On Monday, the eighth of March, 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari obtained the Head of Misson of the Financial Neighborhood of West African States (ECOWAS) on Niger Republic Election, former Vice President, Namadi Sambo on the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Sambo’s mission was to current a report on the election to the President.
President Buhari, clearly conscious of criticism over his greater than passing within the West African nation, made apparent by latest insurance policies and actions with far-reaching financial implications, took his time to elucidate why he can’t afford to permit Niger Republic to be with out interventions from Nigeria.
In keeping with President Buhari, his administration has proven a lot curiosity in Niger as a result of it has greater than 1,400 kilometres of border with Nigeria, making it a necessity for Nigeria to pay critical consideration to any growth throughout the nation, particularly its stability.
In a press release by Femi Adesina, his Particular Adviser on Media and Publicity, Buhari stated: “Nigeria shares greater than 1,400 kilometres of border with the Republic of Niger, and we needs to be involved in regards to the stability of that nation.
“We’re involved about their stability, and I’m glad the elections went properly. I’m blissful it was clear, as attested to by a lot of the observers,” President Buhari stated.
Although some analysts agree with President Buhari that the soundness of the neighbouring nation, similar to others bordering Nigeria, have to be of concern to Nigerians and never simply the Buhari administration, they’re, nevertheless, piqued that the President appears to be lacking the purpose.
In keeping with analysts, Nigeria can solely be genuinely within the stability of its neighbours if its nation is secure.
In keeping with a public affairs analyst, Omeme John, Nigeria is for the time being extra of an agent of instability to a few of its neighbours. This, he stated, turns into evident with the actions of Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP) incursions into Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
“Everyone knows that Boko Haram and its splinter group, ISWAP had their origin in Nigeria however have made violent incursions into Niger, Chad and Cameroon, inflicting instability not simply alongside the borders however deep into the nations. So President Buhari has his priorities misplaced by saying that his curiosity is the soundness of Niger. Nigeria, for the time being, is the main contributor to instability alongside that hall.
“The President needs to be extra involved in regards to the many causes of instability in Nigeria, which incorporates the Boko Haram/ISWAP insurgency, banditry, farmer/herders disaster and widespread kidnappings earlier than making happenings out of the country a serious coverage course.”
Apart the problem of stability and insecurity that the President gave as his causes for deep involvement in Niger, he failed to elucidate his heavy financial pursuits in Niger.
DAILY POST remembers that in the course of the flag off of the $1.9 billion Kano-Maradi rail line, President Buhari emphatically stated that the completion of the rail line will enable residents of Niger take pleasure in reasonably priced technique of transportation.
He stated: “The mission, when accomplished, would serve import and export of products for Niger Republic and different nations within the sub-region by way of Nigerian ports. The nation would earn income by way of enlargement of commerce and commerce, whereas the individuals of Niger Republic will profit from ease of transportation logistics at reasonably priced value of their import and export enterprise.”
Apart using Nigerian ports for export and import enterprise, which in fact will deliver income, the rail line that traverses Kano, Kazaure, Daura, Katsina and as much as the border city of Jibiya and the Niger Republic metropolis of Maradi, as introduced by the President appears to be closely tilted in financial and social advantages for Nigeriens.
Many analysts are of the view that at a time the nation is battling with gross infrastructural deficit, it turns into unthinkable that the Buhari administration is worried about constructing a rail line 25 kilometres deep into Niger Republic.
Responding to questions from DAILY POST, Abubakar Jimoh, a advisor with bias for growth, picked holes in Kano-Maradi rail line, insisting that the transfer by the President smacks of profligacy and ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul.’
“The infrastructural deficit in Nigeria is so large that it’ll take many years and a number of other trillions of Nigeria to repair. The roads are virtually not existent whereas the nation can’t for the time being boast of a rail interconnected Nigeria. I’ve no points with having Kano, Jigawa and Katsina linked by rail, however extending it to Maradi in Niger Republic doesn’t make sense to me. And it is because we’re but to deal with what we’d like infrastructural smart as a nation.
“Once more, we should ask ourselves what the financial advantages are for Nigeria. Speaking about import and export enterprise, how viable will that be? We should keep in mind that Nigeriens have been importing and exporting their items by way of another ports prior to now, and naturally, for them to now divert to Nigerian ports might be a operate of value and timeliness.
“How viable or how a lot financial and monetary sense will it make for the individuals of Niger to patronise Nigerian ports by shifting their items by practice from Maradi, criss-cross Nigeria from Jibiya, Daura, Katsina, Kano and all the best way to the Lagos ports? At what value will that be and for the way lengthy? Are we certain they don’t have higher, cheaper and far more well timed options? These are questions authorities ought to have requested and never simply assume that as a result of Niger is landlocked and since you are constructing a rail line into the nation, companies on the market will routinely patronize your ports as a result of you’re the large brother,’’ Jimoh stated.
He additionally referred to as on the federal government to focus extra on offering the wanted infrastructures within the nation, including that if that’s performed, financial advantages will far outweigh regardless of the Kano-Maradi rail line can ever supply.
“The key disadvantage for the financial transformation and growth in Nigeria is the shortage of infrastructure. No good highway for the motion of individuals and items, the nation just isn’t linked with rail to ease transportation wants of companies and the ability wants of Nigerians and industries usually are not being met. If we are able to repair these three areas, Nigeria will witness a growth. The price of producing energy for enterprise actions, particularly within the manufacturing sector has led to many corporations folding up, whereas some really relocated to different neighbouring nations. It’s that dangerous”, he stated.
Commenting, in an article on President Buhari’s consideration to Niger, a newspaper columnist, Ochereome Nnanna stated it was an affront on Nigeria’s nationwide curiosity.
Nnana stated: “When Buhari’s authorities in August 2019, “closed the borders” it was the Southern borders that have been really closed. Fatuhu Mohammed, a nephew of President Buhari who represents Daura/Mai’adua/Sandamu Federal Constituency within the Home of Reps alerted throughout a plenary session that smuggling was nonetheless freely thriving on the Daura border, 13 kilometres from Buhari’s nation residence.
“It’s no secret that Niger Republic nationals are repeatedly smuggled in to vote in Nigerian elections. It was on this dispensation that the political leaders of that nation threw warning to the wind and attended Buhari’s rallies in Kano with giant contingents led by governors of Maradi and Zinder provinces! In the event you thought these have been inconsequential and innocent cultural exchanges, Buhari has proved you improper. He has taken a number of concrete coverage steps that confirmed his engagement with Niger is not a joke.”
Speaking about concrete coverage steps, it will be recalled that the Federal Authorities had in June 2020 introduced the award of contract for the development of 614-km fuel pipeline from Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano with eventual termination in Morocco by way of Niger Republic value $2.8bn.
Additionally in the identical vein, the administration shocked Nigerians when it signed an MOU for the nation to import petroleum merchandise from a small refinery in Niger Republic.
The Refinery, Soraz positioned in Zinder province, has a every day output of 20,000 barrels. Nonetheless, Nigeria has refineries with mixed capability in extra of 400, 000 barrels per day, however have remained moribund, with the federal government unable to revive them to serve the wants of Nigerians.
Mr Adeagbo Sunkami, in his view, stated on the face worth of it, there might not be something improper with importing refined petroleum merchandise from neighbouring nations if Nigerians within the Northern a part of the nation would discover the merchandise cheaper and far more simply accessible.
“Nonetheless, it’s shameful that President Buhari, who as Petroleum minister within the 1979s supervised the constructing of the second Port Harcourt, the Warri and Kaduna refineries, and has been the Minister of Petroleum since 2015 underneath his presidency, has not been in a position to do something to repair the refineries.
“There have to be one thing Nigerians usually are not being instructed in regards to the refineries and why of all locations, it’s Niger we’re wanting as much as for refined merchandise. At what time did the refinery in Niger come on stream that Nigeria can’t repair her personal? What has Buhari performed as oil minister since 2015 and why are Nigerians not asking questions? It’s actually shameful how low issues have develop into”, Sunkanmi stated, sounding agitated.
A human rights activist and critic, Segun Progress believes what is occurring with the Buhari administration, because it considerations Niger Republic is greater than what persons are saying. In keeping with him, President Buhari is barely utilizing the nation’s assets to develop his ‘first nation, a rustic he holds extra allegiance to than Nigeria.
“There had been talks about President Buhari’s ancestry however in our peculiar manner, we dismissed all the pieces believing it was political. However right here we’re with Buhari proving doubting ‘Thomases’ improper and displaying the place he actually belongs.
“Don’t be shocked to see extra pro-Niger Republic insurance policies earlier than the expiration of the President’s tenure in 2023. And no matter pro-Niger initiatives which can be on or might be embarked upon might be performed in such a manner that they’re virtually accomplished or have sturdy agreements that can make their termination virtually unattainable.
“What I, nevertheless, discover intriguing is the silence of Southern leaders, who appear to have misplaced their voices within the ongoing anomalies. I doubt whether it is as a result of they don’t see something improper with what the President is doing however as a result of they’ve offered out their souls, and their conscience not lively due to the crumbs that come to them, whereas others are merely blinded by ambitions that will by no means see daylight,’’ Progress stated.