ONCE again, Nigeria will go through another hand-over at Eagle Square, Abuja, on Tuesday. Whether the swearing in ceremony will be swank or low-key, as Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed hinted in a press conference last Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari will hand over the reins of federal government to President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term in office of another four years that will unveil his ‘Next Level’ campaign blueprint in practical terms.
AS AN exercise that became a constitutional matter from May 29, 1999, the rites of handing over took no time to mutate into a quadrennial event gilded with trappings of a National Day on every occasion.
BUT if this sort of prologue or starting block to Buhari’s second tenure is meant to go in one grain with the current national mood, there is every need to look at it from another prism, as opposed to what it has somewhat become. There is an absolute need to look beyond the ritual of hand-over as a challenge rather than carnival, with eyes training on the task ahead. This is where the imperative of new paradigm comes in.
FROM Kaura Namoda to Amasoma, Maroko to Ebenator, a nationwide outcry against insecurity rises daily in heightened frequency to the point of loud crescendo. Therefore, to track down this national emergency that has cheapened human life below N1 worth, government should match its foot down and trigger far-reaching crackdown on foot soldiers, sponsors and beneficiaries of insecurity and terrorism – with Boko Haram suicide bombers and gunmen, as well as blood letting herdsmen as primary targets.
FOR the avoidance of doubts, the president in his Next Level stratagem is expected to consolidate policy gains that accrued to the nation in his first term. But to give life its true worth, nowhere will this consolidation or redefinition be felt well than in national security. This is the first step from where President Buhari may take-off in re-routing governance away from where it is believed to have been in some circles since May 29, 2015.
DEPENDING on who is saying it, the president may or may not have scored the bull’s eye in his war against corruption. But majority of Nigerians however, give him kudos for opting to fight the monster they expect him to add more fillip to this crusade, beyond what was seen as scapegoatism in some quartres. Only so doing will ensure that national wealth is fully committed to public or national cause – not private coffers. This, by every stretch of priority, should be the second step on his take-off block in redirecting the parlous state of national economy that seems to legalise endemic poverty in a country that has no business with poverty if her natural resources are put to effective use for general good.
NIGERIANS expect to see the president sniffing and scanning every corner in frantic effort to bring all corruption culprits to book, no matter whose ox may be gored, whether he is from Daura or she is a stalwart of All Progressives Congress (APC) or People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as this appears to be the widely accepted way to provide institutional foundation on which his successor may start.
ANOTHER dynamics of modern Nigerians that call for paradigm shift is recaliberative national economy. Nigerians expect Buhari’s second term government to give more impetus to diversification of the economy beyond sloganeering. Between 1999 and 2019, Nigeria has had four executive presidents every one of which appears to beat his chest for one form of economic wizardry or the other. Yet, despite past grandiose policies that ring hollow on radars or result, none has moved Nigeria away from single-market or mono-product economy which depends on crude oil like a life support.
NATIONAL Light believes that if Gov Willie Obiano of Anambra State, for instance, could open more windows that expand the economic base of Anambra State, exploring strategic revenue yielding partnerships in the hitherto neglected sectors of solid minerals, agriculture and taxation, the federal government, with all its might and human resources has no reason not to do so, if not more. Of course, Gov Obiano will be handy to lend some clues.
HOW will naira, the national currency, find its feet in global foreign exchange market if the country still sells only one highly turbulent product to the world? This is why President Buhari’s second tenure administration should roll up its sleeves and hit the road running to ensure that at least these five areas – tourism, agriculture, ICT, solid minerals for instance – in which Nigeria has verifiable comparative advantage over her peers are not only discovered but indeed boosted for export promotion
WE URGE President Buhari not to only continue with his social safety net programmes, that target the unemployed, the elderly and other vulnerable segments of society but to also retool N-Power, Trader Moni, school-feeding and conditional cash transfer schemes to bring more qualified Nigerians into his catchment.