Seven months after taking over government, the Muhammadu Buhari administration has succeeded in achieving only one out of the 222 campaign promises made to Nigerians, according to a report by Buharimetre, a civil society monitoring report tracking the implementation of the president’s campaign promises.
The report, which covers the activities of the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government from May 29 to December 31, 2015, observed in its assessment that the achievement was in the area of the fight against corruption, even though a lot was still left undone in that regard.
“PMB has only achieved 1 out of the 222 tracked promises, which constitutes 0.5 percent of the promises,” Buharimetre reported.
“ More so, it reveals that while the government is taking action to achieving only 27 (12.2 percent approximately) of the tracked promises thus ongoing, 194 electoral promises are still ‘Not Rated.’
“ The latter constitutes 87.3 percent of the tracked promises.”
The electoral promises not rated, it says, is because there is “no tangible related activities being implemented.”
The 2015 report is the fourth on the series of report on the assessment of the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari and the governing party, the APC, on the delivery of its 222 electoral promises.
The report examined and focused on issues around insecurity, the economy, oil and gas, corruption, agriculture and social sectors, with emphasis on the environment.
It also provided useful insights into the current state of key sectors as a way of establishing the basis of measuring outcomes.
Assessing the fight against corruption, the report noted that there had been visible efforts to combat corruption since the inauguration of the present administration, naming the arrest and prosecution of some notable persons and the efforts to recover looted funds.
“PMB anti-corruption efforts have been commended as a step in the right direction,” the report noted.
“ Positive opinions in this regard are due to the possible positive impact of the efforts on development and democracy in the country.
“However, the government has been accused of politics of selection in the fight against corruption. A delay in the prosecution of the accused people has been a major criticism of the government. Moreover, while the government has shown unmatched commitment to curbing corruption, such effort should be institutionalised.”
The report observed that one of the promises of the current administration was to strengthen the capacity of anti-graft agencies, particularly EFCC and ICPC, by guaranteeing their prosecutorial and financial independence as well as security of tenure.
“Despite the fact that the anti-grant agencies have shown renewed efforts in the fight against corrupt practices, there has been no effort by the government to amend relevant laws to guarantee their independence in these areas,” states the report.
“Moreover, nothing has been done to enact the Whistle Blower Act, as promised by the administration. We believe that through these interventions, the performance of anti-graft agencies would not rely on the personality and political will of President Buhari, but rather the campaign against corruption would be institutionalised and thereby would extend beyond the current administration.”
While stating that it was aware of government’s commitment to fighting corruption and blocking leakages in both the civil service and the oil and gas sector; and exhibiting a strong political will to fight corruption irrespective of who is involved, Buharimetre observed that the fight against corruption must not be devoid of strict adherence to the rule of law.
“In the last few months, several of the people accused of corruption have been detained against the law, which stipulates that all accused must be brought before the court 48 hours after arrest,” it stated.
“Some people granted bail have since been re-arrested and detained. The fight against corruption must be pursued in line with due process and never in abuse of the law.
“It is also imperative for the government to acknowledge that the fight against corruption should not be confused as sufficient to address all governance challenges in the country.
“Essentially, fighting corruption is and should remain one of the policy priorities of government but not the only overarching intervention necessary to strengthen governance, especially in a country like Nigeria where democracy is still transitioning.