Buhari weak in managing Nigeria’s economy, governance – Report
Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari has performed poorly in governance, economic and political transformation, according to the BTI 2022 Country Report. The Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI) measures the development status and governance of political and economic transformation processes in developing and transition countries. Founded in 1977, the report is published biennially by Bertelsmann Stiftung, an independent establishment based in Gutersloh, Germany. More than 250 experts from leading academic institutions and civil society organizations worldwide assessed 137 nations. Nigeria is 108th overall: 86th spot for political transformation, 113th for economic transformation, and 99th for governance index. The 31-page report warns that under "the weak leadership" of President Buhari, dangers in all political fields will persist and continue to shape the system. It said after the lawsuits against the 2019 presidential and gubernatorial election results were dismissed, Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) consolidated power but have failed to meet expectations. Noting that the last presidential election "was seriously flawed", BTI said Buhari's poor performance in his first term "continued and even worsened". The body criticized the President's COVID-19 policies, as well as "his inability to professionalize the military in its campaign against the Islamist insurgency". The report said the military suffered repeated setbacks and faced new challenges in central Nigeria and in the northwest. "Hundreds of people have been killed by organized criminal gangs involved in cattle rustling, looting villages and kidnapping for ransom. "The increase in violence and crime indicates that endemic corruption has reached new heights, and the militarization of state and society is increasing," it observed. BTI said the Buhari administration's "only halfheartedly pursued anti-corruption campaign did not yield any significant results". In the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released annually by Transparency International (TI), Nigeria is currently placed 149 out of 180 countries evaluated. BTI recalled how the peaceful End SARS protests against police brutality and the government "were hijacked by hoodlums and criminals" and "turned into mayhem". The experts found violence throughout northern Nigeria increased again and continues to claim jihadists, security forces and civilians. "The multidimensional violent conflict with various groups of insurgents has spread fast to the border areas of the neighboring states." BTI said people in southern Nigeria remain in the sphere of influence of border conflict, piracy, kidnapping and robbery. The report decried the authorities' incoherent policy to bring succor to millions of internally displaced persons (IDPs). It stressed that judging by the attitude, "the international community will have to assume responsibility for these IDPs". The humanitarian crisis in Nigeria heightened over the past few months due to flooding, partly caused by climate change. In its updated November 2022 report, the United Nations (UN) indicated that more than 3.2 million people are affected, amid food crisis fears. There were over 600 fatalities, and 1.4 million people displaced, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Also, about 14,000 people have been affected by cholera in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) States since January, with 443 deaths. The UN says the flooding increases risk of waterborne diseases, and while 4.1 million people face severe food insecurity, 1.74 million children may suffer from malnutrition this year.