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  • Post by Admin on sunday, March 05, 2015

In a couple of weeks from now, curtain would be drawn on Year 2017 and as the new year beckons, Nigerians would be confronted with flurry of political activities, leading to Year 2019 general elections. Expected to be dominant features in political landscape during 2018 are carpet crossing, parties’ primaries, horse tradings and of course, political rallies & campaigns. A critical issue that would constitute the centre piece of discourse across the nation is; who occupies the all important Aso Rock comes 2019? This is one office that binds all Nigerians together. It’s the office that takes economic, political and sociocultural decisions, binding on everybody, regardless of party affliation or ethnic bias, as well as determining the direction the country goes at any point time in time.

Election provide opportunity for the electorates to renew the mandate of the incumbent president or better still, opt for a new candidate, if voters are of the view that the office occupier has not measured up to the standard, with respect to his achievements in office and essentially, if their antenna has been able to zero in on another candidate, they perceive to have capacity, creativity and political will to steer the ship of the nation. In this regard, Nigeria is stucked! Even though, the president has not performed to the expectation of generality of Nigerians, obviously, there is no better candidate. PDP that are supposed to provide alternative have almost been consumed by crisis. Since their exit from Aso rock, they’ve been jumping from one controversy to another, so much that it would be fool hardy for Nigerians to cast their loins on them comes 2019. It took PDP almost two years to come back to a semblance of one entity as Supreme Court had to come to their rescue, after two years of war of supremacy and control between Senator Makarfi group and Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff, a development that has rocked the party to its foundation.

News filtering from the party’s camp as to their likely candidates for presidential election is not assuring either. Seriously been considered for the slot are the likes of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Alhaji Sule Lamido, former governor of Jigawa state as well as incumbent governor of Gombe state, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dakwambo. Atiku Abubakar candidature is dogged with series of controversy. He seems to have unending scores to settle with Nigerian power brokers. Even, if the populace give him ease of passage, the cabal would obviously constitute barrier to his ambition and this he knows.So, why dissipating energy on him? As much as the candidature of AlhajiLamido would have provided a fresh breath in the nation political horizon, he surely must clear his name from EFCC. He and his children are still on the prosecution list of the anti graft agency, on account of fraud and embezzlement which they’re alleged to have involved during his tenure as governor of Jigawa state. Alhaji Dakwambo’s aspiration for the office of president could represent a generational shift in our nation political history as he would be bringing on board youthfulness, professionalism and vibrancy, but, does he have the necessary maturity, political will and sagacity to drive the affairs of a tough and diverse nation like Nigeria at a critical time like this when our nation is so divided along ethnic, religious, ideological and political bias? A Nigerian president must, as a matter of fact be in full control of a political bloc possibly, a whole Geopolitical zone, to guarantee an impregnable fortress, to ward off political attacks especially when the chips are down. Besides, Gombe state, could Alhaji Dakwambo boasts of any other territorial support? There is no gain saying the fact that his god father in politics, AlhajiDanjuma Goje is even more dominant in Gombe state which he presently governs .These are the  hurdles PDP are battling with.

For the avoidance of doubt, change in political office is only meaningful if it would provide better governance and more benefit for citizenry. Change is also desirable if a better candidate is identified from opposing parties who have capacity to re-invent the machinery of government with the purpose of bringing purposefulness, sense of responsibility and more focus to overall administration.  In the present circumstance, this is not the situation. It’s against this backdrop that Nigerians both home and abroad must properly adjust their thinking caps with a view to convincing themselves that, what the nation need now is not the PDP that have been battered and mangled and now looking for opportunity to stage a come back to Aso Villa to continue from where they stopped in May 2015 when providence saw them off.

May I appeal to our countrymen that President Buhari may not be that type of president who allows money to flow from Treasury for hangers on to squander, nor making provocative appointments that are primarily designed for the office occupiers to become wealthy overnight, nor even provide platform for frenzy atmosphere in term of merry making to thrives within the prescint of Aso Rock,but, indeed, he has wonderful and enduring programs that would not only uplift the standard of living of generality of Nigerians, but also reposition, reignite and reinvent the machinery of government with ultimate effect of turning around the economy, political and infrastructures segment in our nation. I encourage Nigerians to follow me:

The Buhari administration has evolve new vision for Niger Delta region, with strategic engagements of the people of the region as the centre piece, with the hope of improving the standard of living of the people of the region and also stabilizing the economy through increased oil revenues. This engagement involve the constant visit of Vice President to the zone and outlining government’s commitment to peace, security and development of the region. The new vision brings together set of promises, targets and robust initiatives aimed at ensuring that Niger Delta people benefit substantially from the oil wealth.

The same government have also chart a new course for the Nigerian economy over the next 4 years through the introduction of National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (NERGP). The vision of the plan is to stabilize the economy, achieving agriculture and food security, improving transportation infrastructures and ensuring energy efficiency.

The same administration has put up a framework for upgrading and developing Nigeria’s Transport infrastructure. Many roads projects across the nation hitherto abandoned by the immediate past government are now being constructed and debts owed on them been cleared by the government. In addition,  Abuja light rail designed to connect Abuja-Kaduna railway line has gone into operation.   

Another area this government has impacted significantly on the affairs of the nation is its anti-corruption fight. In fighting this menace, the government has had to touch even the sacred cows in the society. Prior to now, it sounded incredible that judges would be subjected to scrutiny. It is still unheard of that a government would suspend its own senior officials and subject them to probe. Only a Buhari government could do such in the best interest of the people. Whistleblowing Policy coming on the heels of the anti-graft war has been introduced by the Federal Ministry of Finance. The policy  has, within its first two months of operation, yielded about $160m and N8 billion in recoveries of stolen  government funds.There is no doubt that Buhari’s government inherited a ruined economy coupled with dwindled oil prices.

The immediate past government opened the nation Treasury for every Dick, Tom and Harry to loot. They tacitly encouraged regimes of petroleum products and fertilizers subsidies that provided platform for emergence of overnight billionaires. The development almost bring our nation to its knees. Roads and other infrastructures contract awards worth several billions of Naira were not executed. Billions of Naira meant for execution of arms deals and acquisition to combat the scourge of insurgency were diverted. Before they were exited, they practically threw the economy into comatose. This was what the president and his team have been battling with.

TSA initiative was introduced to block all the loopholes that agencies, ministries and other arms of government have been deploying to suck nation dry.  Regimes of subsidies of petroleum products and fertilizers are on the threshold of been closed. Foreign exchange scams have been remarkably checked. The combination of these initiatives have jump start the economy. The Nigerian economy advanced 1.4% year on year in the 3rd quarter accelerating from an upwardly revised 0.72% growth in the previous year. The nation present GDP growth is about 1.35%. Inflationary rate has crashed to 15.9%.  

This is the present state affairs in the Nigerian economy.  The Administration has also launched a series of funding and capacity development initiatives designed to support MSMEs across the country, as follows: The new Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) is finally taking off, with initial funding of US$1.3bn (provided by the World Bank, German Development Bank, the African Development Bank and AgenceFrançaise de Development) to provide medium and long-term loans to MSMEs.

The MSME Clinic, which bring relevant Government Agencies and their managements together with small businesses operating in various cities across the country, to enable the Agencies provide direct support to these businesses. The Interactions allow the Agencies better understand the issues facing small businesses, and provides a platform for speedy resolution. The government have also taken conscious efforts to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths. This readily brings to mind the Social Investment Programmes, SIPs, which parade the N-Power jobs for graduates, the School Feeding Programme and the Unconditional Cash Transfers for artisans, traders, amongst others.

With regards to power infrastructure, at the inception of the administration in May 2015, the average generation of power was 3,324MW and it eventually increased to 4,357MW in August 2015 and rose to a peak generation of 5,077MW in February 2016. The government have also put in place series of initiatives to sustain and increase power generation amongst which is the recent engagement of consortium of Chinese companies; CNEEC and SINO Hydro for the construction of Turbines of the Zungeru Power Plant expected to be completed in the last quarter od 2019·

The above landmark achievements were recorded just within a space of three years of Buhari administration. We can’t pretend they do not exist. They are physically located in all the nooks and crannies for everyone to see. In a decent and orderly clime, citizenry could only wish for the sustainance of such laudable programs so that the nation’s journey to genuine growth and development could be guaranteed. Its against this backdrop that discerning Nigerians with greater insight of what nation building is all about, would find running helter and skelter of PDP aristocrats in recent times in their bid to return back to power laughable. Providence entrusted the most coveted office unto their care for solid 16 years; what did they achieved with it? Comprehensive looting of the nation Treasury! Throwing the economy into recession! Ceding two Geopolitical zones out of the six zones in Nigeria to Boko Haram! Leaving on their trail confusion in the Niger Delta Region and the entire political space!

If i were PDP aristocrats, what would pre-occupy my mind is simply rebuilding, restructuring and repositioning the party for perhaps 2023 general elections, rather than making fruitless and insensitive thought of returning back to power so soon. What corrective measures have they done since their exit from Aso Villa that provides justification that their return would take the country to the promised land?           

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu while making a keynote address during a recent presentation of book titled-Making Steady, Sustainable Progress for Nigeria’s Peace & Posterity, confirmed that immediate past government used the public treasury as private hedge fund or a charity that limited its giving only to themselves. He said “So much money grew feet and ran away faster than Usain Bolt ever could. That which could have been spent on national development was squandered in ways that would cause the devil to blush”.   Due to the neglect of prior governments, our economy was not allowed to blossom in a way that offered jobs to the poor and empowered the common man. He summarized his address by saying-  In governance, PDP earned a red card but in the corruption, they won the gold medal.

Even though, we are not presenting President Buhari as an embodiment of totality of what citizenry expect, as there are still critical areas to be addressed like unnecessary skewness of appointments, lack of urgency in decision making as well as president persistently allowing himself to be held to ransom by three-man cabal who ordinarily have no business in this government, nonetheless, the president few shortcomings pale into insignificance if consideration is given to his prudence in management of nation resources, his resolve to completely annihilate the Book Haram insurgency, restoration of peace and orderliness in the political space as well as his armanda of economic programs that have rescued the nation from the claws of recession coupled with respect and honour our nation is now attracting from international community.

Its also important at this juncture to reckon with the president’s new culture of embracing democratic norms and ethos. He recently consulted with Asiwaju Tinubu, an acclaimed founder of APC on the impending cabinet reshuffle and other state matters, a development that made legendary APC national leader to soft pedal on the hard stance he had hitherto maintained on government decisions. Asiwaju present relationship with the president has also doused tension amongst APC members across the nation. The president also consults with leadership of national assembly on myriad of issues affecting the nation, a style completely alien to military clan, the primary constituency of the president. Let’s hope that the present development of cooperation and understanding is sustained into the election year and even beyond. Its then that peace, progress, growth and development of our dear nation could be assured.           

Kola AMZAT(FCA,FCIB,ACS,ACTIN,MBA) MD/CEO,WKA Consulting Ltd. 09077509348


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