Professor Muhammadu Mu’azu Nguru is the Director/ CEO of Nigerian-Arabic Language Village (NALV). In this interview with HUSSAINI JIRGI, he bares his mind on the war against corruption and other sundry issues.
What is your appraisal of President Muhammadu Buhari led government so far?
We assess a government from the promises it made, and also we need to assess whether the promises made would have solved the problems. I think without any fear of contradiction, PMB is on track and Nigerians will have no regret because the president is not a new person in government. From the journey so far, we all can see that the president is working tirelessly towards addressing the key challenges of the nation in line with his promises. He means well for Nigeria and has been unrelenting in his efforts. Having said this, let me note too that give a general assessment of a new administration that spent just one year in office, we need to look at so many factors like the contending issues in the politics, direction of the economy and even the fight against insecurity. In the area of security, campaign against corruption and revitalisation of the economy, this government has made and is still making giant leap. However, to my own opinion, Nigerians, Buhari and his government are aware of the difficult condition we Nigerians are passing through now. It is not the wish of his government to see us in this present condition. No responsible leader will like to see his people suffering. He came to power to rescue our country from the continuous deterioration and back sliding. To achieve such onerous assignment, one needs outmost sacrifice from all and sundry. It should not be left to one person or group of persons. Regardless of our sentiments, Mr. President is doing well.
The Anti-Corruption war has generated so much controversy with allegations that the war is selective and deliberate attempts to witch hunt others. What is your take on the war against corruption?
In Nigeria today almost everybody is corrupt, corruption has reached every sector both government and Non-governmental organisation, there is corruption in Army, Police, Customs, Immigration, private sector, institution of learning and so on. Unfortunately, one of the problems on the anti-corruption war is the judiciary because of the way the courts and indeed the lawyers, are handling corruption cases in the country. We hope that the judiciary will step up and do the right thing so that we establish proper accountability. Through that, we will set precedence so that everybody who is in public office knows that if you abuse public trust, that abuse is going to catch up with you. So to win this war on corruption, the judiciary must do their jobs, the petroleum marketers should be patriotic, the business tycoons should be honest merciful and compassionate to their country, the power sector should be nationalist, Civil servants must be diligent in discharging their duties, the lecturers at our universities should buckle down to their assignment, the police should do their work with dignity. In short, people must be ready to do their work diligently but above all, we all must fear Allah, for the war on corruption to succeed.
What is your take on the views that the government’s current measures aimed at improving the Economy are too stringent?
You see, in terms of economy, before this government came on board, we all know that the Nigerian economy was in a bad shape even though we were making huge money from the oil. Some Nigerians have expressed that views over and over again because of the current hardship people are facing. But you see, difficult times demand difficult decisions and that is exactly what is happening now. The government is adopting stringent measures aimed at repositioning the economy for longer and lasting impact. Everybody is aware that, in a period like this, the country is going through a very tough economic period. But by and large, considering the measures being taken and judging by the determination of the president to addressing all the challenges that he inherited, I have no doubt in my mind that Nigerians will soon have cause to smile. Instability in the prices of oil, the unpatriotic action of the so called Niger-delta avengers who have resorted to vandalism of the pipelines and a whole lot of other factors are part of the negative forces that contributed to our present Economic predicament. But as I said earlier, the government of PMB is set to reposition Nigeria. Let’s us exercise patience.
What are your plans to further reposition the NALV?
Well, we have outlined some measures that we hope will help us in making the NAVL discharge its duties effectively and efficiently. In the years ahead, we hope to take further and more concrete measures that will strengthen effective functioning of the Village.
Recently, the Federal Government approved your re-appointment as the head of NAVL. How do you feel?
Well, I feel elated because it means the government was impressed with what we have been doing. By the grace of Allah, we shall continue to discharge our duties with the utmost fear of Allah and total commitments so as to achieve the desired objectives. Having said that let me add too that the re-appointment meant that we must do more because as it is often said, the reward for hard work is more hard work.