Manifesto For APC To Adopt: My Vision For Nigeria by Neo-XVI
As the new party sets about drafting its manifesto, they’d do well do adopt well-meaning ideas from Nigerians from all works of life. Listed below are people-centered ideas that should work well. A real manifesto will have these ideas fleshed out, including some justification and strategies for implementation, but that would be too much to post here. Feel free to discuss and/or add your own ideas, I understand some politicians come by here sometimes.
• Abolish immunity for public office holders from prosecution while in office
• Make it mandatory for all public office holders to declare their assets before taking and after leaving office
• Enact a whistle blower protection and reward act. To avoid false accusations, the onus of providing some form of evidence should be on the whistle blower
• Enact tougher penalties, including life imprisonment, for people convicted of corruption/misuse of public funds and resources
• Set up minimum standards of transparency in government
• Lead by example (critical)
Jobs and the Economy
• As a matter of national emergency, build sufficient power generating stations and distribution infrastructure all over the country with the goal of providing 24-hour, uninterrupted electric power to every nook and cranny of the country. The strategy should be a forceful push for private participation and complimentary government investment to meet demand. This singular act, if achieved, will revolutionize commerce in the country. This can be done within 5 years. The designs already exist so we’re not re-inventing the wheel here. The only part that would be time-consuming is usually the lead time on procurement of equipment from companies like GE.
• Get Ajaokuta Steel Company working to its full capacity, as another matter of national emergency. This is another extremely high impact policy that if implemented, could revolutionize Nigerian manufacturing and export. Along with constant power supply, this will provide the base for the industrial super structure that would carry a developed Nigeria.
• Implement a National Tax Plan which demands that every working person pays income tax, whether in paid employment or a small business owner. Without a tax paying citizenry to demand accountability from government, government can never be trusted to be accountable and clean on its own volition. No one is that good. Streamline federal, state and local taxes, especially on small businesses. Tax defaulters are sentenced to jail and/or fined heavily. This will also add to revenue while reducing the focus on oil.
• Implement a new National Interstate Highway Plan from east to west, north to south, linking every state and every major Nigerian city to its neighbor via modern highways
• Rehabilitate and improve air and rail transport, especially for cargo operations. Build high speed interstate trains for passenger transport
• Build more seaports all across the coastline to reduce congestion and ensure more efficient marine and custom operations
• Ban the importation of a long list of goods that could be produced locally in order to stimulate local production. Our GDP will not fare very well until
we reduce the massive trade deficits we currently have
• Increase import duty on certain other goods to ensure that local industries can compete
• Systematical increase capitalization thresholds to ensure stronger, more robust banks
• Provide hassle-free loans for small scale industries and reduce taxes on all manufacturing industry operations
• Provide fast, independent audit of the NNPC, the subsidy scheme, and oil industry operations in Nigeria to eliminate the massive sleaze and corruption
that has crippled that industry. Set minimum standards of transparency in their operations. Reassess oil contracts and contracting procedures.
• Resuscitate refining to the full capacity of already established refineries. Map out policies to encourage more local refining to eliminate the need for oil importation. The goal should be self-sufficiency in refined crude products. We are an oil producer for goodness sake! Whoever heard of an oil producer importing gasoline and diesel?
• Enact and implement a national minimum wage increase
National Security and integration
• Begin the use state of residence as a criteria for seeking political office (as opposed to state of origin). This will rapidly improve national integration and over time douse the tensions that exist now. Imagine a time when an igbo man that has contributed to the advancement of a locality in Bauchi becomes their rep in congress. Beautiful! No?
• Look closely at indigene/settler laws with a view to giving settlers legitimate right to land (including farmlands) and to own properties. The country cannot claim to be united when everyone is holding tenaciously to their territories. If you’ve lived somewhere for 10, 20 years or more, they shouldn’t have any hesitation calling you brother or sister
• Dialogue with all terrorist groups, affiliates and sponsors within the country and try to resolve their legitimate concerns while they declare a cease-
fire. If they remain obstinate after genuine efforts at resolution, unleash the wrath of government on them and wipe them out or chase them out of the
• Secure our borders and account for every foreigner in the country
• Adopt a home first strategy in deciding what foreign missions our soldiers engage in. We should stop being Santa Claus to our African neighbors who
neither appreciate nor respect us
• Modernize our military operations and strategy and improve their capability to handle the kinds of threats we face
• Provide retraining for ALL Nigerian policemen. Increase salaries and living conditions and modernize their equipment and operations. Also recruit
massively to provide sufficient policing for cities and states.
• Scrap the NYSC. It has become a corrupted, money wasting venture and a big cause of delay for youths. The productivity of a critical demographic is stifled by this program with huge diminishing returns. Use the money to hire permanent, qualified teachers instead and free graduates to go and work as professionals in their fields.
• Free, compulsory, universal education for all children up to high school level. Fine parents who fail to comply by not registering their kids for school
• Improve learning facilities and conditions nationwide. Improve school curriculum
• Outlaw child labor in any form, including hawking, until age 16
• Audit teacher qualifications. Weed out unqualified teachers. Hire adequate qualified teachers. Improve training and retraining of teachers
• Set up a National College Fund to fund research and learning in tertiary institutions.
• Improve school curriculum and make it mandatory for all current college lecturers to earn a PhD within 5 years, after which no one without a PhD should
handle a college class without supervision i.e. they should be TAs and AIs, not full lecturers
• Grant partial, and eventually full autonomy to tertiary institutions (after free education through high school, people should be willing to pay a bit more
to get a degree)
• Encourage merit-based public and private scholarships for the brightest students
• Set up a national low interest college loan program to help private citizens fund higher education
Agriculture and Water Resources
• Encourage mechanized farming in the country by partnering with local authorities to provide such machinery for rent Improve agric extension activities, high yield seeds, fertilizers, etc, all at subsidized costs to farmers. The goal should be self-sufficiency in all staple foods. Buy and store excess production from farmers in good years. There are vast swathes of land that are not cultivated the country over because of small scale subsistence farming
• Renewed focus on cash crop production for exports. Bring back the groundnut pyramids, the cotton fields, and the cocoa and oil plantations of the 50s and
60s. Encourage some local processing before export to increase value while also providing jobs
• Pursue a vigorous plan to supply clean, pipe-borne water to all cities and towns nationwide. And gradually to hinterlands
• Provide for better irrigated farming opportunities in dry seasons especially in Northern Nigeria
• Immunize all children on as required from birth. Make these services available even in the remotest villages. Focus should be on less expensive,
more efficient preventive medicine
• Build and improve hospitals and primary health care clinics nationwide
• Build world class specialist hospitals over time and employ Nigerian doctors practicing elsewhere (US, Europe). This will save crucial foreign
exchange for us from politicians and the rich who go abroad at the slightest provocation, sometimes even for such things as medical checkups
• Improve training facilities and curriculum in medical schools
Enough with the 7-point or 10-point agendas. What Nigeria needs is a comprehensive work over
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
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