As a particularly precarious year 2017 draws to a close, this thought-provoking piece anonymously written and circulated in the social media by a concerned Nigerian, has been selected and analyzed by the Editorial Board of Educationtownhall.com, as a patriotic act to serve a reminder to President Muhammadu Buhari of some wrong steps he and the All Progressives Congress-his party, took this year; which have worsened the Nigerian economy and badly ruptured its polity.
It is our sincere hope that the President and his trusted aides will find time to reflect on these counter-productive actions, ensuring that they are not repeated in 2017, for the good of all.
1) Sudden Implementation of Treasury Single Account (TSA) – This policy threw the banking and financial sector into turmoil as huge sums were swept out of banks and stashed into a preferred safe, where they largely remained dormant.
2) Tightening of Foreign Exchange Transactions – This policy made it difficult to make foreign exchange, and threw thriving businesses into turmoil which led to massive sacking of workers and manufacturing slowdown.
3) Unguarded Utterances During Foreign Trips – The president made several unguarded utterances that gave the impression that Nigeria was headed for the rocks. This made foreign investors hesitant about coming into Nigeria, and encouraged those that were already in Nigeria to speculate and pull out funds.
4) Halting of Important Projects in the Niger Delta – Buhari moved to remove majority of the projects that were created to provide tangible benefits to Niger-Deltans. For example, the Maritime University and Pipeline protection projects. Though, some of these projects were condemned by Nigerians, they kept the Niger-Delta at peace and allowed for the maximization of the benefits from petroleum exports.
5) Buhari’s Northern Developmental Focus in Nigeria – The developmental aim of the president is very much skewed towards Northern Nigeria than every other part. So, he is more like kick starting a new economic focus, while dumping existing economic strengths.
For example, he is devoting billions of dollars to search for petroleum in the North when Nigeria does not have functional refineries to ensure adequate availability of petroleum products that are already being produced in the South.
6) Elimination of All the Policies Made by PDP – it is on record that even though PDP led governments were corrupt, they made some major strides in diversifying Nigeria’s economy. For example, Agricultural export came to life under PDP. Buhari has focused on bedeviling and antagonizing every single policy made by the PDP.
In the process, he has thrown out good policies and progress that were made in the past. He is almost starting afresh, and this has rebooted Nigeria and thrown us years backwards.
7) Preference for Violence over Dialogue- Buhari prefers to use military force to quell civil strife. This approach ignites more protests and civil disobedience. An economy cannot experience progress in violent conditions. Even Lagos and Ogun axis has experienced an open show of military bombardment, which scares a heck out of investors.
The same is true about the production shut-downs in the Niger Delta region. Some of these issues can be solved with dialogue and with police actions than full scale military assaults.