State Of The Nation: 2019 Politicking!!! The Rise And Fall Of President Muhammadu Buhari

By Joshua Amaugo July 31, 2018 10:32

State Of The Nation: 2019 Politicking!!! The Rise And Fall Of President Muhammadu Buhari

One of the things President Muhammadu Buhari vowed to fight on assumption of office, on May 29, 2015, was impunity in all aspects of our nation’s life.

Recall, that the President had in his inaugural speech, pledged to belong to everybody and yet to nobody. In him, many Nigerians ululated they had found the Messiah, envisioning the Nigeria of their dream under his watch. Simply put, Buhari’s ascendancy was acclaimed in some quarters, as the much-awaited answer to the country’s leadership conundrum.

But three years after, the euphoria has waned significantly.

On corruption and governance, he said: “I believe if Nigeria does not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria”, a statement, arguably his best punch-line in this dispensation.

“No matter how vast our resources”, he also said, “If they are not efficiently utilized, they will only benefit a privileged few, leaving the majority in poverty.”

To ensure this does not happen, he vowed to “show personal leadership in the war against corruption, and also hold all the people who work with me to account.”

Unfortunately, more than three years after, the President has been unable to deliver, as members of his cabinet and party, have been accused of gross mismanagement and misappropriation of public funds, impunity, fraud, and the likes.

On the economy, his supporters insist he has done well. They point to the foreign reserves, which hit $47.37 billion, on April 5, tout the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, the quick recovery from recession, and the decline in rice and fertilizer importations.

They also hoist the seeming stability in the financial system, on the totem pole of his achievements.

Nigeria’s economy experienced a negative GDP growth of -1.6 percent in 2016, one year into Buhari’s Presidency, and the first in 24 years, leading to increases in unemployment, under-employment and poverty.

In December 2017, the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, released an unemployment survey, which indicated that more than eight million Nigerians became unemployed, between January 2016, and September 30, 2017. The report further revealed that the number of unemployed Nigerians rose under this dispensation, from 8.036 million in Q4 2015, to 15.998 million in Q3 2017.

“The unemployment rate increased from 14.2 percent in Q4 2016, to 16.2 percent in Q2 2017, and 18.8 percent in Q3 2017.

The number of people within the labour force who are unemployed or underemployed, increased from 13.6 million and 17.7 million, respectively  in Q2 2017, to 15.9 million and 18.0 million in Q3 2017”, the report stated.

Also, while it is good to hear that the inflation rate has fallen from 19 percent in January 2017, to 11.1 percent in June 2018, the fact remains that inflation was at single digit before Buhari’s Presidency.

Exchange rate, which seems to have stabilised at N360 to a dollar, from an all-time high of over N500, hovered around N197/N215 to a dollar before Buhari.

Political Analysts have argued that the recession was avoidable. It only needed a different kind of leadership for that to happen, not a President that took six months to constitute a Ministerial cabinet, and two years to reconstitute Boards of Parastatals; actions that unsettled Foreign Investors and the Nigerian business community, leading to massive outflows of foreign portfolio investments.

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