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Buhari: Moving from thinking to doing 0

Lagos – To borrow a phrase from former President Olusegun Obasanjo, President Muhammadu Buhari must move “from thinking, to doing.” His “body language political doctrine” needs a little bit more fillip to deliver his electoral promises. The optimism that greeted his ascendancy as President is fast eroding.

With several observable false starts, some wonder if the President is ready for the arduous job of governance.

Beyond what is turning out to be a media trial(?), and appearances of allegedly corrupt former officials of the Goodluck Jonathan administration, and opposition Peoples Democratic Party, at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and the law courts, very little is brewing from Aso Rock.

Yet, there is evidence that the government is overwheming the Boko Haram whose claim to territory and sporadic spree of bombings has abated somewhat. They appear to have resorted to attacking neighbouring Cameroon and Chad for actively supporting Nigeria in prosecuting the war.

Even so, the All Progressives Congress stalwarts complain that Buhari still retains Jonathan appointess in agencies like the Central Bank of Nigeria, News Agency of Nigeria, National Orientation Agency, Nigerian Television Authority, National Women Centre, and even ambassadorial positions. Many have concluded that the APC has neither the plans nor the personnel for these positions.

Many have accepted the President’s explanations that he delayed appointments to his cabinet because he needed to streamline the ministries before finding the ministers with the perfect fit. But they wonder why there is no economic team or economic adviser to the government.

Government’s plan to “stimulate the economy…; reduce cost of governance…, increase government expenditure on infrastructure… and fund the budget deficit…,” is more of a checklist than an economic conceptual framework.

This lack of a systemic overview has made the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.), to unilaterally and arbitrarily set a N1tn 2016 revenue target for the Nigeria Customs Service, while the Managing Director of Nigerian Export Import Bank, Robert Onya, unwittingly contradicts him with the claim that the government has set a revenue target of $2bn from non-oil sources.

Except for the Ministers of Information and Culture and Petroleum Resources, Lai Mohammed and Ibe Kachikwu, who seem to be fully prepared, and have engaged the various agencies and constituent groups under their portfolios, others, like the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, are gradually easing into their assignments by stealth meetings and consultations. Yet, others lack a precise grasp of their assignments or are bungling outright their briefs.

Continue reading on The Punch

By Lekan Sote

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