Nigerians score Buhari low on economy

While majority of Nigerians are aware of steps taken by the Muhammadu Buhari administration to curb corruption, they still think the government has not done enough to stop the stealing of public funds, a new report says.

The Buharimeter, a report published by the Centre for Democracy and Development, used media reports, desk review and survey to match President Buhari’s campaign promises with public expectation and action taken by the government in its first year in office.

On corruption, the report acknowledged the unsavoury image of the country as a haven of corruption and the pledge by Buhari to bolster the fight against graft.

Buharimeter national survey says while 86 per cent of Nigerians are aware of the government’s actions to curb corruption, only 37 per cent said their expectations had been met. Another 63 per cent said the government should do more.

The survey also showed that the perception and expectations of the Buhari administration’s war on corruption varies among the six geopolitical zones. In the North West, Buhari’s home region, 60.2 percent said his war on corruption in the last one year met their expectations, while 37.2 per cent said the president should do more.

At the other end, the South East region showed the least faith in the president’s anti-corruption campaign. Only 10.7 percent of respondents from the region said the president’s anti-corruption war met their expectations. In all, 86.2 per cent of those surveyed from the region said the government should have done more in the fight to eradicate corruption.

The South East is followed by the South South region, where 20.4 per cent of those surveyed said Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign fell short of expectations. Also, 71.3 per cent said he should have done more.

The report further analysed other anti-corruption related campaign promises and policies taken by the president in his first year in office. For instance, it noted that the president partially fulfilled his promise to declare his assets publicly.

Buharimeter said that Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo merely released a summary of their assets to the media.

It said this fell short of their campaign promise to make public their asset declaration forms. The report said the two leaders failed to keep their promises despite the fact that the Code of Conduct Bureau had concluded the verification of their assets as required by law.

Of all Buhari’s appointees in the last year, the report said only one publicly published his assets, this was in spite of the President’s campaign promise to make all his appointees release their assets to the public.

“It is also worth noting that the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Waziri Adio also publicly declared his assets. However, ministers are yet to follow suit,” the report noted.

The Buharimeter report said that the President’s anti-corruption campaign had been blunted by widespread claim that it is lopsided and targeted at the members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as that it lacks regard to the rule of law.

The report also noted the gloomy economic outlook of the country was a source of serious concern across the country. The record rate of unemployment, inflation, volatile exchange rate and the negative slump in the GDP according to figures released by the National Bureau for statistics, were the hallmark of Buhari’s first year in office.

Therefore, it was not surprising that respondents rated the administration very poorly in economy. A whopping 61.8 percent of Nigerians said the government has either performed poorly or very poorly in the management of the economy. Only 10.2 percent said it has done well in managing the economy while 23 per cent gave it a fair rating.

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