In 20 months as Head of State, about 500 politicians, officials and businessmen were jailed for corruption during his stewardship. Detainees were released after releasing sums to the government and agreeing to meet certain conditions.
In order to reform the economy, as Head of State, Buhari started to rebuild the nation's social-political and economic systems, along the realities of Nigeria's austere economic conditions. The rebuilding included cutting back the excesses in national expenditure, and eradicating corruption from the nation's social ethics.
Major-General Buhari’s regime managed to reduce inflation, rejected all International Monetary Fund conditions such as the devaluing the naira, sharply reduced unnecessary imports, minimized oil bunkering and when bunkered oil was seized, he used it to get relevant commodities, equipment and machinery using the counter trade policy.
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