A SPECIAL REPORT : Street lights street views

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A six-month ministerial dashboard

Though the ministers in President Muhammadu Buhari’s government have only been in office for six months, the THISDAY Editorial Board elected to draw up a ministerial dashboard based on their accomplishments and challenges in the hope that it serves as feedback mechanism on what the people of Nigeria expect from them

Babatunde Fashola (and Mustapha Shehuri)

Power, Works and Housing

Babatunde Fashola, the minister and Mustapha Shehuri, his deputy, have largely struggled to improve the fortunes of the sectors since they assumed office.

While targets for the power sector have been set by the government at 10,000 megawatts (MW) by 2018 through ‘incremental, stable and uninterrupted’ power policy, current realities in power generation, transmission and distribution have remained unconvincing of government’s commitment to improve the country’s power systems. Generation has largely dropped, sometimes to as low as 1,500MW, due to shortage in gas supply to power stations, resulting in frequent blackouts nationwide.

The minister, however, succeeded in resolving a lingering disagreement that would now allow Geometric Aba Power to generate and supply power to the ring-fenced Aba and Ariaria business metropolis. This, according to stakeholders, could rekindle the confidence of investors in government’s commitment to contract sanctity in the country’s power sector. In the works and housing sectors, the ministers have literally done nothing significant other than their recent move to settle outstanding debts owed road contractors. They, however, said they were committed to continue and complete road projects inherited from the immediate past government.

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• Despite privatisation, power generation was low at some 3,000-3,500MW due to gas shortages; distribution companies were unable to meet the metering needs of consumers and had done next to nothing in the area of distribution infrastructure upgrade; and the transmission grid still lacked the capacity to wheel out more than 4,000MW of electricity

• Nigerian roads were in dire need of repairs and work had stopped on the major expressways nationwide

• The housing deficit estimated at 17m had not been addressed and access to cheap mortgages were non-existent

What Nigerians want:

• Electricity 24 hours a day, good roads network and access to affordable housing

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• Clear power road map, clear housing plan

• Road projects hampered by budget but needs clarity on PPPs and concessions

Street light, Street view:

Ibe Kachikwu
Petroleum Resources

Kachikwu, also the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has made attempts to restructure the state’s oil firm and break it into profit-making centres, but his efforts were also dented by prolonged shortages of petrol nationwide.

The scarcity pushed the government to adopt a new product pricing policy it referred to as “price modulation”. In the face of dollar shortages, this was eventually jettisoned, when the government allowed marketers to freely import petrol and sell at a pump price not above N145 per litre.

Also, he has pushed to cut the frequent losses made by NNPC’s subsidiaries in their operations, and publish the corporation’s monthly operations and financial reports. This, he said, was aimed at opening the books of NNPC for public scrutiny.

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• NNPC and its subsidiaries were a cesspit of corruption and inefficiency

• The oil and gas sector was shrouded in secrecy and opacity

• Crude oil theft was at its peak while vandalism of gas pipelines hampered the supply of gas to power stations and industries

• The PIB was not passed in the National Assembly and the refineries not producing

• Fuel imports continued unabated while the subsidy obligations continued to rise

• No Final Investment Decisions on Brass LNG and Trains 7 and 8 of NLNG

What Nigerians want:

• Improved performance, efficiency and an end to leakages in NNPC

• Greater transparency and accountability that is supported by the audited accounts of NNPC every year

• Functioning refineries that are privatised and an end to fuel imports

• Resuscitation and passage of the PIB for better fiscal terms

• New oil bid rounds from which the government can generate revenue

• Concession of the petroleum product pipelines and depot network

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• Reviving comatose NNPC from near death to ground zero

• Better transparency in publication of monthly results of NNPC, but audited reports would provide more clarity

• Kudos for bold action on deregulation

• Bedevilled by lack of PIB, pipeline vandalism and absence of new investments

• Revived refineries, but lack of clarity on gas-to-power plan

Street light, Street view:

Udoma Udo Udoma (and Zainab Ahmed)

Budget and National Planning

After the hiccups that characterised the passage of 2016 budget, Udoma and his deputy, Zainab Ahmed, are now saddled with the task of implementing the biggest budget in the history of Nigeria.

Similarly, the Zero-based Budgeting System (ZBB) has been introduced, a marked departure from the envelop system previously in practice for many years with its attendant flaws. A help desk has also been set up to help ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) get acquainted with this new system.

To ensure the effective implementation of the 2016 budget, the ministry is now fully strengthening its monitoring and evaluation framework to enable it effectively monitor compliance with the objectives of the budget and to achieve all the goals of the budget.

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• Envelop-based budgeting was still place

• Office of the Budget of the Federation was still populated with civil servants more interested in budgetary manipulation

What Nigerians want:

• Improvement in the budgeting process and early transmission of the MTEF/FSP and succeeding budgets to the National Assembly

• An end to budget padding and inconsistencies

• Improved budget monitoring at the implementation stage

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• Despite a shambolic start to the 2016 budget by the Budget Office of the Federation, Udoma skillfully stabilised the budget and ready to go

• Civil servants in the Budget Office were shown the exit for tampering with the budget

Street light, Street view:

Kemi Adeosun

Finance

Since assuming office, one of the priority areas of Adeosun is how to ensure an efficient application of resources. Consequently, she created the Efficiency Unit (E-UNIT) in the ministry to eliminate leakages in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government.

Determined to cut the cost of governance, she has introduced a benchmark on how public funds are spent and has also channelled her energy into ensuring that the Continuous Audit Task Team of the federal government audits the accounts of all MDAs, including the military and paramilitary, which payrolls are currently being audited and are billed to be migrated into the automated systems including the Integrated Personnel and Payment Information System (IPPIS) and Government Financial Management Information System (GFMIS).

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• Partial implementation/enforcement of the Treasury Single Account

• High cost of running government and a rising public sector wage bill

• Domestic and foreign borrowing were under check, but the fuel subsidy bill remained unchecked

• Levies on luxury goods were introduced but never enforced

What Nigerians want:

• A leaner, more efficient and fiscally prudent public sector

• Complete elimination of ghost workers

• An expanded tax base and improved management of government revenue

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• Adeosun has shown promise in fiscal prudence and financial efficiency in the face of dwindling resources

• Yet to provide clarity on external borrowing plan and fiscal policy direction

• The minister has remained hesitant about raising VAT, but has made a good effort at expanding the tax base and compelling tax evaders to pay up

• Worth watching is Adeosun’s effort to increase non-oil revenue in order to reduce Nigeria’s reliance on crude oil earnings

Street light, Street view:

Uguru Usani (and Claudius Daramola)

Niger Delta Affairs

The minister has deployed most of his time analysing the problems bedevilling the region without taking any concrete steps to deal with the issues. Consequently, the issue of unemployment, youth restiveness and the general underdevelopment of the region have remained largely unattended to in the last six months.

With the 338km East-West Road abandoned and the resurgence of militancy in the region, it is evident that Usani and his deputy, Claudius Daramola, need to buckle up.

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• Unemployment and the slow pace of development of the Niger Delta still made it attractive for criminals to engage in oil theft and the establishment of illegal refineries

• The East-West Road remained a mirage

What Nigerians want:

• A vision and plan for the development of the Niger Delta

• Completion of the East-West Road and construction of new highways and bridges for ease of movement in the region

• Skills acquisition and employment programmes for the gainful employment of youths in the Niger Delta

• Better engagement of the communities and leaders in the region that would end the destruction of oil and gas infrastructure

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• No clear vision, no clear solution, no infrastructure plan

• Rising militancy and restiveness across the Niger Delta

Street light, Street view:

Muhammad Dan-Ali

Defence

Since assuming office, Dan-Ali has played largely a ceremonial role at the defence sector as not much has neither been heard nor seen from him. Under his watch, however, the Boko Haram insurgents in the North-east have been given a bloody nose. He is also known to have an excellent working relationship with the service chiefs. But the threat to the nation’s internal security by bandits, including Fulani herdsmen and militants in the Niger Delta would need to engage more of his attention in the coming months as the internal security agencies appear less capable of handling the situation.

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• Boko Haram still occupied large swathes of territory in the Northeast and the death toll from the insurgency was rising

• Suicide bombings were frequent in all states in the Northeast, while Plateau, Kano and Kaduna States were also not immune to suicide bombers

• The military high command was suspected of diverting funds meant to fight the insurgency in the Northeast

• Chibok schoolgirls and thousand of women and children were missing in the Northeast

• Internally displaced persons had taken over the Maiduguri metropolis and thousands more were dispersed in Adamawa, Yobe, Edo, Abuja and neighbouring Cameroun

What Nigerians want:

• An end to the insurgency in the Northeast

• The return of the Chibok girls and thousands of women and children held hostage by Boko Haram

• Marauding herdsmen kept under check and restricted to cattle ranches

• Nipping the Niger Delta insurgency in the bud

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• Inspite of the minister, the military high command has significantly pushed back Boko Haram, for which credit must go to the Commander-in-Chief

• But major challenges now building up with herdsmen, with a theatre of conflict being opened up in the Niger Delta

Street light, Street view:

Okechukwu Enelemah (and Aisha Abubakar)

Trade and Investment

Enelemah and his deputy, Aisha Abubakar, have made remarkable efforts to consolidate on the progress made by the Jonathan’s administration in directing foreign investments into Nigeria. The most significant of the inflow is the $6 billion worth of investments that Chinese and Nigerian business men committed to during Buhari’s visit to China earlier in the year. Also in the kitty is the $150 million investment by Indorama Petrochemicals in a fertiliser export plant, now completed for the local and export markets.

With a capacity for 2,300 metric tonnes of Ammonia and 4,000 metric tonnes of granulated urea per day, Indorama is expected to create 1,500 direct and indirect jobs for the economy and it represents yet another milestone for the ministry.

His ministry has also strengthened its relations with the private sector to develop internationally acclaimed industrial zones for export, these include, Ladol Free Zone, Snake Island Integrated Free Zone and Ogun Guangdong Free Zone. He has facilitated a comprehensive review of policies that adversely impede ease of doing business in the country. The president is expected to announce the reviewed policies and inaugurate a council that monitors their implementation. Specifically, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has begun the process of deploying a new application that will help speed up registration of businesses and decentralise its operations nationwide.

Under his watch, a new sugar company – Oyo State Sugarcane Processors Limited in Iseyin — is scheduled to start production before the end of the year, while six new companies have already started auto-assembly operations in the country. They are Honda, Tata, Coscharis Auto, Kewalram Charai, Perfections, and Aston motors. An additional five auto companies, including Century (Toyota), Higer, Leventis, Beiben and Tilad are looking to start before the end of the year.

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• A National Industrial Policy and Automotive Policy had been unveiled

• Backward integration programmes for the cement and sugar industries were in full gear

• Enabling environment was attracting investors into other sectors other than oil and gas

What Nigerians want:

• Implementation of the impressive policies inherited from the previous administration

• More import substitution and backward integration programmes to encourage investment in other sectors of the economy

• Enforcement and continuity of contracts

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• No clear policy on trade, import substitution and investment to increase FDI

• Good talk on creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive

Street light, Street view:

Solomon Dalung

Sports and Youth Development

Sport has experienced contrasting fortunes under Dalung. The Golden Eaglets brought fame to the country when they won an historic fifth FIFA U17 World Cup in Chile last year at the expense of Mali. The victory put a gloss on Nigeria’s record as the world’s most successful nation in the age grade category. The U23 followed in the same path, when they won the Africa U23 Nations Cup in Senegal by beating Egypt.

Also last year, Nigeria shattered the myth when the men’s national basketball team, The Tigers, secured an historic Afro basket triumph in Tunisia after they beat Senegal. The victory handed Nigeria automatic qualification for the basketball event at the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil. It will also make it the second time Nigeria will be playing in Olympic basketball event, having achieved similar feat in London four years ago.

But these are isolated achievements as sport has stalled like a rudderless ship under Dalung’s watch. First, Nigeria failed to qualify for the second successive Africa Cup of Nations tournaments after Egypt edged out the Super Eagles from the event billed for Gabon next year. He has also failed to reverse the factional crisis at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) with both Amaju Pinnick and Chris Giwa claiming to be the president of the football federation.

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• There was no coherent policy for the administration of sports, especially football

• Squabbles and the divisions in the administration of football remained unresolved

• Mismanagement and paucity of funds resulted in Nigeria’s underperformance in major sporting events

• No plan to gainfully engage youths and create employment opportunities for them

What Nigerians want:

• Government and private sector funding for sports development in the country

• Transparency and end of graft in sports administration

• A better and visionary NFF

• Youth and entrepreneurship programmes

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• Sports, especially football, is far worse off than Dalong met it

• Clueless and no plan drawn up for youth development

Street light, Street view:

Lai Mohammed

Information and Culture

Many have accused Mohammed of failing to draw a line between politics and governance as he has spent most of his precious time blaming the past administration for the visible inability of the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to roll back the sliding economy.

Although his job is to manage information about government policies, Mohammed has sometimes been caught napping, with the public seeing him as a propagandist rather than an informer, being confused by conflicting information disseminated about key government policies, including the recent upward review of petrol price.

The minister would need to harmonise the several information management units of the government to ensure that Nigerians have clear and reliable information about the programmes and policy of the Buhari administration.

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• Nigeria had missed the deadline for the digital switchover twice

• All the agencies under the information ministry, except the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), were under-performing

• Whereas the culture and tourism ministry had not been merged with information, the sector was still failing to contribute significantly to GDP

What Nigerians want:

• Policies and an enabling environment to attract investments in hospitality and tourism sector

• Merger of the NBC with Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for enhanced licensing and administration of frequency spectrums in the country

• Efficiency and transparency in the production and distribution of the set up boxes

• Full restructuring and commercialisation of NTA, NAN, FRCN and VON to profitable entities

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• Active minister in information management, but yet to shed his campaign mode and focus on governance

• Promising start but a lot needs to be done in culture and tourism

• More work would also be required in turning around the agencies under his ministry

Street light, Street view:

Isaac Adewole (and Osagie Ehanire)

Health

Adewole and his deputy, Dr Osagie Ehanire, have made some good strides since they assumed duties six months ago. To expand the scope of the Universal Health Coverage, the minister initiated a plan to build 10,000 health clinics across the 774 local councils across the country. They have also effectively checkmated the spread of Lassa Fever.

But in recent times, the ministry has been exposed by foreign global donors as a cesspool of graft. The indictment of Nigeria by Global Fund and GAVI, two Geneva-based global institutions, would compel Nigeria to cleanse its dirty and corrupt books.

Adewole is, however, a good fit for the Health ministry. He understands the sector, he is tactful and dynamic, but would need to avoid overt meddlesomeness, which his intervention in the Medical and Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) suggests.

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• Threat of doctors’ strike

• Underfunded and ill-equipped hospitals and clinics

• Capital flight through medical tourism

• Prevalence of malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS leading to early deaths

• Infant and maternal mortality was still high while life expectancy was low at 52.43 for men and 53.10 for women

What Nigerians want:

• Concerted strategy to tackle malaria, tuberculosis, infant and maternal mortality

• Improved funding for primary and tertiary health institutions nationwide

• Improved conditions of service and welfare for doctors

• Disease control programmes and improvement in the management of HIV/AIDS cases in the country

• Construction of world class medical facilities to reduce medical tourism

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• Health sector is in dire need of a clear vision and strategic plan for primary and healthcare institutions, as that is still missing

• Minister yet to address the graft in his ministry

Street light, Street view:

Adamu Adamu (and Anthony Anwukah)

Education

Adamu appears to be struggling to shrug off the mixed feelings that greeted Buhari’s preference for him as the substantive minister over his deputy, Anthony Anwukah, a professor of education.

The ministry has subsequently been on the slow lane as many issues adversely affecting education in the country have remained unresolved. Many of the electioneering promises by Buhari, including employment of 5,000 teachers are yet to be fulfilled. Meanwhile, there are subtle threats to the stability of the university system as lecturers being owed salaries are threatening to down tools even as the Non-Academic Staff Union is preparing to resist a planned reduction of non-academic staff in Nigerian universities.

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• Falling education standards across primary, secondary and university education

• Threats of strike by university lecturers

• Absence of training for teachers and lecturers across board

• Absence of research in Nigerian universities

• Broken down school infrastructure and facilities

• Capital flight through education tourism

• A humongous education ministry with the largest number of the agencies in the public sector all falling over themselves

• Graft and inefficiency in the sector

What Nigerians want:

• Improved education standards through a Strategic Master Plan that addresses the needs and restructuring of the sector

• More funding for education

• Better educated and trained teachers and lecturers

• Better conditions of service and welfare for teachers and lecturers

• A trimmed education ministry and consolidation of its several parastatals

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• The right sound bites from the minister, but no results yet

• He bungled the sack and appointment of university vice chancellors

Street light, Street view:

Chris Ngige

Labour and

Employment

Although Ngige has weathered the storm of the first dispute between labour and government over the upward review of petrol price, more potential crisis lay ahead of him.

With negotiations ongoing over the appropriate price of petrol and workers’ demand for an upward review of minimum wage, Ngige has his plate full and his competence as a manager of government-labour relations would soon be tested. So far his handling of the protest against petrol price increase, showed him as being abreast of the dynamics of labour relations. Meanwhile, the minister needs to also begin to tell Nigerians his strategy for implementing some key policies his ministry has been saddled with. These include creation of employment for the army of unemployed, recruitment of 5,000 teachers and provision of unemployment benefits for the jobless.

Where we were on May 29, 2015

• Rising unemployment

• Restive labour unions in the education and healthcare sectors

• Non-payment of salaries by several states of the federation

What Nigerians want

• An enabling environment and strategies for job creation and employment opportunities

• Improved working conditions and welfare for workers

• Payment of salaries as and when due

• Improved negotiations with labour to avert strikes

What the minister has done or is doing to get there

• Under Ngige, unemployment has remained high and is rising

• But he managed the NLC fuel strike effectively and broke the back of labour

• Needs to do a lot more work on job creation

• His negotiations skills on the demands for a review of the national minimum wage will be put to the test

Street light, Street view:

Ogbonnaya Onu

Science and Technology

Onu has refocused the ministry on its mandate of applying science technology and innovation to drive economic growth, making several trips to China, Indonesia and Korea where MoUs have been signed between those countries and Nigeria. Since assumption of duty as minister, he has aligned the ministry’s 17 parastatals and agencies with Nigerian universities and industries. According to him, researches developed by the ministry should no longer be left on the shelves or libraries, saying no nation ever developed without the application of science and technology. He has devoted 6 per cent of the ministry’s appropriation to research and development.

As part of his linkage programmes, FIIRO, one of the ministry’s agencies, is collaborating with NASCO in Jos for the production of vitamin enriched biscuits for both the Nigerian army and school children, which will form part of its school feeding programme. Also, another agency, the National Chemical Institute for Chemical Technology, has developed a home grown solution to the ravaging tomato’s pest tuta absoluta, otherwise known as tomato ‘Ebola.’

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• Nigeria was technologically backward and reliant on technology transfers

What Nigerians want:

• Technological advancement through research and development, innovation and reverse engineering

• Reward and recognition for technological breakthroughs

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• Good talk, no results yet

Street light, Street view:

Hadi Sirika

Aviation

Rated as a round peg in a round hole, having being a stakeholder in the aviation sector, Sirika was expected to turn aviation around. However, faced with the challenge of paucity of funds and high level of deterioration of airport infrastructure, the minister is turning to private players and investors to play prominent roles in lifting the airports out of their present decayed state.

A financial transaction committee has been set up for the establishment of the national carrier to compete with others, including British Airways, Emirate and Ethiopian airlines. Nigeria, rated as a viable aviation hub in West and Central Africa, is said to have market potential of 600 million people.

With the plan to concession the nation’s 22 airports, the ongoing infrastructure upgrade of four modern airport terminals in Lagos, Abuja Port Harcourt and Kano being handled by the Chinese is expected to be completed before the end of the year. However, Sirika still has his head in the clouds on the establishment of a national carrier, a project which has very little hope of seeing the light of day.

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• Air safety still left a lot to be desired

• Domestic airlines were in dire straits and bogged down by debt

• Airport upgrade and expansion had been abandoned

• Airport infrastructure was substandard

• Graft and inefficiency in the aviation sector

What Nigerians want:

• Safer and secure skies

• Consolidation in the aviation sector for improved funding and economies of scale

• Completion of airport projects

• Upgrade of airport infrastructure to world class standards

• Concession of the airports

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• The right sound bites from the minister, but no results yet

• He would do better by shelving his grandiose plan for a national carrier

Street light, Street view:

Abubakar Malami

Attorney General and Minister of Justice

So far, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has yet to prove cynics wrong that he would not run the ministry the way it was under the previous regime. Although, he started very well by meeting with the ministry’s staff and listened to their grievances, there is little evidence to prove that he is addressing the major challenges brought to his attention.

Similarly, his attempt to lead negotiations on behalf of the federal government on the N780 billion fine imposed on MTN Nigeria Limited has been stalled, leaving Nigerians wondering if the telecommunications giant has been let off the hook.

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• Widespread corruption in country

• Non-prosecution of thousands of prison suspects awaiting trial

What Nigerians want:

• Speedy prosecution of suspects

• Creation of special courts to speedily try corruption cases

• Diligent prosecution of corruption cases

• Institutions reforms to check graft

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• In line with the anti-corruption mantra of the administration, Malami, unlike his predecessors, has not tampered with or obstructed investigations by the anti-corruption agencies

Street light, Street view:

Rotimi Amaechi

Transportation

Amaechi has been preoccupied with the completion of the rail tracks linking the North, West and South-east of the country. Also on the block is the 186km Kaduna-Abuja rail track, which is billed for inauguration by Buhari before the end of the year.

Beyond completing projects started by the Goodluck Jonathan administration, he has committed to building a University of Transportation, where Nigerians in the rail sector would acquire skills for the production of spare parts that would be needed when all the regions get connected with rail tracks.

Recently, Amaechi held a series of meetings with stakeholders to map out an efficient road sector master plan, even as he plans to harness the advantages of the maritime sector, which he believes could rake in substantial foreign exchange for the country.

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• Railway rehabilitation and expansion was at its infancy with a few functional rail lines

• Key railway projects had been stalled due to lack of counterpart funding

• Port services were still bogged by bottlenecks and tollgates set up by a plethora of agencies at the seaports

What Nigerians want:

• Functional railways crisscrossing the country and enhancing the movement of goods and commuters

• Counterpart funding to speed up the construction of new rail projects

• Elimination of tollgates and graft at the seaports

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• The right sound bites from the minister, but no results yet

• Distracted by Rivers politics

Street light, Street view:

Abdulrahman

Dambazzau

Interior

The rising internal security challenges in the country may have tasked Dambazzau’s famed intellect, as the defeat of the terrorist Boko Harm sect on the North-eastern flank of the country yields ground to a new threat: the marauding Fulani herdsmen, who maim and kill farmers in a bid to grab grazing land for their cattle. In the Niger Delta, militancy is on the upsurge, threatening the security of crude oil and gas pipelines used for exports and domestic consumption.

Dambazzau as minister of interior supervises the police and the civil defence, both organisations are primarily responsible for internal security. He would, therefore, need to work with other ministries, including defence and the office of the National Security Adviser to deal with the worsening internal security situation.

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• Rising crime wave, especially kidnapping

• Prisons bursting at the seams

• Low moral of officers and men in the police force

• Officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) unable to police the country’s borders

What Nigerians want:

• Safer and secure cities, towns and villages

• Construction of more prisons and their decongestion

• Reform of the police force and improved welfare for the police

• Reform of the NIS

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• Good plan for the police and immigration, but weak response to herdsmen and cattle rustling

Street light, Street view:

Audu Ogbeh (and Heineken Lokpobiri)

Agriculture

Ogbeh, the experienced farmer and politician, has been very articulate about the challenges of the sector and the way forward to making the country self-sufficient in food production.

With Heineken Lokpobiri, his deputy, constantly by his side, Ogbeh has spoken eloquently about the need for government to encourage commercial farming by adequately funding the sector and providing improved seedlings and farming inputs to the small scale farmers.

It is, however, yet to be seen how he, in concrete terms, intends to take the agriculture sector forward.

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• The emphasis on improving agriculture output for food security started with the last administration

• Enhanced distribution of fertilizer and elimination of middlemen in the supply chain

What Nigerians want:

• Food security and job creation through farming activities

• Single digit loans and micro-credit schemes for farmers

• Import substitution strategies that would reduce food imports and conserve foreign exchange

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• Has transformed the Sokoto/Kebbi axis to a massive rice growing belt

• Moving towards import substitution

• But a lot more needs to be done in other states and other cash crops in terms of policy and execution

Street light, Street view:

Adebayo Shittu

Communication

Technology

Shittu’s promise to make the telecommunications sector the country’s cash cow has been hampered by lack of broadband infrastructure.

The deficiency of broadband, which has 10 per cent penetration is negatively impacting on the telecommunication services as both the major and small operators are said to be delivering services below optimal level.

Of great interest to many Nigerians is the N780 billion fine slammed on MTN, by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), for the violation of the SIM card mandatory registration regulations. While MTN and government have agreed to settle out of court, only N50 billion has so far been paid while further negotiations on the fine have been stalled.

However, the minister’s moves to acquire two more satellites to complement the NIGCOMSAT 1R is seen as a step in the right direction. Another cheering news from the sector is the provision of an IOT services by NIGCOMSAT Limited to Belarus for the next 15 years. The country will earn substantial foreign exchange from this deal.

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• Nigeria had achieved a teledensity of 75 per cent but was still lagging behind in broadband penetration

• The telecommunications sector’s contribution to GDP had risen to 11 per cent

What Nigerians want:

• Improved and cheaper access to broadband

• Improved regulatory oversight of the telecoms operators

• Enforcement of standards and quality of service

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• Shittu more than anything else has focused on the N780 billion fine imposed on MTN Nigeria Limited by NCC

• He had made very little effort to improve access to broadband

Street light, Street view:

Muhammed

Musa Bello

Federal Capital Territory

Unlike his predecessors, Bello has been a quiet operator. He faced enormous task of repositioning the Federal Capital Territory to be one of the 20 most developed cities in the world. As pointers, part of his task is to improve the territory’s environment, transportation, waste management and development of the satellite towns in view of population upsurge. Not much improvement has been noticed though except that recently he dissolved the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) to rid the territory of filth, street beggars, street hawkers and all other environmental problems. The moved was to help the AEPB recover debt to the tune of N9.8 billion.

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• The Abuja metropolis witnessed growth that was rivaled only by Lagos

• But its suburbs remained unplanned and lacked basic amenities

• Also the street hawkers, which Nasir el-Rufai got rid of as FCT minister, had resurfaced

What Nigerians want:

• Deployment of infrastructure and amenities in Abuja’s suburbs and shantytowns

• A drop in the crime wave

• A clean and secure city

• A good transportation network and befitting airport

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• Good talk, no results yet

Street light, Street view:

Kayode Fayemi

Solid Minerals

Easily one of the sharpest minds in the Buhari administration, Fayemi has methodically approached his brief. He says given the prostrate state of the economy, the nation needs to diversify its revenue base in order to achieve sustainable growth. For him, the solid minerals sector offers sustainable alternative to oil if only it could be properly organised.

Subsequently, the minister has inaugurated a 17-man committee to develop a 24-month short-term plan, 10-year mid-term plan, and 25-year long term plan for the solid minerals industry. The committee is chaired by Prof. Ibrahim Garba and co-chaired by Prof. Siyan Malomo.

Hopefully, the committee’s report and recommendations would give the federal government direction in the sector that has remained a potential cash cow of the nation for years.

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• Other than limestone and, to a lesser extent, stone quarries, Nigeria’s vast mineral resources remained untapped

• Illegal mining activities also deprived the government from revenue

• Moribund steel pants in Ajaokuta and Aladja

What Nigerians want:

• A concerted and diligent march towards the exploration and exploitation of the country’s vast mineral resources

• Mining of coal for coal powered stations as an alternative to thermal energy

• Privatisation of the Ajaokuta steel plant to serious investors with deep pockets to turn it around

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• Clear vision and plan, but a lot needs to be done on execution

• Mapping of the country’s mineral resources and a plan for the re-award of licences to serious investors

Street light, Street view:

Geoffrey Onyema (and Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim)

Foreign Affairs

Believing that the country’s foreign policy has to be informed by its basic domestic policy objectives, Onyema has skilfully narrowed the scope of his office to getting foreign countries relevant to the realisation of the success of the Buhari administration’s priorities programmes, Security, Economy and Corruption.

He has, therefore, arranged several bilateral discussions and visits between President Buhari and the relevant foreign heads of states, including US President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping of China.

Although the visits have come under severe criticisms by Nigerians, Onyema has been quick to defend them as a necessity to help Nigeria resolve some of its security and economic challenges. For instance, he said the visits to Benin, Chad and Niger were to seek collaboration in tackling the insurgency which was a global issue and was ravaging the North-east region of Nigeria.

Similarly, he said, in the face of falling oil price, the president also emphasised the need to diversify into Agriculture, Solid Minerals Mining. And to woo direct foreign investors into those sectors, the president visited Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya and South Africa where he signed agreements and MoUs.

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• An incoherent foreign policy

• Relations were strained with some of Nigeria’s closest allies such as the United States

• Nigeria’s inability to stem the Boko Haram insurgency and free the Chibok girls got the past administration a lot of bad international press

What Nigerians want:

• A coherent foreign policy that seeks to protect the interest of Nigeria and its citizens first

• A rebranded image for Nigeria

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• A lot of travel and good talk, but no results yet

Street light, Street view:

Amina Mohammed

Environment

Mohammed, who came to her job with vast experience as a senior presidential aide on the Millennium Development Goals (MDAs), upon assuming office identified the major challenges of her ministry as taking key climate action and protecting the environment. Consequently, she has taken steps to facilitate the clean-up of the Niger Delta, especially the Ogoni land using her influence with the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP.

The minister has also worked and got approval for Nigeria by UNEP to trade with other countries in all endangered plants and animal species.

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• Gas flaring and environmental degradation of the Niger Delta remained unaddressed

• Desert encroachment was also ignored

• Refusal disposal and treatment of non-biodegradable waste remained a problem and threat to the environment

What Nigerians want:

• A clean and green environment

• End of water, land and air pollution

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• Clean-up of Ogoniland and plan to limit usage of non-biodegradable cellophane bags, wraps and plastics

• But needs action on gas flares, climate change and desert encroachment

Street light, Street view:

Aisha Alhassan

Women Affairs

When Alhassan assumed duty last November, she pledged to revamp the National Gender Policy so as to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerian women. She spoke specifically about empowering rural women, whom she said made up 70 per cent of the rural population.

But six months on, the minister who has the responsibility of mainstreaming opportunities for women and the girl-child has not been vocal enough in this regard as the only legal instrument for achieving this, the Gender Equality Bill, pending before the National Assembly suffered a fatal blow early in the year as it was killed in the Senate.

She was not known to have actively supported the bill neither has anything been heard from her about the missing Chibok girls.

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• Violence against women and children remained on the rise

• Non-domestication of the Child Rights Act in many states of the federation

• Lip service was paid to the education of the girl-child

What Nigerians want:

• Micro-credit schemes for female farmers and small businesses run by women

• Domestications of the Child Rights Act in every state of the federation and its enforcement

• Equal opportunities for women through the reintroduction and passage of the Gender Equality Bill by the National Assembly

• Education for the girl-child

• End of forced and early marriages

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• No coherent policy that could be attributed to the minister

Street light, Street view:

Suleiman Adamu

Water Resources

Adamu, an engineer, met a daunting task of providing water for about 54 million Nigerians who do not have access to potable water. Also calling for his attention were dozens of abandoned dams and irrigation projects spread across the several river basins in the country.

The minister, however, thought it was better for him to approach his job by ascertaining the precise depth of the problem, hence he commissioned the updating of the water needs of Nigerians.

To his credit, the updates of the national database on water supply and sanitation for all states in Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory is now at an advanced stage even as he targets increasing the irrigable land in the country from 70,000ha to 500,000ha in the next 15 years.

Adamu is also working on a new nationwide water and sanitation programme that would be partly private-sector driven, that would create job opportunities for the youths who would be trained on water and sanitation-based enterprises.

Where we were on May 29, 2015:

• 54 million Nigerians lacked access to portable water and clean sanitation

• Dozens of abandoned dams and irrigation projects

What Nigerians want:

• Access to clean water

• Resuscitation of dams and irrigation projects for enhanced farming activities

What the minister has done or is doing to get there:

• Work has reached an advanced stage on a new nationwide water sanitation programme, but execution on increasing access to portable water remains to be seen

Street light, Street view: PDF VERSION