Indications emerged yesterday that months before the presidential election was conducted, a think-tank on moving Nigeria forward in a new regime had been working away from public glare. This became evident on Thursday when a document containing recommendations to guide the incoming government on a smooth take-off was submitted to the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, at his private office on Lobito Crescent in the Wuse 2 area of Abuja.
The committee, raised by former President, Olusegun Obasanjo under the Centre for Human Security of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, focused on five key areas of education, power, the economy, security and infrastructure.
Head of Buhari’s Media team, Mallam Garba Shehu, told newsmen that vice chairman of the committee and former Minister of Finance, Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu, presented volumes of the report of the committee to Buhari during a brief ceremony held behind closed doors.
Garba Shehu also said that former Chairman of Cadbury Nigeria, Dr. Christopher Kolade, who was head of the power committee, listed various stages of the proposed power sector development plan to include, short term, medium term, long term solutions.
Shehu said under the short term solution, the plan seeks to raise the country’s power generation to 10,000 MW, adding that “the whole idea was that Obasanjo set up his own think-tank with the aim of carrying out a study on challenges facing the country in five key areas of Education, Power sector, Economy, Security and Infrastructure. The study was commissioned four months ago so that the outcome will be made available to the incoming administration after the election.”
Shehu quoted Buhari as appreciating the efforts of Obasanjo and his team, describing their intervention as a great impetus for the incoming government.
Buhari, he said, regretted that the outgoing government that is supposed to give him tips on how to take off has done nothing so far and thanked Obasanjo and his team for their gesture, assuring them that his incoming administration will be needing their advice as time goes on.
Speaking with journalists after the meeting with the President-elect, Chairman of the Governing Board of Centre for Human Security of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Professor Akin Mabogunje, said the centre had been working on some critical areas of the economy which they hope will be of help to the incoming government.
He said: “(The) Centre for Human Security of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library has being working on a number of critical issues for the development of this country and they have now sent a delegation of those who’ve been involved with the preparation of those policy documents to talk to the President-elect and get him to appreciate what is being done to help his administration. That’s why we are here.”
Asked how the President-elect received the report, the Professor of Geography said, “He was very happy that we’ve been thinking about how to help him hit the ground running and he expressed his appreciation for what we’ve been doing.”
However, Chairman of the all Progressives Congress (APC) Transition Committee, Ahmed Joda, who was also present at the ceremony refused to comment on the work of the committee, saying “I am here not in the capacity of the chairman of the transition committee. I am here because I am chairman of one of the committees of the centre that considered security issues at the Obasanjo Centre for Human Security.”