By John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has scored President Muhammadu Buhari low in the area of infrastructural development since his assumption of office two years ago.
The forum however, applauded the President for the successes recorded in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency and corruption.
Assessing the Buhari administration in a statement on Friday in Kaduna, the ACF said the government needed to do more on the rehabilitation and building of more roads as well as ensure the completion of vital projects.
The statement signed by the National Publicity SecretaryÂ of the forum, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, called for the completion ofÂ projects like the Baro Port Terminal, Mambila Power station, Kano- Maiduguri dual carriage way, Calabar- Jalingo-Biu-Maiduguri trunk A road, Kano-Lagos Railway and many others in view of their economic values and direct bearing on the lives of the people.Â
The forum also noted that the power privatisation arrangement concluded three years ago, had not yielded the desired result and called on the government to take practical steps to improve power supply in the country.Â
“Power being the driver of the economy has been erratic and low. ACF had earlier called on the federal government to take necessary and practical steps to improve the power supply including reviewing the privatisation.
“The Senate has of recent taken the same position by asking the government to reverse the privatization of the power sector in view of the inability of the private entrepreneurs to improve power supply and distribution” the statement said.
The ACF urged the government to put in place, a policy framework that will encourage private investments in the renewable energy sector to compliment the thermal and hydro generating plants.
Â On employment and the economy, forum applauded the government for initiating the N-power programme, Social Investment Project, diversification in agriculture and solid minerals, recruitmentÂ into the military, Police Force and other security agencies, noting that such initiatives were commendable efforts aimed at reducing unemployment andÂ as well as boosting the economy.Â
The statement called on the government to explain the fate of the $30 billion needed to revive the nation’s ailing economy.Â
“Nigerians need to know the fate of the $30bn loan needed to reflate the economy through massive expenditure and increase in supply of forex thereby exiting the recession. In this respect, we need to see better working relationship between the Executive and the Legislature for good governance.
Governments at state and local governmentÂ levels need to do more to improve the welfare of the citizenry, through empowerment and poverty reduction programme, compulsory education, skills acquisition and also support for micro, small and medium enterprises” the statement said.
The ACF however, commended Buhari for the success in the wars against the Boko Haram insurgents and corruption.Â
According to the forum, the President has succeeded in transparency and accountability in the business of governance.
“The two years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, in the opinion of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has been a success story, as greater openness, transparency and accountability have been entrenched in the business of governance.
“The degrading of the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast, the release of over 100 Chibok girls that were kidnapped and held in captivity three years ago by the Boko haram terrorists and the re-habilitation of Internally Displaced Persons are practical achievements in the area of security.
“The efforts of the Military and other security agencies in tackling insecurity nationwide is also commendable.
“On the anti-corruption crusade, the Agencies responsible have lived up to their responsibilities with the arrest and prosecution of suspected public treasury looters. The whistle blower policy of the government has also yielded positive results with the discoveries of stolen public funds hidden in banks, homes, farms and obscure places and the forfeiture of such monies to the Federal Government.
“However, there is the need to strengthen the anti-corruption agencies through legislation and quick dispensation of justice by the Courts. It should be noted that the economy cannot flourish amid insecurity and corruption, hence the emphasis to tame them”.