Next Level: Civil rights group hails Buhari’s development plan for Nigeria

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Good Governance and Transparency Initiative (GGAT) has given President Muhammadu Buhari a pat on the back for his development plan for Nigeria.

The group said Buhari/APC’s ‘Next Level’ policy document unveiled on Sunday is an indication that Nigeria is surely heading for the desired level under the current government.

Dr Emerald Nzeribe, National President of the group made this known during a press conference on Monday.

The group said with the Next Level policy document, Nigeria is really now on the path to full recovery and growth, after several years of plundering by previous governments.

The full text below.

As the campaigns for the 2019 general elections starts, policies, promises and propagandas from various political parties and aspirants are flying everywhere. The volume of information out there makes it a bit difficult for voters to tell who or what to believe.

We at GGAT have gone through the Buhari/APC “NEXT LEVEL” policy document and must say that we are quite excited about the next level plan. We can confidently say that Nigeria is really now on the path to full recovery and growth , After several years of plundering by previous governments.

It has always been our belief that to appreciate where we are now and how much progress we have made as a nation in the last three and a half years we must always take cognizance of where we were before May 2015.

By June 2010 Nigeria had over $42 billion in our foreign reserve account, fast forward to May 2015 same account had been depleted to $28 billion. This happened during the period that we had the highest oil prices ever. We had all the opportunity in the world to save, but we did not. Rather we depleted our reserves further in the midst of unprecedented revenue. Oil prices rose to as high as $147 a barrel yet we had no savings or infrastructure to show for the kind of revenue that accrued to the country at that period.

That is just a glimpse of where we were coming from as a nation. When the Buhari administration came in oil prices dropped to as low as $26 a barrel but that will be no excuse for them. They went ahead to complete several projects that the previous government started but abandoned because funds that should have been allocated to such critical projects were rather diverted and siphoned into private pockets.

Such was the level of profligacy and wanton stealing by the previous party in power. By May 2015 several states owed many months of salary arrears, even some federal government agencies and parastatals also owed salaries. That was how bad things were when this government came to power in May 2015.

Insecurity; Over 14 local governments were under the control of Boko Haram, hoisting flags, collecting taxes ruling over those territories. Bombs were going off in many states of the federation including the FCT.

Today all 14 local governments have been liberated, Boko Haram have been decimated and reduced to carrying out soft target attacks, as they no longer have capacity to carry out such massive audacious attacks like they did pre May 2015. The bombings have stopped. The age long Farmer- herders clash has been reduced drastically and the government of Buhari is moving to have it resolved once and for all.

Corruption, one of the biggest plagues bedeviling our nation has been dealt a great blow under the buhari government. Before now it was a free for all under the last government. Money for security being carted away, oil subsidy scam, the alleged $2.1 billion withdrawn from CBN and shared for election purposes, it was just too much. This was the reason why Nigeria had no savings despite unprecedented revenues rather we even went a borrowing, accumulating debt in the midst of massive earnings.

President Buhari seems to have turned the tide, under Buhari In the last three and a half years; the EFCC has secured over 210 convictions amongst them two former governors. Over 800billion Naira has been recovered. More than 400 properties have been confiscated. Indeed corruption has been dealt the kind of blow it has never been dealt in the history of our country.

This has been achievable because of the character of the people in charge now. Everybody knows it is no longer business as usual. You cannot discuss any form of business help with the president let alone cutting a deal with him. Leadership is about leading by example. They (Mr President and his Vice) have led by example. The President and his vice President have distinguished themselves like we have never had it before in this country.

We cannot forget so quickly a time in this country when the President and the vice president were fighting each other over who was more corrupt. I am sure we all still remember the PTDF probe of 2006, Transcorp shares etc.

This is why we will believe The Buhari led APC government when it says it is taking us to the” Next Level,” because their track record is there for all to see. They have the credibility to back the talk. Unlike those mouthing empty promises.

The Next Level policy document is clear and concise on the way forward for the country. The document lays out in clear terms its plan to tackle unemployment in the country, through the continuation and expansion of the several social intervention programs of the APC government.

For instance, The N-Power graduate scheme is set to be expanded to cover 1 million graduates across the country. That is huge, and is also unprecedented on the African continent. The anchor borrower’s scheme is also going to be expanded to accommodate at least 1 million farmers. There is the livestock transformation plan that intends to create about 1.5 million jobs

The government plans to provide a $500 million innovation fund for the Tech and creative sector of the economy. The target here is to create another 500,000 plus jobs. According to the document the government plans to make loans as much as 1 million Naira available to traders, artisans (carpenters, tailors, mechanics, plumbers etc.) and commercial drivers (taxi drivers, keke napep, Bus drivers). The document also says that the tradermoni is to be expanded to reach up to 10m traders. This is massive and unprecedented. There’s hardly any group that is not captured in this intervention.

Currently the nation is generating about 7,000 megawatts of electricity; this is a far improvement from the less than 3,000 Megawatts inherited from the last government despite spending over $16 billion on power. The next level plan is to add 1,000 Megawatts annually in the next four years which will bring our power generation level to 11,000 megawatts. That can only come from a government that says so and does so. They have moved power generation in the last three and a half years from 3,000 to the current 7,000 megawatts.

The document is filled with facts and figures to back their claims and promise. In the education sector the government plans to remodel at least 10,000 schools every year. Plus several other policies on health, infrastructure and the economy.

Credibility is the difference between APC and the challenging PDP. Whilst the Buhari government has evidence of what it has done. It appears the PDP is wishing to run and campaign without recourse to its past record in government, perhaps because of their abysmal performance then. That must be wishful thinking as Nigerians will judge both parties by what they have done and not what they intend to do only.

In the 2019 elections there will be no new comer. Both parties have been in government at different times so they will run on their track records. Buhari/APC will run on their record in the last three and a half years whilst the PDP/Atiku will run on their record in the 16 years they ruled the country. Mouthing promises alone will not do it.

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