As the President Muhammadu Buhari eight-year presidency comes to an end, responses from various regions of the nation suggest that it might not have been the kind of governance they had in mind when the government assumed power eight years earlier.
While some Nigerians were quick to criticize the presidency in some areas, others praised the government and declared that Nigeria had advanced or made strides.
Several Nigerians faulted the assessment and chose to lower their ratings in some crucial areas like energy, health, education, security, and other critical infrastructure that can spur economic development.
Only 8% of Nigerians, according to an API survey conducted in 2022, are satisfied with the way things are going under President Muhammadu Buhari. We examine various initiatives implemented by the Buhari government as a new administration gets ready to take office.
Education and Healthcare in Focus
President Muhammadu Buhari is leaving Nigerians with a debt load per person that exceeds the sum of all expenditures on health and education. This creates an urgent situation for the future of healthcare and education.
The majority of Nigerians are perplexed that a nation with so many human resources has not been able to establish respected health and education sectors. Amazingly, not even the government feels comfortable enough with the sectors.
While in office, President Muhammadu Buhari liked to have his medical check-ups in the United Kingdom. For eight years, this was the situation because standard hospitals were not built by the administration.
The educational market has fallen off a cliff. The education sector in Nigeria has endured a number of difficulties throughout the years, none of which were effectively addressed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Nigeria now has the third-highest out-of-school population in the world, with an alarming 19.7 million out-of-school children as of last year. The primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of education in Nigeria are all dysfunctional. Both its physical infrastructure and its human resources are in chaos.
The longest strike under any Nigerian president has lasted for almost 630 days overall between 2015 and 2022, according to ASUU. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, during whose administration lecturers went on strike for 519 days, was Buhari’s closest. This really should not be Nigeria’s educational reality.
President Muhammadu Buhari pledged to increase agricultural investment and support for farming when he assumed office in 2015 in order to diversify Nigeria’s oil-dependent economy. After eight years, it is clear that the Buhari administration has had the weakest pace of agricultural growth since the restoration of democracy in 1999.
This performance comes on the back of a professed commitment to developing the agricultural sector and billions plunged into several agricultural programs like:
- The Anchor Borrowers Program
- Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL)
- Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI)
- All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN)
These admirable initiatives are allegedly linked to unscrupulous activities or have been taken over by individuals who are not actual farmers. As of February 28, 2023, the Anchor Borrowers Program, which in 2016 set aside N40 billion to encourage farmers by providing loans with single-digit interest rates, had released N1.08 trillion.
The modest sectoral growth suggests that the government’s intervention was insufficiently effective to produce the desired results, and analysts believe that a significant barrier may be inadequate implementation.
Power Sector Reform
Nigeria’s power sector has struggled with the implementation of electricity policies, unpredictability in gas supplies, and limitations in its transmission infrastructure for decades.
President Muhammadu Buhari recently approved a constitutional amendment, and as a result, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), which oversees the power industry, has the authority to issue states licenses to produce, transfer, and distribute electricity.
The states were then limited to interfering in their own territory that was not covered by the national grid system. Contrary to pre-reform regimes, President Buhari’s revision has increased the authority of states to produce, transmit, and distribute electricity to territories covered by the national grid.
Inferentially, competition in the market through the states has been generated by the liberalization of the states’ authority to produce, transmit, and distribute electricity. This is a significant step in the right direction for Nigeria’s electricity issue.
Is gifting people free money a proper way to boost the economy or fight poverty? How much good can a meager N10,000 ($21) do for small traders? The federal government’s TraderMoni concept created a lot of discussion and heated debate on a national level.
According to the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), the TraderMoni was created as a direct reaction to the difficulties associated with financial inclusion and access to capital for micro-enterprises.
The evaluation of this scheme’s worth, effect, and utility has been a crucial problem over the years. because the gaps in the issues we face, especially those affecting Nigeria’s small traders, are too great. It renders TraderMoni insufficient.
The late General Sani Abacha was said to have stolen approximately $20.6 million, according to the US Department of Justice, which was allegedly handed to the Nigerian government in November 2022. Abacha served as the military ruler of the state of Nigeria from 1993 to 1998.
The repatriated funds, according to the DoJ’s announcement, brought the total amount of repatriated funds in this instance to almost $332.4 million.
Through the National Social Safety-Nets Coordinating Office, the Nigerian government revealed on November 17, 2022, that over a six-year period, 1.9 million poor and vulnerable households had benefited from $700 million of Abacha’s repatriated funds.
However, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) published the Nigeria Multidimensional Poverty Index on the same day, which showed that over 133 million people, or 63% of Nigeria’s population, are living in poverty.
Very little will be attributed to President Buhari’s administration’s activities while attempting to defend Nigeria’s use of the Abacha wealth.
Never before in the political history of the country has the redesign of the Naira caused as much pain, anxiety, and hostility as we saw in the early months of this year. It dealt a serious blow to the Buhari administration’s already tarnished reputation.
The President and the CBN deceived Nigerians into believing they would receive access to the new notes in exchange for turning in their old notes to the banks, but this has not been the case. People were made to spend hours in banks and sleep at ATM locations only to get their money. Additionally, it has had an adverse effect on commercial transactions and the economy.