The election of a former head of state as president in 2015 made Nigerians very optimistic that effective governance would start immediately after President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn-in. The expectation was heightened when the incoming government vowed to bring change.
However, it took a while for the administration to constitute a cabinet, shortly after that, it signed the budget on May 6, 2016.
So many things went rapidly downhill. Many companies closed shop and hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost. Many manufacturing outfits operated below capacity. The organised private sector and concerned economic watchers frequently implored the Buhari regime to unfold its economic policies and direction to enable investors make informed decisions. It came to a head when in February 2016, Nobel Laureate Prof Wole Soyinka, urged the Presidency to call an emergency conference to address the nation’s dwindling economic fortunes.
The past one year, however, recorded giant strides in the war against terror, as the Boko Haram insurgents were encircled in Sambisa Forest. The war is far from over, but there is light at the end of the tunnel as the military continues to liberate more enclaves and free captives from the terrorists.
Unfortunately,just as the military is degrading the capability of Boko Haram new fronts of instability opened up, with the upsurge of the separatist agitations of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra IPOB, the attacks of armed herdsmen on indigenous communities around the central and southern states, as well as the return of militancy in the Niger Delta through the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers.
The regime also put a lot of effort on the war on corruption, with emphasis on the forceful return of stolen or misappropriated federal funds by officials of the former President Goodluck Jonathan government and their associates.
On the whole, this regime’s approach to governance has been inchoate and lacking in direction and purpose. Perhaps, this owes to the fact that it is a totally new regime run by a new ruling party. Coming at a time of a grave economic downturn did not help matters.
We hope the second year will see a lot more action in infrastructural development. We hope there will be more engagement with the people and less emphasis on the military approach which is alien to our democratic setting.
We hope that the second year will bring the change promised Nigerians, to heal the multiple injuries of electricity and fuel price hikes as well as the free fall of the value of the Naira. We expect the economic diversification programme and creation of jobs to put money in the pockets of the ordinary people.
We hope for a better second year.