Sunday, May 29, 2016

One Year in Office: 5 Major Achievements Of President Buhari

Exactly one year today, President Mohammadu Buhari, in Abuja, the Nation's capital, took over the mantle of leadership from Goodluck Jonathan – after he conceded defeat at the March 28, 2015 Presidential elections. It was the fourth shot at the presidency for ex-military commander Buhari. Goodluck Jonathan, a Bayelsa-born politician ruled the nation for 6 years.Jonathan came to power, promising to take Nigeria to greater height through his Transformation Agenda. He assumed office, following the death of his predecessor, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2010.

One year down the lane, President Buhari came into power with the mantra of 'Change'. His administration was hinged on tackling corruption, unemployment and terrorism. For the staunch supporters of the administration, Buhari has done exceedingly well in the following key areas: National security, corruption, economy, governance, national image.

National Security: 
The President ran his political campaigns on the restoration of national security. At the time he took over power, Boko Haram, the deadly terrorist cell that had killed thousands of Nigerians and destroyed inestimable valuables, was occupying 14 local government areas in the North-East. Today, the 14 local government areas have not only been reclaimed by the military, there is also free movement in the areas. Perhaps, one piece of cheery news that excited the government was the rescue of one of the 219 Chibok schools girls, Amina Ali, abducted by Boko Haram two years ago.

Anti-Corruption War 
Assuming that the Augean stable had been cleaned and the war ends now, posterity would still know that Buhari was here.The fight against corruption defines Buhari’s administration. And he is taking it a notch higher. The APC government has given the anti-corruption agencies, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, and the judiciary, the liberty to fully launch offensives against corruption and its agents. This has seen high profile cases with suspects such as a former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki, a former Chief of the Air Staff, Alex Badeh, with the Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, the PDP, amongst others connected with the $2.1 arms deal. Similarly, no one would ever believe that a Nigerian court would be trying a sitting Senate President who is a chieftain of the ruling party.

Economy and Governance
The 2016 budget has provided a road map and appropriate monetary templates for the economy under Buhari. As the economy is down, efforts are being made to diversify it by investing hugely in agriculture. Other policies undertaken by the government include the reintroduction of the Treasury Single Account, TSA, where all public funds are channelled into one bank account, the introduction of Bank Verification Number, BVN, to detect ghost workers amongst others. There is also the introduction of social welfare packages to help low income earners.The government is working on the Infrastructural Development and Transportation where over $6 billion worth of investments which were the fallouts of the president’s recent state visit to China would be realized. Education sector, sport, environment are also getting attention. Recall the presidential order to start the implementation of UNEP report would clean up oil spill in Ogoniland in Rivers State.

National Image 
This is one area Buhari has got a pass mark by his assessors. Many saw Nigeria as a pariah state before now. But the president, upon his assumption of office, undertook some foreign trips within and outside Africa to re-establish Nigeria’s position in the global arena and solicit support for Nigeria and Africa. The visits saw him go to France, South Africa, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Germany where he attended the G7 summit. Also, in realization of the need to secure Nigeria and, indeed, the West African sub region where Boko Haram had been carrying out attacks, Buhari embarked on diplomatic trips to Niger, Chad, Cameroun and Benin Republic. In an interview on the various presidential trips, the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Mallam Garba Shehu, said a lot of bilateral agreements which would see to the repatriation of the stolen funds had been signed.
But really, does it look like there is still time for President Buhari's administration?

Culled from Vanguard.

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