The Tasks Before Next President, By Hurso Adam
The Nigerian 2023 election will undoubtedly shape the future of Africa’s most populous country. It is a crucial moment that will determine whether the nation progresses or regresses. The choice of who holds the reins of power in Nigeria will impact generations to come. It is, therefore, essential that the electorate is well-informed and engaged during the electoral process these last few months.
Nigeria’s main political parties have already presented their plans and policies for the 2023 election. Some of the key issues they are presenting before the people include education, health, security, economy, and infrastructure. Each party’s manifesto offers an insight into what they are proposing. By reading and understanding these manifestos, citizens can make informed decisions.
Like many other countries, Nigeria is facing some serious security challenges, including the Boko Haram, kidnappings, and oil theft.
Honestly, Nigeria’s challenges are in the northern region. The main problems facing northern Nigeria are poverty, insecurity, poor infrastructure, lack of education, water scarcity, and environmental degradation. To address these issues, improved funding and support must be provided to invest in education and infrastructure, security initiatives must be strengthened to ensure stability and safety, and sustainable agricultural practices should be implemented to improve food security and reduce environmental impacts.
To best address these issues, the Nigerian government at all levels should invest in better intelligence and surveillance programmes, strengthen border security and control, support local communities to improve their economic stability, and invest in counter-radicalization efforts. The international organizations should provide further support, financial and technical aid, and prioritize human rights while addressing these security challenges.
Another major issue facing Nigeria is the abject poverty. To end this the government should prioritize the creation of jobs, support small businesses and the informal sector, invest in education, promote financial inclusion (poverty in the northern region is as a result of financial exclusion of the population) and further continue the implementation of social protection programmes. Corporate world and international organisations should work to provide financial and technical aid to combat poverty, while individuals and NGOs can assist by providing resources and volunteer labour.
In order to address governance problems in Nigeria, the government of President Buhari focused on making public institutions more transparent and accountable through open treasury and participatory budget process. Also the 2022 electoral reform, and strengthening the rule of law. The civil society organisations are becoming vibrant and are playing an important role by helping advance transparency and accountability efforts and providing a forum for citizens to voice their complaints and grievances. Presently one may argue Nigeria is advancing to become one of the nations that freedom reign.
Again, for Nigeria to progress forward, there is every need for local governments to function autonomous. Local government autonomy is an important factor in ending poverty and insecurity in Nigeria. Autonomous local governments can help improve their communities by creating better public services, promoting inclusive economic growth, and encouraging participatory decision-making. Government at the grassroots levels can increase security through improved intelligence and surveillance programs, effective border control and management, and improved inter-agency cooperation. Finally, they can also help reduce the risk of radicalisation, while also providing a platform for citizens to voice their concerns and grievances. The disappearance of local government system in 2003 was the beginning of the problems of Nigeria. Some greedy governors don’t want a functioning and autonomous system of governance at the grassroots.
One good take from the leading presidential candidates is that they all promise to make local government autonomy a priority.
The next president of Nigeria should strive to emulate the example set by President Muhammadu Buhari, who has demonstrated his commitment to honesty and integrity throughout his presidency.
He has been a vocal proponent of transparency in governance, and has championed anti-corruption efforts. Buhari’s efforts at bringing the economy out of recession, investing in social infrastructure, and improving security are quite remarkable. Nigeria made great strides in reclaiming more local governments from Boko Haram insurgents in 2020. This was largely due to the increased cooperation between the Nigerian military and local communities, improved intelligence and surveillance efforts, and strengthened border security. The government has taken steps to promote social cohesion, support economic stability in local communities, and implement counter-radicalisation programmes. These efforts have been successful in taking back more local governments from Boko Haram and restoring security and stability to the northeastern region of Nigeria.
Nigeria is facing a number of maritime challenges, including illegal fishing, piracy, and oil theft. To address these issues, the government has implemented the Falcon Eye project, which aims to improve maritime security through enhanced intelligence and surveillance capabilities, though there is less inter-agency cooperation to utilise the system maximally.
The Falcon Eye project is already showing encouraging results, and has the potential to make significant progress in protecting Nigeria’s maritime resources from exploitation and misuse.
It is difficult to predict the future of global/Nigeria’s economy, but there are some strategies that could help make it stronger in Nigeria. These include investing more in infrastructure, creating more jobs, developing more sustainable resources and production methods, encouraging foreign investment, and improving access to financial services and markets. There is need to further encourage a stronger economic ties between Nigeria and its neighbours could be beneficial. Finally, improving the quality of Nigerian education could also help the economy in the long-term. I hereby pray for peaceful elections in Nigeria
Adam, Ph.D wrote from Abuja