President-elect Muhammadu Buhari says there are at least 10 challenges ahead of his in-coming administration and has sought the support of the new legislators in tackling them. He said this while speaking on Wednesday at the induction of new members of the national assembly organised by the National Institute for Legislative Studies in Abuja – said there are at least 10 challenges facing his in-coming administration and he is seeking the support of the new legislators in tackling them.
The challenges he listed are:
1. General insecurity and insurgency “that has caused extreme human hardship and destruction of lives, livelihoods” in the north-east and north-west
2. Environmental degradation in the Niger Delta
3. Decline in revenues due to fall in oil prices
4. Endemic corruption “which has crippled human and infrastructure development for decades”
5. Poor provision of power supply “which has had a crippling effect on development of small businesses”
6. Deindustrialization for the past three decades leading to closure of many industries and migration of many to other African countries
7. High levels of unemployment and especially youth unemployment which Buhari put at 40%
8. High cost of governance “that has been crowding out capital and human development”
9. Erosion of public social services such as infrastructure, health and education.
10. Lack of development in the agricultural and solid mineral sectors.
Buhari also told lawmakers:
“The legislature by nature is inherently democratic in the sense that all members are equal and are elected representatives of the Nigerian people. As President-elect, I recognise this fact and believe that legislators carry this heavy burden of representation with all the seriousness it deserves.
“For a president to be successful in addressing community development and general welfare of the various people of the country, he or she would benefit from working closely and in harmony with the legislative arm of government.
“I therefore commit myself to working with the legislature as development partners motivated by the desire to deliver good governance.
He noted that Nigeria was blessed with outstanding men and women of competence and experience in different fields out of which his team has picked the nineteen to ensure a smooth process.
Buhari told committee members:
“This assignment though onerous, it is well within your ability to accomplish, you are required to assess the information provided to you and advise me on its quality and accuracy.
“It is a simple matter but you must have the right information if you are to shape appropriate policy decisions. Needless to repeat; that your committee and our government are not to witch-hunt or engage in fault finding.
“We want the facts and nothing but the facts, what has been done cannot be undone, our job is to learn from the mistakes of the past in an attempt to avoid similar errors.
“The time given for you to complete your assignment, two weeks, is short but because of the postponement of the election for six weeks from February 14 to March 28, the transition period has been truncated, we are obliged therefore to fast track steps to May 29.”