the socio-economic, political, cultural, religious and educational tasks for president mohammadu buhari’s second term with his 9th assembly


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President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term, which commenced on May 29, 2019 offers him and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) a unique opportunity to right the observed shortcomings in the outgoing 2015 to 2019 dispensation.

The incumbent president and his party came into office in 2015 riding on the lofty ideals of promises to change the ways governance and partisan politics are plied in the country.

Some of the envisaged changes, which stem from the three-pronged agenda of fighting corruption, insurgency and economic diversification, include zero budgeting and ensuring that square pegs are fitted into round holes in cabinet selection.

It is obvious that the administration did not fare so well on both planks, as evidenced by the President’s confession during a meeting with principal officers of the National Assembly. Not only did the President not send the names of cabinet nominees on time, when he did it was in batches and without assigned portfolios affixed to the names of the nominees.

Outgoing President of Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, had to wait into the night of September 30, 2015 to ensure that the President’s promise of appointing his ministers did not fall on the ground, thereby denting the President’s and APC’s image so early in the life of the administration.

Experts assert that the most significant steps by any purposeful administration in the presidential system of government are taken within the first one hundred days of its tenure. They conclude that it is for the fact that the foundation for success or failure is laid within the first three months in office that presidents of the United States of America (US) pay much premium on the first hundred days.

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It could be said, therefore, that why the first hundred days are very relevant to a president is basically because it is within those early days that he raises his team of aides to assist him on the programme of mandate delivery.

The nature of those appointments and calibre of appointees help in turn to invest the administration with its essential character, public image and connectivity with the people based on their expectations.

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Unveiling his second term plans to improve the country’s infrastructure desperately needed to buoy the economy and ease living for citizens, Mr Buhari commits to four areas, expectedly roads, rail, power, and the Internet, marked to be treated as ‘a critical infrastructure’.

Mainly, he promises to complete the Second Niger Bridge, in the works for years before his coming, and “the phased works in each state of the federation”.

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Several roads in Nigeria are in a bad state and works on them have been for several years, gulping billions of taxpayers’ money with dismal results. Mr Buhari now promises to complete these projects if he is re-elected.

On the railway, he says he would complete the Lagos- Ibadan-Kano Rail, Eastern Rail (Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri) taking the network through Aba, all South-east state capitals, Makurdi, Jos, Bauchi and Gombe, and the Coastal Rail (Lagos-Calabar).

He promises to move broadband coverage to 120,000km of fibre network across Nigeria, after ‘addressing uniform Right of Way charges’, and prioritise Internet access to education, markets, primary healthcare and business clusters.

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Through renewable, clean energy sources such as solar, he wants to ‘energise’ universities and up to 300 markets across the country to have an uninterrupted power supply.

Then, further on power, he promises “a minimum of 1,000 MW New Generation incremental Power capacity per annum on the Grid; Distribution to get to 7,000 MW under Distribution Expansion programme”.

In the economic front, the Buhari administration has a myriad of challenges to tackle which include, but not limited to, pervasive poverty, rising unemployment, epileptic power supply, fuel crisis and declining economy.

Pervasive Poverty: Pervasive poverty and massive unemployment are serious economic challenges facing Nigeria. Both have maintained a rising trend over the years. Poverty rates remain high in Nigeria, particularly in rural areas. It is estimated that 110 million out of Nigeria’s population of 170 million live in “extreme poverty”. Of the 110 million Nigerians suffering from extreme poverty, majority are young people denied of employment opportunities.

Rising Unemployment: About 23 percent of adults and 60 percent of youths in Nigeria are unemployed. The unemployment rate in Nigeria increased from 12.3 percent in 2006 to 23.9 percent in 2011. As at first quarter of 2015, unemployment rate in Nigeria reached an all-time high of 24.20 percent. With a youth unemployment rate as high as 50%, these young Nigerians fell prey to recruitment for groups such as Boko Haram. The problem of poverty and unemployment in Nigeria results from inconsistent policies, misappropriation of funds for empowerment schemes and increasing de-industrialisation and collapse of small businesses due to poor power supply.

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The president promises to ensure 35 percent of his appointments go to females. He does not mention if there would a piece of legislation compelling 35 percent affirmative action on women inclusion in government – a proposal that failed in the National Assembly last year.

He also says he would increase the number of youth for appointments to boards of public agencies.

He also promises “special mentoring programme in governance with young graduates working with ministers and other senior government appointees”.

However, there are several political challenges that stand in the way of progress in Nigeria. However, many believe that Buhari’s administration must begin with tackling pervasive corruption and the huge cost of governance.

Corruption: Corruption is at the root of many of Nigeria’s problems. It has permeated through public and private life in Nigeria, with degenerative effect on national value, institutions of governance and the rule of law. For instance, out of the $60 billion being illegally siphoned out of Africa annually, Nigeria accounts for over 68% of the figure. Consequently, Nigeria has consistently ranked low in Transparency International Corruption Perception Index over the years. Nigeria ranked 136 out of 174 surveyed countries in 2014, making it the 38th most corrupt nation.

the socio-economic, political, cultural, religious and educational tasks for president mohammadu buhari’s second term with his 9th assembly, the socio-economic, political, cultural, religious and educational tasks for president mohammadu buhari’s second term with his 9th assembly   

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