Chris Steven, Abuja
Despite numerous challenges and problems it inherited, the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has managed to turn around the fortune of the country which was on the verge of collapse by tackling insecurity, fighting corruption and diversifying the economy.
This was a resolution of an interactive session of Civil Society organizations and concerned groups in Nigeria on the Sectorial Performance of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration in the Year 2016.
This was contained in a DC communique was signed by Comrade Okpokwu Ogenyi and Alhaji Muhammadu Gambo Muhammadu,
Chairman and Secretary of the Communique Drafting Committee, as well as 3 other members of the committee, Bishop Musa Fomson,
Charles Ibekwe, and Promise Ebikepine who represented other Civil Society Organizations.
The CSOs said President Muhammadu Buhari was inaugurated as President at a time the country was on the brink of total collapse in all sectors of the economy owing to sustained years of misrule, mismanagement and mindless pillaging of national wealth and resources by a greedy political elite.
They said the administration has however managed to rework collapsed national structures and institutions of governance to deliver democracy dividends as well as answer to the yearning and aspirations of Nigerian people for a prosperous nation.
Arguing that, in spite of the meagre resources at the disposal of government because of declining oil revenues, they said the journey in the last one year and a half has posted impressive results in most sectors of the economy.
“Nigeria was in a near state of anarchy occasioned by insecurity in most regions of the country. Boko Haram Terrorists in the Northeast had held the country hostage with their lethal weapons, bombings, killings, and destruction of properties and abduction of innocent Nigerians was the norm. The fanatical Islamic sect had declared a caliphate hoisted its black flag in several communities in the NorthEast.
“The morale of Nigerian troops in the anti-terrorism campaigns was severely dampened basically due to lack of weapons, poor welfare packages, unpaid salaries and allowances. The government has been able to reverse the situation, through organizational restructuring of the Nigerian military. With the able leadership of the Nigerian Army under the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. TY Buratai, complemented by other segments of the armed forces and security agencies, Nigeria has been able to defeat terrorism, which has earned it international applause.
“Presently, no Nigerian territory is under the occupation by terrorists, normalcy has returned to affected communities and camps for IDPs are gradually being dismantled. And the current exercise of Operation Rescue Final of the Nigerian Army is routing out the remnants of the terrorists. The country should be appreciative of what the members of the armed forces have achieved and in this regard the federal government must demonstrate gratitude by seeing to it that members of the armed forces receive the highest salary in the country, highest pension and gratuity and their spouses and children should have special endowments that cater to them in the event of any eventuality.” The CSOs said in the communique
Other areas which they said the administration has done well includes agriculture, anti corruption and eleectoral reforms.
The group also said the administration spared no effort to recover looted public funds and nearly N550 billion has so far been recovered, through plea bargain with suspects, which will fund part of the deficit in the 2017 budget.
The communique reads further, “agriculture remains a viable alternative for the diversification of the Nigerian economy, since the wholesale reliance on oil revenues has proved to be problematic. Thus, in 2016, government granted zero-interest loans in cash and farm inputs to farmers across the country.
“The CBN has also offered loans to farmers as part of this palliative. The essence is to achieve food security and change the present status of Nigeria as a food importer to food exporter. These initiatives have paid off handsomely with the bumper harvests been experienced by farmers nation-wide at the moment.”