The Challenges Before Buhari, By Ibrahim Abubakar Lajada
Nigerians are concerned about the lack of results from President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration after ten months in office. Many agree that Buhari inherited enormous challenges from the previous administration, but he was voted into office because Nigerians trusted him to bring the change he promised. Almost one year on and Nigerians are disappointed and feel betrayed.
Nigeria’s troubled economy is on the brink of a recession, which is expected to worsen following the inability of President Buhari to steer it otherwise. Thousands of people are losing their jobs and there is tremendous hardship all over the country. Unemployment, insecurity, the deplorable power supply, and fuel scarcity are urgent concerns that are yet to be addressed. The economic and security situation will threaten Buhari’s ability to implement the widespread reform he promised.
Nigeria has inadequate infrastructure, poor roads, power that is available only intermittently, the lack of safe drinking water, no sewage system, insufficient schools, hospitals, and medical doctors. The government must make huge investments in these areas, as well as in training and paying for qualified teachers and doctors to provide our people with a decent standard of living.
Crude oil, the backbone of Nigeria’s economy, is no longer the commodity it was internationally, and the recent dip in oil prices is primarily the cause of the country’s current economic predicament. As a result, Buhari’s administration must concentrate on revenue generation. The Nigerian government must seek revenue through other means such as sales tax or government fees. There is a great opportunity for our country to diversify the country’s economy due to the collapse in oil prices, however it appears that improving the economic situation by creating more jobs in multiple sectors of the economy outside of the oil industry is beyond Buhari’s span of knowledge.
The current administration must create an environment conducive to the growth of business. A large number of controls and regulations should be removed because these have stifled the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, and restructured the scope of competition, both internally and externally. Entrepreneurship is by far the most effective method to enable people to earn more, and in turn consume more and become participating members of the economy. The idea whose time has come is that Nigeria should emerge as a major global and economic power. The alternative path is economic stabilisation and a credible structural adjustment programme. Nigeria has resources in all parts of the country. All the states of the federation have products they could sell locally and equally export. Governors must work with private sector operators to produce and sell what they have to other states, other African Nations and the rest of the world.
Buhari must face the brutal reality of Nigeria’s current economic and security situation. His administration has shown no signs of creating conditions that will attract investors to Nigeria’s economy. Without addressing two major national concerns, the economy and national security, it is highly unlikely that prospective investors will consider Nigerian an investment haven. Since Nigeria is the only place we call home, we have the moral right and obligation to ensure that those in government are accountable to the electorate.
Ibrahim Abubakar Lajada can be reached through email@example.com.