The Buhari administration says it has fulfilled 98 percent of its campaign promises. Here's what we think.
President Muhammadu Buhari declared for a second term in office on Monday, April 9, 2018.
Buhari and his political party, the APC, pledged to radically change Nigeria before the 2015 general elections.
In a document titled ‘My Vision and Manifesto for Nigeria’, Buhari pledged to deliver “permanent peace and solution to the insurgency issues in the North-East; the Niger Delta; and other conflict prone States and areas such as Plateau, Benue, Bauchi, Borno, Abia, Taraba, Yobe, and Kaduna in order to engender national unity and social harmony;
“Make our economy one of the fastest growing emerging economies in the world with a real GDP growth averaging at least 10-12% annually.
“Prevent the abuse and misuse of Executive, Legislative and Public offices, through greater accountability, transparency, strict and implementable anti-corruption laws, through strengthening and sanitising the EFCC and ICPC as independent entities and;
“Amend the Constitution to remove immunity from prosecution for elected officers in criminal cases", among others.
Mountain of promises
The APC and its presidential candidate delivered a plethora of campaign promises which fall into the broad themes of tackling corruption, improving the economy and providing security for all Nigerians.
One commentator counted 81 campaign promises as tendered by candidate Buhari and the APC before 2015.
Speaking to the BBC soon after his principal said he will be seeking another term in office in 2019, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the president, Garba Shehu said Buhari has done 98 percent of the job he promised he was going to do.
“The president has done 98 percent of the job he was asked to do”, Shehu declared emphatically.
Here’s how we think Buhari has fared across the three broad themes of fighting corruption, tackling insecurity and improving the economy.
The Treasury Single Account (TSA) was not a Buhari invention but it was quickly adopted by the APC led federal government as soon as Buhari assumed the reins.
The TSA ensures that all agencies of government pool their revenues into a single account across all departments and ministries.
The TSA has reduced corruption in government business and kept civil servants out of the cookie jar.
The nation's Biometric Verification Number (BVN) has also harmonised the nation's data base; helping to check laundering and other forms of financial crimes.
However, president Buhari’s anti-corruption war has been described as a witch-hunt by the opposition, with only PDP members making it into the government’s recently released ‘looters list’.
The Buhari administration is also yet to score a high profile conviction even though it has done so well with waging a media war against persons who allegedly looted the treasury.
A few top ranking officials in Buhari’s government who have been accused of corruption, are still on the administration’s payroll.
But there’s a general feeling in the land that stealing government money is no longer as mainstream as it once was.
Buhari has also maintained sealed lips on how much it costs the State each time he proceeds to London for a medical vacation.
Buhari promised to hand Nigeria “a real GDP growth averaging at least 10-12% annually”.
However, Nigeria officially slipped into a recession in August 2016 following two consecutive quarters of negative growth.
The country emerged out its worst economic slump in 29 years in September of 2017.
On Buhari’s watch, GDP has grown by merely zero percentage points, although it has to be said that the plunge in the global price of oil is largely to blame for the nation’s worsening economy under Buhari.
The administration is also completing abandoned infrastructure at a frenzied pace and its social investment programs are progressing apace.
There’s also a renewed commitment to diversify an ailing economy under Buhari, but the gains are nowhere near visible at the moment.
There are a lot more Nigerians out of job on Buhari’s watch.
According to latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), an estimated eight million Nigerians became unemployed between January 2016 and September 30, 2017.
The number of Nigerians who became unemployed during the Buhari administration rose from 8,036 million in Q4 2015 to 15.998 million in Q3 of 2017.
More than 100 million Nigerians remain poor in Nigeria with over 80 percent of the population surviving on less than a dollar a day.
Nigeria’s foreign reserves rose to $42.8billion under Buhari, but exchange rates remain high and pump price of petrol spiked with Buhari at the helm.
Across the land, living conditions are at abysmal levels.
The capacity of terrorist sect Boko Haram to seize whole towns and communities has been drastically reduced, but the terrorist outfit continues to launch soft target attacks on civilian populations.
Boko Haram is also still capable of evading soldiers in heavily militarized zones in the nation’s northeast, and carrying out mass abductions of students, traders and farmers.
For all the military onslaught, Boko Haram remains a fighting force.
Herdsmen have also stepped up attacks on farmers and villagers on Buhari’s watch and robbers are still on a rampage in several parts of the country.
What do you make of the Buhari administration after 3 years? How would you score the APC led federal government? On the strength of his first term, does he deserve a second? Please do leave your thoughts in the comment section below.