Nigeria’s budding renaissance through Buharism
The risks of socio-political instability from the dominance of the media space by many chaos-inducing nattering nabobs of negativism vis-a-vis the breakthroughs from this government’s holistically reconstructive agenda compel this intervention that focuses on its achievements and prospects in key socio-economic sectors. Nigeria’s economic policy instability is due to the conflict between the engineering marshals of long-term economic development towards achieving the greatest good for the greatest number that sacrifices short-term hardships for future gains versus the hedonistic, playing-to-the-gallery, stomach-infrastructure, merchants that concentrate wealth in the hands of a few (escalated corruption, looted funds, money laundering, private-jet ownership). And it was clear that Nigeria had reached the critical point of inflexion before 2015 for which reason Buharism has adopted the tough strategy of home-grown Structural Adjustment Programme for economic re-development that necessarily trades short-term fiscal and monetary hardships for medium to long term gains for the greatest number of the citizens.
Buharism transcends the Buhari persona and his tactical foible. It is honest, sincere, focused, strategic, calculating, holistic, authentic, innovative, pragmatic, systemic, problem-solving, accountable, paternalistic, altruistic, patriotic, heroic, collaborative, dynamic, responsive, self-disciplined, efficient, effective, humble, calm, confident, exemplary, taciturn, trusting but occasionally naive/simplistic. It is a relaunched model of public governance for rescuing the nation from its sinking ship of chronic socio-economic and political problems with passionate focus almost with bare hands. It is disdainful of selfish, distracting, treacherous, megalomaniacal and ethno-centric rabble rousers as it constantly seeks to act outside the box in solving critical problems. Despite the challenges dictated by the present shortage of essentials of life, it still incorporates medium and long-term solutions to the daunting problems.
Also, Buharism is iconic based on its distinctively patriotic 1984/5 Nigeria-first economic paradigm on the made-in-Nigeria-product platform in contradistinction with the now failed, neo-liberal economic philosophy of globalisation with its one-way-trafficking/draining of resources from the undeveloped to the developed countries through various phantom policies: externally imposed Structural Adjustment Programme anchored on import liberalisation; providing loans for financing local consumption of products from developed countries to destroy local industries; privatisation/commercialisation of public enterprises by the elite without requisite technical and financial capacity which compels their continual subsidisation with bailouts and investments contrary to the principles of privatisation/commercialisation of public enterprises as in the power sector.
More than 30 years after, Buharism’s iconism is being confirmed by Theresa May’s Britain-first and Donald Trump’s America-first mantras which are being closely followed by Italy-first, France-first, Spain-first and other contemporary pragmatic and patriotic political economy ideologues! This policy was based on the premise that without a robustly re-developed domestic economy, Nigeria would be a gross debtor from world trade by seeking to exchange virtually nothing (unprocessed carbon fuels) for something! It compelled several multinational companies to adopt backward integration initiatives to invest in agriculture for local sourcing of raw materials that boosted agricultural output and employment, generated the crisis of excess production of grains for the first time since 1960 and triggered emergency contracts for building storage silos in 1985 as the platform for systemic investments in the diversification into the non-oil sector. Buhari’s “rigidity” in pursuing this policy triggered his ouster from power to Nigeria’s eternal regret since more than a generation of Nigerians was raised without opportunities to live fulfilled lives.
But despite the failure of globalisation that triggered this wind of change in the global political economy, the lackeys of this expired economic philosophy are still clinging to its reins with their intellectual hooliganism. So, why are these unrepentant malefactors bewailing Buharism’s inward-looking imperative for national economic survival at this critical time of acute resource shortage in view of irrecoverable looted assets?
Since it took four cycles of “locusts” to devastate Nigeria’s agricultural production through reckless food imports between 1999 and 2015, how can Buharism reverse such sustained “locust” attacks through a freshly formulated food sufficiency programme in only 19 months? Those who complain about the collapse of transportation infrastructure forget that resources allocated to the aviation sector were diverted to acquire ships, road contracts were paid for without execution, many power projects were abandoned and over 800 containers of power transmission equipment were held in the ports for many years while resources for the railways were diverted to acquire fleets of trailers and tankers to compete with the trains destroy the roads and kill hundreds of thousands of Nigerians!
Therefore, since Obama could only pull the American economy out of its worst-level recession in 62 years after four years of rigorous resource-backed re-stimulation, why should Buharism reverse economic recession only in a few months and why should anyone expect it to reverse a 16-year regime of haphazard economic management and its national-security destabilising by-product of insurgency virtually with bare hands in only 19 months even as the bloated corpus of rent-seekers and economic parasites is distractingly rabble-rousing rather than contributing concretely towards exiting this recession?
Okunmuyide lives in Lagos