7 years of Buhari’s administration, achievements amidst challenges


In May 29, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was inaugurated into office with a promise to transformed the economy, fight corruption and insecurity. MATHEW DADIYA, writes on some of the achievements, on the seventh anniversary of the administration in the midst of criticism, Excerpts.

The administration of President Buhari has clocked seven years on May 29, 2022, with enormous track records of success, especially on infrastructure. Though political and economic pundits have applauded and criticised his tenure, citing the security perils in the country and the instability of the nation’s currency.

While the ruling APC believes it has achieved so much for the development of the country across the six geopolitical zones, the opposition party did not agree with its stands, holding a different view. The PDP described President Buhari administration as a perfect example of ‘arrogance in failure.’

The presidency under Buhari has listed numerous achievements recorded within the seven years of APC in power, saying they have done far better than the 16 years of their major opposition rival – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

But PDP said President Buhari presides over the most rudderless, corrupt, disunited, disorganised, arrogant political party and government in the history of the country, a fact it claimed was already established by Nigerians across board; adding that the removal of electricity subsidy without reference to Nigerians among other thoughtless and inhumane actions of the APC government.

Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina faulted the opposition’s claims saying, revisionists would want to look at security challenges, which are being robustly tackled, alone. “But we look at the entire gamut, and honest and fair Nigerians will admit that a lot has been done, and a lot more will still be done in the 12 months ahead. Adesina said some of the strides in infrastructural development; roads; bridges; rail; air and sea ports; housing; oil and gas reforms; Digital economy; Mines and steel development; Agriculture; Education; Health; Creative Industry; Sports, and many others. “And security, yes, security, despite the current challenges,” the Special Adviser to the President, boasted.

Buhari, after his first four years, Nigerians in a show of confidence, massively renewed his term for another four years, which lapses this time next year. The seven years milestone presents a major landmark and opportunity to review the service of President Buhari to the country, and its people. What are the highpoints in terms of legislation; what Bills have been signed into law, and what salutary impact have they made on the nation?

In perspective, here is a one-stop-shop of the achievements of the Buhari administration at 7:
Under President Buhari, Nigeria has seen the most ambitious legislative programme in its history. Several landmark Bills have been passed or amended in the last seven years, including: Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2022; Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2022, which repeals the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended: Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2022, which repeals the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 as amended in 2013, and provides for the effective implementation of international instruments on the prevention and combating of terrorism and suppression of the financing of terrorism; Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Bill, 2022, which makes comprehensive provisions for the seizure, confiscation, forfeiture, and management of properties derived from unlawful activity.

Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act, 1993 (Amendment) Act, 2019, which will deliver increased revenues to the Federation; Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON (Amendment) Acts of 2019 and 2021; Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) Bill, the first legislation in Nigeria’s history focused on curbing anti-competition practices; establishing the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) Establishment Act, 2018; Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill, an Executive Bill, signed into law in 2019. The Bill facilitates the identification, tracing, freezing, restraining, recovery, forfeiture and confiscation of proceeds, property, and other instrumentalities of crime, as well as the prosecution of offenders in criminal cases regardless of where in the world they might be.
Act establishing the Police Trust Fund, which will significantly improve funding for the Nigeria Police Force (2019); Nigeria Police Act, 2020 – the first comprehensive reform of Police legislation since the Police Act of 1943; Repeal and Re-Enactment of the Companies & Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 2020 – the first comprehensive reform since 1990.

Not Too Young to Run Bill (2018) – a Constitution Amendment Bill, to reduce the age of eligibility for running for elective office in Nigeria; Nigerian Correctional Services Bill, 2019 – the first comprehensive reform of prison legislation in close to five decades; Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Bill, 2019 – the first anti-piracy legislation in West Africa.
A Bill to grant financial autonomy to States’ Houses of Assembly and States’ Judiciary (2018)
Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020, Finance Act 2019 and 2020; and the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018.

Buhari has pioneered the use of Executive Orders by any government in Nigeria; the Buhari Administration has, since 2017, issued a number of landmark Executive Orders; Presidential Executive Order on Promotion of Transparency and Efficiency in the Business Environment (2017); Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Local Procurement by Government Agencies (2017).

Presidential Executive Order on Submission of Annual Budgetary Estimates by all Statutory and non-Statutory Agencies, including Incorporated Companies wholly owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria (2017); Presidential Executive Order on the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (2017); Presidential Executive Order on Planning and Execution of Projects, Promotion of Nigerian Content in Contracts, Science, Engineering and Technology (2018).

Presidential Executive Order (and Amendment) on the Voluntary Offshore Assets Regularization Scheme (VOARS) (2018); Presidential Executive Order on Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme (2019) and Presidential Executive Order 11 on National Public Buildings Maintenance (2022).

As with legislative reform, Nigeria is also seeing, under President Buhari’s watch, the biggest and most ambitious federal infrastructure programme since Nigeria’s Independence.
The Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria (InfraCorp) was established by President Buhari in February 2021, with initial seed Capital of N1 Trillion, provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC). InfraCorp’s goal is to “to catalyse and accelerate investment into Nigeria’s infrastructure sector by originating, structuring, executing and managing end-to-end bankable projects in that space.”

In addition to the 1 trillion Naira equity seed capital, InfraCorp is expected to mobilise up to an additional 14 trillion Naira of debt capital. Establishment in 2020 of the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), with more than $1 Billion in funding so far.

156km Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Rail completed and commissioned, within a Nigerian-record-time of 4 years (2017 to 2021). 8.72km extension to Lagos-Ibadan Rail Line, to Lagos Port Complex, completed in 2021; 186km Abuja-Kaduna Standard Gauge Rail Line, completed and commissioned in 2016; 327km Itakpe-Warri Standard Gauge Rail completed and commissioned in 2020, 33 years after construction began.

As part of this project, there was the full rehabilitation of the Railway Village, Agbor, as well as construction of a Railway Ancillary Facilities Yard, also in Agbor. In 2021 the Line commenced commercial freight haulage, transporting pipelines for the AKK Gas Pipeline project.
Commencement of the E-Ticketing concession process for the Lagos-Ibadan and Warri-Itakpe Standard Gauge Rail Lines. The scope of the project is to Design, Finance, Build, Operate and Manage Secure Ticketing Solution systems (Hardware and Software) for the two lines; and completion of the E-Ticketing concession process on AbujaKaduna Route in 2021, which increased the monthly generated revenue from less than N200 Million to N400 Million.

Abuja Light Rail completed in 2018. Construction has commenced on Kaduna-Kano Standard Gauge Rail Line, following the ground-breaking by President Buhari in July 2021.
Ground-breaking done by Buhari for construction of 284km Kano-Maradi Standard Gauge Rail (with branch line to Dutse), preliminary works started 2021; ground-breaking done by President Buhari for complete revamp of Port Harcourt–Maiduguri Narrow Gauge Rail. Work has kicked off in 2022; and 377 Wagons, 64 Coaches, and 21 Locomotives (including DMUs) purchased for the Standard Gauge network, between 2016 and 2021.
Jobs, Training and Capacity Building: More than 11,000 new jobs created from the on-going rail modernization projects in the country. More than 100 qualified young Nigerians awarded full international scholarships for undergraduate/graduate courses in rail engineering and transport in China, from 2018. In addition, dozens of Nigerian Engineers have been trained as part of the railway modernization projects.

Establishment of a new Transportation University in Daura, Katsina State, and establishment of a new Rail Wagon Assembly Plant in Kajola, Ogun State – both nearing completion of construction; and three thousand tons of cement are transported monthly through train freight service from Lagos to Kano.

Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), investing over a billion dollars in three flagship projects: LagosIbadan Expressway (for completion in 2022), Second Niger Bridge (for completion in 2022), Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway (first phase for completion in 2023).

Issued by President Buhari on January 25, 2019, Executive Order #7 of 2019, on the Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme, allows companies that are willing and able to spend their own funds on constructing critical roads, to recover their construction costs by paying reduced taxes, over a period of time, and in a transparent manner.
So far, more than a trillion Naira has been mobilised through Executive Order 7, for road projects across all six geopolitical zones of the country, like Bodo-Bonny in Rivers and ApapaOshodi-Oworonshoki-Ojota in Lagos.

Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI), a public-private partnership program to mobilise, in its first Phase, over a Trillion Naira in private investment into the development and maintenance of 12 Roads, amounting to 1,963km in length.
More than 600 billion Naira worth of Sukuk Bonds raised since 2017 for more than 40 critical road projects across all six geopolitical zones. Between November 25 and December 13, 2021, while the Federal Government handed over to benefiting communities 941 km of completed Sukuk road projects connecting 10 states in five geo-political zones of the country.

Completion of New Terminals for International Airports in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt. Construction completed on New Runways for the Abuja and Enugu International Airports; the Abuja International Airport Runway was reconstructed in 2017, for the first time since the Airport was built in the early 1980s. In 2019 President Buhari approved a special fund of 10 Billion Naira for the reconstruction of the Enugu Airport Runway; it was completed and reopened in August 2020).

Presidential approval for four International Airports as Special Economic Zones: Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
President Buhari approved funds for the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) to build a world-class Flight Safety Laboratory (FSL) in Abuja, and train personnel to run it. Now Nigeria no longer has to send aircraft Cockpit Voice Recorders and Flight Data Recorders (“Black Box”) abroad for downloading and analysis.

The Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) in Zaria, has undergone a transformation under President Buhari:
A new Boeing 737 Full Flight Simulator has been installed in the College, as well as a fully-automated Fire and Smoke Aircraft Training Simulator. Prior to the installation of the Fire and Smoke Simulator, Nigeria was sending personnel to Cameroon for the relevant training.
NCAT has also acquired 7 brand new Training Planes (1 multi-engine and 6 single-engine) that use Jet A1 fuel; to replace the old training planes that were expensive to maintain.

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) in July 2017 received the ISO 9001:2015 certification (re-certified in August 2020) for aeronautical meteorological services delivery, making Nigeria the first-ever African country to achieve this feat.
Significant infrastructural upgrades at various Airports nationwide: Cat-3 ILS/DME (ILS = Instrument Landing System; DME = Distance Measuring Equipment) installed in Lagos and Abuja Airports in 2019 — which allows planes to land in zero visibility.

Installation in progress in 3 more Airports Cat-2 ILS/DME installed in 10 airports around the country, another 4 in progress Doppler Omni-directional Range (DVOR) / DME installed in 8 airports o Air Traffic Control (ATC) Mobile Towers installed in Lagos and Abuja Airports, Low Level Windshear Alert System (LLWAS) installed in more than a dozen airports (the Sosoliso Crash of 2005 and ADC Crash of 2006 were reportedly caused by the absence of that equipment).

The procurement processes for the establishment of an Aviation Leasing Company in Nigeria, a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Center, and the development of Aerotropolis (Airport Cities) in Lagos and Abuja are all ongoing, for completion in 2022, according to the project timelines.
Lekki Deep Sea Port – the first new Sea Port in Nigeria in decades – now more than 90 percent completed; ground-breaking done for Bonny Deep Sea Port in March 2021); Commissioning of Kaduna Inland Dry Port in 2018; Construction of Kano and Katsina Inland Dry Ports ongoing, for completion in 2022.
Commissioning of the ‘Deep Blue’ Maritime Security Project, completed in 2021. The project includes 17 Special Mission Vessels, 2 Special Mission Aircraft, and 3 Helicopters; Launch of a new Cabotage Compliance Strategy, in 2019, by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), to enforce the implementation of the Cabotage Act.

Introduction of Electronic Call-up system by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), to substantially address the challenges of traffic gridlock caused by the Lagos Ports, using technology; Designation of the Lilypond Container Terminal in Ijora, Lagos as a specialized processing and handling facility for the export of locally-made agricultural and finished goods; Commencement of indigenous survey and charting of Nigeria’s offshore waters, by the Nigerian Navy’s new Hydrographic Survey Vessel, NNS LANA.

Cabinet approval for award of 30-year Concession of Onitsha River Port, under a Rehabilitate, Operate and Transfer (ROT) arrangement, February in 2022; Development of capacity at the Eastern Ports: Reduction of Tariff (10% Rebate) on Harbour Dues for vessels calling at the Eastern Ports, as part of incentives to encourage vessel traffic to the Eastern Ports.

In December 2017, Calabar Port commenced export of bulk cement to Tema Port in Ghana; in 2019, 3 container ships berthed at Calabar Port, for the first time in eleven years; Dredging of Warri Port (Escravos Bar—Warri Port channel) completed in 2018; On October 30, 2019, an LPG Tanker operated by NLNG, berthed in Port Harcourt – the first time ever an LPG ship berthed in any of the Eastern Ports.
On December 8, 2019, Onne Port received JPO VOLANS (owned by Maersk), the FIRST gearless and largest container vessel (265.07 metres) to call at any Eastern Port in Nigeria; August 1, 2019, Onne Port’s Brawal Terminal received MSC GRACE, its first container vessel since 2012; and in March 2021, the export of 7,000 metric tonnes of cocoa through Calabar Port to the United States, for the first time in about 14 years.

The two largest containerships to ever berth at any Nigerian port, have been in Onne, in the last 3 years: Maersk Stadelhorn, 300m long & 48m wide, on August 15, 2020, and Lady Jane on April 13, 2022. 294.5m long and 32.3m wide.

An incremental 4,000MW+ of power generating assets will be completed during the life of the Buhari Administration, including the Zungeru Hydro, Kashimbila Hydro, Afam III Fast Power, Kudenda Kaduna Power Plant, the Okpai Phase 2 Plant, the Dangote Refinery Power Plant, and others.

Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP): The Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) of the Central Bank of Nigeria, launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 17, 2015, has disbursed more than 800 billion Naira to more than 4 million smallholder farmers of 23 different commodities (including Rice, Wheat, Maize, Cotton, Cassava, Poultry, Soybeans, Groundnut, Fish), cultivating over 5 million hectares of farmland.

Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI): Launched as a government-to-government partnership between the Nigerian and Moroccan Governments, in December 2016, the PFI produced 30 million 50kg bags of NPK 20:10:10 equivalent in 2020, bringing total production since inception to over 60 million 50kg bags equivalent; and number of participating blending plants increased to 72 from the four that were operational in Nigeria at the inception of the initiative.

The Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, has completed or is completing housing projects in 34 States of Nigeria, under the National Housing Programme, with the support of the State Governors who provided the land. So far more than 5,000 houses are at various stages of completion, and thousands more are planned.

According to the Presidency, the achievements of the Buhari government in the last seven years are very convinsive and could drive Nigeria’s growth as an emerging economy. The country is preparing to elect another government in 2023 general elections, the citizens have the power to elect the right leaders who will govern the country for the development of all.