Agenda for a Reformer

The President rises at 5:30 every morning to pray. By 8 a.m. he is reviewing a stack of correspondence at his desk in the spartan Dodan Barracks in Lagos, where he lives and works. Outside, two armored cars and two tanks evince the might of the Nigerian military. They are also reminders of the dangers that the country's youthful President, Major General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, faces as he goes about reshaping Nigeria's corrupt and debt-ridden society. The President recently granted a 50-minute interview to TIME Correspondent James Wilde. Throughout, he displayed a ready smile and a penchant for easy laughter. Excerpts:

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