By Chukwudi Enekwechi
Two years ago, President Muhammad Buhari assumed office, and there were great expectations from Nigerians. Such expectations can be encapsulated in building the nation’s infrastructures, job creation, revamping the economy, providing security and fighting corruption.
After several years of dashed hopes under successive PDP administrations, Nigerians hinged their hopes on President Buhari as they believed he had a pedigree of integrity, dedication and commitment to the Nigerian project.
Bearing in mind the huge burden on his shoulders, President Buhari along with his cabinet mapped out strategies and diligently embarked on the arduous task of working for Nigerians.
Remarkably, they began a sectoral development strategy with priority on the three major planks of the administration which premised its service delivery to Nigerians on anti-corruption, war against Boko haram and diversification of the economy.
So far, he has fulfilled his promise to rescue the abducted Chibok girls, and has restored relative calm and security in the war-ravaged North-East.
On the economy, the Buhari administration has for the first time in recent Nigerian history successfully diversified the economy. Today, states are competing amongst themselves to seek alternative sources of generating revenue in order to remain afloat. The old practice of depending only on the monthly federal allocation is beginning to give way to creative thinking on the part of the state governments.
Similarly, in the area of security, it is easy to pin-point the fact that President Buhari’s invaluable experience as a retired military general has helped tremendously to curtail the rampaging terrorists of the Boko haram sect, while relative peace is being enjoyed in some hitherto restive communities across the North-East region and the country generally.
The sector where the President has won more accolades from Nigerians and foreigners alike is in the anti-corruption fight, especially as the cankerworm has remained an albatross to the progress and development of the country. Considering the revelations from the various investigations, it is unimaginable the lowest level to which corruption and corrupt people have plunged Nigeria.
That President Buhari was able to identify corruption as the major obstacle to our socio-economic development and took the challenge to frontally confront it, is a hallmark of statesmanship and patriotism.
Apart from his phenomenal achievements in the three core areas of security, economy and anti-corruption, the administration has also made giant strides in other sectors.
For example, the National Inland Waterways Agency under the Ministry of Transport recently commenced the dredging of River Niger (from Lokoja to Onitsha) by direct labour. With the dredging, Nigeria will once more have a navigable water way to enhance movement of goods and services.
Under the Ministry of Works, Power and Housing, we are presently witnessing the construction/reconstruction of several road networks across the country, while in the transport sector work continues to progress on some rail lines in the country.
In marking President Buhari’s two years in office, there are tangible results to prove that indeed he has moved Nigeria forward from the point he met it on May 29, 2015.
In the solid minerals sector, President Buhari’s administration has put policies in place towards reviving the Ajaokuta Steel company long abandoned by successive administrations. The resuscitation of Ajaokuta will greatly impact on the industrialisation of the entire country
As it stands today, all the legal encumbrances that hitherto stalled government’s attempt to resuscitate the Complex have been ironed out to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.
As purveyors of information, we owe it as a duty to put on record the fact that President Buhari’s administration has in no small measure impacted on the populace with the various achievements. There is hardly any sector that has not witnessed a significant impact on Nigerians.
On security, President Buhari’s administration has decimated the Boko Haram terrorists and presently they are not occupying any Nigerian territory as was the case in the past. Again, the release of a substantial number of the abducted Chibok girls has restored hope to the distraught parents, relations and Nigerians in general on the ability of the administration to keep our homeland safe and secure.
Similarly, the decision of the federal government to peacefully engage with the leaders of Niger Delta towards finding a lasting solution to the militancy in the region has greatly restored the production capacity of the oil industry. This has further improved the country’s earnings and ability to fund critical projects for the benefit of Nigerians.
On food security, the Buhari administration has proven that Nigeria can indeed diversify its sources of revenue rather than depending on the oil industry which sometimes is plagued with volatility and price instability. The remarkable progress being witnessed in the agricultural sector is traceable to President Buhari’s foresight that agriculture remains the future for Nigeria. Experts have also predicted that oil may dry up in the not so distant future.
It is pertinent to point out that President Buhari’s foreign engagements early in his administration has helped tremendously in the positive image of Nigeria abroad. Apart from several benefits derivable from such trips, a lot of Nigeria’s looted funds have also been recovered and some countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland and many others have kept faith with Nigeria towards the return of looted funds.
Another important milestone that was recorded from the foreign trips which is presently yielding desired fruits is the assistance Nigeria is receiving in rehabilitating the internally-displaced persons in the North East, as well as reconstruction of communities affected by the insurgency. As it stands, several countries and donor agencies are giving succour and providing relief materials to the war-ravaged communities in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.
President Buhari’s decisive steps in combating the menace of Boko Haram has led to the renewed confidence of the international community in lending a helping hand to eliminating the Boko Haram existential threat, hence the approval of the United States government to sell military equipment to Nigeria.
Back home the administration has continued to wage a relentless war against corruption and this has led to the recovery of huge sums of looted funds. This achievement would have been impossible but for the forthrightness and commitment of President Buhari. His anti-graft war has exposed the intolerable corrupt practices being perpetrated under the past PDP administrations. Today Nigerians have heaved a sigh of relief that the unbridled corruption has been reduced to the barest minimum.
Midway into his tenure, it is safe to conclude that President Buhari’s administration is focused on serving Nigerians selflessly and delivering on the change agenda.
– Enekwechi, a journalist and politician, writes from Abuja