Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, has released his action plans if elected as the next president of Nigeria. The manifesto identified national security, economy, agriculture, power, oil and gas, transportation, and education as his priorities.
First, the manifesto revealed Tinubu’s plans to “build a Nigeria, especially for our youth, where sufficient jobs with decent wages create a better life.” With the dwindling rate of Nigeria’s economy, providing jobs for the teeming youths would be a plus. While jobs have also been created, a significant concern is a minimum wage being paid. Not all the states have tapped into this, and many are owed a backlog of salaries for states currently operating with the minimum wage.
Again, Tinubu promises to “manufacture, create, and invent more of the goods and services we require.” “Nigeria shall be known as a nation of creators, not just consumers.” Nigeria currently depends on imports, which are severely affecting our local economy.
There is an urgent need to ensure that Nigeria starts producing what it consumes. If Tinubu can get this done, if elected, it would boost the economy, which will invariably improve the people’s standard of living.
Tinubu’s plan to “assist our ever-toiling farmers through enlightened agricultural policy that promotes productivity and assures decent incomes, so that farmers can support their families and feed the nation” was also revealed in the manifesto.
Recall that agriculture was the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy until the emergence of oil. Unfortunately, recent events have seen an overdependence on oil. Therefore, Tinubu’s plans to diversify the economy make a lot of sense, considering the dwindling state of the economy. However, a significant concern would be how he intends to address the insecurity concerns that have seen many farmers abandon their farmlands.
A manifesto section also emphasised: “modernising and expanding public infrastructure so that the rest of the economy can grow at an optimal rate.” Tinubu’s antecedents as former governor of Lagos State are probably enough proof to trust him to deliver world-class infrastructure.
Although there have been debates from different quarters, some say that his successors and not he is to be credited for the developmental trends in Lagos State. This is hugely debatable, as Tinubu has also been acclaimed as the godfather of Lagos politics. He has also mentioned in several interviews that he was the principal architect of the new Lagos.
Whatever side one takes, it is evident that Tinubu has been part of the infrastructural development of Lagos State, and one would expect him to replicate the same feat if elected as the president of Nigeria. Therefore, financing such capital-intensive projects would be the only burden he has to resolve.
The manifesto also revealed his plans to “embolden and support our young people and women by harnessing emerging sectors such as the digital economy, entertainment and culture, tourism, and others to build the Nigeria of tomorrow, today.”
The youth make up the majority of the country’s workforce. Therefore, prioritising their development is paramount, especially when many youths leave the country in droves. The Buhari administration has failed in this aspect, as evidenced by the noticeable increase in unemployment rate. If Tinubu is elected and can support young people, the lives of Nigerians will improve.
As the manifesto reveals, Tinubu plans to “generate, transmit, and distribute sufficient, affordable electricity to give our people the requisite power to enlighten their lives and homes.” But unfortunately, successive governments failed to generate enough electricity for consumption, affecting several small businesses.
If Tinubu gets elected and revamps the power sector, Nigerians will benefit greatly. However, settling the bureaucratic bottlenecks at DisCos would be a significant challenge.
In addition, the manifesto also revealed Tinubu’s plans to “make basic healthcare, education, and housing accessible and affordable for all.” These are the necessities of life, and it is expected that the government make this possible or create an enabling environment that would see these necessities thrive.
The healthcare and education sectors have suffered so much. Many have called for a total overhaul of the system. Therefore, there would be need for Tinubu to revisit the operations of these sectors if elected.
However, many successive governments have complained of a lack of funds to execute these projects. Therefore, the question is: how would Tinubu raise funds to address these issues if elected?
Finally, the manifesto promises to “establish a bold and assertive policy that will create a strong yet adaptive national security architecture and action to obliterate terror, kidnapping, banditry, and all other forms of violent extremism from the face of our nation.” The state of insecurity in the country today is alarming.
Recently, there have been reports of some local government areas in Borno State being in the firm grip of Boko Haram. Kidnapping and banditry have also been recorded in most parts of the country. A strong-willed policy is needed to combat these forms of violent extremism.
It’s left to Nigerians to decide who amongst the presidential candidates is best for them. Depending on whom the majority of Nigerians choose, Bola Tinubu, Peter Obi, Atiku Abubakar, Rabiu Kwankwaso, or any other presidential candidate would be the next Mr President.