Independence Day speech of any country is one opportunity to chat a national course and stimulate solidarity for the country.
On this basis, the Independence Day address by President Muhammadu Buhari excluded some important issues which many citizens feel they need to know government's positions on them.
The year 2017’s speech was expected to be better, especially as the country is just exiting recession. So there is more to tell the people and interested foreign investors, but this myriad of issues was skipped during the occasion.
Here are some of the issues not addressed by the President Buhari, but remain challenges his government will have to contend with.
1. Economic Recovery and Recession Exit
Nigerians had expected the speech to address the country's exit from economic recession and also pitch the plans of the government towards sustaining the recovery. Skipping this item would greatly affect foreign investors’ perception of the whole economic programme of the government.
More so, it is expected the President should have used the occasion to garner support for the implementation of its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). This plan is considered the main economic policy programme of the government.
It would have been an opportunity to present how the plan would be implemented and its deliverables.
2. Niger Delta Militancy and Nigerian oil sector
Nigerian depends on earnings from the oil sector to drive economic activities and run the government. It is also the major source of foreign direct investments for the country.
As a result, it is believed that President Buhari should have addressed pertaining issues about the region, policies in the sector and the implementation of the Petroleum Industry and Governance Bills (PIGB).
In addition, the President also failed to address recent threat by the militant to resume hostilities in the region. One which may further heighten investors fear in the country’s cash-cow.
Though kidnapping was mentioned in the speech, the issue requires more than just mentioning.
President Buhari would have used the occasion to reassure citizens and foreigners of their safety in any parts of the country.
Many investments have been affected by spite of kidnapping in the southern part of the country while Boko Haram holds wave in the northern hemisphere.
4. Farmers/Herders Clashes
The perpetual conflicts between the herdsmen and farmers, especially in the Middle Belt region, was expected to have received mention and detailed analysis from the government.
This conflict is one of the major issues threaten food security and leading to increase in food inflation in the country.
Many lives and properties have been lost to the crisis, while its impact on the cost and standard of living is becoming more audacious.
5. High-Profile Corruption Cases
Many Nigerians have expected that the President would mention the results of the Babachir/NIA’s Boss imbroglio investigation by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
This would have helped strengthen the government fight against corruption.