Crisis and Poverty in Buhari’s Governance

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There is need for President Muhammadu Buhari to address the major issues of the economy. Nigeria is heavy and reeking in debts; its revenue profile is abysmally low due to the fall in the prices of oil. In fact, as at today, a bottle of water is more valuable than a barrel of oil. The COVID-19 global pandemic outbreak has led to the closure of land and air borders, the Customs cannot do much, and IGR will increasingly go low, given that the private sector has been down for about two months now. The major question now is the fate of workers in the private sector, as to issues of salaries, pay cuts and likely job losses, all of which will lead to more unrests, increase in crime and poverty.


If not for yesterday’s playing to the gallery by Central Bank of Nigeria, more banks would have joined Access bank to retrench not less than 75% of its workforce and slash salaries of retained staff indiscriminately. CBN’s intervention however left a big unanswered question-where did Nigeria apex bank derive such powers to give directives to private business owners on whom to employ and whom not to sack? The laxity and lackluster attitude of the lawmakers in the National Assembly is very conspicuous , otherwise, how does a country with parliament keep mum in the face of such imposing orders.


So far, the recognized laudable achievements of the Buhari administration are fight against terrorism and corruption, but Nigerians are not impressed with the non-challant attitude of the administration to the economic hardship they are passing through. Public Affairs commentators said the absence of a clear cut economic direction of the Buhari administration from 2015 aggravated the economic challenges in the country. Local and foreign investors were afraid of investing in the economy they are not sure of government’s policy on doing business; many entrepreneurs closed shops because of high cost of production and laid off workers.

For instance in 2015 World Bank report ranked Nigeria 169 out of 189 countries with ease of doing business. To ordinary Nigerians, the cost of living is unbearable as prices of essential commodities skyrocket on daily basis, yet the government could not provide palliative measures to cushion the effects of the economic hardship. It took the APC-led Federal APC government almost a year to come out with a clear economic policy.

However, The Nation‘s Forum on the Economy held in April 2016 provided a platform for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to unveil the much-awaited economic direction of the Buhari administration. Osinbajo disclosed that the Federal Government’s blueprint would be based on a strategic implementation plan for the 2016 budget under six thematic key areas adding that the plan would focus on about 33 priority actions. The key areas listed were: Lasting changes in the policy environment, national security and governance; Diversification of the economy by fast-tracking industrialization, agriculture and agro-allied processing, attracting investment into the solid minerals, tourism and entertainment sectors.Others are Priority critical infrastructure, focused on increasing investment in power, rail and roads; restructuring of oil and gas sector and providing enabling environment for ease of doing business in Nigeria.


Economic analysts posit that the Buhari administration kept the international community waiting for long on its economic blue print. According to them the government inaction scared genuine foreign investors…

Perhaps the worst crisis in Buhari’s government is the crisis of economic management. This is because good economic management could make a significant contribution to the quality of governance, in particular by creating a stable macro- economic environment, and by addressing more aggressively such critical issues as job creation and poverty reduction. Furthermore, success in coping with such issues as transparency and accountability, and in achieving a sensible order of national priorities to avoid wasteful spending, will go a long way to improve economic management and the quality of governance.


Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, the President had set up a Presidential Economic Team that was to be reporting to him directly but nothing has been heard from that Team since then. Was it an audio economic team? As COVID 19 emerged, the President also set up another economic team to work out how Nigeria will respond to the economic issues post-COVID 19. The President did not address this in his last state broadcast to the nation.

No doubt the broadcast attempted to reflect the minds of Nigerians on the need to ease the lockdown given the hunger and suffering going on across the nation, but it fell short of providing any solution to the biting economic issues staring us all. COVID 19 has constituted a huge distraction from the economic catastrophe that the nation has fallen into, without a clear blueprint from the President on his plans to take us out of the woods.

Studies have revealed that there is always a linkage between Crisis in Governance and Economic Management. As a result of poor economic management, corruption, lack of diversification and transparency, Nigerians have faced much economic hardship than any other time. 

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