The Presidency has again, reeled out 28-page of President Muhammadu Buhari’s strides in Oil and gas reforms, Digital economy, Mines and steel development, Agriculture, Education, Health, Creative Industry, Sports and infrastructural development; roads, bridges, rail, air and sea ports, housing, and many others.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the president’s scorecard is coming ahead of the seven year anniversary of the Buhari-led administration on May 29, 2022.
President Buhari had in May 29, 2015, took the oath of office as President, promising to serve Nigeria faithfully in all spheres of national life.
The seven years milestone, according to the President’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, presents a major landmark and opportunity to review the service of the president to the country, and its people.
Adesina noted that the Buhari administration has so far delivered in its promises to Nigerians although revisionists would want to look at security challenges, which are being robustly tackled by the government.
A one-stop shop of the achievements of the Buhari administration at seven indicated that a lot has been done, and a lot more will still be done in the 12 months ahead.
Nigeria, under Buhari’s watch, has continued to witness the biggest and most ambitious federal infrastructure programme since Nigeria’s Independence.
In the fields of Education, the Buhari Administration has so far committed more than N2 trillion of capital intervention to Nigeria’s tertiary institutions, through various means, including TETFund – with the universities taking the lion share of the total amount.
According to Femi Adesina, the Federal Government has disbursed more than N240 billion in UBE Matching Grants to States and the FCT since 2015, and N24 billion from the Teachers Professional Development Fund to States and the FCT.
The government had launched the Alternate School Programme (ASP), designed to ensure that every out-of-school child in Nigeria gains access to quality basic education, irrespective of social, cultural or economic circumstance, in line with the aspirations of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG-4).
It also launched the At-Risk-Children Project (ARC-P), designed to facilitate programmes that will ensure the integration of at-risk (i.e., lacking basic education and social protection) children and young adults, creating opportunities for lifelong skills and empowerment.
President Buhari also granted Presidential approval for:
• A new (extended) Retirement age of 65 and Length of Service of 40 years for Teachers in Public Basic and Secondary Schools in Nigeria (both effective January 1, 2021)
• A new Special Teachers Salary Scale (effective January 1, 2022)
• A new Special Teachers Pension Scheme.
• Establishment of the National Senior Secondary Education Commission (NSSEC) to regulate secondary education in the country.
The nation also achieved a reduction in number of out-of-school children, by 3,247,590, as of Dec. 31, 2020, through a World-Bank financed programme known as ‘Better Education Service Delivery for All’ (BESDA).
”Under the World Bank-supported Innovation Development and Effectiveness in the Acquisition of Skills (IDEAS) Project, approved in 2020, US$200m is being invested in 6 participating States (Abia, Benue, Ekiti, Gombe, Kano, Edo) as well as in 20 Federal Science and Technical Colleges nationwide.”
The president also granted Presidential approval for the establishment of the following:
• Six new Federal Colleges of Education (one per geopolitical zone: Odugbo, Benue State; Isu, Ebonyi State; Ekiadolor, Edo State; Gidan Madi, Sokoto State; Jama’are, Bauchi State; and Iwo, Osun State).
• Eight new Federal Polytechnics in Kaltungo, Gombe State; Ayede, Oyo State; Daura, Katsina State; Shendam, Plateau State, Ohodo, Enugu State; Ugep, Cross River State; Monguno, Borno State; and Wannue, Benue State.
• Two new Federal Universities of Technology
• Under the phased implementation of the National Youth Policy, 6 Federal Science & Technical Colleges (FSTC) were established in 2020, as follows: FSTC Ogugu, Kogi State; FSTC Hadeija, Jigawa State; FSTC Umuaka, Imo State; FSTC Igangan, Oyo State; FSTC Ganduje, Kano State; FSTC, Amuzu, Ebonyi State.
• Five additional Federal Science and Technical Colleges (FSTC) will come on-stream in 2021, and will be located in Bauchi, Plateau, Sokoto, Enugu and Cross River States.”
On Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), the Federal Government has granted approval for the disbursement of at least $2.5 million to each State of the Federation and the FCT, under the Saving One Million Lives (SOML) initiative, to improve health outcomes.
Under the BHCPF, for the first time since the National Health Act was passed in 2014, the Federal Government in 2018 began including the 1% minimum portion of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
This amounted to N55 billion in 2018 – to fund the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).
The Fund is designed to deliver a guaranteed set health services to all Nigerians, through the national network of Primary Health Care Centers.
Also, for the first time since it was founded in 2011. President Buhari approved a grant of N5 billion for the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in March 2020, as part of the response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Also a number of key Federal Hospitals across the country are being upgraded to effectively manage cancer and other major health challenges, Cancer Radiotherapy machines and other equipment are being provided to these hospitals.
The National Hospital in Abuja has already received two LINAC (cancer treatment) machines.
It also invested US$5million each in the Aminu Kano University Teaching Hospital and the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, to establish modern Diagnostic Centres. These Centres have all been completed and are now operational.
President Buhari approved a N49 billion Covid-19 Intervention Fund, for deployment to 52 Federal health institutions in the country.
The Fund is being used to develop healthcare infrastructure and finance equipment upgrades.
The president approved the establishment of the National Emergency Medical System and Emergency Ambulance Scheme (NEMSAS).
NEMSAS has been designed to provide “pre-hospital care” in the form of ambulance services, to promptly transport persons with acute illness or injury to hospitals and emergency medical treatment services for immediate initial care, without such hindrances as police reports or payment before service (i.e., at no immediate cost to the patient at the point of care).
The national pilot, in the FCT, will commence in 2022.
Also, a Cancer Treatment Support Programme, ‘Chemotherapy Access Partnership’, as a public-private partnership between the Federal Government of Nigeria and a Private Sector coalition was inaugurated in 2019, to enable Nigerians access lower-cost, high-quality medications for the treatment of several types of cancer.
In 2021, 12 additional hospitals were approved for inclusion in the programme, to join the existing seven.
On fiscal, trade, monetary and investment reforms, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) in 2017 completed a long-overdue revision of the list of activities that can benefit from Nigeria’s Pioneer Status Incentive, which grants beneficiary companies a 3 to 5-year tax holiday.
Also, the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) has seen total additional inflows from the government of around US$2 billion under the Buhari Administration – since the original US$1 billion which the Fund kicked off with in 2012.
Another achievement in the fiscal and monetary policy was the restoration of Federal Budget to January-December cycle, with the 2020 Budget, for the first time in 12 years.
The introduction, since 2020, of annual Finance (Reform) Bills to accompany the annual Federal Appropriation Bill was another breakthrough achieved by the government.
The government also reformed the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to resolve non-performing loans in the Nigerian Financial Institutions and thus stabilize the Nigerian economy.
The Buhari administration has amended the AMCON Act twice in two years, and the president gave assent to the amendments of the AMCON Act in 2019 and 2021.
”These amendments have contributed to over N1 trillion Naira debt recovery made by AMCON.
”The amendments of 2019 and 2021, a milestone by the same administration, gave AMCON necessary powers to pursue and be more effective in its debt recovery activities, further emphasizing its significance to the administration.
”Above all, the President’s assent to the amendment of 2021 cleared the Legal arguments that ensued on the courts’ jurisdiction over AMCON matters. AMCON courts are now the Federal High Court, Special Tribunal under BOFIA 2020 and the other superior Courts.
”First success was the negotiation for a significant discounting of the debt, to the tune of more than a billion dollars. Since 2017 the NNPC has commenced payment of the discounted arrears to the Oil Companies; as of December 2021, $3.68 billion of the $4.689Mbillion had been paid to the five IOCs,” the presidential aide noted in his special write-up. .
The Buhari administration also introduced a Visa-on-Arrival Policy, as part of Ease of Doing Business Reforms.
”In addition, a comprehensive reform of the existing Visa Regime, leading to the rollout in 2020 of a new and enhanced Visa Policy for Nigeria (including expansion from 6 visa categories to 79; each tailored to a specific type of traveller – 36 Temporary Residence Visas, 15 Permanent Residence Visas, 24 Short Visit Visas, etc.”
On support and provisions of bailout to States, the Buhari Administration has extended more than N2 trillion in bailout packages to State Governments, to enable them to meet their salary and pension obligations, especially in the face of dwindling oil revenues in the first 3 years of the Administration.
The support has come in the form of the following:
– Budget Support Facility (Total of 614 billion Naira extended to the States.
– Paris Club Refunds ($5.4 billion)
– Infrastructure Loans & Refunds: More than 700 billion Naira in refunds for Federal Road projects embarked upon by State Governments.
– Loan Restructuring for Facilities with Commercial Banks: In 2015, the DMO restructured Commercial Bank loans with a total value of N575.516 billion for 23 States to reduce the debt service burden on the states.
In exchange for their loans to State Governments, the banks were issued 20-year FGN Bonds at a yield of 14.83% per annum. The Restructuring Exercise benefited the States through:
• ”Reduction in the monthly debt service burden of States from between 55% to 97% for various States
• Interest rate savings for the States ranging from 3% to 9% per annum;
• Longer repayment period for the loans now converted into Bonds; and
• Freeing up of needed cash to run the machinery of Government.”