Pictures of President Muhammadu Buhari waving at a conquered country every time he is about to depart the country for whatever reason his handlers give have become his most significant achievement since his election in 2015. It is also his happiest moment. The president smiles happily like never before each time he waves at a burning nation as his plane readies to taxi on the tarmac to either attend to his health or whatever reasons the presidency gives for his travelling; benefits of which hardly reflect on governance or in the lives of Nigerians.

President Buhari, his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, gracefully inserted an allocation of N1.3 billion in the 2019 N8.9 trillion budget, mainly for their international trips. Domestic trips constitute a low percentage of this allocation. In the 2020 budget that is before the National Assembly, Buhari equally proposed a whooping N3.3 billion to take care of his and his deputy’s trips. But what will it do the president to reduce his disdain for the people he ran elections a record three times to govern before winning the fourth trial? What are the benefits associated with the president junketting around the globe while hunger, insecurity, poverty, multiple taxations, disorderliness wreck the country?

After Buhari and his team came back from Russia, the news around town was that the government signed an agreement between Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Russia’s Lukoil to elevate the commercial relationship to a government-to-government backed partnership.

According to Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu: “With the signing of the MoU, NNPC and Lukoil will work together in upstream operations and revamp Nigeria’s refineries.”

Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi was not left out as he also signed an agreement with two Russian firms for the modernisation and development of railway infrastructure.

The MoU also covers the rehabilitation of existing Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) rolling stock-fleet and upgrading of workshops across the country. More worrisome was the fact that no agreement was signed for revitalization of the health sector, which to decerning minds are more important to the president.

The presidency has made such much noise about the Russian deals that one is left to ask what happened to the much talked about Naira-Yuan swap deal? Why did it quickly faze into oblivion? How has the implementation helped the country after the government mouthed it next to El Dorado?

Shouldn’t the president sit down at home and take a critical look at the rot in the country such as the dwindling economy, the roads that have become death traps due to it decaying nature, kidnapping and other forms of criminalities? Is the president so lazy that he dreams of flying about the world to sign irrelevant MoUs wearing dark sunglasses as his plethora of aides clap for him while abandoning burning issues at home? Buhari shows little interests in domestic issues.

The president, barely four days after he returned from Russia has embarked on yet another trip to Saudi Arabia from where he would proceed to the United Kingdom for a private visit. Buhari has for years, visited the UK for the treatment of an undisclosed illness. In 2017, he was forced back to Nigeria after spending three months in a hospital in the UK. Opponents say he has prostate cancer, a claim he has denied.

It is a source of national concern that all the MoUs that the president has signed in the past, none has enabled him to use Nigerian Hospitals for his health needs despite repeated lies that the change agenda of his government has put the country on a path to progress. Why has the change his government brought not reflected in the health sector to warrant the president using any of the teaching hospitals? Can the national borders be shut against health tourism like it was shut against rice importation?

World over, presidents that care about their country sit down daily to examine burning issues giving citizens sleeplessness nights. These world leaders are tackling their national issues which are the basis upon which they are elected. Nigeria has a long list of issues hampering development and sitting behind presidential jets he promised to sell to junket around the world is not one of them. When President Buhari seems tired of using the Nine presidential jets, he blames past leaders for problems he promised to solve.

Nigeria currently generates below 3000 megawatts. This is a country that the president clamours for industrialization. But how would the country industrialize if there is no power? In the midst of lack of electricity which has thrown the country into total darkness, the man the president made a minister of power is unashamedly unavailable. The issue of security has earned only rhetorics from the former general who during the campaigns promised to lead from the front. But as the service chiefs who have all overstayed their mandatory service years and due for retirement seem to run out of ideas on how to handle the rate of insecurity which has taken the country to ransom, the president looks well impressed not to have fired them.

President Buhari needs to sit down and do the work upon which he was elected to do. Nigerians need employments, they need the security of their lives and property. Nigerians need electricity. They need a better living standard. Nigerians need better infrastructure. They want to see the president tackle these issues and not gloss over them and fly to whichever country waves at him.

<strong>List of countries President Buhari has travelled to with no benefits</strong>

Niger Niamey 3 June Anti-Boko Haram summit

Chad N’Djamena 4 June State Visit

Germany Munich 7 – 8 June 42nd G7 summit

South Africa Johannesburg 12 – 13 June 25th African Union Summit

United States Washington, D.C., 19 – 23 July State Visit

Cameroon Yaoundé 29 – 30 July State Visit

Benin Cotonou 2 – 3 August Independence Celebrations

Ghana Accra 7 September State Visit

France Paris 14 – 16 September State Visit

The United States New York City 24 – 29 September 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly

India New Delhi 26 – 30 October Third India Africa Forum Summit

Sudan Khartoum 30 October State Visit

Iran Tehran 22 – 24 November 3rd Gas Exporting Countries Forum

Malta Valletta 28 – 30 November 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government summit.

France Paris 30 November – 1 December Paris Conference of Parties 21

South Africa Johannesburg 4 – 5 December China Africa summit See also: China–Nigeria relations

2016
The following is a list of international presidential trips made by Buhari in 2016.

Benin Cotonou 8 January 11th summit of the Heads of State of the Niger Basin Authority

United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi 17 – 20 January World Future Energy Summit

Ethiopia Addis Ababa 26 January 26th Summit of African Union Heads of State and Government.

Kenya Eldoret, Nairobi 27 – 29 January State Visit

France Strasbourg 2 – 4 February Official Visit

The United Kingdom London 5 – 10 February Vacation showDetails

Egypt Sharm El Sheikh 18 February Sharm el-Sheikh ‘Africa 2016.’

Saudi Arabia Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca, Medina 22 – 27 February State Visit

Qatar Doha 27 – 28 February OPEC Meeting See also: Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries

Equatorial Guinea Malabo 14 March State Visit

United States Washington, D.C. 30 March – 3 April 4th Nuclear Security Summit

China Beijing 11 – 14 April State Visit

The United Kingdom London 13 May – 15 May Anti-Corruption Summit

The United Kingdom London 6 – 19 June Medical Visit

Chad N’Djamena 8 August Inauguration of Idris Deby

Kenya Nairobi 27 – 28 August Tokyo Conference on Africa

The United States New York City 11 – 15 September Seventy-first session of the United Nations General Assembly

Germany Berlin 13 – 16 October State Visit

Morocco Marrakesh 14 – 18 November United Nations Climate Change conference

Senegal Dakar 5 – 7 December Third Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa

Gambia Banjul 13 December ECOWAS summit

2017
Ghana Accra 7 January Inauguration of Nana Akufo-Addo

Gambia Banjul 13 January ECOWAS mediation meeting

Mali Bamako 13 – 14 January 27th Africa France

2018
UK London 16-20 April 2018 Will attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

US Washington 30 April 2018 Working Visit.

Poland Kraków 2-3 December 2018 Working Visit.
2019

US New York City 25 September 2019 Working Visit.

South Africa Pretoria 2-3 October 2019 State Visit.

Russia Sochi 21-23 October 2019 Working Visit 1st Russia-Africa Summit