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The year 2016 was a very challenging one for Nigeria, especially with the economic recession and dwindling oil prices.
President Muhammadu Buhari and his party the All Progressives Congress (APC) promised Nigerians ‘change’. They literally promised heaven on earth if voted into power but since he took over power from Goodluck Jonathan on May 29, 2015, things have gotten worse.
Though some have lost hope in this government, some are still optimistic that things will get better.
A new year has just begun. Will things get better or worse in 2017? Below are some of the fears Nigerians have of Buhari’s government in this New Year.
2016 ended on a good note with the fall of Sambisa forest which used to be the strong base of the Boko Haram insurgents. Buhari and Nigerian troops have been commended over the capture of Sambisa forest. However, the government still has other security concerns such as the Fulani herdsmen, Niger Delta militants, Biafran agitators and Shiites. Pro-Biafran agitators have been threatening Buhari. Before the year ended, armed Fulani herdsmen attacked and destroyed Goska village in Southern Kaduna, killing, maiming, and burning houses. Niger Delta militants are still wrecking havoc and there seems to be no end in sight to all these. The government needs to tackle these head on in 2017.
2. Unemployment on the rise
Last year, many Nigerians lost their jobs. According to a report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) no fewer than 1.7 million Nigerians became jobless in 2016. In the face of harsh economic conditions, firms had to reduce the number of staff and some had to slash workers salary. Will this New Year be any better? Will Buhari provide the one million new jobs he promised to provide yearly?
In August, Nigeria’s economy officially slid into recession. Before then, the naira had been depreciating and is still depreciating against other currencies. The naira ended 2016 as one of the world’s four worst performing currencies. It is safe to say that the economy is in ‘coma’. According to Bloomberg, Buhari’s rigid leadership style has made Nigeria’s economic situation very difficult to resolve. The federal government has promised that the 2017 budget called ‘budget of recovery and growth’, will bring Nigeria out of the ongoing economic hardship. Nigerians are just watching, waiting and hoping that economy will be revived in 2017.
This administration has always stressed it determination to fight corruption to a standstill. So far, more than 30 prominent Nigerians have been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for looting the nation’s treasury. Some of the loots are said to have been recovered. However, Nigerians have a lot of questions which the government is yet to answer. Why is the war against corruption one-sided? How much loot has been recovered and who were they recovered from? Why has the government refused to release the names of looters? Nigerians are worried that the war against corruption might just end up being a witch-hunt. Unless the government answers the questions of Nigerians, they would continue to doubt the sincerity of the anti-corruption war.