ANALYSIS: Buhari’s ministers’ scorecard after two years (2)

Pic 19. FEC MEETING
From left: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; President Muhammadu Buhari; Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN); Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe and Minister of Stste for Agriculture, Sen Heinekaen Lokpobiri during the Federal Executive Council Meeting in Abuja on Wednesday (20/12/17) /20/12/2017/Callistus Ewelike/NAN

November 2017 marked two years that most of the ministers in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet assumed office.

PREMIUM TIMES in 2016 reviewed the performances of the ministers after their first year in office with many of them getting average scores.

This is the second part in the series for 2017. Read the first part of report here.

Mr. Buhari inaugurated 36 ministers on November 11, 2015 to man 24 federal ministries. However, two of them are no longer in the cabinet. While the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, James Ocholi, died last year, Amina Mohammed left the cabinet to take up appointment at the UN as Deputy Secretary General.

In August 2017, Mr. Ocholi was replaced with Stephen Ocheni while Suleiman Hassan was sworn in as Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing.

PREMIUM TIMES presents the midterm scorecard of six other ministers in this report based on their promises on assumption of office, others they made thereafter and whether they fulfilled them or not.

7.  Interior

Minister: Abdulrahman Dambazzau

Promises:

-To improve the knowledge base of all staff working under his ministry and take advantage of all programmes available at the centre to improve staff capacity.

-To carry out immediate reform of the nation’s internal security architecture in line with international best practices.

-Reformation of the Police, Immigration, Prisons, Fire Service and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

-Promoting the diversification of the nation’s economy.

-Decongesting the Nigerian prisons.

-The resuscitation and transformation of the Criminal Justice System in Nigeria.

-Introduction of biometric visa application system in Nigeria.

-Recruitment of more personnel to address the manpower shortage in the Police Force.

Achievements:

-Changed the Federal Fire Service by setting up policy regulatory units in all fire service stations as well as the establishment of additional zonal and state offices for the service nationwide.

-Enforcement of the use of biometric registration for passport applicants in Nigerian Immigration Service.

-Launched the gazetted Immigration Regulations 2017 (A new immigration document which has replaced the outdated Immigration Act of 1963 and also empowers the NIS to properly register all foreigners, protect the nation’s borders, enhance internal security and attract foreign investors in line with the international best practices).

-Set up an 11-member committee to assess the present deployment of personnel from different agencies working in the airports, seaports and land borders with a view to reducing their size to what is absolutely necessary.

-Signed an MoU with UK on Immigrants Return which will ensure that the nationalities of migrants are profiled properly through the use of biometric and biographic data.

-Established a standing committee to facilitate the effective management and control of Nigeria’s borders in the face of growing terrorism and trans-border crimes. Besides combating migrant smuggling and border security, the committee will identify and compile existing international standards, legislations, strategies, guidelines, procedures among other tasks.

Failures:

-Allegedly involved in the negotiation of the reinstatement of the fugitive former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina.

-Jailbreaks persist; there were reports of recent jailbreaks in Akwa Ibom and Enugu prisons.

-A lot of illegal immigrants are finding their way to Nigeria and many human traffickers leaving Nigeria with desperate Nigerians.

-Awaiting trial syndrome continues to plague the judicial system. Prisons authorities say about 75 per cent of an estimated 65,000 inmates are awaiting trial.

-Endless scarcity of international passport booklets causing Nigerians who want to renew their passports to be stranded.

Score: Below Average

8.   Sports and Social Development

Minister: Solomon Dalung

Promises

-Getting rid of corruption in the sports sector.

-Restructuring sports architecture of the country and ensuring that it is compatible with passion of Nigerians by concentrating on investing grants on talents or grassroots sports development while the elite sports will be left for the federations and professionals.

-Addressing the issue of lack of facilities and equipment. He described them then as the bane of sports development in Nigeria.

-Reviving the National Sports Commission, NSC, to play a pivotal role in the new sports architecture being proposed to move the sector forward.

-Restoring school sports as a compulsory component of the school curriculum.

-Ensuring the ministry remains committed to reviving sporting activities in the military.

Achievements:

-Youth Games successfully held in Ilorin and policy statement that the competition will be for U-15s, going forward.

-Renewed interest in sports by the military.

-Super Eagles secured 2018 World Cup ticket holding in Russia.

-D’Tigress winning the Afrobasket 2017 and D’Tigers finishing as runners up.

-Conduction of election into the sports federation though it was not totally a rancour-free exercise as there were dissenting voices from the polls.

– Nigerian Bobsled Women Team qualifying for 2018 Winter Olympics.

– Nigeria finishes second at the World Para Powerlifting Championship.

-Nigeria secured the right to host Africa wrestling championships.

Failures

-Nigeria missed out on participation at the Youth Commonwealth Games in the Bahamas.

-Nigeria missed out on participation at IAAF World U-18 Championships in Kenya.

-Nigeria records woeful outing at World Championships in London.

-Major stadia in the country, including the Abuja National Stadium as well as National Stadium in Lagos are still begging for attention midway into his term in office.

-While Nigeria could not send her boxers for African qualifiers, Mr. Dalung was in a plane to Cardiff to watch Anthony Joshua beat Takam.

Score: Average

9. Trade and Investment

Minister: Okechukwu Enelamah

Promises

-Championing the cause of Small and Medium Entreprises, SMEs.

-Executing the executive order on ‘Ease of Doing Business.’

-Making Nigeria one of the most attractive investment destinations.

-Attracting proactively long-term local and foreign investments.

-Facilitating government-private sector synergy.

-Strengthening the Nigeria Investment Promotion Council.

Achievements

-Setting up of the industrial council.

-Inauguration of National Council for SMEs

-Nigeria moved up 24 in World Bank ‘Ease of doing business’ ranking in November.

-Executive orders were promptly implemented.

Failures

-SMEs still largely complain of poor access to funds.

-Private sector still being ‘crowded out’ in capital allocation.

-Investors still wary of coming into the Nigerian market.

-Infrastructural capital that drives investment still epileptic and largely non-existent.

Score: Average

10.  Water Resources

Minister: Suleiman Adamu Kazaure

Promises:

-To ensure that all Nigerians have access to potable water by 2030 through urban water sector reform programme.

-To do household survey on access to water supply and sanitation and create a national database on water supply and sanitation facilities.

-To eradicate open defecation in Nigeria by 2025.

-To revitalise existing irrigation projects across the country and;

-To reform the 12 River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) by partly commercialising them

Achievements

-Government approved N16.5 billion for the augmentation of Phase II Galma Dam and Irrigation Project in Zaria, Kaduna state. Phase I has been completed.

-N 5.6 billion approved to complete Adada Dam Igbo-Etiti area in Enugu state. It is partly aimed at providing water to the University town of Nsukka. The project which started in 2010 is to be completed in 2018.

Failures

-Over 75 per cent of Nigerians still do not have access to pipe-borne water, most rely on self-dug boreholes. The percentage of Nigerians having access to pipe-borne water also dropped from 32 per cent in 1990 to less than seven per cent this year.

-Nigerians still perform open defecation.

-The absence of water, experts say, has also led to the prevalence of waterborne diseases such as hepatitis E, cholera etc.

-Nigeria has 3.12 million hectares of potential irrigable land but less than 10 per cent has been fully developed and being utilised.

-The 12 River Basin Development Authorities, RBDAs, are still in bad shapes and not efficiently and effectively utilised for irrigation and food sufficiency in Nigeria.

Score: Below average

11.  Labour and Employment

Minister: Chris Ngige

State Minister: Stephen Ocheni

Promises:

-To tackle unemployment effectively.

-Working toward a new minimum wage for the nation’s workers as well as improving their capacity.

-Implement the Local Content Act which is pivotal to job creation.

-Enforce 1990 Factories Act which concerns occupational safety and health component of labour activities.

-Revive Nigeria’s Labour Advisory Council.

Achievements

-Curtailed some labour disputes, including the one between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU and the one between ULC, NUPENG and PENGASSAN and the federal government over anti-labour activities.

-Empanelled National Minimum Wage committee to work out a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

-The National Directorate of Employment, NDE, an agency of the ministry trained and empowered 12,000 Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs and 18,000 other young men and women on skills acquisition.

-Trained Civilian Joint Task Force, CJTF on vocational skills.

Failures:

-Rising unemployment rate: In December 2017, the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS reported that Nigeria’s unemployment rate worsened from 16.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2017 to 18.8 per cent in the third quarter of the year while the number of people within the labour force who were unemployed increased from 13.6 million in the second quarter of the year to 15.9 million in the third quarter of same year.

-The NBS reported that the total number of people in full-time employment (at least 40 hours a week) declined from 52.7 million in the second quarter 2017 to 51.1 million in third quarter.

-Incessant strike actions from unions. For instance, the non-teaching staff of tertiary institutions are currently on strike.

-Non-fulfilment of agreement between labour unions and the federal government.

Score: Below Average

12.  Budget and National Planning

Minister:  Udoma Udo Udoma

Senator Udoma Udo Udoma
Minister of Budget and National Planning Senator Udoma Udo Udoma [Photo Credit: Channels TV]
Promises

-Timely preparation of the budget estimates.

-Continued implementation of the National Social Investment Programme, N-SIP.

-Plan for Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP.

-Prompt presentation of estimates to the President of the country.

-Tax restructuring.

-Monitoring of budget execution and capital disbursement.

-Synergy with private sector.

Achievements

-Flag off and gradual implementation of the ERGP.

-Thousands of youth captured in the N-SIP programme.

-An estimated 25 million meals served to pupils under the school feeding programme of the SIP initiative.

-2018 budget estimates presented earlier than the previous year.

-Nigeria’s economy exited recession in September, after five consecutive contractions.

-Measures put in place to restructure the tax system.

Failures

-The ERGP has not delivered on its mandate of removing the constraints to growth in areas of fuel and power, especially in the last quarter of the year.

-Poor implementation of the 2017 budget.

-The recession rendered many Nigerians unemployed with the NBS, which is under the supervision of the ministry, putting the figure in the third quarter alone at above two million people.

-Late presentation of the 2018 budget against the promised October 1 date.

-Alleged discrepancies in the operations of the N-SIP programme.

Score: Average


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