The tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari and his government has come to an end, leaving behind a legacy of unfulfilled promises, economic challenges, and a nation that is increasingly becoming an object of mockery before the international community.
Despite grandiose campaign pledges, one cannot overlook the multitude of failures and the disillusionment that has engulfed Nigeria.
In July 2018, the Nigerian government announced the launch of a new national carrier, Nigeria Air, as an attempt to revive the collapsed previous carrier.
However, this ambitious project failed to materialize, with the aircraft bearing the logo of Nigeria Air only being sighted at the Abuja airport during the eleventh hour of Buhari’s tenure.
It was later revealed that the aircraft was chartered from Ethiopian Airlines, leading to the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation labeling Nigeria Air as a fraud. This failure not only wasted precious resources but also undermined the nation’s reputation in the aviation industry.
The Nigeria Air debacle is just one in a long list of failed promises by President Buhari.
The pledge to reduce the debt profile and ensure one naira equals one dollar was nothing more than empty rhetoric.
Nigeria’s debt profile skyrocketed from N12.12tn in June 2015 to a staggering N77tn by June 2023. This trajectory means that every Nigerian citizen will be burdened with a debt of over N384,000 at the end of Buhari’s regime.
Another critical promise was the commitment to reduce unemployment and lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. Yet, as Buhari’s term ended, the unemployment rate in Nigeria stood at 9.79% for 2021, with a minimal increase from the previous year.
Alarming statistics from the World Bank revealed that Nigeria is home to 12.9% of the global population living in extreme poverty as of 2023. The country’s inflation rate soared to a 17-year high of 22.04%, exacerbating the hardships faced by Nigerian households.
Nigeria’s power generation capacity witnessed a significant decline during Buhari’s tenure.
Despite the government’s intervention with over N1.51tn invested in the sector since 2015, available power generation capacity dropped by 981.8 megawatts.
The decline from 6,616.28MW in 2015 to 5,634.47MW in August 2022 has left citizens grappling with persistent power outages, hindering economic growth and development.
The litany of unfulfilled promises and the worsening economic situation have not only affected the lives of Nigerians but also damaged the nation’s international reputation.
Nigeria, once seen as the giant of Africa, has become an object of ridicule and skepticism. The failure to address pressing issues and deliver on promises has eroded confidence in the country’s leadership.
With Nigeria now reflecting on eight years of the Buhari government, the question arises: Did Nigeria make a grave mistake by entrusting its future to this administration? The evidence of unfulfilled promises, economic decline, and deteriorating social indicators points to a resounding “yes.”
Nigeria erred by electing Buhari for two terms, and the consequences of this decision will be felt for years to come.
The failures of the Buhari government, including the flop of Nigeria Air, unmet campaign promises, economic decline, and diminishing international standing, have left Nigerians disillusioned and the nation in a state of crisis. As Nigeria moves forward, it must critically assess the decisions made and ensure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated. It is time for a new vision, leadership, and commitment to drive Nigeria towards a future that fulfills the aspirations of its citizens and restores its standing on the global stage.