There is no doubt that Nigerians are finding it challenging to survive under this current administration of Muhammadu Buhari. There are evidences of this assertion in almost everything that is currently taking place in the country. Prices of even basic goods have gone almost double their initial prices before this present government came on board. Nearly every home and every business in Nigeria is affected in some ways. For instance, a bag of rice, regardless of the brand which used to sell for between N12,000-15,000 is now selling for as much as N18,000-22,000 in the market. Also, a big basin of garri (which used to be the cheapest of the food items) which had sold for N1200-1500 now sells for about N2,500 (depending on the quality). These two examples cited above are just to mention a few.
What about cost of transportation and prices of other goods and services? Things have not just remained the same since President Muhammadu came on board. Business owners‘take homes’ and profits have reduced drastically because peoples’ purchasing power has reduced. Nigeria is suffering from its worst economic crisis in years. The mantra of change that brought this administration into power has so far been on the negative to most Nigerians.
For the second time, the president had appeared before the joint session of the national assembly to present the 2017 budget proposal. Totaling about N7.30tn, the president proposed that 30.7 percent of the 2017 budget amounting to 2.24tn would be committed to capital expenditure which is aimed at pulling the economy out of recession as quickly as possible. It was on this ground that the presidency termed the 2017 budget proposal as “the budget of recovery and Growth”. From the events in the country so far, even the 2016 budget that was tagged “budget of change” hasn’t brought so much positive change to Nigerians but rather the opposite, how much hope can Nigerians then repose in this current budget of recovery and growth? The answer to this question shall be answered as we step into the New Year.
President Buhari must move away from political rhetoric into making things work. What the people are after are evident results and not political mantras and slogans every now and then. Politicians are not trustworthy. They have been known to say what they cannot do. Nigerians are not after whether it a budget of change or a budget of recovery and growth. What an average Nigerian wants is that there is food on his table, and money in his pockets or bank accounts to meet his or her basic needs. Because of the happenings in the country, President Buhari’s popularity has been dwindling. For example, as at June 2016, the president’s approval rating stood at 39 percent as against what it was in October 2015 of 80 percent. This is an indication that the same Nigerians that brought Buhari into power have lost faith in his presidency, barely two years in power.
This is my take as I conclude this short piece. The 2016 budget has come and is almost gone. In a short while from now, the 2017 budget would be in full effect. Most poor and illiterate Nigerians do not even know what a budget is. What this category of people knows is that there is food on their tables, there is constant power supply, roads are good and that they can afford basic things that would enhance their survival. 2019 is around the corner. The president and his team should understand that Nigerians now know that not only can they not afford bad governance and cluelessness; they also have the power to challenge it and hold those in public office to account for their stewardship. Until then, may the good Lord continue to strengthen this Nation and its good people. Thank you for reading.