Why it’s diffcult to restructure Nigeria – Ganiyu Solomon
Despite complaints of hardship in the country since President Muhammadu Buhari came on board in 2015, there are many who believe that the government is on course and moving toward repositioning Nigeria. One of those who believe that the All Progressives Congress (APC) government is on track is Senator Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon, popularly called GOS, who represented Lagos West between 2011 and 2015 in the senate. In this interview with WILLY EYA, he spoke on various issues.
Two years of the All Progressives Congress (APC) government headed by President Muhammadu Buhari in office, do you think the party has delivered on its campaign promises to the people of Nigeria?
I think the campaign promises of the president were mainly on three points –corruption, security and the economy. You would agree that in terms of corruption, he has taken some bold steps, which are unprecedented in the country particularly since 1999 when this republic came into being. Corruption is being taken care of and the Federal Government is on course in the fight against corruption. Yes, some people complain about one thing or the other but at least the president has made that bold move in the fight against corruption. Then in terms of security, particularly in the North East part of the country, you would agree with me that he has done well too by curtailing the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents and has also tried in freeing some of the abducted Chibok girls. In terms of the economy, you would want to review the situation on ground by the time he came in. The first time he came after swearing in, we were made to understand that statistics showed that the country was in recession. You would agree with me that you cannot be in recession between the time he came in and the first quarter of the next year which is 2016. The slide to recession started like 2013 and 2014 when we started witnessing a drop in the prices of oil and for insiders too, we are aware that some states were already unable to pay salaries, wages and other necessary financial obligations. At the same time, we ought to have started declining in revenue accruable to the Federal Government, which also manifested in shortage of funds to the states. There were also more demands than supply in the country. All these congregated in the recession, which was official in 2015. It could not have been the activities of the present government at that time that led to a recession. We have been in the recession period. But under this government, the situation is gradually improving. The dollar went haywire initially but thank God it has reduced drastically now. I think currently, it is about N360 to a dollar. Given time, I think that we would have an improved economy in the country under this government. There is the problem of unemployment and that is why the Acting President has been emphasising the need to create more jobs in Nigeria. So, to me, the government is not doing badly; it is on course and in scoring them, I would give them above average. We should only continue to pray for the good health of the president so that he would continue to deliver on his promises to the people of Nigeria.
You talked about the effort of the government on security but many insist that the activities of the herdsmen who are the new face of terror have diminished whatever achievements President Buhari has recorded in that area.
On the issue of herdsmen, when I was talking on security, I was emphasising on the successes recorded in tackling Boko Haram, which we all agree that the situation has subsided substantially. The insecurity from the activities of the herdsmen I also believe the government should go a notch higher so that they do not turn out to be the next menace. It is another challenge coming up in recent time and I think the government needs to give the activities of the herdsmen more attention.
Do you share the view that B