Setting Agenda for the President Buhari’s Cabinet
Given the opportunity to serve for a fresh four year tenure, President Muhammadu Buhari has a unique opportunity to bring the country out of the many challenges facing it.
The country is faced with multi-faceted problems such as insecurity, economic instability, corruption, dilapidated infrastructure and a deeply divided polity.
Achieving success in all sectors of the economy depends on the quality of the cabinet and other key non-cabinet appointees as well as the policy direction and leadership he provides.
It is pertinent therefore that the president rolls up his sleeves and brace up in order to bring the country out of the woods.
Insecurity has assumed a worsening dimension as bandits employing the tactics of terror have ravaged the north-west and north-central regions killing people, robbing, raping and kidnapping for ransom.
According to the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, one thousand and seventy one people lost their lives in crime-related cases and six hundred and eighty- five were kidnapped across the country in the first quarter of this year.
Similarly, the Human Rights Watch Report 2019 says one thousand two hundred people were killed by Boko Haram last year while two hundred thousand were displaced.
In the economic sector, the African Development Bank cautions that with debt servicing taking over fifty percent of revenues, the economy is on slippery ground.
Major infrastructure like Apapa access roads in Lagos, the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the east-west road and other highways need rehabilitation by government just as ports, airports, hospitals and schools belonging to the Federal Government.
Fortunately, the president has again set lofty goals for achievement such as eradicating insecurity, improving the economy, diversifying exports and revenue sources, and taking millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
For President Buhari to achieve all these, he should adopt a proactive approach, set targets for his appointees and promptly remove non-performers.
It is important that the president appoints a defence minister, and security heads that can deliver on their given mandates.
The president should assemble a formidable economic team who can think outside the box and are committed to a private sector-led economy, through the liberalisation of the key sectors as well as aggressive tax reform.
He should also look beyond his political party to select capable hands with track records of performance.
For instance, former United States president, Barack Obama in his first term in office, as a democrat, tipped three Republicans to head the defence, transportation and commerce departments.
To rescue Ghana’s economy, a former president, Jerry Rawlings, brought in technocrats from outside his party.
Furthermore, it is imperative that the president give full backing to his ministers through timely release of funds to ensure timely completion of projects and delivery of crucial infrastructure to stimulate the economy.