Barely six weeks to the May 29 handover date, Nigerians have been expressing their opinions on what they want from the incoming government of Muhammadu Buhari in the first 100 days.
Former National Publicity Secretary, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Anthony Sani, wants the incoming administration to tackle corruption, which has rendered government agencies and parastatals ineffective.
Sani stated that corruption has dealt a deadly blow on virtually all sectors of the economy and must be tackled with all vigour.
According to him, “Nigerians want a change that can tackle corruption which steals our collective empowerment, steals our opportunity and steal our future by outsourcing education, health, power, energy and employment.”
Sani admitted that the task ahead of the incoming administration is very challenging and suggested that the new administration should bring all Nigerians together and allow them to unleash their energy as a panacea to the long polarisation of the nation which, he believed, the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan highly encouraged in the past four years.
Similarly, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s National Assembly member-elect, representing Amuwo-Odofin Federal Constituency, Lagos State, Hon. Oghene Egoh, wants the president-elect to remove his party toga and work assiduously to ensure youth employment in the country.
He said: “I want the new Buhari government to take the bull by the horns in ensuring job creation.”
Egoh further stated that, with the large population of the country that is out of job, the nation stands the risk of all forms of crimes, especially among youths.
“Nigerians also expect him to tackle insecurity, especially the menace of Boko Haram insurgency, which has terrorised parts of the North for a long time.
“I feel that one of the reasons Jonathan failed to get the needed support from the northern part of the country was his inability to handle the insurgency in the north,” he said.
Therefore, he said he expected Buhari to put the necessary machinery in motion to completely flush out the insurgency, which has dealt a deadly blow to the economy of many states in the north.
He also expressed confidence that with the military experience of the president-elect, he will not allow members of the insurgency to operate the way they have been terrorising the country in the past four years.
The National Chairman of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Comassie, wants Buhari to take the rescue of over 200 secondary school girls abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists in Chibok, last year, as a priority.
On April 14, 2014, more than 200 girls were abducted from a secondary school in Chibok, Borno State.
More than one year after their abduction, the government or security agents have not been able to trace their whereabouts.
More than any other failures, the inability of the Jonathan administration to rescue the girls has left a big sour in the hearts of many Nigerians.
Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, has queried the Federal Government’s initial attitude or reaction to the insurgency, which allowed it to fester and gain ground in the North-East of Nigeria.
In addition, Nigerians want the incoming government to carry out reforms in all facets of the economy, including the petroleum and gas sector.
The sector, which is the mainstay of the Nigerian economy, has been vulnerable to pillaging by economic saboteurs, with the covert support of government institutions and officials as illegal dealings in the sector reached an all time high.
Not a few commentators have noted that the failure of the government to effectively police that sector had led to intractable leakages and the concomitant dwindling of the nation’s fortune, long before the global oil price crash.
In a recent disclosure of the incoming government’s policy direction, ex-governor of Ekiti State and Director of Policy of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Kayode Fayemi, revealed that the Buhari administration proposed to save at least N3 trillion annually from plugging the leakages in that sector alone.
The President, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Mr. Igwe Achebe, has set an agenda for the incoming Buhari administration in the Petroleum Industry, based on his knowledge as an insider.
Achebe wants the government to embark on a deliberate policy that would end importation of petroleum products within record time.
To achieve the objective, he advised that the four refineries must be maintained to produce for local consumption.
Achebe emphasised that the incoming government must also ensure the safety of the nation’s pipelines network to reduce the haulage of products by roads, with its negative consequences, including loss of lives through road accidents and traffic gridlock, especially on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, which had been the cause of untold hardship for road users on that route in recent times.
Fundamental to the reforms in the sector, in his opinion, is the need for the government to ensure job security for workers of the sector.
Among the expectations of NUPENG from the incoming government, he said, was that “the government must ensure job security in the sector, as the cardinal programme of the party is job-creation.
Continuing, he said: “The four refineries must be rehabilitated and new ones established to end or reduce massive importation of petroleum products into the country.
“Government must also protect the nation’s pipelines from vandals, because if the pipelines are effectively protected, with public depots scattered across the country, products will move through the pipelines to all the major depots across the country.”
He explained that moving products through pipelines would reduce the pressures on our roads with its consequences, such as road accidents and gridlocks, especially in Lagos that has been creating untold hardships for citizens.
“Again, without the safety of the pipelines, crude cannot even get to refineries such as the Kaduna refineries; so, the government must also rehabilitate and expand all the access roads to the refineries.”
The National President, Yoruba Youth Council (YYC), Comrade Eric Oluwole, who spoke to *****Saturday Independent*****, urged the incoming administration to overhaul the power sector.
Said he: “This will not only attract more companies to come and invest in Nigeria, it will also increase the productivity of Nigerians and businesses already established in Nigeria.”
Oluwole would therefore want the government to investigate how billions of naira spent on the power sector, right from the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has failed to provide Nigerians with the needed power supply.
He described as very embarrassing that more than 50 years after independence, the country could not boast of steady power supply.
According to Oluwole, Nigeria’s quest for industrial growth would amount to an effort in futility without adequate power supply.
In his own suggestion, former Senate Chief-Whip, Rowland Owie, has urged Buhari to be independent minded and be careful in his dealing with former President Olusegun Obasanjo who may bring politics to derail development.
“I want him to concentrate on how to solve the problem of this country, because if he starts going for counsel he may be derailed and the administration may not witness any achievement in the next four years,” he said.
Indeed, as Nigerians wait for the take off of the new administration, expectations are high, based on the campaign promises of the APC, and despite Buhari’s recent statement that he is not a miracle-worker, Nigerians expect him and his team to turn around the nation’s economy in record time, even if that means performing miracles.