Despite Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's pledge to turn around the West African country's economy and root out the political corruption that his administration inherited last year upon his inauguration, he hasn't done nearly enough on either front, according to a national survey's findings that were recently released. The results show that many of Nigeria's citizens think their president hasn't delivered on his campaign promises during his first year in office, according to local news outlet the Premium Times.
The poll focused on the country's economy and security, and Buhari scored very low for his efforts on each. Citing growing unemployment, inflation and a devaluation of local currency, among other factors, nearly 60 percent of Nigerians frowned on the Buhari administration's economic platform and plan. Slightly more than 10 percent gave the Nigerian economy high marks and 23 percent said it was fair.
There was some good news for the Nigerian president in the survey published by the Centre for Democracy and Development and tucked into a report called the Buharimeter. Most of its respondents were confident on the state of the country's ability to stave off terror attacks and clamp down on securing its borders. About 84 percent of those surveyed thought Buhari's administration was on the right track to solve the country's security issues.
U.S. diplomats recently lauded Buhari's efforts to fight corruption and get the economy on the right track. The outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, told a group of journalists last week the citizens of Nigeria needed to be a bit more patient, local news outlet Pulse reported.
"I think he has put in place some things, though I am not an economist, but what he has done with the exchange rate and fuel subsidy and so on," Entwistle said, drawing a parallel between the administration that U.S. President Barack Obama inherited and the one Buhari inherited. "I think in a very deliberate fashion the economy hopefully is going to improve. ... I gave the president very good marks and let’s see how he marches forward in the next few months."
Buhari, for his part, seems to recognize the frustration of his constituents. He vowed Wednesday to regain the trust of Nigerians and offered a proposal for how to right the economy, local news outlet Punch reported.
“There is no easy money to throw around, we must go back to farming, livestock rearing so that we could develop the industries," he said. "We must put our hands on deck to ensure success of our mission in engineering Nigeria. If efforts were made in the past to diversify the economy from our absolute reliance on a single commodity, we would not have found ourselves in our current situation. I assure all Nigerians that the grim economic situations are passing phase which all societies go through."
Buhari also acknowledged the seemingly never ending graft. "We shall continue to prosecute the war against corruption. We do not wish or desire to humiliate or disgrace anybody, but we must recover stolen funds and put them to collective public use," he said.