Arguably the South West region played a pivotal role in the victory of MuhammaduBuhari in the presidential race, but their expectations from the incoming administration differ. OKUNADE ADEKUNLE reports
With the general elections over, Nigerians who voted and even those who did not vote for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, General MuhammaduBuhari (retd), are anxiously waiting for the President-elect to commence the implementation of his campaign promises.
It will be right to state that the APC campaign for change has raised the hopes of many Nigerians that Buhari would be able to find immediate solutions to the many problems facing the country especially the mismanagement of the economy.
Although the South West region may have different views on what the incoming President should do to effect change in the country in the real sense, but the other parts of the country may have a total different perspective on what Buhari should engage in when he is sworn in by May 29.
Speaking to some stakeholders in the South West, many expressed that the President-elect should ensure that the power sector of the country’s economy should be addressed with immediate effect. A member of the Nigeria Welders Association who resides in Ojo local government area of Lagos, OgunjobiMusibau, stated that he would prefer the President-elect to first address the issue of power since the power shortage is affecting his business. He stressed that without adequate power supply he may be forced to close business since he relies on power supply to do most of the wielding jobs brought by customers.
Musibau who argued that although he voted for President Jonathan at the poll because of little adjustment in the provision of power supply, said Buhari should try and increase the power output beyond what it is now.
“I voted President Jonathan during the election because there was improvement in power supply then, but I believe Buhari should do better than that now and make the output to be high. My business survive through adequate power supply because all my jobs are done with power so I am seriously relying on power supply to survive”, said Musibau.
Speaking with the former Managing Director of Daily Times, DrTolaAdeniyi, on his expectations from the President-elect, he stated that he would want the President-elect to engage in structural adjustment of the country. He said with the adjustment of the country structurally it will bring about balance in the sharing of power among the various geopolitical zones of the country.
Adeniyi stressed further that successive governments have failed in this respect thereby causing more confusion for the country. He added that the incoming President should as well conduct proper national census so that the adequate numbers of population would be got for national planning. He stressed that failure to conduct generally accepted population census would hinder national progress and development and it might be dangerous to national unity as well as create ethnic suspicion.
“Buhari first and foremost when he assumes power in May 29, he should be thinking of how he would make structural change and make some radical reforms so that the country would be balanced. With this, corruption would not have a place to stay and there would not be ethnic suspicion among the ethnic groups in the country”, said Adeniyi.
Speaking with a corps member who hails from Oyo state but serving in Ikeja local government area of Lagos, AdebolaAdeshina, she explained that she would want Buhari to address the problem of getting loan from the banks, stressing that it is hard to get loan to start up personal business in the country. She urged Buhari to set aside particular amount of money to boost entrepreneurship in the country, saying it is the only way for a young university graduate to stand on his or her own after the mandatory National Youth Service Corps.
Adeshina, who is in her late 20s, said that Buhari should encourage a system whereby the states develop at their own pace, so that there would be healthy competition among the state governors for development. She stressed that with health competition among the states there would be rapid development across the country.
“Buhari should set aside an amount of money for soft loans for young graduates to start business because it is only through that means that young graduates can stand on their own without causing problems for the county. I will also expect him to encourage a situation whereby the governors of the states of the federation would engage in healthy competition among themselves as that would bring about rapid development across board”, said the Corps member.
A banker, Dele Ogunwole, who is a staff of Guarantee Trust Bank, says that Buhari should address the issue of casual workers in the manufacturing sector of the country’s economy. He said that that would bring dignity to workers in the industry. He also said the banking sector should be looked into as most of the banks engage in contract staffing which is affecting the productivity of the sector. He however, urged Buhari to put in place serious employment policies that would guide how banks should recruit instead of contracting its recruitment system.
Again, he said he would be happy if Buhari could strengthen both the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), so as to enable them fight corruption which has eaten deep into the Nigerian system.
It is obvious that much is expected from Buhari’s government in several areas as most of the people in South West would want him to address some salient issue of structural reforms, institutional reforms and integrity building among public servants and Nigerians. His ability to achieve all these would be determined by his political will and the team he would put together to help him drive the change.