A scathing report by Reuters has bashed the remote-control approach taken by Nigeria’s president in running the country.
President Buhari has visited 26 countries in 9 months, but has still not visited the most critical parts of his country’s domestic economy. Lagos, its commercial capital, and the Niger Delta – the backbone of the Nation’s oil industry, from which the country derives more than 70% of foreign earnings, has still not seen the President’s face.
Apart from not visiting these 2 locations, which definitely require the attention of the President, Reuters says that “Buhari is too often absent to provide enough personal guidance”. Since a Cabinet retreat in November, there have not been regular meetings with his ministers, leaving them to ‘drift’ like sheep without shepherd.
Files continue to pile up on his desk, and proposals and reports keep on getting ignored.
Even the brightest stars in his cabinet, can get very little accomplished, since they themselves struggle to get the president’s attention. Of all major ministries, agencies and parastatals, only the CBN has been the most visible (for obvious reasons), while others have remained in a sort of hibernation.
Buhari likes to keep things tightly controlled. Even the vice president Mr. Osinbajo, whom Buhari has asked to coordinate economic policy, is sidelined since Buhari wants to personally attend to most issues (which is not a bad thing). The problem is that he is not there to make sure things move along fast. His frequent globetrotting is deeply affecting his work back home.
Nigeria is in a situation where it needs its leader to be hands on, with his sleeves and trousers rolled up, not going from one country to another back-to-back, while his countrymen languish in poverty, and his nation teeters on the brink of recession. Leading indicators are pointing to the fact that Nigeria’s GDP will most likely shrink again in Q1 2016.
Read the full report here.