NIGERIANS have huge expectations from the new government of President Muhammadu Buhari and this stems from the existing precarious economic and security situation, the campaign promises of the President and his widely acknowledged personality as a man of integrity. The president must get his priorities right as there are key sectors that need urgent attention as we speak.
The economy is in a bad state, salaries of workers are not paid and dwindling price of crude oil has almost crippled the economy. The government must prepare to remove fuel subsidy consequent on the
repair of existing refineries. The forensic audit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation must be revisited with culprits prosecuted. Thorough professionals and experts must be brought in to head the petroleum ministry. We must diversify the economy by exploiting agriculture to create jobs and in turn create wealth for the nation. Moribund and decrepit industries must be revived.
Corruption is one of the biggest challenges of this government and it is a must for it to live up to the billings. Anti-corruption agencies must be merged into one functional and independent institution with men of indubitable integrity to man such. Discipline must be enforced in the civil service to checkmate the current disregard for due process. Some activities of the immediate past government must be investigated to deter future financial sleaze and to recover loots if any.
The insurgency in the North east region is resurrecting and it calls for applause that the president has directed the shift of the operations base of the army to Maiduguri. He also has journeyed during the week to Niger and Chad to meet with their Presidents and if not for anything but to encourage these foreign collaborators. A special military task force that should consist of trusted retired and serving military chiefs as well as civilian security experts must be set up tackle the Boko Haram menace headlong and finally.
The hardship Nigerians suffer today partly comes from the high cost of running our government. The president is known to be frugal and prudent. He should cut down on government expenses and encourage public office holders to do same. Power generation and distribution must increase as this is the bedrock of our economy. The middle class must be reinvented with the creation of good jobs, social welfare programmes and improved wages. President Buhari is not a magician and Nigerians must realise this early enough. The challenges are enormous and the pressure is as well huge. Nigerians have every right to be expectant. The president has shown his doggedness and a deep feeling of determination to redirect the ship of the nation from the brink of collapse to the part of progress.
•Tosin Yemi Olayinka, GRA Onigari, Ado-Ekiti.