May 29, the All Progressive Congress (APC)-led government at the centre clocked one. It was a euphoric moment when the party clichéd power in the presidential election last year, the first time in the political history of Nigeria that an opposition party ousted an incumbent party.
With the frenzied atmosphere, Nigerians hope was quite high that within one year in office, the APC government will achieve a lot in terms bourgeoning economy. In spite of the fact that Buhari’s cabinet was formed after six months delay, the impression given was that surgical operation in the civil service, Ministries, Departments and agencies were on-going by removing the grain from the chaff, thereby making a leeway for the ministers to hit the ground running. But it was all a mirage.
But for analysts and stakeholders in the Nigerian project, without a clear-cut economic blueprint from the Presidency, it is understandable where the economy policy is headed. Like the ministers who as well should be the prime movers in various sectors of the economy, initiating and implementing policies for the betterment of the citizenry, there is no concrete achievement in the past one year in the various ministries.
In the case of power, works and housing with Babatunde Fashola in the saddle, power outage continues to prevail as Nigerians are asked to pay more for staying in darkness. Housing for the masses is a non-issue. The Federal roads dotting the country are in bad shape especially in the Eastern part of the country as work on the second Niger Bridge has stopped for a long time.
In the agricultural sector which is supposed to be the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy, the citizenry are walloping in hunger and poverty. Nigeria cannot produce enough to eat. For the Minister, Audu Ogbe, who has been in government circle since Second Republic, the issues of ravaging Fulani herdsmen has become a good excuse.
The Finance Ministry is opaque in aggregating the country’s economic worth. Buhari’s administration in the past one year signpost that the so-called economic team is watery when compared to the genius of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala whose singular effort led to Nigeria becoming the largest economy in Africa. Experts in the economic sector see the policy thrust so far as archaic, taking Nigeria back to the dark days of military years. Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, who was handpicked by Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, should sit up and face the task squarely.
Other ministers in the past one year of the APC administration also completely fell short of Nigerians’ expectations. It will be a thing of joy therefore if the ministers will add spark to their work. This way, their impact will be felt by Nigerians in the days ahead.
Daily Times, June 2016