Buhari’s 100 Days of Next Level
President Muhammadu Buhari, last week, marked his first 100 days in office of his Next Level Agenda, and as is tradition, Nigerians used the opportunity to assess some of the successes as well as the failures of the administration.
Though not a constitutional requirement, the tradition of marking 100 days in office affords public office holders the opportunity to showcase their achievements within the period, and also set the tone for the remaining part of their tenure.
The practice seem to have gained global appeal, as political leaders in countries like the United Kingdom, United States of America, Philippines, and many others make it a practice to celebrate their 100th day in office.
The tradition was started in 1933 by President Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression.
Roosevelt was said to have first used the term on July 24, 1933 to refer to the exact 100days that elapsed between the opening of the special session of the 73rd congress on March 9, and its closing on June 17.
On May 29, 2019, President Buhari was formally sworn in for his second term in office amidst hopes and doubts. While many Nigerians were optimistic that a second term will provide an opportunity for the president to take his Change Agenda to the Next Level, others saw this as an additional four years of stagnation for the country.
The president, who had enjoyed wide popularity prior to 2015, had consistently had to struggle to launder his image before Nigerians. Shortly after his swearing in 2015, President Buhari has had to deal with the responsibility of tackling the wide spread insecurity that was threatening to consume the country, while also struggling to salvaging an economy that seemed determined to collapse under his watch.
Despite taking the economy out of recession in 2017, most Nigerians are yet to grasp Buhari’s economic policy for the country. They say, his economic policy has remained unclear and fragmented.
A critical look at some of Nigeria’s economic achievement in Buhari’s first 100 days in office shows slower economic growth performance of 1.94percent in second quarter of 2019, down from 2.01 in first quarter of 2019.
This is far lower than the 4.1percentgrowth projected for 2019 in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan by the federal government.
Apart from inflation rate which has had a depressing performance at 11.2% from 11.4% in January 2019, other economic and business indicators such as exchange rate, external reserve, unemployment rate, and foreign direct investment, have rather not been impressive.
Also the rising cases of banditry, kidnapping, and general insecurity across the country, is said to have accounted for 5,798 deaths in 901 incidents between May 29 and now.
Similarly, the president’s response to the prolong protests by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, as well as the proscription of the group seem to have given impetus to those who describe him as an oppressor with no regard for the rule of law.
The recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, was also a defining moment for the administration, as many applauded the diplomacy employed in addressing the issue.
It took the president six months to constitute his cabinet in 2015, it is therefore understandable that the APC will celebrate a 3month earlier appointment in his second term.
Beyond the economic indicators, the country needs to make a conscious effort at developing a more conducive business environment in order to attract investors and propel firms to become more competitive and sustainable.
Besides, all the average Nigerian needs to measure the performance of any government are basic welfare and improved quality of life such as access to quality healthcare, improved transportation system, constant supply of electricity and security of lives and property across the country.
The realities on ground however suggest that Nigeria is far from realizing these ideals, but how much the Buhari administration is working towards to achieving this quality of life for Nigerians remains to be seen.