Buhari Administration Policy Highlights of 2022:
2022 is President Buhari’s final full year as President. Here are the policy highlights of his administration for the year: a year that somehow pushed Covid-19 aside with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a shock move (at least to me) whose geopolitical, economic and humanitarian waves continue to be strongly felt, almost a year later.
It will remain the big story into 2023, until of course something even more momentous replaces it, which in a post-Covid world doesn’t seem like such a farfetched prospect any longer.
Let me make it clear that the list below is by no means a complete one, which means that I will be updating it regularly. So it’s best to keep checking back, if you’re interested in the list (why would you be here anyway, if you’re not interested :)
So, here we go:
Infrastructure, Investment and Economic Diversification:
It was a year of completion, in many regards. Important infrastructure projects, like the Lekki Deep Sea Port (the deepest Deep-Sea Port in Nigeria, and also the first fully-automated Seaport), the Zungeru Hydropower Plant (whose concessioning is being simultaneously fast-tracked, and the first phase of the Lagos Metro Rail’s Blue Line, were completed during the year. President Buhari’s focus on infrastructure — unprecedented in Nigeria in the last four decades — continues to pay off.
The Second Niger Bridge, one of the most significant pieces of infrastructure in the history of Nigeria, was completed in 2022. By this I mean the Bridge itself, work is ongoing on the ~10km of ‘approach roads’ at either end of the Bridge (this has sadly been delayed by the Monday sit-at-home regime in the region, as well as the devastating flooding of 2022).
In October 2022, MTN Nigeria received the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to formally take over the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, under President Buhari’s game-changing Executive Order 7 — the Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme (2019). MTN will invest 202.8 Billion Naira in the ongoing project, to complete it, in exchange for Federal tax credits. By this approval, MTN joins other Companies like Dangote Group, NNPC Limited, NLNG Limited, that are undertaking EO7 projects, collectively valued in excess of a trillion Naira so far.
The $100 million revamp of the iconic National Theatre, led by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bankers’ Committee, has progressed considerably, allowing the venue to host the UN World Tourism Organisation’s ‘Global Conference on Linking Tourism, Culture & the Creative Industries’, in November 2022.
Delivery began in late 2022 of the 10 Mega Mobile Transformers and 10 Mobile Substations ordered in 2021 from Siemens AG of Germany as part of the first phase of equipment orders under the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI). The PPI aims to expand Nigeria’s grid capacity to 25,000MW, in three phases, over the next few years.
The Federal Government approved the development of a new International Airport in Lagos, and a new Deep Sea Port (Badagry, Lagos)
Completion of the installation of Airfield Lighting on Domestic Runway 18L at the Airport Complex in Lagos, allowing domestic flights to land and takeoff 24/7 at the domestic wing of the Airport.
In April, President Buhari opened the new International Terminal of the Lagos Airport, and commissioned the $2.5 billion Dangote Fertiliser Plant, the largest granular urea fertilizer complex in the world. The Dangote Plant began exporting Urea to the US, India, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, etc, joining Indorama and Notore, which have been exporting for some years now. Nigeria is now a net exporter of Urea, and in the first half of 2022, Urea overtook sesame seeds and cocoa as Nigeria’s biggest non-oil export.
According to BusinessDay, “In H1 2022, Notore’s revenue from urea was up by 636.6 percent to N24.97 billion from N3.39 billion in the first half of 2021, with 55.99 percent of the total revenue generated outside Nigeria, leading the chemical company to report its first H1 profit in five years.”
In 2022, the FGN approved the concession of the Federal Fishery Coastal Terminal, in Ebughu Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, under an 11-year Finance, Rehabilitate, Operate, and Maintain PPP Model, with Messrs Alfin Fisheries Limited as Concessionaire.
In September, Vice President Osinbajo commissioned Pandagric Novum Farms, an integrated crop production and feed mill enterprise (comprising maize and soyabeans farm, and feed mill; a ~US$30 million investment) in Panda, Karu LGA of Nasarawa State. A partnership between Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, NSIA, and Signature Agri Investments of The Netherlands.
Nigeria’s high-level government-to-government partnerships with Morocco continue to pay off, with the completion and commissioning in October of the new Fertilizer Blending Plant built in Kaduna by the OCP Group. It was this same partnership that produced the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI).
In March, the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) in partnership with the Imo State Government, commissioned the revived Acharaugo Emekuku Integrated Farm Estate in Owerri North Local Government Area of the State, hitherto abandoned for many years — and the third such functioning Farm Estate, after Katsina and Yobe. The President has given NALDA a target to establish/revive one in each of Nigeria’s 109 Local Government Areas. Like NASENI (see below), NALDA is another Federal agency that has seen revitalization under President Buhari.
Business Environment Reforms & Trade Facilitation:
2022 saw the unveiling of a new World Bank-financed program, State Action on Business Enabling Reforms (SABER), a US$750 million Program-for-Results (PforR) initiative to be implemented by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), “to accelerate the implementation of critical actions that improve the business enabling environment in Nigeria’s States.” The SABER program seeks to build on the successes of PEBEC since it was established by President Buhari in 2016.
In November, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) presented operational licenses to an additional five (5) Export Processing Terminal (EPTs), where agricultural produce for export through the Lagos Ports will undergo “pre-gate” processing before being sent to the Ports by road. A total of 10 EPTs have now been licensed by the NPA.
According to the NPA, “Hence[forth], the movement of agro export boxes arriving at the [Lagos] ports from Lagos and Ogun states shall only be from [the approved Export Processing Terminals].”
During the year Onne Port maintained its position as the fastest-growing Port in Nigeria, on the back of a push by the NPA to boost activity in the country’s Eastern Ports, as a means of diversifying economic benefits and decongesting the Lagos Ports.
Also in 2022, the FGN approved the Concession of Onitsha River Port, for 30 years; as well as the reconstruction of the quays in Rivers Port by BUA Group. The Onitsha Port Concession will be implemented under a Rehabilitate, Operate and Transfer (ROT) PPP model, with Messrs Universal Elysium Consortium as the concessionaire.
As part of the modernization program for the Nigeria Customs Service, 3 high-capacity Scanners were deployed in November, one each to Apapa, Tincan Island and Onne Ports.
Certification of the 20,000 TEU capacity Dala Inland Dry Port (Kano) as a Port of Origin & Destination — which means cargo can now be shipped to/from the port. It will now join the Dry Port in Kaduna as a functioning Dry Port in Northern Nigeria. Under President Buhari, Nigeria’s Inland Dry Ports have seen remarkable advancement — in addition to Kaduna and Dala, Funtua (Katsina) is also nearing completion, if it hasn’t already been completed.
In February, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced Nigeria as one of the first six countries that will receive the technology required to produce mRNA vaccines on the African continent, and to be global training hubs for manufacturing bio-vaccines: Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia.
In September, Nigeria and AfreximBank signed the Host Country Agreement for the development of the Bank’s flagship African Medical Center of Excellence (AMCE) in Abuja, Nigeria. Recall that President Buhari performed the groundbreaking for the facility in December 2021. The US$300 million African Medical Centre of Excellence (AMCE) is being developed in partnership with King’s College Hospital, London; with completion of the first phase scheduled for 2024.
In October, the Federal Government launched a pilot of the National Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance System (NEMSAS), in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Available on the Toll-free Line 112 (no prank calls please!) It is expected to roll out to other States in 2023.
Telecommunications and Digital Economy:
Telecoms continues to lead in terms of contribution to the Nigerian economy. In Q2 2022, it accounted for three times the contribution of oil and gas, to GDP.
2022 was the year of 5G — the rollout of services, and the auctioning of a 3rd 5G license.
Microsoft formally launched its Africa Development Center in Lagos, Nigeria.
Visa announced plans to establish its first African Data Center in Nigeria, as well as an Engineering Office.
Google’s Equiano subsea internet Cable landed in Lagos in April. A massive new data center is under construction at the landing site.
MainOne and Africa Data Centers (ADC) respectively also opened new Data Centers in Lagos.
Kasi Cloud Ltd broke ground on a new hyperscale data center in Lagos, Nigeria. It will sit on 4 hectares of land in Lekki, and will be an estimated total investment of $250 million, with Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (NSIA) among the investors.
Digital identity registrations crossed the 90 million-mark in 2022, more than double the figure attained as of 2020. In just two years the country has added 50 million new registrations, versus the ~33 million added in the previous five years.
The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) announced plans to launch the first Virtual Free Zone in West Africa, to support innovation and investment in blockchain technology and the wider digital economy
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) in January 2022 approved the Revenue Assurance Solution (RAS) project of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMCDE), which will improve the efficiency of collation and collection of Annual Operating Levy (AOL) from network operators. The RAS will operate under a Design, Finance, Build, Operate and Transfer (DFBOT) Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, and is expected to facilitate the generation of 1.2 Trillion Naira in revenues over the course of the 10-year implementation period.
President Buhari inaugurated the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC) in September, marking the start of the implementation of the Climate Change Act, signed into law by the President in November 2021. President Buhari in July appointed Dr. Salisu Dahiru as pioneer Director-General and CEO of the National Council on Climate Change.
Nigeria also launched its Energy Transition Plan (ETP) in 2022: https://energytransition.gov.ng
National Social Investment Programme (NSIP):
The Federal Government rolled out Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP) 2.0. GEEP is an FGN initiative designed to provide low-cost loans to vulnerable and low-income Nigerians who are involved in commercial activity (trading, farming, artisanal work) but have never had the opportunity to access formal loans; with emphasis on widows, youth, the disabled, and the displaced. GEEP 1.0 recorded more than 2 million beneficiaries.
President Buhari approved the expansion of the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme by an additional 5 million children. The Scheme currently serves 9.9 million Primary School pupils across the country.
Bayelsa State officially joined the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme.
In February, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the National Action Plan on Human Trafficking in Nigeria, 2022–2026.
Rebuilding Borno and the North East:
As Governor of Borno State Prof Umaru Zulum said, on the sidelines of UNGA 2022: “The insurgency is coming to an end, and we have started seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.” In the last fifteen months, more than 90,000 Boko Haram and ISWAP fighters and their families have surrendered to the military and authorities in Borno State and Northeast Nigeria. At least 4 IDP camps were closed in Maiduguri during the year, with hundreds of thousands of persons residents resettled into formal communities.
At the APC Policy Forum in March 2022, Governor Zulum said: “At one point, of the 6 major roads in Borno State, only 1 was open to commuters (Maiduguri to Kano). All other major roads were closed. Today all our major roads are now completely open.” He also noted a substantial increase in land under cultivation in the State, in the wake of growing security and stability.
Ten-year North-East Stabilization and Development Master Plan (NESDMP) launched, in September.
Noteworthy milestones in maritime security, including the delisting of Nigeria by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) in March from the global list of piracy-prone nations, and the launch by the Nigerian Navy of the biggest anti-oil-theft operation in recent memory, Operation Dakatar Da Barawo. The Navy also recorded high-profile interceptions of at least three vessels attempting to illegally load oil or gas in Nigeria’s maritime environment.
The Nigerian Navy’s newest warship, NNS KADA, was delivered to the country in 2022. President Buhari has invested more resources in military hardware and equipment than any other President since 1999. In its first mission, NNS KADA sailed to Guinea Bissau in August 2022, carrying personnel and materiel to support the ECOWAS Stabilization Force there.
In 2022, the FGN established a National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), in line with the provisions of the Terrorism (Prevention & Prohibition) Act 2022, as assented to by President Buhari in May 2022. President Buhari appointed Rear Admiral Yaminu Ehinomen Musa(Rtd) as pioneer Coordinator of the NCTC.
2022 sadly saw increased linkages between the terrorists of the Northeast and the bandits in the Northwest. (Part of the fallout of the extent to which military has made the Northeast inhospitable for Boko Haram and ISWAP is that the terrorists are fanning out westward and southwards, taking advantage of the vast ‘ungoverned’ forests of the region.
One of the most high-profile terror attacks perpetrated in 2022 was on the Abuja-Kaduna train, which claimed several lives and resulted in a hostage situation involving dozens of passengers, and which lasted several months. But it was also the year that saw concerted efforts to secure the Northwest, and to replicate in it the successes that have become a defining feature of the Northeast. The Nigerian military in 2022 stepped up bombing campaigns of criminal camps in Kaduna, Niger and Zamfara, taking out several high-profile commanders. There’s still a lot of work ahead, no doubt.
Establishment, in June 2022, of a National Centre for the Coordination of Early Warning and Response Mechanism, domiciled in the Office of the Vice President, with the signing of Executive Order 12 by President Buhari. The order, signed on June 10, 2022 established the National Centre pursuant to Article 58 of the Treaty of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Article 16 of the Protocol on the Mechanism related to Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping and Security. President Buhari also approved the appointment of Mr. Chris Ngwodo as the Director General of the National Centre.
In 2022 the US Government approved the sale to Nigeria of a dozen AH-1Z Attack Helicopters and related equipment, in a deal that could be worth up to a billion dollars.
Zonal Offices established for the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW), and Zonal Coordinators appointed — Kaduna (NW), Minna (NC), Maiduguri (NE), Ado-Ekiti (SW), Enugu (SE) and Calabar (SS).
Legislation & Judicial Achievements:
President Buhari signed into law several important pieces of legislation, including:
- The long-awaited Electoral Act Amendment Bill, 2022
- Money Laundering (Prevention & Prohibition) Bill, 2022
- Terrorism (Prevention & Prohibition) Bill, 2022
- Proceeds of Crime(Recovery & Management) Bill, 2022
- Nigeria StartUp Bill, 2022
- Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB), 2022
- Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (Establishment) Act, 2022
- Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Act, 2022.
The following Executive Bills were also finalized, approved and sent to the National Assembly for consideration and passage:
- The National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) Establishment Bill, 2022 (to give legal backing to the NSIP, and establish it as an institution in line with President Buhari’s agenda to lift 100m Nigerians out of poverty by 2030), and
- The Whistleblowing Bill, to institutionalize the Federal Government’s Whistleblowing Policy.
Major Judicial Highlights, include:
- Resolution of the many inherited legal and judicial challenges encumbering Ajaokuta Steel Complex. A long-standing convoluted contractual dispute with a foreign investor group, amounting to potential costs of $5.258 billion to Nigeria, was settled for $496m, in September 2022.
“Very significant also is the work we have done to resolve all the legal entanglements that had bogged down the progress of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex. We inherited a long-moribund complex burdened by local and international commercial disputes, all of which we have now resolved. I am glad to report that as we begin to round off in office, we can genuinely say that our administration has rescued Ajaokuta from all legal disabilities, and it is now ready for concessioning to a private investor with the right profile, to put it to work for Kogi and for Nigeria.” — President Buhari, December 29, 2022.
- In 2022, the full operationalization of the Special Prosecution Team established in 2021 by the Federal Ministry of Justice, to prosecute cases of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).
- Ratification of Nigeria’s Accession to the (Budapest) Convention on Cybercrime (CETS No. 185) by President Buhari on 4th July 2022. The (Budapest) Convention on Cybercrime is the most significant international instrument on Cybercrime, setting out the framework for improving cooperation among countries, and harmonising national legislations.
- In 2022, the Federal Ministry of Justice negotiated various relevant instruments executed during the State Visits of President Muhammadu Buhari to Spain and Portugal. In addition, Nigeria negotiated and signed various Agreements/Memorandum of Understanding with Ivory Coast, Burundi, Rwanda, Turkey, Gambia, South Africa, Iran, Benin Republic, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, South Korea, etc.
Oil and Gas:
NNPC began new life as a Limited Liability Company, owned half-and-half by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) and the Ministry of Petroleum Incorporated (MOPI), on behalf of the government and people of Nigeria, in keeping with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2022.
Following the discovery of commercial quantities of oil and gas in Northern Nigeria (the Gongola Basin, specifically), President Buhari in 2022 flagged-off the historic development of the first set of oilfields (OPL 809 and 810), on/near River Kolmani, in Bauchi and Gombe States.
2022 saw the Conclusion of the Marginal Field Bid Round, which started in 2022; reactivation of the National Gas Flare Commercialization Programme (NGFCP), and kickstarting of the first deep-offshore bid round since 2007. The Marginal Field rounds earned the country about N200 billion and $7 million, in license fees, signature bonuses and other payments.
Progress on the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline Project (Nigeria, Niger and Algeria signed an MOU in July), and the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Project (contract awarded for Phase 2 FEED; and MOUs executed with a total of seven countries on the pipeline route, in 2022), which, when completed, will be the longest offshore gas pipeline in the world. Both will take Nigerian gas to North Africa (Algeria and Morocco, respectively), and eventually to Europe.
Nigeria launched a National FinTech Strategy 2023, as well as the second phase of the eNaira project. Recall that in 2021 Nigeria became the first African country in the world to launch a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), the eNaira.
Nigeria also launched new currency notes, the first such move in almost two decades. The deadline for old notes to be swapped for the new ones is January 31, 2023.
As at the end of September, the Segilola Gold Project in southwest Nigeria, Nigeria’s most first commercial gold-mining operation, had achieved production in excess of 70,000 ounces of gold.
Solid minerals is one of several sectors that the Buhari Administration has devoted a lot of attention and policy-making to, as part of a larger agenda of diversifying the economy — and government revenues — from oil and gas.
In July, the Federal Government approved a new policy — the Nigerian Mining Value Chain Regulation (NMVCR) — to stop the export of raw mineral ores from Nigeria, and encourage beneficiation and value addition. (Barite, Lead, Gold and Kaolin processing plants are being established by the FGN, to serve as pilot plants, and models for replication by private investors.
The formal launch of the Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange (LCFE), in July. The Exchange rolled out a £100m Gold Spot Contract Series, as well as its signature EKO gold coin.
Also in 2022, Kian Smith, a Nigerian company (owners of a gold refinery license), launched an App for trading Nigerian gold and silver, as well as tradable Gold and Silver medallions.
The Federal Government announced Ethiopian Airline as the preferred bidder for the concession of Nigeria Air. The approved shareholding structure is as follows: Ethiopian Airline — 49%; Nigerian investors — 46%; FGN — 5%.
The FGN also issued an Air Transport License to Nigeria Air in June 2022.
In 2022, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASA) between Nigeria and Kuwait; and Nigeria and Canada.
A milestone in the Nigeria Aviation Concession Programme, with the announcement of preferred and reserve bidders for three (3) out of four (4) International Airports and Cargo Terminals approved for concession under the programme ||| Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja — Preferred bidder: Corporación América Airports Consortium; Reserve Bidder: ENL Consortium ||| Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos — Preferred Bidder: TAV/NAHCO/PROJECT PLANET LIMITED(PPL) Consortium; Reserve Bidder: Sifax/Changi Consortium ||| Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano — Preferred Bidder: Corporación América Airports Consortium; No Reserve Bidder
Nigeria’s Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) — until now an aviation-specific incident investigation body — is transforming into a multimodal accident investigation body, responsible for investigating accidents across all transport modes: the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB), following President Buhari’s assent to the NSIB Bill 2022.
Presidential Executive Orders:
President Buhari signed the following PEOs in 2022 —
- National Public Buildings Maintenance, 2022
- Order Establishing A National Centre for the Coordination of Early Warning and Response Mechanism
- Improving Performance Management, Coordination and Implementation of Presidential Priorities of the Federal Govt of Nigeria.
2022 saw Nigeria’s worst flooding incident in a decade, affecting more than 3 million persons (fatalities numbering over 600 as of October), with over 200,000 houses partially or completely destroyed, and hundreds of thousands of hectares of farmland damaged, across 33 States. In September the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the final draft of Nigeria’s National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan.
President Buhari approved the release of 12,000 metric tonnes of food items from the National Strategic Reserve, for distribution to communities affected by flooding, across the country.
In October, President Buhari directed the Minister of Water Resources “to lead and coordinate with the Ministries of Environment and Transportation as well as State Governments to develop a Comprehensive Plan of Action for Preventing Flood Disaster in Nigeria.”
In May 2022, the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) announced the recovery $23.5 million stolen from the Federal Government by associates and family of the late former Head of State, saying that “the ultimate intention is for the $23.5m to be repatriated for the benefit of the Nigerian people.”
In August, Nigeria and the United States signed an agreement for the return to Nigeria of another $23 million in Abacha Loot, to the country.
Nigeria has so far received more than $600m in Abacha Loot since President Buhari assumed office.
Repatriation of Looted Artifacts:
In December, Germany handed over to the Federal Government Germany 20 looted Benin Bronzes. German Museums are in possession of more than a thousand of those sculptures, while the British Museum alone holds more than 900. Germany has pledged to return all the Benin Bronzes it is currently holding.
In October, the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art (NMAfA), and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum returned a total of 31 works handed over to Nigeria — making them the first American institutions to return looted Benin Bronzes.
Nigeria also hosted, in addition to the UNWTO Creative Economy Conference, the following major events:
- UNESCO’s Media and Information Literacy Week 2022
- International Financial Inclusion Conference 2022
- Nigerian International Maritime Summit (attended by Kitack Lim, the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization).
Nigeria re-elected to the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Nigeria also celebrated its 60th anniversary as a member of ICAO. Also, Nigeria’s Funke Adeyemi elected Secretary General of the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC).
Nigeria disclosed it is seeking additional maritime area, through the extension of her Continental Shelf, in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). According to President Buhari, while receiving a progress report from the High-Powered Presidential Committee on Nigeria’s Extended Continental Shelf Project, chaired by the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, in April: “Nigeria has this one and only chance to gain territory without war, litigation, or purchase. More so when this territory lies within the area dubbed as ‘the Golden Triangle’ in the Gulf of Guinea, which contains unquantifiable resources, some of which have not even been discovered.’’
In October, a delegation from the International Seabed Authority (ISA) — an intergovernmental organization established under UNCLOS — led by its Secretary General, Mr Michael Lodge, visited Nigeria, to take part in an international workshop organized by the ISA in partnership with the African Union and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), and hosted by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
European Union: During the year, President Buhari paid State Visits to Spain and Portugal, in June, and hosted the President of Poland, Andrezej Duda, to a State Visit in Abuja in September; the first State Visit by a Polish leader to Nigeria since the establishment of diplomatic relations between both countries in 1961. In February, President Buhari attended the European Union — Africa Summit in Brussels, Belgium.
The Ukraine Evacuation:
President Buhari approved $8.5 million for the evacuation of Nigerians who fled Ukraine in the wake of its invasion by Russia. The Federal Government embarked on a successful evacuation programme that brought. By the middle of March, about 1,800 Nigerians had been successfully evacuated from Ukraine and neighbouring countries.
Nigerian Air Force and the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) announced a partnership to build Made-in-Nigeria helicopters.
Nigerian Air Force in 2022 announced plans to build an Aviation City in Ido-Osun, Osun State, comprising an aircraft manufacturing facility, an MRO, and a UAV production centre. The State Government handed over the site of the planned Osun State Airport to the NAF at a ceremony in July. The NAF had in 2021 relocated its Research and Development Centre to Osogbo, Osun State.
The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) entered into a partnership with Proforce Limited, an indigenous manufacturer of military vehicles and equipment, to develop and launch “Nigeria’s first private sector-driven satellite.” Proforce’ MRAP, the ARA is Nigeria’s first-ever defence export, with deliveries to Chad, Rwanda and other countries.
Nigeria Police Force (NPF) launched its UAV wing.
A very important year with regards to the planned amendment of the Nigerian Constitution. 2021 saw the start of the biggest constitutional reform effort since 1999, with public hearings on the proposed amendments. In 2022, the various items — each one a distinct Bill — were debated and voted upon by the National Assembly, and then transmitted to the State Houses of Assembly, where the concurrence of 24 of 36 SHoAs are required before the Bills can be sent to the President for assent.
Education, Jobs & Skills:
Preparations commenced for the start of the World-Bank assisted Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) project, one of the biggest World Bank-sponsored, gender-focused projects on the continent. AGILE is a 5-year initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria to improve secondary education opportunities for adolescent girls. The World Bank is contributing US$500 million, with additional funding coming from the Nigerian Government. The implementing States are: Borno, Ekiti, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi and Plateau.
Jubilee Fellows Programme: In November, the first set of beneficiaries of the Jubilee Fellows Programme — a partnership between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), European Union, and the private sector — commenced their yearlong paid jobs, marking the formal kick-off of the programme. The JFP aims to connect 20,000 young graduates annually with job opportunities that provide them access to world-class practical experience and training.
Nigeria’s National Council on Skills, chaired by Vice President Osinbajo, in October approved the adoption of the revised Nigerian Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF), while also urging State Governors to establish State Councils on Skills “to complement and replicate efforts made at the national level, in order to deeply tackle the issue of skills gap across the country.”
President Buhari assented to the Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill, 2022. The new Act extends the retirement age for Basic and Secondary School Teachers to 65, and Length of Service to 40 years, from 60 and 35 years respectively. This is part of a new welfare package by President Buhari for Public Teachers, which also includes a new Special Teachers Salary Scale (with a range of special allowances) and new Special Teachers Pension Scheme, etc.
In 2022, the Federal Government commenced the implementation of the Ministerial directive for the reintroduction of History into the Basic and Junior Secondary education curriculum in Nigeria. The implementation kicked off in November with the selection and training of 3,700 teachers of History (100 from each of the 36 States and the FCT).