Corruption in the government of former President Goodluck Jonathon was phenomenal, manifesting in many folds that every Nigerian was familiar with. By 2015, Nigerians came to terms with the rot left behind by the government and resolved to shove it aside while investing their hope on a new government through the last polls.
On assumption of office in May 29, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari met a near empty treasury and was almost incapacitated by the crash of Foreign Exchange Market and a gripping depression that rendered the national economy laterally prostrate. Courage, perseverance and ingenuity made the government to paddle its way out of the tidal wave.
Nigerians eagerly wanted President Buhari to make good his campaign promise to fight corruption. Doing so, indeed offed the pathway for his government to immediately resolve the dilemma about raising funds to run governance. This is against the backdrop that the bulk of Nigeria’s money was lodged in the pocket of buccaneers and vampires that peopled the immediate past administration.
Indeed, the administration of President Buhari could not be good to itself if it had downplayed the level of obscene corruption perpetrated under Jonathan. Using the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC) as a good instrument, the government made startling discoveries of huge sums of monies starched in different bank and private homes more by those who served Jonathan closely.
More shocking for Nigerians was the daring moves by the EFCC to uncover the sum of $2.1 billion meant for armed purchase and allegedly shared by the protégées of former President at the instance of former National Security adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki. The greed and inordinate desire for wealth acquisition by officials of past government, at the expense of Nigerians put the plans by the government to fight insecurity in jeopardy while empowering Boko Boko Haram to gain footholds in strategic parts of the Northern Nigeria.
The EFCC has not stopped making huge recoveries of funds stolen under the Jonathan’s government since 2015. The anti-graft Commission disclosed how it recovered the sum of N473 billion, $98 million, €7 million, and £294,000 from heists in the past government, in one year alone.
Tongues had wagged on the amount of $43 million discovered in an apartment in Ikoyi area of Lagos and another N329 billion from petroleum marketers in Kano while withholding tax of over N27.7 billion was retrieved from banks.
The lutocracy in the past administration was further exposed with recoveries made by the EFCC from former Nigerian Petroleum minister, Allison Madueke, now answering charges on money laundry in the United Kingdom. From the former Minister alone, the EFCC recovered the sum of N47.2 billion and $487.5 million in cash and properties. This is besides the huge amounts traced to her account by the British authorities and on which she is being held and investigated.
The past government no doubt injured Nigeria in many ways, creating a forlorn hope for the country’s future. Yet, the PDP gets rattled when references are made to the recklessness that footnoted the government it braced for a stretch of 16 years. Indeed, no sane government overlooks such huge transgression and mindless rape of Nigeria, as done by the PDP and ever make headway.
From indications, Nigerians are never again browbeaten by the PDP grandstanding on issues. They know that the PDP is no longer a party to trust and have chosen to stay aloof of its attempts to hoodwink them for patronage. The PDP is in disarray, since its center can no longer hold, even with repeated attempts to regroup.
Kudos goes to the Government of President Buhari on efforts to give Nigeria a clean break from the past, creating a new lease of life for the country to survive. Under the APC government, corruption has stopped gaining footholds while national resources are now being channeled into the productive sector.
The level of success by the government of President Buhari started with the implementation of the TSA and the BVN which closed avenues for corrupt government officials to exploit. The TSA and BVN hold the key for exposing the acts of corruption of the past, while entrenching probity and accountability in public service. It is a good thing to note that the TSA raked in the sum N8 trillion, an amount that would have been lodged in private pockets given the practice of the past.
The TSA alone helped to weed out 55, 000 ghost workers from the federal service. The government of President Buhari also deserves praises by concentrating on the development of infrastructure in all parts of Nigeria. The rail lines the government is constructing across the geo-political zones, no doubt have the potential to turn Nigeria into an economic hub in the immediate future with tendency to elongate the span of network of motorable roads in the country.
Like never before, the Buhari’s administration has welled up opportunities in national economy, anchored on diversification agenda. The agenda has placed agriculture on the driver’s seat, catalyzing the growth of the non-oil sector. Currently, Rice production has become a revolution, placing Nigeria in the league of world mega producer to earn more foreign exchange. This trend should continue with tendency to turn around the fortune of the country in a short time.
By Akinloye James