A new dawn in Nigeria, will Buhari propel a new pathway ……?

Lagos, Nigeria (Capita Markets in Africa):- Friday 29 May saw the inauguration of Muhammadu Buhari as the new president of Nigeria, following his election victory over Goodluck Jonathan.

In his inauguration speech, Buhari set out what will form the core of his administration’s agenda, after first assuring his political opponents that he had no intention of settling old political scores as some had intimated, reiterating that the past would be left in the past. “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody”, he said, as he called for unity amongst all Nigerians. He did not pull any punches in acknowledging the scale of the challenges facing the country, highlighting insecurity, pervasive corruption and the fuel and electricity challenges as the primary concerns that would need to be addressed.

As regards insecurity, he pointed to the Boko Haram insurgency as the most immediate issue. Buhari indicated that while progress had been made in recent weeks by the security forces, victory would not be achieved by basing the Command and Control Centre in Abuja and that henceforth the command centre would be relocated to Maiduguri and remain until Boko Haram is completely subdued. The president noted that Boko Haram was not the only the security issue bedevilling the country, with a spate of kidnappings, armed robberies, herdsmen/farmers clashes, cattle rustlings all helping to add to the general air of insecurity. While the amnesty programme in the oil rich Niger Delta is due to end in December, he said the Government intends to invest heavily in the projects, and programmes currently in place. This will be an important area for Buhari to contend with, given that Goodluck Jonathan enjoyed the backing of the Niger Delta militants with whom he had agreed an amnesty in 2009, with some having suggested they could resurrect their militant activities should Jonathan lose the election. “

No single cause can be identified to explain Nigerian’s poor economic performance over the years than the power situation”, Buhari said. He bemoaned the fact that Nigeria’s economy of 180 million people only generates 4,000MW of electricity, and distributes even less. This situation prevailed despite continuous fiddling with the power supply and distribution processes and close to USD 20bn being spent since 1999. This situation would not be allowed to go on, Buhari emphasised, saying careful studies are under way during the transition to identify the quickest, safest and most cost effective way to bring light and relief to Nigerians.

Unemployment, notably youth un-employment featured strongly in his party’s manifesto, and this would be tackled through “the revival of agriculture, solid minerals mining as well as credits to small and medium size businesses to kick-start these enterprises, while examining the best way to revive major industries and accelerate the revival and development of railways, roads and general infrastructure.”

The new president certainly seemed to have set the right tone with his speech in the spirit of trying to get the collective moving in the right direction to take the country forward. As always, it will be the implementation of the ideals that will prove the biggest challenge in a country that for so long has not been doing the right things in so many facets, to the enrichment of the few and the suffering of the many.

Please click on link below if you would like to read the full transcript of the inauguration speech. Nigerian President’s Inaugural speech.

 Authored by Omotola Ketiku.

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