Expectations are high as most Nigerians expect the coming government to wave a magic wand and make all their problems disappear. The Buhari campaign which ran on a ‘CHANGE’ mantra made numerous promises to Nigerians during the campaign. Excerpts:
I, Muhammadu Buhari, believe that our politics is broken. Our nation urgently needs fundamental political reform and improvement in governance more transparency and accountable. If you nominate me in December, 2014 and elect me in February 2015, my administration will:
- Initiate action to amend the Nigerian Constitution with a view to devolving powers, duties, and responsibilities to states in order to entrench true Federalism and the Federal spirit;
- Strengthen INEC to reduce, if possible, eliminate electoral malpractices in Nigerian’s political life;
- Attract the best and brightest of our sons and daughters into our politics and public service by aggressive recruitment of private sector people, academics, and professionals within Nigeria and in the Diaspora through internships, fellowships, executive appointments, and special nomination to contest elective offices;
- Prevent the abuse and misuse of Executive, Legislative and Public offices, through greater accountability, transparency, strict, and implementable anti-corruption laws, through strengthening and sanitising the EFCC and ICPC as independent entities;
- Amend the Constitution to remove immunity from prosecution for elected officers in criminal cases;
- Restructure governance for a leaner, more efficient, and adequately compensated public service sector, while promoting effective participation of the private sector for more robust job creation programmes to employ the teaming youth.;
- Require full disclosure in media outlets, of all government contracts over N100m prior to award and during implementation at regular intervals;
- Reform and Strengthen the Justice System for efficient administration and dispensation of justice with the creation of special courts for accelerated hearing of corruption, drug trafficking, terrorism and similar cases of national importance;
- Fully enforce the Freedom of Information Act l so that government held data sets can be requested and used by the public and then such data sets be publish on regular basis;
- Amend the Constitution to require Local governments to publish their meeting minutes, service performance data, and items of spending over N10M.
Security and Conflict Resolution
On National Security and Defence:
I will urgently secure the territorial integrity of the nation. I will never leave the defence of the nation in the hands of Hunters, Children, and Civilian JTF through the following:
- Urgently address capacity building mechanisms of law enforcement agents in terms of quantity and quality as this is critical in safeguarding the sanctity of lives and property;
- Establish a well trained, adequately equipped and goals driven Serious Crime Squad to combat insurgencies, kidnapping, armed robbery, ethno-religious and communal clashes, nationwide;
- Consult and amend the Constitution to enable States and Local Governments to create city, Local government and State Policing systems, base on the resources available at each levels, to address the peculiar needs of each community. I will therefore work with the National Assembly to set and revised, when needed, boundaries of operations, for Federal, State, and Local government policing units, through new Criminal Justice legislation to replace the Criminal Code, the Penal Code and the Police Act.
- I will push for more robust support in the Security and Economic stability of the West-African sub-region and African Continent as a whole. I will seek and maintain close and frank relationship with ALL of West Africa; Special relationship with South Africa and its Sub-region; UK, USA, Canada, EU, Asia, and the Middle East .
ON CONFLICT RESOLUTION, NATIONAL UNITY, AND SOCIAL HARMONY:
- Establish a Conflict Resolution Commission to help prevent, mitigate, and resolve civil conflicts within the polity;
- Bring permanent peace and solution to the insurgency issues in the North-East; the Niger Delta; and other conflict prone states and areas such as Plateau, Benue, Bauchi, Borno, Abia, Taraba, Yobe, and Kaduna in order to engender national unity and social harmony;
- Initiate policies to ensure that Nigerians are free to live and work in any part of the country by removing state of origin, tribe, ethnic and religious affiliations from documentation requirements in our identification of citizens and replace these with State of Residence and fashion out the appropriate minimal qualification for obtaining such a state of residency, nation-wide.
On Foreign Policy:
- Make regional integration a priority within ECOWAS including free trade with a view to ensuring that common tariff currency are in use by the end of my term in office, under Nigeria’s guidance and leadership, base on the size of its market force;
- Maintain a strong, close and frank relationship within the Gulf of Guinea, the Commonwealth, South Africa and the rest of the world.
- Establish a special relationship with the leading emerging markets like Brazil; Russia, India and China (BRIC) and other strategic partners around the world.
The Economy & Infrastructure Base
On the Economy:
- Maintain sound Micro and macro-economic policy environment, and run an efficient government and preserve the independence of the Central Bank;
- Restore financial confidence in the citizens and the world, by putting in place a more robust monitoring, supervising, and regulating of the financial institutions;
- Make our economy one of the fastest growing emerging economies in the world with a real GDP growth averaging at least 10-12% annually
- As at 1999, Nigerian rate of unemployment stood at about 8%, today it is estimated from official statistics to be close to 30%. I will embark on vocational training, entrepreneurial and skills acquisition scheme for graduates along with the creation of Small Business Loan Guarantee Scheme to create at least 5 million new jobs by 2019. A Small and Medium Enterprises Development Commission will be created for this purpose. I will also encourage State Governments to focus on employment creation, by matching everyone job created in the same state.
- Integrate the informal economy into the mainstream and prioritize the full implementation of the National Identification Scheme to generate the relevant data;
- Expand domestic demand and will undertake associated public works programmes to achieve this goal;
- Embark on export and production diversification including investment in infrastructure; promote manufacturing, through Agro Based industries; and expand and promote sub-regional trade through ECOWAS and AU;
- Make Information Technology, Manufacturing, Agriculture and Entertainment key drivers of our economy, by reviewing the present reward system, which is based on certification, to that based on skills, competencies, and performances;
- Balance the Nigerian economy across regions by the creation of 6 Regional Economic Development Agencies (REDAs) to act as sub-regional hubs in order to promote healthy regional competitiveness;
Put in place a N300bn Regional Growth Fund with an average of N50bn in each geo-political region; to be managed by the REDAs, to encourage private sector enterprise and to support places currently reliant on only on the public sector, to migrate to a private sector reality;
Amend the Constitution and the
- Land Use Act to create freehold/leasehold interests in land along with matching grants for states to create a nationwide electronic land title register on a state by state basis;
- Create an additional middle-class of at least 4 million new home owners by 2019 by enacting a national mortgage single digit interest rates for purchase of owner occupier houses as well as review the collateral qualification to make funding for home ownership easier, with a 15 to 30 year mortgage terms. This will equally help our banking system migrate from short to long term perspective of their role in sustaining the economy.
- Create a Social Welfare Program of at least Five Thousand Naira (N5000) that will cater for the 25 million poorest and most vulnerable citizens upon the demonstration of children’s enrolment in school and evidence of immunisation to help promote family stability.
- Provide allowances to the discharged but unemployed Youth Corps members for Twelve (12) months while in the skills and entrepreneurial development programmes.
- Modernize the sector and change Nigeria from being a country of self-subsistence farmers to that of a medium/large scale farming nation/producer;
- Create a nationwide food inspectorate division with a view to improving nutrition and eliminating food-borne hazards
- Inject sufficient funds to the Agricultural sector to create more agro-allied jobs by way of loans at nominal interest rates for capital investment on medium and commercial scale cash crops;
- Guarantee a minimum price for all cash crops and facilitate storage of agricultural products to overcome seasonal shortages of selected food crops.
- Move the nation to an all year round small,
, and commercial farming through a coordinated integrative irrigation of our existing dams as well as creation of more dam to collect the over flooding waters, nationwide.
- Revive our Agricultural Research Institutes that are in a state of comatose;
- Review and strengthened Veterinary practices nationwide.