When President Muhammadu Buhari was campaigning for the 2015 general elections, he and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) made several promises to the electorate.
The promises were contained not only in the APC Manifesto but also in other campaign documents and were canvassed by the party publicly.
The manifesto and campaign materials which contained all the party’s promises were made available to the media and the public at the time.
The party’s campaign was based on the catchword “CHANGE” and was implemented in a most spiteful, abrasive and propagandistic forcefulness that crowded out every message of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its President, Goodluck Jonathan.
At the end of the campaign, Mr. Buhari defeated President Jonathan and was sworn as Nigeria’s 15th head of government.
As advised by its former National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, that the public should hold the party accountable, we have, therefore, extracted the APC’s promises as published in reputable newspapers like the Premium Times, The Cable, Next Edition, Sahara Reporters, Vanguard etc, and analysed how President Buhari has fulfilled them as the country approaches the 2019 elections.
From the reports published by the listed media organisations, we were able to extract 73 key promises made by the party in its much touted “Change” campaign and the analysis showed the APC failed woefully in fulfilling them.
Nigerians should therefore, call out the APC leadership and President Buhari to challenge our findings with facts and figures as we prepare for another season of elections.
THE PROMISES AND THE LEVEL OF FULFILMENT
1. Ban on government officials from going abroad for medical treatment: FAILED
While he initially denied many forex to pay for their treatments abroad, President Buhari as of May 2018, had gone to the United Kingdom five times for the treatment of an undisclosed ailment. Apart from treating himself in the London hospital against the promise he made to end medical tourism by improving the quality of healthcare delivery in the country, his son, Yusuf was flown in an air ambulance to the UK for treatment of injuries he sustained in a power bike crash in Abuja. After his treatment, the boy was flown back to the country in a chartered aircraft; a situation which triggered a public outcry.
2. State and community: FAILED
While the government has largely paid lip service to community policing, President Buhari has led the campaign against the realisation of state police in the country. When asked about state police in an interview with Aliyu Mustapha of VOA in Washington, the president was quoted to have said, “I want the Nigerian Constitution to be consulted first and see what it says. If it says they should be allowed, then they should be allowed but don’t forget, how many times did we have to release money to states in the name of bailouts to enable them to pay salaries…” Asked whether he was convinced about state police, he answered, “I am not convinced. You cannot just give someone guns and ammunition, train him and refuse to pay him, you know what will eventually happen.” The interview was published by Premium Times on May 2, 2018.
3. Public declaration of assets and liabilities: FAILED
President Buhari had many times during the 2015 election campaign vowed to declare his assets and make the report public. However, he is yet to release the full report of his asset declaration to the public months to the end of his administration. Asked during his first media chat on December 30, 2015, the president said he has declared his assets four times but declined when pressed to release the document to Premium Times which had earlier sent an FOI request to the Code of Conduct Bureau to make the report available to it. The CCB had responded that only the president could authorise the release of the report to the media.
4. Introduction of National Gender Policy and offer of 35 per cent appointment to women: FAILED
President Buhari reneged on this promise early in the life of his administration by appointing only six out of the 36 ministers he used in forming his cabinet in November 2015. Today, with the exits of Mrs. Kemi Adeosun after she was busted for using a fake NYSC discharge certificate and Amina Alhassan, who left to contest election in Taraba State, Mr. Buhari has not deemed it fit to replace the two ministers with new ones. This perhaps underscores why he told journalists in Germany after a meeting with the country’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, on October 14, 2016, “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room.” He was standing next to Mrs. Merkel, who frowned at the comment.
5. Creation of three million jobs per year: FAILED
Instead of creating three million jobs per year which could have culminated in a total of 12 million jobs in four years, the unemployment rate under the Buhari administration has risen from 18.8 per cent in Q3 2017 to 23.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2018 according to a recent report by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS). According to the Bureau’s Labour Force Statistics – Volume I released on December 19, 2018, the total number of people classified as unemployed- which means they did nothing at all or worked for a few hours (under 20 hours a week) rose from 17.6 million in Q4 2017 to 20.9 million in Q3 2018.
6. The revival of Ajaokuta Steel Company: FAILED
Despite the above promise, the government is yet to take any concrete action to revive the giant steel company. The House of Representatives had on December 6, adopted a report calling on Mr. Buhari to terminate the re-concession deal on the national steel firm. The lawmakers made the call during the debate on the report of the ad-hoc committee set up to probe the failure of the steel company. They asked the government to take a cue from the United States and demonstrate a strong political will to resuscitate the Ajaokuta Integrated Steel plant by direct sourcing. The president is yet to take action on the appeal.
7. Creation of a Social Welfare Programme where a minimum of N5000 would be paid to 25 million poorest and most vulnerable citizens: FAILED
This campaign promise generated a serious controversy when the president denied he or the APC ever made such a promise contrary to one of the campaign billboards that was strategically placed at Mabushi Flyover. The billboard which carried the picture of Mr. Buhari and his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo, announced the duo would pay every unemployed graduate in the country N5,000. Till date, the government has not implemented the policy and the party has rather explained the failure away by blaming the PDP for looting the treasury even when a large number of members of the ruling party were PDP chieftains before they defected and became cleansed from every sin they committed.
8. Building one of the fastest-growing emerging economies in the world with a real GDP growth averaging 10 per cent annually. FAILED
Instead of building one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, the Nigerian economy slipped into recession and has since been struggling amidst high inflation, high-interest rate and depleting foreign reserves. As at the last quarter of 2018, the World Bank said the projected growth of the economy in 2018 would drop from 2.1 per cent it had estimated for the country in April to 1.9 per cent.
9. Generation, transmission and distribution of at least 20,000 MW of electricity within four years and increasing to 50,000 MW with a view to achieving 24/7 uninterrupted power supply within 10 years. FAILED
As of December 2014, the total installed capacity of the country’s power plants was 7, 445 MW, available capacity was 4,949 MW and the average generation was about 3,900 MW. However, during campaigns, then Lagos Governor now Power, Works and Housing Minister, Babatunde Fashola, had boasted on Channels TV, “Power generation isn’t rocket science. It’s just a generator. So just remember that your ‘I better pass your neighbour’ in one million times in capacity but in one place.”
However, on August 3, 2018, while addressing a retreat for top officials of his ministry he said the generation capacity is 7000 MW while the distribution capacity stood at 5,222 megawatts, a situation that shows no improvement and far off the 4000 megawatts promised to be delivered yearly by the administration.
10. Empowerment scheme to employ 740,000 graduates across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. FAILED
There is no distinct empowerment scheme for graduates across the country as promised by the APC. This promise should not be confused with the N-Power scheme targeted at building vocational and apprenticeship skills.
11. Payment of allowances to the discharged but unemployed Youth Corps members for 12 months while in the skills and entrepreneurial development programme. FAILED
There is no evidence of any payment to discharged but unemployed youth corps members anywhere in the country as promised by the ruling party during the 2015 election campaigns.
12. Establishment of a free-tuition and scholarship scheme for pupils who have shown exceptional aptitude in science subjects at O/Levels to study ICT-related courses. FAILED
There is no evidence the Federal Government has initiated a free-tuition and or scholarship scheme for primary school pupils anywhere in the country.
13. Creation of 720,000 jobs by the 36 states in the federation per annum (20,000 per state) FAILED
There is no evidence this promise has been fulfilled in any state of the Federation including those controlled by the APC.
14. Creating additional middle-class of at least 2 million new homeowners in our first year in government and 1 million annually thereafter. FAILED
Instead of creating additional middle-class, more people have slipped into poverty to an extent Nigeria has overtaken India in the poorest of the poor index and is now considered the world headquarters of poverty.
15. Creating a National Conflict Resolution Commission to prevent, mitigate and resolve civil conflicts within the polity. FAILED
There is no evidence to show the government has forwarded a bill for the creation of the commission to the National Assembly.
16. Building six centres of excellence to address the needs of special education – There is no evidence the government has initiated the building of the centres of excellence for special education in any zone in the country.
17. Establishing a national mortgage system to lend funds at single-digit interest rates for prospective homeowners. FAILED
The only new mortgage scheme established in the country was by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and supported by the World Bank, Ministries of Finance, Justice, Power, Works and Housing, Mortgage Bank Association and other stakeholders. It is called “My Own Home.” It was not initiated as part of the APC-led government policy.
18. Creating a national infrastructural development bank to provide loans at nominal interest rates exclusively for this sector – FAILED
While a formal bank has not been established, the government in May 2018 approved the establishment of a Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) to be managed by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) for investment in critical road and power projects across the country. This was followed by an approval by the National Economic Council (NEC) for the transfer of $650 million dollars to the NSIA from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) dividend account, as seed funding for PIDF. However, it is difficult to say how the PIDF has helped address the infrastructure deficit in the country so far.
19. Raising life expectancy level by an additional 10 years on average – FAILED
There is no indication that life expectancy has improved in the country, rather, many Nigerians have committed suicide than ever before and many have died as a result of gruelling poverty, hunger and poor healthcare delivery system in the country.
20. Construction of 3,000km of superhighways with service trunks – FAILED
The Federal Government has not constructed any superhighway in any part of the country a few months to the next general election.
21. Ensuring a minimum number of seats in the National Assembly are reserved for women. FAILED
The APC government has not made any conscious move to ensure that a reasonable number of seats in the National Assembly are reserved for women. It has the least number of female lawmakers in the national legislature so far.
22. Making free education at primary, secondary and tertiary levels for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and education – FAILED
There is no evidence this policy has been implemented by the government.
23. Establishing a single ECOWAS currency by 2020 under Nigeria’s leadership: FAILED There are no deliberate existing mechanisms set up by the government to ensure the realisation of the policy within the set.
24. Making naira stable at the international market – FAILED
The naira had spiralled downward from N199 on May 29, 2015, when President Buhari took over office and was later ranked as one of the worst performing in 2016. At a point, it exchanged for N500 per $1 but now stand at N365 per $1 at the parallel market despite billions of dollars pumped out by the CBN to stabilise it.
25. Early identification of talents and making them participate in games locally and internationally to enable them to become professionals – FAILED
There is no deliberate government policy to achieve this.
26. Giving up to 20 per cent of the national budget for the educational sector while also making substantial investments in training quality teachers at all levels – FAILED
The government has failed in this promise. It has never allocated up to 10 per cent of the national budget for education since it came into power. Currently, university lecturers are on strike while their Polytechnic counterparts have threatened to also embark on industrial action. The situation of the country’s education sector is far from improving.
27. Establishing world-class sports academy and training institutes- FAILED
The administration has not established any sports academy or training centre in any part of the country.
28. Amending the Nigerian Constitution to ensure devolution of powers, duties, and responsibilities to states in order to entrench true Federalism – FAILED#
President Buhari and the APC have continuously mocked proponents of restructuring and have denied they ever made the promise.
29. Establishing a strong business relationship with top emerging economies including Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) and other strategic partners around the world – FAILED
The government has not done anything tangible in this direction as the relationship between Nigeria and the countries within the designated economic blocs has remained the same.
30. Consolidation of INEC to reduce and if possible, eliminate electoral malpractices in the country’s political space – FAILED
The Buhari government has done very little to strengthen INEC and has also failed four times to sign into law, the Electoral Act Amendment Bill which many believe would have paved the way for a relatively free, fair and credible election. It is on record that INEC was part of the drafting of the bill.
31. Implementing a full erosion and shoreline protection across the country – FAILED
The government is yet to initiate any action to protect the country’s shoreline while many states are being taken over by erosion.
32. Protecting the rights of women as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution – FAILED
While the government has not taken any concrete action to protect the rights of women in the country, it has failed to defend women whose rights are grossly violated. For instance, Eunice Olawale, who was killed in Abuja while preaching and Bridget Agbahime killed by a mob in Kano for alleged blasphemy. Many cases of women’s rights violation still abound across the country including their ridiculous sentencing to the kitchen and the “other room.”
33. Boosting the Nigerian football league to make it as competitive as other national leagues – FAILED.
The government has not initiated any action to improve the quality of the national league and other sports in the country.
34. Balancing the economy across the regions and the creation of six Regional Economic Development Agencies (REDAs) to drive competitiveness – FAILED
The government has not created any regional economic bloc and or agency and has thus failed abysmally in its promise.
35. Full implementation of the National Identification Scheme – FAILED
There is no evidence to show the government is vigorously pursuing the implementation of national identification project as it promised during the campaign. The National Identity Management Agency which was created by previous administration has not been given any additional push to ensure every Nigerian is identified.
36. Development of national sanitation plans to clean up the country – FAILED
There is no evidence the government has initiated a national sanitation plan for the country.
37. Creation of a Commodity Board to ensure the best pricing for selected crops and facilitate storage of agricultural products – FAILED
No action has been taken to create a commodity board in the country even in the face of government’s boastings about increased food production.
38. Providing full disclosure to the media of government contracts over N100m, prior to award and during implementation at a regular interval – FAILED
Apart from publishing tender notices in the government-owned tender brochure, the government has not released details of its contracts and tender processes to the media.
39. Funding Nollywood to fully develop into world class movie industry so it can compete on good terms with Hollywood and Bollywood – FAILED
There is no evidence the government has provided an incentive to Nollywood since it came into power except the interaction the president had with artists, filmmakers and others at the Aso Villa, he has not assisted them with funds.
40. Amending the Constitution to remove immunity from prosecution for elected officers in a criminal case – FAILED
The government has not sent any bill to the National Assembly to remove immunity from criminal prosecution or any kind of immunity whatsoever.
41. Making policies to halt the pollution of coastal lines, rivers and waterways in the Niger Delta and other parts of the country – FAILED
No extra action has been taken by the government to protect the coastal lines or river lines in any part of the country.
42. Reforming and strengthening the justice system for efficient administration and dispensation of justice with the creation of special courts for accelerated hearing of corruption, drug trafficking, terrorism and ancillary cases – FAILED
The government has not created any special court to address any of the areas indicated above. Instead, the president has consistently disobeyed court orders and violated court rulings in many cases. Sambo Dasuki, El- Zakzaky have been granted bails by several courts but are still being held in custody.
43. Increasing national health expenditure per person per annum from less than N10, 00o to about N50,000 – FAILED
The government has not taken any action to make good this promise.
44. Reducing maternal mortality by more than 70 per cent within four years – FAILED
This is still a tall dream over three years after the APC government came into power. Bill Gates had in March of 2018 said that Nigeria is one of the worst places on earth to give birth and 4th country with the worst maternal mortality rate only ahead of Sierra Leone, Central African Republic and Chad.
45. Abolition of state of origin and replacing it with state of residence to ensure Nigerians are Nigerians first, before anything else – FAILED
No action has been taken to make the promise a reality.
46. Creating a Crime Squad to combat terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, militancy, ethno-religious and communal clashes in the country – FAILED
The government has not created any crime squad for the purpose stated above. Instead we have had an upsurge in all of these crimes.
47. Making Information Technology, Manufacturing, Agriculture and Entertainment key drivers of our economy – FAILED
Very little or nothing has been done to drive the national economy on the bases of these sectors.
48. Creating a N300 billion Regional Growth Fund (average of N50bn in each geo-political zone) to be managed by the REDAs – FAILED
No action has so far been taken to actualize this electoral promise.
49. Amending the Constitution and the Land Use Act to create freehold/leasehold interests in land along with matching grants for states to create a nationwide electronic land title register on a state by state basis – FAILED
No serious action has been taken to fulfil this promise.
50. Building of at least one functioning airport in each of the 36 states – FAILED
The APC government has not built a single new airport in any part of the country. It has, however, completed the projects that were initiated by the Jonathan administration.
51. A constitutional amendment to oblige local governments in the country to publish minutes of their meetings, service performance data, and spending over N10 million – FAILED
There has been no constitutional amendment to address the above issues and even local government autonomy which was included in the last constitutional amendment was not passed as only 10 states voted in support of the policy.
52. Construction of an airport in Ekiti State – FAILED
The government has not initiated any action to establish an airport in Ekiti State as was promised during the 2015 campaigns.
53. Reduction of HIV/AIDs infection rate by 50 percent and other infectious diseases by 75 percent – FAILED
There are no baseline data to show that the country has reduced HIV/AIDS infection rate by 50 per cent and or other infectious diseases by 75 per cent as promised.
54. Ensuring that political officer holders earn salaries and emoluments as determined and approved by the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission (RMFAC).
The government has not taken any action to ensure that this policy comes into effect even as the National Assembly, CBN, NNPC, NDDC and other government agencies and parastatals still pay far higher perks than what is recommended by RMFAC.
55. Ending gas flaring and ensuring sales of at least half of gas produced within the country – FAILED
Nothing serious has been done to stop gas flaring by oil companies operating in the Niger Delta. It was only in October 2018 that the government issued a directive to multinational oil firms to stop flaring by this year and increased the penalty by 600 per cent. Until the non-flaring regime comes into effect, the government cannot appropriate it as an achievement.
56. Prompt passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and addressing local content issues in the oil and gas sector – FAILED
The government has not given the accelerated attention it promised towards the passage of the PIB Bill. Close to the end of its tenure, it is yet to push for the passage of the law.
57. Establishment of at least six new universities of science and technology with satellite campuses in states of the Federation – FAILED
The government is yet to establish a single university of science and technology in any part of the country.
58. Increasing the number of doctors from 19 per 1000 population to 50 per 1000 – FAILED
Instead of attracting more doctors, the country has witnessed a huge brain drain in the health sector than ever before. Even the president has no confidence in the nation’s healthcare delivery system and has consistently gone to the UK for treatment and for his son.
59. Strengthening operational and legal instruments to discipline members of the Armed Forces over confirmed cases of human rights violations – FAILED
No serious action has been taken by the government to discipline errant officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces in the face of gross human rights abuses. Instead, the Presidency has always defended the Armed Forces anytime international bodies like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch etc, released reports indicting the military of rights violations.
60. Free maternal and child healthcare services – FAILED
The Federal Government has not initiated free maternal and childcare services in any part of the country.
61. Upgrading all Federal Government-owned hospitals to world-class facilities within five years – FAILED
None of the federal government-owned tertiary institutions has been upgraded to world-class standard since the administration came into power.
62. The defeat of Boko Haram and the rehabilitation and reintegration of repentant insurgents – FAILED
Boko Haram is still unleashing terror on many parts of the Northeast and has recently intensified attacks in Borno and Yobe states. More soldiers have been killed by the insurgents than in the past while morale has gotten to its lowest ebb among troops resulting in protests and mutiny.
Hon. Celestine Eronmosele
Mandate Protection Vanguard (MPV) c/o G. H Agoro Chambers
8 Ijaye Road, Opposite Shogunro Estate 1st Gate, Ogba, Lagos.