Buhari’s Visionary Placement As An Economic Strategy, By Nasiru Suwaid
The time was somewhere, immediately after the declaration of results of the 2015 presidential elections, when unlike today, the line of demarcation is not visibly blurred between the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), where the emotions of a very demanding political contest was evidently raw and the narrative of us versus them is the talking point in most political circles in Nigeria.
It was at that very moment, when General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB) [as he then was], the recently declared president-elect, accepted the idea and proposal of having Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, the about to step down minister of agriculture, on behalf of the nation, to contest for the seat of the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB). Mind you, it has been a post that eluded Nigeria for the past 35 years, despite the many efforts to get the job for a Nigerian, thus, it became a task that most accomplished for the interest of Nigeria, solely.
Despite the fact that it was a project that was started by an outgoing defeated regime and exploring the enormous international goodwill of a newly elected but yet to be sworn administration, President-Elect Muhammadu Buhari vowed to do the needful.
While for the likes of the Turakin Adamawa, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, all that is needed for him to be recruited, was to massage his ego, about his famed influence with the South African government, and most particularly, the President Jacob Zuma family, as for the Jagaban Borgu, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his support hinged in the fashion of the need to announce to the world, who is the premier gatekeeper in the politics of the south-west of Nigeria.
As for President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB), having being acquainted with the state of the Nigerian economy, which has been raided and mismanaged by a regime that is about to hand over power, the need for having a Nigerian in Africa’s premier lending entity, became an imperative, if not a necessity that must be achieved, because, the country would need a massive foreign exchange inflow, to weather the likely but possible economic downturn, Nigeria would encounter once the new government has taken over power.
As of today, the fact that it is the African Development Bank (AfDB), which is the first international multilateral institution, to come in the aid of the administration with a six hundred million dollars last month, in its most challenging hour of need, has vindicated the foresight of President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB), even when many of his closest lieutenants [I inclusive], were blinded by the divisive haziness of partisan politics at the time, to oppose the action of the president-elect.
Now, let us move past forward to the middle of this year, but before then, it has been a joke in the social media, indeed, even in the traditional media commentariat, about a statement once credited to candidate Muhammadu Buhari, during the electioneering campaigns, that he would make the price of crude oil to go up, thus strengthening the value of the Nigerian naira. The question has always been asked, how could a mere Nigerian, not an Arab oil Sheikh in the mould of an Ali al-Naimi, Saudi Arabian powerful but former longest serving oil minister, to have the power to influence the price of crude oil, even if he is the president of the largest crude oil producer in Africa.
However, on the instance where you seek to do the impossible, to influence the price of oil, in order to do that, you need to have someone in the secretariat of the Organization Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), though, for such a nation to sell an individual for candidature into the office of the Secretary General of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), that person, must have been part of the organization before, thus, he could understand the difficult intricacies, divergent tendencies and peculiarity of interest of each member nation.
Principally, that is what brought the idea of the promotion of the candidature of Muhammadu Sanusi Barkindo, to man the secretariat of the world’s premier oil cartel. By the end of last week, not only has there been an agreement, to reduce production volume and quota allocation (excluding Nigeria, amongst few other nations), by an amalgam of notoriously divided group, in fact, Barkindo was able to bring-in Non-OPEC members into the agreement, and the resultant higher surge in crude oil prices is there for all to see, almost touching the sixty dollars mark, surely, an unexpected boost to the 2017 Nigerian national budget.
All things being equal, anytime from this week, if everything happens as expected, for a nation facing a serious humanitarian problems, specifically, caused by the activities of a fanatical insurgent sect, in the north-eastern part of the country, having an indigene of the area, in the person of Amina Mohammed, who is the Minister of Environment, to serve as a Deputy Secretary of the United Nations Organization (UNO), it would help a lot in the international understanding of the conflict, the availing of the much needed social support structure and the immediacy of keeping the terroristic rebellion, in the front burner of the attention span of the global donor community.
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