As Nigeria prepares to inaugurate a new president on May 29, the CHATAM House and global expectation of the country will not only focus on how the new president Mr. Buhari will use the proceeds recovered from corruption to reform the economy but also on his leadership style.
The president-elect had said in his lecture at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, CHATAM House in February that one of its goals was to use savings that arise from blocked leakages and the proceeds recovered from corruption to fund investments programmes in education, health, and safety nets such as free school meals for children, emergency public works for unemployed youth and pensions for the elderly.
It would be recalled that CHATAM House had devoted a great deal of its resources to research on Nigeria in the last two years to cover such issues as power and leadership dynamics in northern Nigeria; Security challenges in Nigeria; Organized crime and the impact of oil; Understanding models of reform and economic success in Nigeria.
However, on June 1, two days after Buhari must have been sworn-in; CHATAM would be having another discourse on global leadership and the demand for international cooperation on specific issues from climate change to internet governance.
While the world would be expecting Nigeria new president to live by his word, it would expect his foreign policies to address issue of anarchy, especially in Africa and would like to see a former military dictator, General Mohammadu Buhari who is now the Nigeria president to show the world that he is a true democrat with his conduct and policies.
According to CHATAM House, the conference would also be looking at the distinction between established and rising powers whether it would grow less relevant in a leaderless world, or will like-minded powers form new types of interest blocs.
Earlier, the president-elect, General Buhari had said that the revenue producing entities such as NNPC and Customs and Excise would have one set of books only, adding that their revenues will be publicly disclosed and regularly audited.
In reforming the economy, General Buhari said that his government would use savings that arise from blocking these leakages and the proceeds recovered from corruption to fund social investments programmes in education, health, and safety nets such as free school meals for children, emergency public works for unemployed youth and pensions for the elderly.
On his leadership style, the president-elect promised to be a democrat that would rule according to the constitution but not as a military dictator.
As he put it, “I have heard and read references to me as a former dictator in many respected British newspapers including the well regarded Economist. Let me say without sounding defensive that dictatorship goes with military rule, though some might be less dictatorial than others. I take responsibility for whatever happened under my watch. I cannot change the past. But I can change the present and the future. So before you is a former military ruler and a converted democrat who is ready to operate under democratic norms and is subjecting himself to the rigours of democratic elections for the fourth time.”