A section of the traditional and online media have been trying to romanticize the Buhari administration, portraying it as some kind of Golden Era for Nigeria. Simultaneously, they are undermining the Tinubu government by spinning the current economic reforms to indicate that things were better under Buhari. But let us consider some facts.
Economic Growth: Nigeria had its first economic recession in twenty years, three months after Buhari took office. We had another one in 2020. But, according to Standard and Poor’s, the world’s preeminent rating agency, and Fitch, as well as Moody’s, Nigeria’s economy witnessed growth in the first six months of Tinubu.
Stock Market Performance: Under Buhari, the NGX suffered a net loss. Unde r Tinubu, the NGX has witnessed a net gain. On January 5, 2004, the NGX crossed over 80,000 points for the first time, according to the London Stock Exchange Group.
Currency Management: Under Buhari, there were multiple exchange rates for the Naira, and the Central Bank of Nigeria was spending $1.5 billion a month to artificially defend the Naira. Under Tinubu, the Naira is being floated, and the official exchange rates have been unified.
Anti-Corruption Measures: Under Buhari, ministers suspected of corruption were protected. Under Tinuhu, they are suspended and investigated.
NSIP Integrity: Buhari allowed the NSIP to be a conduit for corruption. Tinubu has halted that.
Passport Issuance: Under Buhari, Nigerians could not get passports, as the Nigerian Immigration Service complained of a ‘booklet shortage’. Under Tinubu, Nigerians now get their passport in a week or less in many cases.
Cryptocurrency Ban: The Buhari regime banned cryptocurrency, shutting Nigerians out of that $1.8 trillion industry. The Tinubu government has lifted that ban, and hundreds of thousands of young savvy Nigerians are now earning money trading cryptos, instead of engaging in Yahoo.
Border Closure Impact: Buhari ordered our borders shut, which severely damaged our manufacturing sector because finished goods from Nigeria could not reach our neighbors. The border closure was responsible for Nigeria’s inflation entering the double digits, from the single-digit Buhari inherited from Jonathan. The Tinubu administration is finding ways around this issue.
Fuel Availability: Under Buhari, fuel scarcity was periodic, episodic, and endemic. Under Tinubu, the availability of fuel has improved dramatically, with the President fulfilling his promise on the Port Harcourt Refinery, and acting as a catalyst for the Dangote Refinery to come onstream, as testified by Mr. Dangote himself.
Accountability for Military Actions: On December 12, 2016, soldiers under Buhari invaded Zaria and killed 248 Shiite men, women, children, and infants. Not a single person has been arrested, tried, or convicted for that massacre. Under Tinubu, soldiers who tortured a civilian in Rivers have been arrested and are facing trial.
Governance Enforcement: Under Buhari, a lowly police officer refused to obey the lawful and constitutional order of the Governor of Lagos when he instructed him to ask his men to leave residents of Magodo, where they had laid a siege. Nothing was done to him. Under Tinubu, that same Governor arrested a soldier driving in traffic, and when another soldier made a viral video blasting him, he too was arrested.
Security Improvement: During Buhari’s tenure, bandits took over the Abuja-Kaduna highway, attacked the Kaduna Airport with an armada of motorcycles, infiltrated the NDA, killing soldiers, as well as bombed the Kaduna-Abuja train. Today, Nigerians can travel by road, rail, and air between Abuja and Kaduna in relative peace.
When Buhari became President, Nigeria was a medium-income country, and Buhari was broke. When Buhari handed over to Tinubu, there had been a change of destiny. Nigeria was broke, and Buhari was a medium-ranking wealthy man, with his former recharge card-selling nephew, Sabiu Tunde Yusuf, now a private jet-flying billionaire.
Those, like Sabiu Yusuf, and other cabal members, who benefitted from corruption, are fighting back.