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The real scorecard of President Buhari – Part 2

By Editorial Board
08 November 2022   |   4:10 am
Looking at the three key areas to which the administration claims are its major focus, namely the economy, national security and fight against corruption, the story is not different when compared against what it met on ground in 2015.


Looking at the three key areas to which the administration claims are its major focus, namely the economy, national security and fight against corruption, the story is not different when compared against what it met on ground in 2015. The performance figures are there in the public domain.

On the fight against corruption, available data indicates that the country is more corrupt now than in 2015. The Transparency International report on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) showed that Nigeria plunged to 149th on the CPI in 2020, dropping 13 places since 2015. In the 2019 rating, Nigeria was ranked 146th out of the 180 countries surveyed, scoring 26 points out of a possible 100 while in 2021, the situation worsened again with Nigeria falling to 154th out of 180 countries in the CPI with 24 points out of 100. The evidences are very clear with numerous incidences of corruption in the public domain such as the looting by the Accountant-General of the Federation, the re-looting of recovered loot under a former EFCC Chairman and the increasing perennial oil theft under the watch of Mr. President who also doubles as the Minister of Petroleum. The summation is simply that corruption in the country has worsened under the Buhari administration. President Buhari has thus turned out to be a problem rather than the solution in the fight against corruption. What a sad story.

On the economy, President Buhari has turned out to be a massive failure. His major lamentation has been on the low price of crude oil in 2015 but it is also instructive that the average price of crude oil in the first year of the Olusegun Obasanjo administration in 1999 was about $15 per barrel, far lower than the $67 per barrel Buhari met in May 2015. Despite this, Obasanjo performed fairly and did not indulge in the unconscionable blame game Buhari has made a pastime, despite the reckless looting under the Abacha regime. President Buhari and members of his cabinet have never failed to continually blame the Goodluck Jonathan administration for every problem it is confronted with. This is a mark of gross irresponsibility. Though oil price subsequently fell to as low as $28 per barrel in January 2016, it has since taken an upward trend recording over $100 per barrel in recent times. Buhari met a public debt burden of about N12.50 trillion in 2015 but has pushed the figure to over N42 trillion in July 2022, through unbridled borrowing over the years. This is not accounting for the deficits of the 2022 budget as well as the N20 trillion Ways and Means advance from the CBN.

With the securitisation of these debts to the CBN, the total public debt would be in the region of N65 trillion or more. Under Buhari, Nigeria’s public debt has become unsustainable such that the entire revenue generation is not sufficient to service the debt. Other economic indicators are also not favourable. For example, the exchange rate, which was about N197 to a U.S. dollar when he took office, is now over N750 presently in the parallel market. The official rate of about N430 to a dollar is merely notional as most economic agents hardly access the dollar through that rate. The inflation rate, which was single digit in 2015, is now over 20% and still increasing. According to the Hanke’s Currency Watch List, the naira has been ranked “as the 11th worst-performing currency against the dollar in the list of 19 worst-performing currencies in the world. Naira ranked the fourth worst in Africa, ahead of the Ghana Cedi which ranked 13th globally and third in Africa.”

On the general economy, macroeconomic pressures have been rising according to the Moody’s Investors Service, which has “downgraded Nigeria’s local currency and foreign currency long-term issuer ratings as well as its foreign currency senior unsecured debt ratings to B3 from B2.” It also placed the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rating on review for downgrade. The report indicates that, “the rating downgrade is driven by the significant deterioration in Nigeria’s government finances as well as its external position, exerting increasing pressure on the sovereign credit profile despite a strong increase in international crude oil prices in 2022.” President Buhari literally destroyed the Nigerian economy and it would take a yeoman’s job for the incoming President in 2023 to make any significant difference in this regard.

On security, Nigeria has become a killing field under President Buhari. Prior to 2015, insecurity and Islamic terrorism, which was largely limited to the North East and some other parts of the North, has now spread to virtually every part of Nigeria. According to Amnesty International, armed groups and the security forces continued to commit crimes under international law and serious human rights violations in north-eastern Nigeria. This was worse under the Buhari administration. The ravaging effects of the Fulani herdsmen terrorising farmers across the various regions of the country as well as activities of bandits have had negative effects on road travellers and agricultural crop production. Sadly, the sanctity of life under the Buhari administration has been drastically diminished.

Nepotism has never been raised to a high level in Nigeria until Buhari came into office in 2015. Virtually every key position that matters in the country’s bureaucracy has been reserved to his Fulani kinsmen. Buhari even incurred foreign loans to invest in Niger Republic, a neighbouring country than invest in his own country, particularly in parts of Southern Nigeria. President Buhari has been a very divisive leader. His handling of the cases involving the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) of Nnamdi Kanu and the Yoruba Nation of Sunday Adeyemo (Igboho) cases in relation to that of the bandits who are his kinsmen speaks loudly of double standards.

Nigeria does not need a leader like Muhammadu Buhari, not now nor in the future. Nigeria has never been as divided in its history as it is under President Buhari. He has taken the country many years backward. Whatever positives he managed to score in infrastructure development, such as roads and railway construction have paled into insignificance amidst palpable insecurity, social disequilibrium and the marooned economy. No amount of image laundering by his handlers can change the general public opinion that the performance of the President is negative. This cuts across even many of those who voted to bring him to power in 2015 and even in 2019. Many people are counting down on when Buhari will leave office and go into political oblivion. Indeed, President Muhammadu Buhari’s assessment of his performance in office is not generally accepted by many Nigerians. It is far from the truth, as the data indicates.

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