Their campaigned promises always to change our lives for the better, and we voted them into power. But did they keep their words? We have selected 10 key promises made by the APC–Buhari governments of Nigeria.
Nigeria’s All Progressive Congress is re-elected in 2019 after taking power from the People Democratic Party (PDP). As their campaigned manifesto stated, how has it delivered on some of the key promises it made before its victory in 2015?
From the information obtained from fact check, the ten key promises are collated from the party’s manifesto, and details of the performance are below:
IN THE WORKS: 5
Below are the major APC vital promises:
1. Vigorously expansion of electricity generation and distribution to 40,000 megawatts in four to eight years.
Still in progress, promised in 2014 and from APC party’s manifesto
Nigeria’s electricity production has remained at around 4,000 MW in recent years, which is not much different from 2015.
The most recent data on electricity generation by the National Bureau of Statistics covered the third quarter (July to September) of 2018. Daily electricity generation during this quarter ranged from approximately 2,390 MW to 3,758 MW, with an average of 3,288 MW.
According to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, peak power generation of 5.126 MW occurred on 19 September 2018, and generating capacity was 7.975 MW in that month.
Several electricity projects are underway across the country, including the 700 MW Zungeru hydropower project, expected to be completed in December 2019. The contract for the 3,050 MW Mambilla hydropower project was signed in November 2017, while several numbers of solar power projects targeting hundreds of megawatts.
The Azura power plant began operations in April 2018, adding 459 MW to the national grid, while the Geometric power project (1,140 MW) is completed but not yet operational.
The current administration has expanded the country’s transmission network to 197 substations, up from 159 in 2015. And according to Nigeria’s transmission company, the actual transmission capacity stood at 8,100 MW at the end of December 2018. The administration’s work is designed to deliver five times more than its current generation.
2. Targeting up to 10% of our annual budget on education
Not in progress, broken, promised in 2014 and source from APC party’s manifesto
After four budget cycles, the education sector under the Buhari administration has still not obtained a minimum of 10% of each annual budget, which was its promise. (Note: former President Goodluck Jonathan adopted the 2015 budget).
In 2016, the government allocated about 8% of the budget to education. By 2017, this has fallen to 7.4% of the 7.4 trillion Naira budget.
In the 2018 budget, of the whole sum of 9.12 trillion Naira, N541 billion was allocated to the education sector. This is about 6 percent of the total annual budget.
In 2019, the government allocated N462 billion to education, about 5.2% of the N8.83 billion budget. This figure still falls short of the 10% target.
In 2020, out of the total sum of N691.07 billion, education constituting 6.7%, which has been allocated to Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Education. Yet, it falls out from their promise.
This share is still declining if we exclude statutory transfers to the program; Universal Basic Education. The program was launched in 1999 as Nigeria’s strategy to provide basic education for all school-age children to achieve the UN development goals in education.
3. Making the economy one of the fastest-growing emerging economies in the world with average real GDP growth of at least 10-12% per year
Not in progress, broken, and was promised in 2015 and source from PMnews Nigeria.
In 2015, the Nigerian economy grew by 2.79% before shrinking to -1.58% in 2016, according to the National Statistics Office. Nigeria’s annual real GDP growth rate was 0.83% in 2017 and 1.93% in 2018. The highest quarterly real growth rate since the second quarter of 2015, when Buhari took power, was 2.84%. That was in the third quarter of the year.
The growth rate fell to 2.11% in the fourth quarter of 2015, before turning negative in the first quarter of 2016. No new growth was recorded until the second quarter of 2017 when the economy exited the recession with an increase of 0.55%. The real GDP growth rate in the last two quarters of 2017 was 1.4% and 1.92%.
The Real GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2018 was 2.38%, the highest since Nigeria’s economy emerged from recession. The economy of Nigeria advanced 2.28 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2019.
4. Increase the proportion of FG spending on health care from 5.5% to 10%, and bring it to 15% by 2020
Not in progress, broken, promised in 2014 from party’s manifesto
Known as the Abuja Declaration, African Heads of State met in April 2001. They pledged to devote at least 15% of their annual budgets to the health sector to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Health budget data from the Federation Bureau of the Budget show that Nigeria has yet to meet this target after 18 years.
Under the APC administration, the allocation to the health sector was 4.1% in 2016. (Note: In 2015, the previous Goodluck Administration allocated 4.24%).
In 2017, it was slightly higher at 4.2% (N304 billion) of the total budget of approx—7.3 trillion Naira. In the 2018 budget, the APC government spent N356 billion on health – 3.9% of the total budget of N9. 12 trillion. (Note: This includes matching funding for health).
In 2019, the APC administration planned to spend N315 billion on health, about 4.1% of the total budget. With N46billion allocation to health in 2020, the Buhari government failed to increase by five times to meet its promise, so far, it has not reached 10%.
5. Implement the National Policy for Gender Equality, including 35% of appointment positions for women.
Adopted in 2006, Nigeria’s National Gender Policy aims at ensuring equal access to opportunities for women. President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to implement it and to transfer 35% of appointments to women. (Note: the Party Manifesto later reduced this to 30%).
When the president announced his cabinet in 2015, six of his 37 ministers were women, about 16%. The assumption of the post of UN Under-Secretary-General by Environment Minister Amina Mohammed reduced the number of women to 5, or 14% of the cabinet.
A list of non-ministerial appointees published in November 2017 by the Presidency showed 26 women out of 159 appointees, or 16% of the total. Seven women saw their way in 2018, and only seven women again made the list of 43 in 2019, about 16%.
6. Ensure the construction of 4,000 km of motorways and up to 800 km of modern railway lines
Still in progress, promised in 2014, from APC manifesto
In 2012, Nigeria had 35,000 km of federal government roads across the country while the country’s railway system had 3,984 km of track, according to the national statistics office.
Over the past three years, the APC government has reported several construction and rehabilitation projects for key roads and railways across the country, some of which are nearing completion.
While the states initiated most of the projects, the central government has also undertaken its own. Five months into his term, the president inaugurated a 260-km highway between Calabar, Cross River, and northern Nigeria.
In 2017, the government began selling a first sovereign Sukuk of N100 billion on the local market to finance road infrastructure. The seven-year Islamic bond would be structured as a lease.
Some of the roads that would benefit from the link include Ibadan-Ilorin road, Kolo – Otuoke-Bayelsa-Palm road, Enugu – Port Harcourt expressway, Kaduna – Eastern by-pass, Kano – Maiduguri road, and bridge works for the Loko-Oweto Bridge over the Benue River.
In December 2017, the Ministry of Public Works was awarded N41 billion to both build new roads and maintain existing ones. The recently launched Economic Recovery and Growth Plan also includes the reconstruction of sections of the federal road network.
The biggest drive for rail
For rail, some new projects have been commissioned by Buhari, such as the 186.5 km Abuja – Kaduna rail in 2017, but they were initiated and funded by previous administrations. The economic plan also provides for the construction of the Lagos – Kano, and Lagos – Calabar rail projects.
However, data from the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission show that the bulk of the work has been the rehabilitation and concession of the west-east railway lines, which extend over some states.
7. Creating 3 million new jobs a year through industrialization, public works, and agricultural expansion
Not in progress, broken, promised in 2015, source: Buhari covenant with Nigerians.
Four years later, the government of the Buhari/APC-led administration has struggled to achieve the goal it had set itself. The National Bureau of Statistics estimates that some 1.21 million jobs were created between the third quarter of 2015 and the second quarter of 2016. This fell short of the annual target of 3 million jobs.
Unemployment also increased – from 8.2% in the second quarter of 2015 to 23.1% in the third quarter of 2018. (Note: the methodology for calculating unemployment changed in 2014). The number of unemployed Nigerians – when data is most recently available – rose from 17.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 to about 20.9 million in the third quarter of 2018.
The underemployment rate has also risen to 20.1% or about 18.21 million Nigerians in the labor force. The underemployed are those who work fewer full-time hours, i.e., 40 hours, but the unemployed Nigerians work less than 20 hours per week on average.
8. Achieve 1 million milestones of low-cost construction houses per year
Still in progress, Source: APC 2014 manifesto
To address what it said was a $17 million housing deficit, CPA has committed to building 1 million units annually, both through direct social housing programs and through support to private constructors. The first visible movement on this promise was almost a year after the 2015 Buhari election when the cabinet approved an N500 billion fund to provide mortgages for affordable homes for Nigerians.
The government was also to start building 100,000 houses a year from 2017. But the initial allocation was 2,736 houses to be built in 33 states at the cost of N35.4bn after state governments gave land to the mass housing project.
In 2017, the second part of the mortgage fund that had now reached N1 trillion was launched. Under it, developers can borrow up to 80% of the cost of their project from the fund. But the government is still far behind its initial promise of 1 million units per year as no data are showing that it has delivered 4 million low-cost homes – only 5% of this fund was disbursed in January 2019, according to the finance minister.
9. Increase the rate of transition from primary to secondary education to at least 75% by 2019.
Still in progress, source from various Nigerian media.
As he took office, Buhari did not mince his words in making promises he thought would be beneficial to Nigerian children. He promised to increase the transition rate from primary to secondary school to at least 75% by 2019. According to UNESCO, the rate of transition to secondary school is the proportion of students in the final year of primary school who enroll in the first year of secondary school in the following school year.
In 2007, the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey of the National Statistics Office showed that the transition rate from primary to secondary school was 93%. But in 2011, the MICS survey shows that it has dropped significantly to 74%. However, this was during the term of former President Goodluck Jonathan. The 2016/17 MICS survey, which interviewed 2,106 children, found that the transition rate was 49%. Data covering 2018 and 2019 are pending.
Dr. Ibiwari Dike, a member of the Association for Childhood Education International and a lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nssuka, explained that across the country, we could say that the transition rate has increased. This is because recently, a lot has been done at this level – by government and private stakeholders. The work at this level has also been the improvement of high school input.
10. Make sure that under my watch, no force, external or internal, will occupy even an inch of Nigerian soil…
Still in progress, promised in 2015, source from pmnewsnigeria
At the height of their powers in 2014, the Boko Haram insurgent group captured a number of towns in the northeast. Success quickly became an electoral hot potato.
Recent attacks in 2018, including the kidnapping of more than 100 schoolgirls in March, suggest that the terrorist group remains powerful. However, they have not reportedly seized any other cities since Buhari became president in 2015.
A military campaign overseen by the previous administration a few weeks before the 2015 elections pushed the group back from its strongholds, allowing elections to be held in previously occupied cities.
However, as some Nigerian media reported before, the last members of the group are still to be eradicated. A Nigeria Security Watch database shows more than 400 deaths related to Boko Haram in 2018 alone.
Although Boko Haram has not captured any towns since 2015, they indeed still occupy parts of Nigeria’s territory – north-east region – because they operate from a base, said the former director of the State Security Department, Mike Ejiofor.
As a security consultant, Ejiofor explained that the only real evidence of the progress made so far against the insurgent group is that their operation has been limited to the northeast, the mainland.