Exactly one month ago ( May 29, to be precise) President ( General) Muhammadu Buhari was sworn-in as President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces at an elaborate ceremony held at the Eagle Square Abuja and attended by over 40 Heads of State.
At the event, Buhari made several promises, riding on the popular All Progressives Congress, APC, slogan “Change”. Most of the promises were similar to those he made during the campaign. One month after, what can we say are Buhari’s achievements?
It is on record that our president is yet to make key appointments, is yet to form his cabinet; has in one month traveled outside Nigeria ( and spent more time outside than in his office) more than any of his predecessors; has devoted greater part of his energy saying what he would do to fight corruption than actually fighting the scourge; and has made cleansing of the NNPC and Ministry of Petroleum Resources his major reform agenda than finding solution to challenges facing the country including huge debts, unpaid staff salaries, insurgency and other criminal activities.
Now, let us take a look at some of his electoral promises and benchmark them against his performance.
· Reduce maternal mortality by more than 70%.
· Reduce HIV/AIDs infection rate by 50% and other infectious diseases by 75%.
· Increase the number of physicians from 19 per 1000 population to 50 per 1000
· Increase national health expenditure per person per annum to about N50,000 (from less than N10,000 currently).
· Make one Naira exchange for one United States dollar upon assumption of office
· Ensure timely payment of retirement benefits for all pensioned senior citizens and create a poverty safety net for all aged citizens above the age of 65.
· Full disclosure in media outlets, of all government contracts of over N100 million prior to award and during implementation at regular interval.
· Amend the Constitution to remove immunity from prosecution for elected officers in criminal case.
· Reform and strengthen justice system for efficient administration and dispensation of justice with the creation of special courts for accelerated hearing of corruption, drug trafficking, terrorism and similar cases of national importance.
· Establish world-class sports academy and training institutes and ensure that Nigeria occupies a place of pride in global sports and athletics.
· Revive the Nigerian football league putting incentives in place to make it as competitive as other national leagues.
· Assist Nollywood to fully develop into world class movie industry that can compete effectively with Hollywood and Bollywood in due course.
· Guarantee that women are adequately represented in government appointments and providing greater opportunities in education, job creation and economic empowerment. ( Note: all appointments made so far have no woman)
· Strengthen INEC to reduce, if possible, eliminate electoral malpractices in Nigerian’s political life.
· Improve operational and legal mechanisms so that disciplinary steps are taken against proven human rights violations by the Armed Forces.
· Free education at primary, secondary and tertiary institutions for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Education.
· Public declaration of assets and liabilities (Note: declaration made in secret)
· State and community policing
· Ban all government officials from seeking medical care abroad
· Implement a National Gender Policy, including 35% of appointive positions for women
· Revival of Ajaokuta steel company
· Generation, transmission and distribution of at least 20,000 MW of electricity within four years and increasing to 50,000 MW with a view to achieving 24/7 uninterrupted power supply within 10 years.
· To employ 740,000 graduates across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
· Establishment of a free-tuition and scholarship scheme for pupils who have shown exceptional aptitude in science subjects at O/Levels to study ICT-related courses.
· To create 720,000 in the 36 states in the federation yearly (20,000 per state).
– To embark on vocational training, entrepreneurial and skills acquisition schemes for graduates along with the creation of a Small Business Loan Guarantee Scheme to create at least 5 million new jobs.
· Build an airport in Ekiti State
· Eradicate of state of origin, replacing it with state of residence Establish a crime squad to combat terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, militants, ethno-religious and communal clashes nationwide
· Work with the National Assembly towards the immediate enactment of a Whistle Blower Act
· Establish a conflict resolution commission to help prevent, mitigate and resolve civil conflicts within the polity.
· Ensure permanent peace in the Niger Delta and other conflict prone areas such as Plateau, Taraba, Bauchi, Borno and Abia.
· Nationwide sanitation plans to keep Nigeria clean
· Special incentives to facilitate the education of the girl child
– Make Information Technology, Manufacturing, Agriculture and Entertainment key drivers of our economy
· Balance the economy across regions by the creation of six new Regional Economic Development Agencies (REDAs) to act as champions of sub-regional competitiveness
· Put in place a N300 billion regional growth fund (average of N50 billion in each geo-political region) to be managed by the REDAs.
· Build up to 4,800km of modern railway lines – one third to be completed by 2019.
· Have at least one functioning airport is available in each of the 36 states.
· End gas flaring and ensure sales of at least half of gas produce, within Nigeria.
· Speedily pass the much-delayed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and ensure that local content issues are fully addressed.
· Churches and Mosques would not pay taxes under national laws, but if they engage in businesses, the businesses would pay tax.
· Provision of allowances to the discharged but unemployed Youth Corps members for Twelve (12) months while in the skills and entrepreneurial development programme
· Make the economy one of the fastest-growing emerging economies in the world with a real GDP growth averaging 10% annually.
· Create a Social Welfare Programme of at least five thousand naira (N5000) that will cater for the 25 million poorest and most vulnerable citizens
· Establish at least six new universities of science and technology with satellite campuses in various states.
From the above, it is very clear that our president still has a long way to go in turning his lofty promises to reality and giving the electorates dividends of democracy as the ‘messiah’ we all voted for.
For instance, Buhari promised to make the Naira exchange rate N1 to US$1dollar. Today, the exchange rate is N225 to US$1 dollar from N215 at the time he assumed office and there are fears the Naira would soon be further devalued.
In the same vein, while Buhari promised to eradicate insurgency in the North-East within few weeks of becoming president, the terrorists have killed over 300 persons under his watch and still counting. It remains doubtful what he has to show for the 30 days he has spent in office. Even the few appointments so far made are in favour of people of his ethnic block and faith. At the same time, his party APC is embroiled in turmoil over choice of national assembly leaders with the president refusing to stem the tide. However, I will not give judgement since he is still learning the ropes, but leave you the reader to make your decision and score the marks. Have a fun filled new week and month.


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