Bye-bye to Buhari: Tasks for President Tinubu


As the celebration and merriment of  inauguration of the new Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu takes place today, Monday, May 29, 2023, at the Eagle Square, Abuja, there have been several praises and rebuking of the outgoing president who will handover the mantle of leadership to the anticipated ‘Messiah.’

The outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari said in his farewell broadcast to Nigeria ahead of today’s inauguration that he is leaving Nigeria in 2023 better than he met it in 2015.

But, it is often said that, ‘No one can do it all,’ It is believed Buhari did not live up to expectation over his three-point agenda – security, economy and anti-corruption. He said he recruited 60,000 new soldiers but he did not tell us how many troops we lost to insecurity, especially Boko Haram  and bandits. Boko Haram has been decimated, but new terror groups have emerged, notably, the ISWAP jihadist terrorists and the murderous Bandits.

Nigerians, most especially the average type have had very little to smile about, in that, Buhari who swept into office in 2015, having benefitted from the free and fair election ensured by his predecessor, President Goodluck Jonathan, is handing over in chaos.

The tenure wasted a lot of money on questionable “conditional cash transfer” schemes that should have been better invested to boost productivity. The anti-corruption agenda of the regime lost steam a few years on, and the Buhari regime is now seen as one of the most corrupt in history.

The administration recorded a poor revenue profile, unprecedented oil theft and inability to meet our daily OPEC oil quota, forced the Buhari regime to depend heavily on borrowings and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s), “Ways and Means” to pay its bills.

Also, the health and education sectors are not to be written about, as resident doctors have just suspended a five-day ‘warning strike;’ the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has given notice of more strikes ahead, while no Nigerian institution made the latest ranking of the world’s top 1,000 universities. Beyond question, Buhari’s performance in the two sectors is one of dismal failure.

Though Buhari and his party had promised to revitalise education and health when seeking office in 2014/15, alas, after eight years in office, he is leaving them in ruins.

Recall that he had chastised the preceeding Goodluck Jonathan administration over the instability in the tertiary education headlined by ASUU strikes, and dilapidated facilities, but did not resolve them in his two presidential terms. The university system lost almost an entire academic session in 2022. This was after the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a lengthy closure in 2020. Strikes also pervade the health sector, and facilities across the country remain decrepit and inadequate.

As the assumed ‘Messiah,’ Bola Ahmed Tinubu is inaugurated as the President of Nigeria today, many people have expressed hopes and expectations about what the incoming administration has to offer given the present state of the nation’s economy.

While many advised the incoming administration to prioritise tackling youth unemployment, giving the education sector the deserved attention, and diversifying the economy, others recommended that the country is in dire need of how to tackle corruption, revive industries and secure the lives and properties of the people.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) advised the incoming government to ensure the nation’s education sector becomes its priority in policies and programmes, and not pay lip service to it.

National President of the union, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, asked the new government to set an agenda regarding the nation’s education sector. While declaring that education is pivotal to national development, and must be seen as the fulcrum towards ending unemployment, poverty and other social ills that have continued to retard the country’s progress, Osodeke asked the incoming government not to follow the footsteps of the outgoing administration, particularly in tertiary education.

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) would want the new administration to focus on issues of immediate and critical importance to the business environment and the overall economy.

The Chamber, in a statement signed by its Director General, Dr Chinyere Almona, described the present business environment as ‘tenuous and fragile,’ a development attributed to inappropriate and poorly-implemented policies and interventions of the outgoing administration.

Buhari, however, made some impact in infrastructural development, completing the railway and highway projects started since the Obasanjo regime, especially the Second Niger Bridge and the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Many airports were upgraded.

Overlooking the ills of the past with a focus on the future, the administration of President Tinubu should put in place policies that will make life easy and promote unity. Freedom of the Press should be encouraged while multiple taxes should be eradicated to encourage foreign direct investment. The infrastructure of the  Niger Delta states such as road and rail network should attract huge investment to eliminate hostility by the militants. The Federal roads such as Lagos-Abeokuta, Lagos-Ibadan, Shagamu-Benin, Benin-Lokoja, Onitsha-Enugu, Port Harcourt-Enugu and East-West road among others will enhance smooth transportation of goods and services. Adequate attention on Federal roads will also eliminate deaths from potholes.

Without disparaging, the blame is not Buhari’s alone. The States and Local Governments are also abject failures in providing acceptable health care and educational systems at all levels and ensuring the welfare of citizens and health workers. But the tenure failed to provide leadership at the national level or rally the other tiers for the task.