In Nigeria’s tumultuous political landscape, each new government comes into power with grand promises of progress and transformation.
The unfortunate reality, however, is that many of these election pledges have remained unfulfilled, leaving citizens disillusioned and skeptical about the true impact of governance.
As the nation’s history unfolds, certain recurring election promises have yet to see the light of day. Let’s delve into five key commitments that successive Nigerian governments have failed to honour.
Reduce fuel price
The reduction of fuel prices has been a prominent election promise since it first increased from N20 to N30 under Olusegun Obasanjo’s government. But rather than fulfil their promise, Nigerians have seen a steady increase in this price. Obasanjo’s tenure handed over a pump price of N75 per litre to Umar Musa Yar’adua.
Upon assumption of office, Yar’adua reduce fuel price to N65 per litre without being told or compelled to. After his death, Goodluck Jonathan attempted to remove its fuel subsidies but it was met with nationwide protests, he backtracked and handed over an N87 fuel price to his successor, Muhammadu Buhari.
Going further, Buhari made so much noise about being the NNPC Chairman and Petroleum Minister when two of the nation’s refinery were created couldn’t do anything to fulfil this promise. Before becoming the president, he urged Goodluck’s administration to “stop stealing from Nigerians and allow them to enjoy the relief that has come to consumers of petroleum products globally.”
Sadly, throughout his tenure, Buhari who promised to end Nigeria’s years of fuel curse failed to fulfil his promise. Rather than reduce the fuel price, he increased the pump price from N87 to N145 a year into his administration. When he was re-elected for a second term, fuel prices further increased to N161 and later to N210 before handing over to President Tinubu.
Tinubu also promised to crash fuel prices at his campaign rally in Abeokuta, the Ogun State Capital. However, within his few days in office, fuel prices have increased from N210 to N617.
Address the nation’s power challenge
Obasanjo promised to fix the nation’s power challenge but failed to fulfil his promise. Buhari who pledged to generate/transmit and distribute electricity on a 24/7 basis, failed to fulfil his promise as the national grid packed up several times under his administration.
Tinubu who highlighted the nation’s power sector as one of his areas of focus said, “Electricity will become more accessible and affordable to businesses and homes alike. Power generation should nearly double, and transmission and distribution networks improved. We will encourage states to develop local sources as well.”
While we can not effectively assess his tenure at the moment, the electricity distribution companies had earlier suggested a rise in electricity tariffs, a move that has been strongly opposed by many Nigerians.
Fix the education sector
Obasanjo promised to fix the education sector but it is on record that members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU went on strike for over five months after he was elected President in 1999. Obasanjo also made university students sit at home in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007 owing to breaches of agreements reached with members of ASUU.
Buhari also pledged to put an end to industrial actions in federal-owned universities, but the strikes continued and students were forced to stay at home also.
Pledge to bring the naira equal to the dollar
Another promise that has been repeated but not fulfilled is the promise of making the nation’s currency equal to the dollar. Jonathan’s administration promised to ensure stability in the value of the Naira by striving to take away speculative behaviours. Also, Buhari pledged to make the naira equal to the dollar.
Despite these promises, the dollar has continued to soar against the Naira.
Create millions of jobs for the unemployed and under-employed Nigerians
Obasanjo and Buhari pledged to create millions of jobs for Nigerians. Rather than fulfil their promise, their government left more Nigerians poorer and unemployed than they met it.
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