The paper by the former Governor of the Central Bank Prof. Charles Soludo sparked a meaningful debate on the programs of our contenders for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.The response by the two leading parties came through Dr. Fayemi , the head of research of General Buhari Campaign Organization while Femi Fani Kayode the media director of President Goodluck Jonathan made comments
It will not make much sense to duel on the response by Fani Kayode and Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala as the comments are at best rebuttal of the credibility or the credentials of the former two terms Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
They PDP need to be more serious and start engaging us, Nigerians, on the issues raised and many others on how they intend to govern us in the next 4 years. As for APC that made a fair attempt at responding to some of the questions raised by the professor they are still not including figures as to how they intend to deliver on their promises.
1. Education: Free Feeding for about 7.0 million Primary School pupils
a. Bottom line there is a disjoint between the quality of our graduates and what the employers require.
b. There are serious gap in managing the funding of education at all levels
c. There are serious human resource issues at all levels of the education sector
We need to understand how the candidates intend to solve the issues and at what cost?
2. Agriculture: Development of Agriculture , Nigeria is spending about N2Trilion on food import with Wheat and Rice account for about N1Trillion alone, our fertilizer utilization is at average of 2Kg per Ha, Our Mechanization is at about 7Tractors per 100 Square KM and our Farmers are too small with average holding of about ) 0.75Ha per Farm.
We need to know how at what cost, they intend to address the Agric sector and how it will translate into the life of average Nigerian?
a. Our Health Insurance Scheme is not covering the week and the vulnerable
b. Great deficit in Infrastructure, Human Resources, etc.
What should we expect and at what cost?
4. Works and Housing:
The current government recognizes a housing deficit worth $350 Billion, set up a Mortgage Refinancing Company with investment of $300Million which is less than 0.1% of the investment required, which is clearly not intended to succeed.
Assuming the deficit is right, how do you intend to address the housing deficit?
What are we expecting as income considering oil at a max of $60 per barrel and how do are you planning to fund the deficit?
How much more Tax Should we be expecting and on what category of citizen?
“Massive public works programme especially the building of a national railway system (complete with tramline systems for our major cities)”
i) We need to know the scope and cost, considering existing commitments made by PDP on Lagos –Kano, Lagos- Calabar rail contracts?
ii) What is the plan for sustainable Road Management not forgetting Lagos-Ibadan express way concession?
a. With the soldiers being chased out of their barracks by Boko Haram it is quite obvious they are not willing to fight.
b. It is obvious we need to change the way we recruit and maintain our military to be technology driven and capable of delivery value to the society.
What is the plan on PIB? How are we going to grow the production? What happen to amnesty, Niger Delta Ministry?
Issues of Safety , Issues of Terminal Service, what is the game plan?
10. Trade and Industry:
Industry and Economics:
a. Embarking vigorously on industrialization, public works and agricultural expansion.
b. Diversifying the economy through a national industrial policy and innovative private-sector incentives that will move us away from over reliance on oil into value-added production especially manufacturing.
c. Reviving textile and other industries that have been rendered dormant because of inappropriate economic policies.
d. Reinvigorating the solid mineral sector by revamping our aged mining legislation and attracting new investment.
e. Developing a new generation of domestic oil refineries to lower import costs, enhance our energy independence and create jobs.
f. Working with state governments to turn the country into Africa’s food basket through a new system of grants and interest free loans, and the mechanization of agriculture.
g. Encouraging and promoting the use of sports as a source of job creation, entertainment and recreation.
h. Creating a knowledge economy by making Nigeria an IT /professional/Telecom services outsourcing destination hub to create millions of jobs.
i. Filling the huge gap in middle level technical manpower with massive investment in technical and tradesmen’s skills education.
j. Ensuring that all foreign contractors to include a plan of developing local capacity (technology transfer).
How and at What Cost?
11. Culture and Tourism:
Can we still afford this luxury ministry?
12. Women and social development
Do our Women need this? What have they really achieved with this ministry before (Tangible Results, Please)?
13. Youth and Sports
N5,000 and N10,000 per month to the poorest 25 million Nigerians? Just this programme alone will cost between N1.5 and N3 trillion per annum.
This looks unsustainable like the amnesty allowance that will end up too difficult to stop, when people get used to being rewarded for doing nothing. Yes, we need safety nets but we need to address some basic ones like Primary Education, Health Insurance, first and please let’s not build a culture of laziness in our youth by giving them free money.
14. Niger Delta:
This is not necessary at all? I doubt if it is constitutional to favor any particular region with an executive office of a minister in a Federal Cabinet.
15. Mines and Power:
Power Sector: We currently have about 4,306 MW available.
a. There are 10 National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs), with combined capacity of 5,455 MW, scheduled for completion (for ongoing projects) and privatization in 2014.
b. Currently, the transmission capacity of the Nigerian Electricity Transmission system is made up of about 5,523.8 km of 330 KV lines and 6,801.49 km of 132 KV lines.
c. There are 11 Disco Companies in Nigeria to share and distribute power to the consumers:
i. Abuja 11.5%, Benin 9%, Eko 11%, Enugu 9%, Ibadan 13%, Ikeja 15%, Jos 5.5% Kaduna 8%, Kano 8% Yola 11.5% and PH 6.5%,
d. Power plants in the country are ready to generate an additional 7,000 megawatt of power into the national grid but were hindered by the shortage of gas to fire the turbines.—NERC (Vangurd Newspaper 28 January, 2015)
Clearly Gas Supply is the major issue on the getting electricity to our People. What is your plan at getting and securing gas to the exist power plants and what is the future plan on power?
16. Information and National Orientation
a. Security of life and properties.
b. Corruption of the security personnel.
c. Security of critical infrastructure in the creeks, onshore, boarders, ports and most importantly ending the insurgence in the North.
a. The average legal income of a director in the Federal service is about N350, 000.00 per month but he will have a leverage to manage projects and programs worth billions of Naira annually.
b. The cost of education, health, feeding, transportation and accommodation for a family of six in Abuja much more than the legal income.
c. No civil servant believes Buhari can control corruption without addressing the gap in basic needs and legal income.
What is the plan?
a. The obvious cost of litigations in Nigeria and the long delay is delivery of judgments in Nigeria is Phenomenal, considering recent report “;The Judiciary spent #75billion to deliver 179 Judgements out of 511 cases received for 2012/2013 legal year in Nigeria is certainly a serious concern to all investors (Local and Foreign).
This is a great pointer at the level of corruption in the judiciary and disjoint between the justice system and civil society.
How do you intend to address the issue of speedy and fair dispensation of justice?
a. What new legislations are you planning?
i. Judicial reform has been long overdue.
ii. PIB have been stalling.
iv. Identity Management.
v. What else?
Believing that the new government needs to hit the ground running we expect they have should have a plan and they are ready by the time the come into office. I hope my opinion will encourage others to bring out more issues and solutions to advance the well being of Nigerians.