5 controversial policies introduced by the Buhari administration in 2019

5 controversial policies introduced by the Buhari administration in 2019

Since President Muhammadu Buhari secured his second term mandate in February and sworn-in in May, the president has introduced some new policies which are planned to take the country to the "next level" as he had campaigned.

Some of the policies have been greeted with mixed reactions; while some people applaud the policies, others have contrary opinions.

Legit.ng highlights top five policies introduced by the government in 2019 which were greeted with mixed reactions and some controversy.

5 controversial policies introduced by the Buhari administration in 2019
President Buhari signing 2020 budget. Photo credit: Femi Adesina
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1. Border closure policy

The Nigerian government in August announced the closure of the country's land borders in a move to put an end to the illegal trading/smuggling being carried out by the neighbouring countries, particularly the Republic of Benin.

President Buhari also said that the border closure would help protect the local manufacturers and boost the economy.

However, many are against the policy which has been held responsible for the rise in inflation and the high cost of food prices.

2. VAT increase

The Nigerian government since the beginning of the year has been looking for different methods to increase the country's revenue which it said is needed to address the infrastructure deficit.

One of the measures the government came up with was to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 5% to 7.5%.

Though the VAT increase was part of the Finance Bill which has some components applauded by Nigerians, it was singled out for condemnation by Nigerians.

3. Stamp Duty on POS transaction

The Nigerian government also in 2019 introduced Stamp Duty on electronic transactions, especially transactions via Point of Sale (PoS) machines. The policy was widely condemned by Nigerians. However, the bank has recently explained that the stamp duty is expected to be paid by merchants, not the customers.

The government also reviewed the N50 stamp duty charge which it said would now be levied on electronic payments above N10,000 as against payment above N1,000.

4. Visa on arrival

President Buhari also said that starting from January 2020, other African nationals will be allowed to visit Nigeria without visa. That is, they will be issued visa on arrival.

This policy has been widely condemned by Nigerians who believe that it will expose the country to myriads of security challenges, apart from the one it is already grappling with.

5. RUGA settlement

In a bid to address the perennial herdsmen/farmers crisis, President Buhari introduced Ruga settlement scheme which was designed to settle herdsmen and their cattle on acquired land in some selected states.

The scheme was, however, widely rejected. Many considered the move as a way of hijacking lands from states and handing them to herdsmen. The scheme was eventually suspended.

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Meanwhile, President Buhari has promised that he will not relent in running his office in line with the dictates of the Nigerian constitution.

The president said that he will continue to do his best to see that his administration utilises the nation's resources to build infrastructure for the people.

He made this remark on Wednesday, December 25, during his hosting of a delegation led by the minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello, who paid him the usual Christmas day homage at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

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