THE Buhari Presidency have their hands full as they are inheriting a country in crisis.
Nigeria is bedeviled by many ills which have ensured the country is still tagged ‘third world’.
However, some areas need more urgent attention than others.
ENCOMIUM Weekly’s Micheal Nwokike examines the biggest issues facing the nation as Buhari takes over from out-going President Goodluck Jonathan.
CORRUPTION – Corruption is the age long ill that has denied Nigeria of significant development since 1960. From one administration to another, half-hearted attempts have been made to rid the country of this cankerworm, and of course, to no avail. As long as corruption persists in government, Nigeria will remain underdeveloped.
LACK OF POWER – Solving Nigeria’s power problem is the equivalent of solving up to 60 percent of the country’s most pressing concerns. With constant power, local industries will do away with air-polluting generators, small, medium scale businesses will thrive, households will save money spent on fueling generators.
POOR INFRASTRUCTURE – One of the hallmarks of a developed country is adequate, well-maintained infrastructure – which Nigeria lacks. From dilapidated roads, non-existent water supply and rickety school structures, Nigeria literally needs a face lift.
POROUS BORDERS – Nigeria has become a dumping ground for most foreign products. Virtually everything is imported -which explains the high inflation rate and why the naira is helplessly weak.
WEAK INSTITUTIONS – From the EFCC, ICPC to INEC, the judiciary and security agencies, Nigeria’s institutions need to be strengthened and made independent to provide better checks and balance.
INEFFECTIVE LOCAL GOVERNMENT – Constitutionally, Nigeria has 774 local governments; yet, people in the grassroots feel far from the government. There is not enough government presence in communities.
POOR HEALTH SECTOR – The life expectancy in Nigeria presently stands at about 53 years – a testament to the poor state of our health sector. Starting from the university, health professionals need to be grounded in the best practices. Psychologists, nutritionists, surgeons and other medical specialists in scarce supply should be thoroughly trained and better remunerated; while the study of such courses in schools should be encouraged.
DWINDLING ECONOMY – Not many who witnessed the halcyon days of the 1980s when Nigeria’s economy was thriving would believe that the country could be in its present financial mess. The value of stocks is falling; the naira stands at over N200 to a dollar (US); the global oil price has fallen in recent months. Is there any way back for Nigeria?