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“The Three Changes Nigeria Needs” | Read President Buhari’s Op-Ed in Wall Street Journal

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Buhari Corruption Conference

President Muhammadu Buhari at the London Anti-Corruption Summit in May, 2016.

In an Op-Ed for Wall Street Journal, President Muhammadu Buhari has listed three changes Nigeria needs to be repositioned for inclusive and sustainable growth.

The president listed Restore Trust, Rebalance Our Economy, and Regenerate Growth as part of his administration’s strategies for a better Nigeria. Read below:

Nigeria is at a crossroads. Just over a year ago, people voted in a historic democratic election to end corruption and business as usual, opting instead to build an economy that delivers for all Nigerians.

The old order was based on an unsustainable commodities supercycle. While the boom had many positives and contributed to Nigeria becoming Africa’s largest economy, it fostered an epidemic of corruption and inefficiency. Foreign businesses and financial institutions also benefited as some people spent and sometimes hid huge sums abroad, lifted by the rising tide of oil exports and dollar revenues.

Now we are living in a new world of low energy prices. The economy has slowed while unemployment and inflation have jumped. Longstanding structural imbalances and overdependence on imports have been cruelly exposed. We are an oil-rich nation that imports most of our gasoline. We are a farming nation that imports most of our basic food staples. This is simply not acceptable or sustainable.

Our solutions must be in proportion to the challenges. Fundamental change takes time and we are driving not one but three changes to reposition Nigeria for inclusive growth.

• Restore Trust: We have begun to tackle the endemic corruption and mismanagement that is crippling our economy and corroding trust in our institutions. The anti-corruption fight is at the heart of combating poverty and improving security. We have stepped up enforcement and new prosecutions to get our house in order, and I have called for foreign governments to work with us to identify where funds stolen during previous administrations are lodged and for multi-state cooperation to combat oil theft.

Fighting corruption is not enough. We need accountable government and a public sector that can do more with less. We have already taken initial steps by bringing all government finances into a single treasury account where we can monitor spending and impose discipline, implementing zero-based budgets and benchmarks targeted at waste and fraud, and establishing electronic platforms for government agency interface.

• Rebalance Our Economy: In a world of lower oil prices and dollar revenues, the only sustainable path is to reduce Nigerians’ over-reliance on imports. We must rebalance our economy by empowering entrepreneurs and producers, big and small, to create more of what their fellow Nigerians demand. The supply of foreign exchange to the economy must be increased. This requires radically increasing exports and productivity and improving the investment climate and ease of doing business.

Nigeria’s growth and job creation will be led by the private sector. We are a young, entrepreneurial society with vibrant success stories in new industries such as telecommunications, technology and entertainment. Government is doing its part to lower taxes on small businesses, eliminate bureaucracy to bring the informal economy out of the shadows and provide development funding for priority sectors such as agriculture. The central bank has moved to introduce greater flexibility in our exchange-rate policy. These actions are a downpayment on our people’s ability to succeed.

• Regenerate Growth: We must reposition our economy by attracting investment in domestic industries and infrastructure. Nigeria has huge untapped gas reserves and also a critical shortage of electricity. Our private sector loses too much of its revenue due to brownouts and power outages. Half of my fellow Nigerians have no access to the power grid. Investment in our power infrastructure, restructuring of the state-run oil-and-gas sector and development of other industries such as solid minerals, metals and petrochemicals will help to create a virtuous circle of growth and exports while creating jobs and reducing poverty.

I am optimistic that our actions are providing the breathing room Nigeria needs during this period of fundamental change. But we cannot improve living conditions and restore fiscal health without making people feel safe and secure—just as we cannot defeat militancy without reducing poverty and dislocation.

One of our main achievements this past year has been to unite regional and global allies to push back Boko Haram. What we do in the next three years to build an economic bridge to Nigeria’s future will be just as important for bringing lasting peace and prosperity.

Photo Credit: Presidency

21 Comments

  1. nene+

    June 14, 2016 at 11:08 am

    ………PMB reporting from London.
    When will this foreign president visit Nigeria and talk to Nigerians in Nigeria?

    • Kudos

      June 14, 2016 at 11:20 am

      If he talks, wahala, if he doesn’t talk problem.
      Nene don’t develop high blood pressure all because of APC or Buhari because hospitals in Nigeria may not be able to help you ooooo. A word is enough for the wise.

    • nene+

      June 14, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      hahahahahaha ,you are the one getting high BP searching for my comment.
      I am happy to always dish it out to increase your blood pressure.. wink

    • Wale

      June 14, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      Is trust only about corruption? They have already failed, he still doesn’t get it.

  2. Beauty

    June 14, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Media propaganda everywhere! Cant wait for your four years to be over!

    • John

      June 14, 2016 at 1:40 pm

      No light? blame Fashola, No fuel? blame Kachikwu,
      What does Buhari do? junket.
      Is he junketeer general?

  3. UNCLE GWE GWE GWE

    June 14, 2016 at 11:19 am

    The worst president so far. GEJ was actually a BLESSING

  4. Mr. Egghead

    June 14, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Honestly though, if there is anywhere Buhari has distinguished himself, it is in the art of packaging and propaganda.
    His handlers are really on the top of their game.

    GEJ was terrible at optics and people perpetually saw him as weak and/or clueless. His body posturing and facial grimace was always odd – making him the subject of memes. Who can forget that terrible picture that showed him seemingly “chopping grinds” from another woman at a rally after the Kano bombing.

    Baba Bubu seems to be repairing his international image. The UK seems to have forgotten that General Buhari once tried to kidnap Umaru Dikko from their shores. He is definitely packaging well – while the economy goes to blazes

    • oversabi

      June 15, 2016 at 12:36 am

      Well said. All those plans you have are not going to work if people will be dead from hunger before you implement all those ya big man ideas. Come down to the small man’s level and figure out what is needed. Stop packaging.

  5. nnenne

    June 14, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Time for action. He has ruled Nigeria twice!
    No more proposals.
    Put these ideas to work!
    Lead by example. If you say no medical treatment abroad, save foreign reserve, PRACTICE it.
    APC spinning is out of this world!

  6. Toluwalope

    June 14, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Always misplacing his priorities. The greatest one chance of all time.

  7. nwa nna

    June 14, 2016 at 11:48 am

    All that was stated in the WSJ are very valid points. The only thing is will there be consistent follow through on the part of PMB administration? Because without any sort of follow through all that said is down the drain & back to business as usual.

  8. Adio_Braimoh

    June 14, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    Well said Mr. President! The aim of affair is within your jurisdiction. You are more or less the captain of the ship called ‘Nigeria’ at the moment the ship is on the high sea sailing and presently their is disaster in the ocean, we(Nigerians) pray you and ur crew experience a safe sailing to avert any disaster for an ending safe berth rather than jettison that might leave some property/personnel off board.

  9. jess

    June 14, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    I sincerely think PMB should just move abroad and work from there. That is the only place he speaks and does not talk through his advisers. oh and he also speaks when something tragic happens “in the abroad”

  10. Benny

    June 14, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    The man can barely read
    The man is barely literate
    Stop packaging this man
    He did not write this article

    • ms lala

      June 14, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      I spotted about 10 grammatical errors, but it is okay I believe the President is trying to convey a particular narrative/message to Nigerians. Unfortunately those messages simply aren’t working us.

  11. Bowl

    June 14, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Benny, I concur. He did not write these things!

    • Nahima

      June 14, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      It. Was signed ‘presidency’. Not Buhari

    • Naijatalk

      June 14, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      Madam it was not signed presidency, at least here on BN. The photo credit states presidency.
      Anyway Buhari, well meaning Nigerians want you to do well. However are you willing, are you able to stand up right damn all the consequences and tackle the MAIN problems. You know the sources, some of them are your allies. Are you being honest and truthful knowing that some people are being shielded. These are questions that you will have to answer before a judge and jury greater than any human. I hope you will be ready because the time draweth nigh.

  12. Prince

    June 14, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    I believe in this administration and i am so sure God will grace their efforts in making Nigeria great again.

  13. Ibukunoluwa

    June 15, 2016 at 9:48 am

    May God bring all well-meaning plans to fruition in Jesus name.. Amen

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