FOR THE GOV'T TO WIN MORE CONFIDENCE IN 2018
No doubt, the last one year was, yet another year of moderate achievement for the PMB administration, despite the hiccups and deliberate sabotage from the very institutions responsible for delivering good governance to the people. Some of these achievements include (but not limited to) the following:
1. The administration has succeeded in maintaining peace and tranquility to an acceptable level where people can comfortably transact their businesses without major threat and fear. The insurgency has continued to be tamed, so much that the people in the North-East in particular, are fast continuing to return to their settlements and are going back to their traditional normal businesses.
2. Similarly, he kidnapping menace, especially the notorious one on Abuja-Kaduna express way is highly reduced as Security operatives continue to tame and arrest the various mini-gangs operating on that axis. Today, that road, and indeed most roads with similar challenges, are safer and people today feel more comfortable and secured plying them.
3. The threat to National Unity and cohesion is now history. Last year, a long time renegade who operated abroad, returned to Nigeria and launched a campaign of secession against the country. He succeeded in creating a rebel group who defied the existence of Nigeria as a unified political entity. His activities grew in strength, just as his campaign spread across the land. He found a fertile ground to boost his campaign in the absence of the President who was on medical trip abroad. The President (and his Vice who acted in his absence), earlier thought the matter could be handled amicably in the judiciary). Suffice to note, however, today, that this matter now exist only on the pages of history.
4. The economy was in great shambles as we all know it. Last year, the much talked about recession officially came to and end. Inflation, also, was successfully controlled to the barest minimum and businesses began to pick up. The government also succeeded in releasing a lot of unpaid entitlements due to, mostly, civil servants and retired workers at the Federal level. Much money was also injected into the economy through payments for capital projects which include works on federal highways and other critical infrastructure. The government also succeeded in doubling the country's foreign reserve which now stands at over $38billon.
5. Power is a critical sector and is the driving force for real growth and development. No country ever develops its economy without stable power supply. The PMB administration has succeeded in generating over 7,000 megawatts of electricity last year and a total of 5,500 mgwt was delivered to consumers last December. Both generation, transmission and distribution were the highest ever recorded in the history of Nigeria.
With the above achievements, the administration can consolidate its supremacy over previous administrations by doing the following:
1. Efforts should be intensified to totally bring to an end the insurgency menace in the country (including kidnappings). Right now, pockets of attacks are still going in in parts of Borno and Yobe states. From time to time, we hear of criminal abductions of Nigerians who are still being held captives. Apart from the popular Chibok girls, we still have the UNIMAID lecturers and the Women who were abducted later, including a Secondary school Principal..
2. Invest more in power and ensure the delivery of electricity to the system for improved economic growth and development. Macro and micro economy both depend on the supply of adequate electricity to thrive. This is aside the social needs of the people in their homes, hotels, schools, stadia, clubs and such like.
3. The government should speed up its policy on the rejuvenation of agricultural activities this year. Youth have been registered for this purpose. Instead of concentrating on N-Power scheme, the government should key the youth into its agricultural policy and massively invest in the sector by providing land, equipments, insecticides and fertiliser as well as soft loans to the youth (through registered co-operative groups) this year. The Government should return the marketing boards so that products from these activities are properly and efficiently purchased, distributed, sold and stored for food security as the case may be.
4. The government must address the empowerment of the ordinary Nigerian through a number of ways. One of these is the creation of a vast access to affordable and low interest loans for small and medium enterprises where the ice scream sellers, the akara sellers, the sugarcane sellers, the cobblers, the barbers, the black smiths, the taxi drivers and such like can access. Similarly, civil servants entitlements be paid to them as well as their monthly salaries reviewed upwards.
5. In the fight against corruption, the government needs to address the grudges of the general public. A major figure in this administration, Colonel Hameed Ali (rtd), once frustratingly alleged that the same people they dislodged from govt have found their way into this administration and are now dictating some of its daily actions. In this regard, any one in the present administration who has integrity challenge must be dropped and allow the anti corruption agencies to thoroughly investigate that person and be prosecuted if found wanting.
If the PMB administration can ensure these in this new year of 2018, it would have consolidated its record as the best administration ever in Nigeria, irrespective of winning the 2019 general elections or not. PMB would have gone as the best President with superior qualities of integrity and excellence in good governance as we all know him.