President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure as the president of Nigeria is coming to an end, with today being his final day in office. He was originally inaugurated as a democratically elected president on 29 May 2015 and will hand over the reins to his successor, Bola Tinubu, tomorrow.
During the 2015 election, Mr Buhari achieved a remarkable feat by convincing Nigerians to engage in a previously unprecedented action – transferring power to the opposition party at the national level. In exchange for this trust, the Nigerian people anticipated that he and his party, the APC, would undertake a challenging task: guiding their nation through troubled economic and political times.
His eight-year reign as president has seen the nation wriggle through numerous challenges, with inflation and unemployment at worse levels than he met them. Some Nigerians believe the Buhari administration has performed way below the bar it set for itself in seeking office. But, we examined data on some key indicators to see how Buhari performed in the last eight years.
Poverty and Unemployment Rate
When President Buhari took over power in the second quarter of 2015, Nigeria’s unemployment rate rose to 9.9 per cent in the third quarter of that year from 8.2 per cent in the second quarter, according to the NBS.
According to the latest information available on the NBS dashboard, Nigeria’s unemployment rate stands at 33.3 percent, which means approximately 23.2 million individuals are unemployed. This represents the highest level of unemployment the country has experienced in at least 13 years and ranks as the second-highest unemployment rate globally.
In addition, the most recent poverty survey conducted by the NBS revealed that 63 percent of the Nigerian population, nearly 133 million people, are considered multidimensionally poor. This is a significant increase compared to the pre-2015 figures, where only 53 percent of Nigerians fell into the category of multidimensional poverty.
Foreign Exchange ( Naira to Dollar)
In November 2015, just six months after President Buhari assumed office, the Nigerian naira was exchanged at a rate of N197 to the US dollar. Since then, the country’s currency has faced a persistent devaluation, with two such instances occurring in 2020 alone.
In the current year, 2023, the value of the naira has been fluctuating within the range of N445 to N463 per dollar in the more flexible spot market. However, in the black market, which is widely used by both Nigerians and foreigners, currency dealers are exchanging the naira at rates of N730 and higher for a single US dollar.
According to the Debt Management Office (DMO), Nigeria’s debt burden amounted to N12.12 trillion in June 2015, shortly after President Buhari assumed office.
Based on DMO data, as of 31 December 2022, Nigeria’s overall public debt had increased to N41.6 trillion. This figure encompasses the debt accumulated by the federal government, state governments, and the Federal Capital Territory.
Under President Buhari’s predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, the perception of corruption in Nigeria averaged at 25.8 percent. Throughout Mr. Jonathan’s five-year term, the score fluctuated between 24 and 27 percent. A lower score indicates a higher perception of corruption among the country’s residents.
During President Buhari’s tenure, as of 2022, the average perception of corruption stood at 25 percent. Over the course of his eight years in office, Nigeria’s score has ranged between 24 and 28 percent, according to Transparency International (TI).
Nigeria’s performance on the global corruption index has been far from satisfactory. Over the period of 2016 to 2020, the country’s ranking declined by 18 positions, dropping from 136 in 2016 to 154 in 2021. The index rankings range from one to 180, with 180 representing the country with the worst perceived level of corruption.
Nigeria is categorized among the countries that have significant corruption issues and is currently at its lowest point in the past decade. The global average score has remained stagnant for ten consecutive years, standing at a mere 43 out of a possible 100 points. Despite making various commitments, Nigeria’s score remains below 30, indicating a continuing struggle with corruption.
Tomorrow, being the 29th day of May, 2023 will mark the new era of a new government in the Federal republic of Nigeria. Bola Tinubu will be sworn in as the new President of Nigeria. Will him and his administration do a better job than that of President Buhari's administration.
Share your thoughts.