Mr Monday Ubani, a lawyer and former second Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association, bares his mind to ADE ADESOMOJU of Punch Newspaper on key sectors President Muhammadu Buhari and his new cabinet must find solution to in his second and last tenure
Q What do you think should be the priority area for President Muhammadu Buhari and his new cabinet that is to be inaugurated this week?
A The next four years is the last tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari and this is what we call the legacy tenure. So, it is either he leaves a legacy of having achieved something that is positive and that Nigerians we remember him for, or he leaves a legacy of failure.
There are some areas specifically where Nigerians will want the President and the new cabinet to address. One of the most important areas that Nigerians will want some sort of lasting solution to is power. If the President, within the next four years, cannot provide solution to power, he will be rated as President that has not impacted our lives. And that is the truth.
He should give whoever is going to oversee power the marching order to find at least 80 per cent solution to the power problems. As things stand now, we are neither here nor there with regards to power. We do not know what we are generating or what we have done to even say that from now on, we are going to be having incremental generation of power. We do not even know whether we are going backwards. Nothing has been consistent with regards to power as we have been fluctuating between 3,000, 2,000 and 5,000 megawatts. For now, there is nothing we have found solution to about power. We have not found any solution to generation; we have not found any solution to transmission; we have not found any solution to distribution – and these are the three key areas.
So, in the next four years, President Buhari should be able to give us solutions with regards to these three key areas. What are we generating and what are we going to do to increase our level of generation? What are we going to do to provide efficient transmission and distribution of power? Is it only the Federal Government that should continue to generate power, or it should be spread to all state governments? We have found out that distribution companies have not been efficient in the distribution of power. Are we going to remain with them or take it away from them and give it to those who will be efficient?
Q With your emphasis on power and infrastructure, would you still recommend that Works and Power should still be merged under a minister?
A I will not want such thing to happen again. That was a grave mistake that was made in the last dispensation. One of the ministries is big enough for any human being. Each of them should be given to a minister so that they can be better rated based on their performance.
Q What about the anti-corruption fight?
A We need to prop up this anti-corruption fight. We need to re-define what we call anti-corruption and how we want to tackle it. The President should once again gather egg heads to look at the issue of corruption which has been our perennial problem. We are now in a quagmire. A lot of people who want to invest in Nigeria are afraid because of the way we are going about the anti-corruption fight. The method of the fight is also discouraging people who would have brought investments into the country. There are a lot of inputs that the President should gather from intellectuals in order to get a total victory over corruption.