How should the government spend on infrastructure?
Infrastructure development. Source: Flickr

What is Buhari’s legacy as president?

Depending on who you ask, some might say that he successfully bankrupted the Nigerian economy in less than eight years. Others, however, might point to the numerous infrastructure projects he achieved over the period he was president.

One primary theme of the current administration is its focus on infrastructure. This explains why capital expenditure (capex) in the current administration (from 2015 to date) has tripled compared to other administrations in nominal terms. In real terms, however, capex has declined significantly compared to past administrations—which means that capital projects are more expensive, partly because of higher inflation rates. 


Key takeaways:

  1. One of President Buhari’s legacies is taking on more capital expenditure than previous administrations. 

  2. There may have been better decisions than splurging on infrastructure in the Buhari administration, considering that the cost of borrowing was higher than usual. In addition, the public sector is known for not being efficient in infrastructure spending, and the government didn’t reduce its spending to accommodate the debt incurred for infrastructure development. 

  3. The better option, however, could have been to increase the incentives for private sector financing by creating an enabling environment and increasing the viability gap funding. 


Although increased capital expenditure shows the government’s willingness to improve infrastructure in the country, it doesn't paint the entire picture of whether its approach to infrastructural development was the best for

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Gbemisola Alonge

Gbemisola Alonge

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