By Musa Ilallah
It is not in doubt that the unprecedented achievements recorded in Nigeria since 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari came on board are too numerous to mention. These achievements are fully acknowledged by both Nigerians and non Nigerians which have put Nigeria as in a better position to build the strongest economy in the African continent.
Recently, a Middle East online newspaper’s reviews described President Muhammadu Buhari as better positioned to ‘build the strongest economy on the African continent with the ongoing multiple reforms in Nigeria’.
It is on record that President Buhari, as head of state, began to rebuild the country’s social, political and economic systems, along with the reality of austerity economic conditions. Reconstruction included the removal or reduction of excesses in national spending, total elimination of corruption resulting from the country’s social ethics, or shift from primarily employing the public sector to self-employment.
Just recently, a Qatar based business news website, ‘Amwal’ said in an article titled, “During The ‘Buhari’ Era…Will Nigeria Become the Strongest Economy in Africa?,” noted that the president’s “integrity, and discipline, and his fame for strict measures against political corruption within the armed forces and civil institutions,’’ will fuel the effort to reverse the “oil curse’’, which had pervaded the continent since 1958.
According to Amwal’s review, Buhari had worked to diversify the multiple tributaries of the Nigerian economy through a number of measures including, ease of doing business that attracted foreign direct investments, FDI; reallocated resources; developed the structure of exports and imports by expanding manufacturing operations and exporting manufactured products, instead of continuing to export cheap and substandard materials.
It is heart warming to note that in its critical review of the multiple reforms of the PMB administration rejecting the proposal of the International Monetary Fund, IMF calling for the devaluation of the naira by 60 per cent, the medium observed that the president took a right decision to stimulate and buoy the hitherto dormant economy, including encouraging import substitution with local materials.
This also includes a shift in boosting agricultural production through the Anchor Borrowers Programme where government is committing billions of Naira with a view to stopping importation of agricultural products.
“Today, Nigeria has a good economic situation. In July 2018, the IMF issued a list of the strongest African economies, in which Nigeria ranked first with a total of $376.3 billion of oil production annually, ahead of Saudi Arabia, whose oil production stands at the index of $349.3 billion dollars,’’ Amwal added.
The review also considered Nigeria’s 1.93 per cent Gross Domestic Product, GDP growth in 2018, and a 2.28 per cent growth in the fourth quarter of 2019.
For President Buhari and Nigerians, the year 2020 will remain one with a harvest of acknowledgements of the multiple and workable efforts PMB has put in place to improve the economy and consequently improve the living standards of Nigerians.
Also, a Bahrain based business news website, Al Watan Al Arabi, in its review of the economic fortunes of Nigeria under President Buhari titled ‘The Link Between Nigeria and the World,’ stated that “within 20 months as head of state in his first term in office, about 500 politicians, government officials and businessmen were under interrogation for corruption.’’
Some of the interrogated Nigerians were released after various sums of money were returned to the treasury under government’s ‘’plea bargaining’’ project.
Since his inauguration on May 29, 2015; President Buhari as Nigeria’s President had maintained a balanced foreign policy by making Africa as the centre piece of the country’s foreign policy.
For Nigeria, the multiple reforms embarked upon by the Buhari administration are working despite low revenue, security and fighting corruption challenges. PMB’s reforms span across agriculture, education, infrastructure like in the power, roads and rail sectors; health, security, economy and solid minerals among others.
According to the two news outlets, it is therefore not in doubt that the President’s integrity, fame and discipline for strict measures against political corruption within the armed forces and civil institutions, will fuel the effort to reverse the ‘’oil curse’’ which had pervaded the country since 1958.
Ilallah wrote in from EMEKA ANYAOKU STREET, ABUJA