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BREAKING: Peter Obi Officially releases 7-Point Manifesto “It’s POssible” 

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President Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi together with his running mate, Ahmed Yusuf Datti has formally unveiled and make public his manifesto styled “It’s POssible.

The document, which purportedly made its way online weeks ago and later refuted hammered focus on seven-point agenda. Read below:

√ To secure Nigeria, end banditry and insurgency, and unite our dear nation, to manage our diversity such that no one is left behind.

√ Shift emphasis from consumption to production by running a production-centered economy that is driven by an agrarian revolution and export-oriented industrialization.

√ Restructure the polity through effective legal and institutional reforms to entrench the rule of law, aggressively fight corruption, reduce cost of governance, and establish an honest and efficient civil service.

√ Leapfrog Nigeria into the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), through the application of scientific and technological innovations to create a digital economy.

√ Build expansive and world-class infrastructure for efficient power supply, rail, road and air transportation, and pipeline network, through integrated public- private partnerships, and entrepreneurial public sector governance.

√ Enhance the human capital of Nigerian youths for productivity and global competitiveness through investment in world-class scholarship and research, quality healthcare, and entrepreneurship education.

√ Conduct an afro-centric diplomacy that protects the rights of Nigerian citizens abroad and advances the economic interests of Nigerians and Nigerian businesses in a changing world.

Action Plan steps thus:
• Secure and unite our dear nation, and manage our diversity such that no one is left behind in Nigeria.

• Move Nigeria from consumption to production.

• Embark on comprehensive legal and institutional reforms and practicable restructuring measures, to ensure the enthronement of the rule of law, and decisively fight all forms of corruption.

• Prioritize Human Capital Development through robust investments in STEM education, health, and infrastructural development, with emphasis on wealth creation, distribution and sustainable development.

• Engineer the transition of Nigeria from fossil fuel dependency to climate and eco-friendly energy use.

• Pursue holistic poverty eradication with emphasis on agricultural revolution through effective utilization of our vast arable lands, particularly in Northern Nigeria, and erase Nigeria’s categorization as the poverty capital of the world.

• Improve access to finance, particularly to MSMEs, youths and women, to significantly reduce unemployment and insecurity.

• Ensure that in policy and practice, governance will be made more inclusive, cost-effective, transformative, and less transactional. No more sharing of the national wealth by a few.

• Ensure that our diversity will be leveraged to give women, children, youths, the aged, and persons living with disabilities, an unfettered voice in governance, and a renewed sense of patriotism and faith in Nigeria.

• Ensure that Nigeria is progressively better governed through legislative, executive, and judicial reforms, so that the constitutional separation of powers among the three arms of government is entrenched and the three tiers of government allowed to function independently and jointly for a more inclusive and sustainable Nigeria.

On the line of vision, it put:

Our vision is a secure, united and prosperous Nigeria that works for everyone and that realises the hope of black people of the world as a city on the hill.

We will run a government of national unity, bringing together for the task at hand, all competent, honest, and diligent Nigerians, irrespective of their political affiliations. The new Nigeria we build will be truly “one nation bound in freedom, peace and unity” where “peace and justice shall reign.”

For long, the dream of a secure, united and prosperous Nigeria has been betrayed by those who lack the character and competence to achieve the dream. Now, a new generation of Nigerian leadership has emerged, tested and tried, honest and dedicated, united in a common mission to reverse the current ugly trend of endemic poverty, insecurity, and create a better future for every Nigerian, a future defined by widespread prosperity based on high economic growth, equal access to health and educational facilities, and justice and fairness to all religious, ethnic, and social groups.

The new Nigeria that we will build is a society where political power will no longer be used to serve the interest of the ruling class and subject the people to chronic poverty and deprivation. We will build a new social order where political leaders will be PUBLIC SERVANTS working for the good of the people and not predators, flourishing in the midst of extreme poverty and misery. We will build a society where citizens are motivated to work hard, to innovate, to invent, fully assured that they will enjoy the fruits of their enterprise.

We want to create wealth for Nigeria and for every household through diligence, frugality and enterprise. Our new Nigeria is a country all Nigerians will be proud to call home because it is an economic giant that can feed its citizens, defend them from any aggression and secure them in their homes and businesses.

We are coming to run an entrepreneurial state able to double Nigeria’s GDP in a short time and abolish extreme poverty like China that removed 740m from poverty through economic policy that emphasized social market. Our focus is to ensure that wealth is created through sectors that improve the well- being of all Nigerian citizens. Our theory of change is DEMOCRATIC CITIZENSHIP.
Therefore, we will prioritize economic and social rights under Chapter 2 of the Constitution and implement these rights through social programs and projects that empower the people and mainstream the poor first in access to critical services. To ensure poverty- reduction, based on fast economic growth, our governance principles, priority projects and programmes will be anchored on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Securing and uniting Nigeria and growing her economy requires steady and trusted hands. It is a full-time employment on behalf of Nigerian people. It is not time for rent-seeking or absenteeism. It is time to pull the sleeves, bend down and lift the weight off the shoulders of Nigerians.

I, Peter Gregory Onwubuasi Obi and my running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, promise you that we will be the leaders you can trust to be honest, diligent, and ever-present to work for you. This is our promise to you: we will work for you with ‘pure hearts and skillful hands”.

Looking at the context, it posits:

We are on a mission to stop the deterioration and redirect our beloved country to prosperity and sustainable development. We want to end the race to extreme poverty and state collapse under mercenaries who have posed as messiahs. Now is the time for new beginning. There is a strong determination of Nigerians, especially the youths, to create a new future for themselves, a future of prosperity, safety, and freedom. The Obi-Baba-Ahmed team is committed to this mission.

We want to heal Nigeria. But to solve a problem you must understand its pathology. To heal Nigeria, we need a good diagnosis of its problems. The problem with Nigeria is elite capture. Nigeria has been captured by an elite that has shown no commitment to development. The result is that in spite of trillions of naira from oil revenue and the abundant human and natural endowments, the country has remained poor and unstable. This failure of development and political stability has worsened since the return of democracy in 1999. Although we made modest gains from 1999 to 2015, the culture of corruption, highlighted by plundering of state resources and insensitivity to the suffering of the people, continued to define statecraft and resulted in growth without development.

Since 2015, the crisis of leadership has worsened to the point that the Nigerian state is now generally described as a failed or failing state. A sizeable portion of Nigeria is under the control of either terrorists, bandits or insurgents. About 63% of Nigerians (133m) are so poor that they do not have access to basic sanitation, good nutrition, basic education and healthcare, or employment. In 2022 alone, 5.1m Nigerians entered into acute poverty, bringing the number of extremely poor Nigerians to about 92m. The World Bank noted in its report on Nigeria that in spite of several social and economic reforms of the government, no single Nigerian was lifted out of poverty, instead 5 million more Nigerians dropped into poverty. The report notes that this failure has nothing to do with the global health pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine war, but the failure of policy formulation and administration by the government.

The perennial failure of economic and social policies to grow Nigeria’s economy and transform the live of its people is not an accident. It is not a mere occurrence. It is the expected result of a faulty political economy that has concentrated political power in the hands of politicians who came to power through their contrivances and not through the affirmation of the people, and therefore, do not have the incentive to serve the people’s interest.

Nigeria failed to realise its potentials because her leaders are mostly incompetent. In the 2023 presidential elections, we have to change this misfortune. We must create a new political culture and leadership class to lead Nigeria to a new direction.

In the Obi/Baba-Ahmed movement, we are committed to a new politics that starts with the ethics of SERVANT LEADERS and founded on the marriage of CLEAN HEARTS and SKILLFUL HANDS. We know that unless we change our politics by changing our political leadership, we are stuck with this terrible state of poverty and insecurity.

Our message to our fellow citizens is that Nigeria is endowed with talented men and women who are champions and have created wealth and excellence across the world. Nigeria is blessed with some of the most entrepreneurial youths in the world, in science, in business, in art and entertainment. What remains is to change the leadership class from predators to creators of values, from those whose wealth and power derive from the destitution of the nation and its peoples. Our message to the voters of Nigeria is that unless they use their votes to elect those with clear commitment to change the political game and are capable of doing things differently, Nigeria will continue in the path of failure. The good news is that the Nigerian people, led by their youths brutalized by bad leadership, are awaken and leading the movement to transform Nigerian politics and restart the engine of economic growth and social stability.

We count ourselves honored to be trusted to lead this democratic revolution. We are determined to do everything that needs to be done to reverse the curse and lead our beloved country to prosperity, freedom and security.

We are prepared to deal with the crises that constrain Nigeria’s development. We recognize that there are domestic and foreign challenges that we must confront before we can achieve the dream of economic development and social security. Domestically, we recognize that several years of self-serving and incompetent leadership has divided the nation and played up religious and ethnic sentiments against nationalism and patriotism. Our diagnosis is that these centrifugal forces are products of the manipulation of religion and ethnicity and the failure of the Nigerian state to produce goods and services for its citizens. The lack of economic development means that Nigerians are trapped in the politics of competition for rents. This breeds resentment and conflict. The failure of these transactional leaders to respect constitutional due processes and implement the federal character provisions has damaged trust in the Nigerian state and set up different resistances and even rebellion against the state. Although the Nigerian political class has applied authoritarian responses to these agitations, they have failed to rise up to exemplary leadership which is the panacea to distrust of the state.

We are a different breed and we are connected to the people. We are honest, competent, humble, and determined to lock hands together with Nigerians and rebuild our economy, restore trust in government and give Nigerians reason to love and adore their country again. We share the pains of Nigerian citizens everywhere in Nigeria. Daily, we hear their stories of deprivation and degradation. We know that every part of Nigeria is blessed with men and women who can create wealth for themselves and for their society. We know that the problem is not ethnicity or religion, the problem is not geography, the problem is not our weather. The problem is leadership: a leadership that is not attuned to the people, does not believe in the people, and will never serve the people’s interest. Myself and my Vice President are a different breed. We are honest and we are competent. We will save Nigeria from the slide, and we will create prosperity and unity through exemplary leadership.

Through our dedicated action on the 7 governance and development priorities that mainstream the principles of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the aspirations of the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy under Chapter 2 of our Constitution, we will transform Nigeria and realize the hope of our founding fathers and the heroes and heroines of the nation.

In affirmation of ending insecurity, the document says:

I. Deal decisively with insecurity by putting a permanent end to the incessant banditry, insurgency, kidnaping and cross-border terrorism in our country today.

II. To achieve this, we shall take the following immediate actions:
a. Activate all the necessary regional cooperations and arrangements for securing our borders with neighboring countries in west and central Africa, particularly Niger, Chad, and Cameroun;
b. Increase the personnel of our armed forces, police and other security
agencies and optimally equipp, train, and fund them to respond adequately to security threats;
c. Deploy state-of-the-art military technology to fight terrorists, bandits, insurgents and kidnappers;
d. Recreate community relations with security agencies in order to increase public trust and build human intelligence to restore law and order in the communities.

III. Pursue proactively and deliberately policies that will implement the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state police in the constitution so as to create a secured society that reduces the social pressure for crimes and provides viable livelihood for the youths. This will be in fulfilment of the obligation of government to ensure the ‘security and welfare of the people’.

IV. Engage, support, and partner, with national and sub-national institutions and governments and network them into an integrated and reinforced onslaught against insecurity. This requires decentralized and professional management of security institutions and the use of grant-in-aid to encourage efficient criminal justice administration at subnational levels, namely, state, local government and community security administration. To deal with cross-border crimes, we will also adjust security modalities to address gaps and vulnerabilities arising from our obligations under the ECOWAS Protocol on the Movement of Persons.

V. Undertake institutional reforms to secure Nigerians ,which consists of four initiatives pursued simultaneously:
a. Reforming the security sector, with particular emphasis on re-focusing the
military on external threats and border protection, and the police on internal security threats and law enforcement;
b. Swift, firm and fair prosecution of criminals, bandits and terrorists to end impunity;
c. Enhanced coordination among security agencies to enhance operational efficiency,
d. Fair and transparent administration of justice hinged on the rule of law.

VI. Improve the functioning and effectiveness of our security agencies particularly the police, by strengthening their civilian oversight as well as increasing their size, equipment, funding, and enhancing their professional training.

VII. Strengthen the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Police Affairs, and other regulatory and supervisory agencies to provide robust and regulatory oversight and enhance coordination and performance of statutory mandates of the security services.

VIII. Ensure, in accordance with Section 33 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 as Amended), that every Nigerian life is protected at all cost. The basic minimum of DEMOCRATIC CITIZENSHIP is that every Nigerian life is protected by the state. There shall be no more impunity. All criminals are equal and will be equally prosecuted and punished. No persecution; no privilege. The same law for the rich and the poor, the powerful and the powerless.

In uniting Nigeria and running an all-inclusive government, we will:
I. Ensure that our administration’s pronouncements, policies, and conduct reflect its strong commitment to fostering a united Nigeria, and the reaffirmation that achieving that objective requires securing the lives and property of Nigerians by creatively managing her diversity.

II. Make deliberate efforts to re-create a sense of patriotism, shared ownership, and responsibilities in matters of nation-building, integration, and cohesion.

III. Ensure transparency and strict adherence to the dictates of our constitution in all matters of governance and the allocation of resources and projects.

IV. Direct executive action and push for legislative mandate aimed at formulating a policy on Common Regimentation Emolument Structure Table (CREST) that will harmonize the wages of the federal public servants, so that public servants (whether elected or appointed) are not ranked or earn higher than career civil servants and the military such as those in the judiciary, academia, para-military, and federal statutory agencies. Those in these cadres should earn the same salary, and the same prescribed perquisites. This will aid in cutting the cost of governance while promoting amity. It will also address the incessant strikes that bedevil our country, particularly our tertiary institutions.

V. Resolve the national minimum wage problem by doing away with the extant salary structure and introducing an hourly productivity-based national minimum rate, by which public and private sector employers should pay employees based on their actual productivity. We will drive the legislation to retain a National Minimum Wage with a binding effect and application across all the States and Local Governments of Nigeria. This shall include the criminalisation of non-payment of salaries, wages, pensions, entitlements, benefits, and violation of collective bargaining agreements. This will reduce poverty and inequality, and enhance social solidarity necessary for a development bargain.

VI. Submit an Executive Bill to the National Assembly for a consolidated Occupational Health and Safety Act to revamp and improve on the 2012 Labour, Safety, Health, and Welfare (LSHW) Bill.

VII. Articulate a policy framework in line with the constitutional provisions of the Federal Character principle that offers opportunities to all Nigerians to serve in any capacity in the public sector anywhere in the country.

VIII. Operate a government of national unity by embracing competent Nigerians at home and in diaspora with proven integrity, honesty, diligence and commitment to governance irrespective of their political affiliations. Our government will be a melting pot of Nigeria’s best and brightest in character, competence and capacity.

Shift emphasis from consumption to production by running a production- centered economy that is driven by an agrarian revolution and export- oriented industrialization.

I. In consideration of our current ranking as the least competitive economy in Africa with very low total factor productivity (TFP) and export competitiveness index (ECI), we will, with all sense of urgency, aggressively pursue policies and programmes that enhance the productivity and competitiveness of all the sectors of the Nigerian economy.

II. In addition to our strategic economic development plan, we have reviewed and selectively adopted critical elements in previous economic development plans in designing the bold and innovative development agenda for the new Nigeria that we shall birth.

III. While acknowledging the critical situation with our food security, we will, with the required sense of urgency, optimize all the comparative advantages of our 36 states and the FCT, across all the agricultural value chains through adequate and targeted investments, policies, and programmes. We shall address the identified impediments (banditry, kidnapping, terrorism, desertification, policies) and optimize the vast land and other resources, particularly in our northern region, in order to enhance food security and advance toward agro-based industrialization.

IV. We will grow the national economy quantitatively and qualitatively by devising programmes for re-skilling our youths to achieve a greater synergy between their skill-sets and our factor endowments; create mandatory national certification for blue-collar artisans; strengthen some of the existing tertiary schools of science and engineering to train the next generation of experts in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field; and create a venture capital-like fund for young entrepreneurs.

V. To ensure that the country’s economic production is equitably geared towards the net-zero emissions drive, we shall re-design incentives for present and prospective investors in the industrial sector, coupled with an apprenticeship system, to provide a ready-made source of technical expertise in the relevant areas.
VI. It is recognized that high logistics costs at our ports, borders and roads drive the huge trade costs that make Nigeria’s business environment uncompetitive. We will apply entrepreneurial governance to dismantle the impediments to free trade and ease of doing business.

VII. We will strive towards a zero-based national budget to overcome the mindset and reality of past non-performing national budgets that are routinely hampered by budgetary deficit overhang. We will pursue an aggressive technology-driven public sector financial management system anchored on a reformed, well-trained, and motivated civil service. We will undertake public sector reform as a priority in order to provide institutional support to entrepreneurial governance that will drive up efficiency and public value.

VIII. We will implement radical economic policies that will drastically reduce our debt-servicing ratio and debt to revenue ratio. Such a policy action is imperative since we are aware that presently (as of April, 2022), Nigeria has about 95 million people living below the poverty line; unemployment rate hovers around 32% with the youth component at about 53.4%; and tax contributes only about 6% to our GDP, well below the African average of 17% Our national situation is made worse given that 116% of government revenue is now devoted to debt servicing. This means that 116 kobo out of every Naira (100 kobo) collected by government goes toward servicing of the country’s debt (which means the additional 16 kobo is borrowed to service debt).

IX. We shall aggressively prioritize the mechanization of the huge endowment of arable land across our nation, particularly in our Northern region, to make agriculture the new oil of a prosperous Nigerian economy.

X. It has been established that Nigeria is among the top 10 countries most vulnerable to climate change, which poses the greatest economic, physical, financial, security, and developmental risks. But it also offers an enormous opportunity to unleash the green growth transition and boost prosperity. We shall establish a Green Army tasked with identifying all opportunities to tap into the 3 trillion dollars international climate finance to engineer economic growth and employment for millions of our youths and transition our country to the green epoch.

XI. Although non-oil GDP has been marginally increasing in recent years, this growth has not translated to increased non-oil exports, despite various national policies on economic diversification. We believe that diversification of the economy can be attained through increasing the value addition and export potential of our agriculture and natural resources value chain. We shall achieve this through targeted export incentives and deliberate actions in:

a. Scaling up the development of manufacturing and processing technological capabilities across the primary products value chains where we enjoy comparative advantage;

b. A monitored scheme of targeted funding to entrepreneurs taking advantage of the capacity development as outlined above.

c. A radical reform of our logistics and distribution systems including ports, customs, and trade facilitation instruments to raise the competitiveness of our products and ease of doing business and reduces high trade costs that have impeded our non-oil export competitiveness.

d. Strengthening of product quality support to ensure our products are of the right quality to gain market share with higher reputational advantage and branding opportunities to capture more values within AfCTA and global markets.

e. Incentivising and investing in agro-cluster and industrial cluster development across our geo-resource zones to take advantage of agglomeration and scale effects.
XII. We will prioritize the exploration of the economic opportunities available through oceanic and marine resources around our country. Nigeria possesses one of the longest ocean lines in Africa, making it a littoral country endowed with Blue Economy resources. The Blue Economy is the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystems. It entails emerging renewable energy, seabed extractive activities, marine biotechnology, and bio- prospecting.

XIII. We will embark on radical reforms of our entire transport system including logistics and distribution, ports, customs, and other agencies connected to international trade. Conscious that when water, road and rail transport work together, the comparative advantage of each mode can be exploited optimally, our administration will build an integrated transport system which will promote ports, road, rail and inland water inter-connectivity. We will eradicate the practice of agencies in the sector operating in tight silos, working at cross- purposes and frustrating trade facilitation. We will immediately address policy incoherence and poor coordination among all the maritime and other agencies. We are determined to take full advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) and will deploy trade facilitation instruments to raise the competitiveness of our products and ease of doing business, thus reducing high trade costs that have impeded our non-oil export competitiveness.

Restructure the polity through effective legal and institutional reforms to entrench the rule of law, aggressively fight corruption, reduce cost of governance, and establish an honest and efficient civil service.
To achieve these:

I. We will strengthen our federalism by critically reviewing the 68 items on the exclusive list of the Federal government and moving agreed items to the concurrent list, to ensure effective public action for growth and sustainable livelihood. Our drive towards restructuring of the federation shall follow a determined, functional, approach for efficiency, productivity, sustainability, and equity for a balanced national development where no component of the federation shall feel short-changed. We realise that nothing can be achieved in this area except we achieve a consensus. We understand that it is the responsibility of the leadership to help to stimulate and attain a genuine and enduring consensus on such matters.

II. Our determination to reduce cost of governance in Nigeria will start with the immediate implementation of the Oronsaye Report which recommended the consolidation of agencies of government. This will be our top priority within the first year of our administration. We will review the recommendations of that, report while engaging with industry players to design the implementation of the proposed reforms. While we are focused on cost reduction and streamlining of government operations for efficiency and effectiveness, we will ensure that the implementation of the reforms is pursued in a way that protects the livelihood of our hardworking and efficient civil servants.

III. Pursue robust and aggressive reforms of our paramilitary agencies with a view to improving their synergy and functional effectiveness. Key recommendations of all previous reports on police and security sector reforms will be implemented. For instance, the three-level policing – local, state, and federal – will be promptly pursued with detailed guidelines to check abuse.

IV. Strengthen the supreme court of the federation by increasing the number of judges and equipping them with the capacity to clear the backlog of cases and enhance the speedy adjudication of cases.
V. Review all the regulatory agencies of Nigeria with a plan to gradually move away from a bureaucratic approach to incentive-based regulation that is based on cost-benefit analysis. In this regard, we will establish the Office of Regulatory Review in the Executive Office of the President to review and harmonize proposed regulations to ensure they pass cost-benefit analysis, and enhance economic efficiency and social justice before they are enacted.

VI. Pursue more inclusion of our customary laws (norms and values – with respect to their compatibility with our constitution) in the contents of our formal law and in the administration of justice. For instance, reforms will be pursued for our traditional laws/rulers to be properly integrated in the formal legal/governance system.

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VII. Pursue aggressive digitization of all judiciary, government and regulatory agencies to curb corruption and improve governance outcomes and service delivery.

VIII. Establish the Office of Special Counsel to investigate and prosecute every executive abuse of power and corrupt public practices that do not fall under the prosecutorial power of existing agencies or are bureaucratically concealed. We will seek constitutional amendment to exempt prosecution by the Special Counsel from the exercise of the power of Nolle Prosequi of the Attorney General of the Federation.

IX. With the view to fixing and cleaning up our broken politics and to empower Nigerians to demand for political accountability, matters requiring legislative attention will be pursued to include:
a. speedy adjudication of cases;
b. digitization of all court processes;
c. allowing Nigerians in diaspora to vote;
d. all election-related court cases to be concluded before swearing-in; and
e. continuous reform of our electoral processes.

X. We shall install a new budgeting system founded on the cardinal principles of public accountability, objective setting, and program implementation. This is against the extant budgetary principles of revenue mobilization, expenditure allocation, borrowing, and lending, without emphasis on monitoring,evaluation, and feedbacking. We will enforce the principle of performance auditing to ensure a greater fungibility of government deployment of resources for projects and policies, and institutionalize monitoring and evaluation of the entire public service delivery as the primary means of actualizing our vision of a new Nigeria. This reform will institutionalize the personal involvement of the President in setting budgetary objectives of MDAs, and monitoring and evaluating the implementation process through the Office of Regulatory Review in the Executive Office of the President, while the members of the National Assembly control the discretion of the President in budgetary matters. Budget monitoring and evaluation capacity will be strengthened within the Presidency.

Macroeconomic Restructuring

XI. The following anomalies in the management of the macroeconomy have progressively plagued the Nigerian economy :

a. The pursuit of multiple objectives by CBN, some of which appeared to be in conflict with the Bank’s core mandate of controlling inflation and its declared objective of achieving a measure of exchange rate stability;
b. The loss of fiscal viability by the Federal Government, as revenues are now
consumed entirely by debt service, whilst the cost of the inflated petrol subsidy has risen to a level where it also threatens to consume the entire FG revenue;
c. The financing of excessive fiscal deficits through Ways and Means
Advances in excess of N22 trillion as at August, 2022 i.e. a level well beyond the statutory limits set in the CBN Act, has helped fuel the spike in the inflation rate to close to 20 per cent per annum.
d. Exchange rate stability has also become a mirage, as foreign exchange can only be accessed at the artificial official exchange rate by a handful of privileged persons and businesses, whilst the generality of Nigerians can only access forex via a parallel market in which the US Dollar now attracts a 75- 80% premium over the official rate. The multiple exchange rate regime that is in place therefore presents a huge arbitrage opportunity for a few privileged persons;
e. The prevalence of repatriation risks and other supply side constraints
have significantly dented investor confidence, whilst also encouraging capital flight.

Against this backdrop, the priority of our administration will be to quickly restore fiscal viability by discontinuing unaffordable subsidies which have left a black- hole in the government’s finances. We will also seek a simplification of the exchange rate regime, whilst seeking to also boost the supply side, rather than continuing to concentrate exclusively on demand management.

Our administration will only support measures which ensure a level playing field and are in line with global best practices. If the competitiveness of a sector is to be boosted then that will be done via the enactment of transparent and specially targeted fiscal and trade policies designed to stimulate investment and growth. Revenue shortfalls and leakages such as oil theft will be dealt with decisively by holding persons in positions of authority fully accountable.

Fiscal and monetary policy will therefore be properly coordinated with each deploying conventional tools transparently instead of distorting markets to favour a few privileged persons. For the avoidance of doubt, we will demand the transparent liberalization of the foreign exchange market and the dismantling of the opaque multiple exchange rate regime which effectively subsidises a few privileged persons, whilst depriving government of badly needed revenues. When unaffordable subsidies are removed, some carefully calibrated transfers will be used to cushion any adverse impact on the economically weak.
XII. Governments at both federal and state levels are today plagued by the revenue crisis where, despite huge endowment of both human and material resources, they are unable to sustainably fund development or even pay salaries in some cases. With federation revenues currently contributing 65% of the total recurrent revenues of states, and the non-remittance by the NNPC to the federation account this year due to ballooning fuel subsidy payments, policy responses at both national and subnational levels have been severely constrained by the revenue crisis.

There is now a consensus that our inability to achieve fiscal sustainability is chiefly driven by our fiscal regime which is itself, the product of our political structure that prioritises sharing – rather than baking – the pie. The result is a perversive situation where neither the federal nor the states have strong incentive to maximize effort in growing the size of the pie for shared and inclusive prosperity.

We will functionally redesign our fiscal architecture such that revenue mobilisation and allocation will be bottom-up like most federations across the world, and the federal government will now rely on revenues from taxes collected by states to drive the right incentive for efficiency and optimal allocation of resources. This means restructuring the economic framework. It will allow the states to leverage their comparative advantages and contribute to national development thus, reducing states’ dependence on the federation account to fund developmental projects, and empower them to become net contributors to the national economy.

We will drive good and effective governance to create a culture that influences the bureaucracy of government to support the private sector. We will instil a culture of full implementation of government policies and plans to incentivise the private sector and prevent activities that curtail the development of the society.

The mechanism for accountability will be established with public ownership of information, strong bureaucracy, high trust in government, and the right societal culture among policymakers and citizens. This situation will allow for good governance through the pipeline of accountability. Long-existing accountability institutions in Nigeria will be revitalised to meet the current realities threatening the country. We will reactivate and digitalise this all- important institution to drive responsible and accountable public financial management in governance.

Our government will expand the country’s tax net and base. The tax system and database will be harmonised across states’ internal revenue services and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). This move will improve tax compliance and efficiency in the country. In addition, the citizens will be educated and oriented towards perceiving paying taxes as a contribution to the development of the country. We shall vigorously explore every legitimate means to reduce the incidences of tax evasion and improve voluntary tax compliance.

Rather than creating multiple taxation, our focus will be on widening the tax net, which subsequently provides additional resources for states to embark on more projects. To achieve this, we will:

a. Empower the federal and state ministries of finance to harmonise taxes and the tax database.
b. Authorise the Joint Tax Board (FIRS and States’ IRS) to identify all payable taxes and fees by companies and individuals;
c. Consolidate all tax databases into one centralised system;
d. Determine the tax delineation, i.e., which form of taxes is receivable by the states or federal government.
e. Work with states and communities to effectively combat the nefarious activities of non-state actors and institutionalised brigandage, notorious for huge revenue leakages, expropriation, and exploitation which undermine investment and development in the real sector.

Reducing the cost of governance is a necessary means to achieve fiscal sustainability and therefore, we shall promptly review the recommendations of the Steve Oronsaye Commission on the restructuring of the Federal Civil Service for implementation.

Marching towards industrialized nation, Peter Obi noted:

Leapfrog Nigeria into the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), through the application of scientific and technological innovations to create a digital economy.

I. Building on the gains of the agriculture-led manufacturing and export, we will pursue the development of capacities to leverage on the emerging disruptive digital technologies, automation, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality, block chain technology, biotechnology and data science, all of which are at the heart of the fourth industrial revolution.

II. While the 4IR thrusts us into a new dimension of competition, we appreciate that our economy is still grappling with the challenges of fully leveraging the technologies of the second Industrial Revolution such as electricity and rail network in a multi-modal transportation system. While not losing sight of the new demands for competitiveness in the disruptive new technologies, we shall aggressively incentivise and facilitate investment to expand our power generation, transmission and distribution. Being a crosscutting sector, Nigerian Transport System will be remodeled to play a more important role in our efforts towards achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs). We will benchmark progress across the five dimensions of sustainable transport – access (to mobility of individuals, goods and for societies), affordability (of transport for individuals, goods and society), safety, security and environmental impact (of transport and on transport).

III. We will prioritize a structured approach to developing the digital skills of our young population to give them the competitive advantage to receive offshore jobs in the new gig economy, while also improving the efficiency and productivity level of our economy.

IV. We will incentivize the mid-stream segment of the petroleum sector by facilitating gas processing plants and privately-owned small and medium scale boutique refineries, with a view to reducing importation of refined petroleum products, and eliminating the petrol subsidy regime, which has become a huge burden on the budget.
V. Our government will pursue a combination of state-led and public-private initiatives to drive the penetration of broadband infrastructure and information superhighway necessary to empower smart industrialization.

VI. We will ensure that the federal government offers meaningful incentives to corporate entities and industries that make discernible efforts to transit to clean and alternative energy, not only for local consumption but also for export. Our priority is the preservation of our environmental integrity, using a carrot-and- stick approach to ensure that industrial production and oil production do not damage our environment and livelihood systems.

VII. We will review and enforce the mandatory National Strategic Reserve of premium motor spirit (PMS), diesel (AGO), aviation fuel, and cooking gas to reduce our national vulnerability to sudden disruptions to the supply of these fuels.

VIII. We will strengthen the incentive regimes for new growth industries, in particular, the culture and creative industry, and technology-oriented industries.
X. We will prioritize the development of MSMEs through a boutique of incentives which include new structures, new capital access, new legislation to support small business growth and strategic centres of excellence for small businesses such as Enterprise Hubs, Business Incubators and MSME Industrial clusters across all the geopolitical zones.

XI. We will drive the expansion of Nigerian content initiative with emphasis on the promotion of made-in-Nigeria goods and services as a pillar of our administration. This will be accomplished by expanding the success of Nigeria Content legislation implemented in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas sector, to other sectors of the economy.

Road to having steady and uninterrupted power supply, the document disclose:

Build expansive and world-class infrastructure for efficient power supply, rail, road and air transportation, and pipeline network, through integrated public-private partnerships, and entrepreneurial public sector governance.
I. We will address current bottlenecks in extant national policies and frameworks with the view to unlock resources for investment in critical physical and social infrastructure.

II. We will seek to harmonize agencies involved in the infrastructure space to address coordination failures that impede effectiveness and efficiency.

III. We will explore innovative solutions to address the shortcomings in the current PPP regime.

The World Bank recognizes this in its recent switch to blended finance as a means to improve PPPs and market-based approaches to infrastructure provisioning in developing countries like ours. Our government shall go beyond blended finance to create mechanisms to scale infrastructure financing, incentivizing not only corporate tax credit application to infrastructure, but also, philanthropy, and community-based infrastructure bonds.

IV. We will integrate existing masterplans for infrastructure – gas, road, railway, urban mass transit, telecommunications (broadband), water, sewage, and electricity to create national multi-utility transport tunnels (MUT) for co- location of subsurface infrastructure development with the objective of achieving cost efficiency and a one-stop solution to right-of-way issues for accelerated infrastructure development.

V. We will sign into law the National Transport Commission Act passed into law in 2018, and establish the National Transport Commission as an integrated economic regulator to make the transport sector efficient and bankable for private sector investment.

Our Power Solution
VI. With our strong determination to end Nigeria’s chronic power shortages, lack of investment, inadequate generation, transmission, and distribution of power, we shall act decisively to deliver the benefits of adequate, accessible, and stable supplies of electricity to all electricity users, to boost our economy, improve livelihoods and provide the needed energy to move Nigeria to a competitive and productive economy. In the three constituent sectors of the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), we shall do the following:

To overcome these challenges, our administration will take measures to resolve the problems with transmission and procure the capable and assured technical control and management of the transmission grid, whilst it is being strengthened and extended by Siemens under the contract with Nigeria. We shall ensure qualitative, noticeable, and structural improvement in grid stability and consigning grid collapse to history.

While over 13 GW of grid power generation capacity is installed presently across Nigeria, only approximately 3.4 GW reaches consumers on average. The FGN will retain top local and international financial advisers to restructure the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), contracting an experienced grid operator to manage it to deliver, through callable financial guarantees, a resolution to the existing transmission challenges, persistent grid stability and an expanded capacity for Nigeria’s future power transmission needs. To ensure that this management contract succeeds, we shall take the following steps:

a. Successfully complete the $2.3b Nigeria-Siemens network improvement deal (technical upgrade and strengthening) to achieve 7,000MW stable capacity by 2023, 11,000 megawatts by 2024, and 25,000 megawatts by 2025.
b. Enhance the technical availability of the transmission network, and grid
stability through “bankable” performance contracts.

The TCN operator/manager will be compensated using the formular: Revenue = Incentives + Innovation + Outputs (within network price controls). The FGN will deliver an upgraded and enhanced grid infrastructure, which the manager will improve, introduce innovative technologies for preventative maintenance and bring to bear, their proven technical capacity and experience to achieve the desired result. Any collapse of the network will result in significant financial losses for the network operator, and they will be incentivised to take every/all steps to forestall such occurrences, while they will be compensated for grid stability and performance.

a. We will launch a solar power revolution across Nigeria, particularly Northern Nigeria, with a view of ensuring that all cities and industrial parks in Northern Nigeria have uninterrupted power by the end of 2024 by urgently re- engaging the 14 Independent Power Producers (IPPs), who had in 2016, initialled PPAs worth $2.5 billion to build a total 1,125 megawatts of installed solar capacity for delivery to the national grid, by removing the main structural impediments to reaching financial closure (mainly to do with NBET bankability as counterparty), and negotiating a win-win Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the excellent list of local and international investors, who have already demonstrated their capacity to fund these projects.
b. We will increase the capacity of some of the 14 plants to achieve
5,000MW generation by expanding at least 10 of the projects, where transmission capacity has been expanded or proven local demand has been adequately developed.
c. We will invite experienced local and international developers to sign new
PPAs for 8,000MW of solar and wind plants, including offshore wind farms in the Lagos, Warri, and Port-Harcourt coastal areas with a mandatory latest commercial operation date of December 2025.
d. We will restructure the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC to
release its 4000MW of generating capacity by bringing onstream Gbarain, which had a fire incident; Ihovbor, with a turbine failure, Olorunsogo, Alaoji, Calabar, and Sapele IPPs, as well as ensuring that Sapele, Omoku, Alaoji, Omotosho II, Olorunsogo II, and Geregu II all return to optimal status to generate up to their nameplate capacity.
e. Release the gas assets to provide power for our nation: around 4.9 billion standard cubic feet (scf) of gas per annum is contracted between gas suppliers and generating companies, with just about a third of this being delivered. Yet, the country’s already installed power generation capacity would require gas supply of up to 7 billion scf per annum to adequately power them. We shall fast- track the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP) to secure gas being wasted through flaring, increase the gas utilization rate through a coherent gas-to-power drive, strenuous enforcement of the Domestic Gas Supply Obligations of Oil & gas Companies and development of new gas-to-power infrastructure through fiscal incentives. We will enact policies and measures to enable Embedded Power Generation to access pipeline gas where available at input pricing to equal the current Gas-to-Power price plus transportation of $2.50 + 80cents, or some more affordable pricing, as opposed to the current $7.00 – $8.00 per mscf.
f. Within 3 years, each of the southern states should develop and construct
embedded power plants of capacities ranging from 5MW to 30MW up to a total of 300MW per state from locally-sourced gas in and around the states. This can be achieved quickly by locating the power plants close to natural gas lines that traverse the states. It can also be achieved by virtual piping by transporting CNG from mother stations built around gas lines or gas sources. The essence of building the power plants and the mother stations near gas lines and gas sources is to make the gas inputs to the embedded power plants as cheap as possible, so that the electricity generated and fed into the local DisCo networks from them will be at current DisCo tariff.
g. Complete and commission the Mambilla HEP project, which is planned to
deliver 3,050MW; the Kashimbila Dam project, planned to deliver 40MW; and the 40MW Dadinkowa HEP plant.
h. Nigeria’s Economy is powered by the agricultural sector, which is
predominant in the rural areas. Lack of electricity has been a problem in enhancing the productive capacity and value adding activities in the agricultural sector. We shall focus the Rural Electrification Agency’s Nigeria Electrification Project through collaborations with the private sector and communities, especially through renewable power sources. Our off-grid electrification strategy will provide access to clean and sustainable electricity to millions of Nigerians, promote the use of decentralised energy solutions to power households, communities, and businesses.
i. We will develop 100,000 mini-grids across the country by end 2024 which will provide reliable power supply for up to 750,000 rural SMEs; provide uninterrupted power supply in all federal universities and university teaching hospitals; support the private sector to deploy 15million solar standalone systems for residential and SMEs use by end of 2025; deliver on the FGN’s climate change obligations under the Paris Agreement, with respect to promoting renewable and reducing carbon emissions.
j. Since the mid 1990s, Nigeria, with technical support and backing from China, has been working on its nuclear energy project at Ahmadu Bello University in Kaduna. The location opened in 2004, and is home to roughly 170 Nigerian workers, and operating its second reactor. We shall support the current efforts by the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Agency to procure BOOT contracts for top international nuclear companies to construct nuclear power plants to generate 4,000 MW of electricity at acceptable PPA terms over 40 years.

Through the NERC, we shall encourage electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to run their franchises diligently, properly, and with a focus on providing stable, reliable, and adequate power to customers and enforce the removal of investors who do not demonstrate adequate capacity to:
a. Improve their network;
b. Reduce technical and commercial losses;
c. Improve quality of service and customer satisfaction; and
d. Demonstrate adequate capacity to continue to operate their franchises satisfactorily, including investments in technology, human capacity and customer offerings.

To support quality performance of DisCos, the NERC will continue to ensure cost-reflectrive energy tariffs and move to end estimated electricity billing which is an untenable and opaque way to measure and sell energy to Nigerian customers. We shall ensure the completion of the National Mass Metering Program (NMMP) and require DisCos to replace all damaged and obsolete meters under the NMMP in strict compliance with the Metering Code and other
extant regulations by the end of 2023, and support DisCos with distribution and transmission bottlenecks by the end of 2023, to cut technical and commercial losses to single digits across the NESI.

Our government will, as a matter of principle, implement financing of power projects through different financing mechanisms. This will include: project and export finance, trade finance advisory and insurance, development and multilateral institutions’ long-term debt facilities and export credit insurance. The private sector participants will be expected and incentivised to provide equity, expertise, governance, warranties, bonds and other suitable financial and performance guarantees as a condition for participating in the sector.

In summary, our Power Solution for Nigeria will:
a. Reform and restructure the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) to deliver adequate, accessible, reliable and affordable power for Nigerians;
b. Release financing of new power generation to 25 GW by 2030, including
an additional 5,000 MW of new power generation by the end of 2024;
c. Achieve a revamped, upgraded and stable national grid working with Siemens by the end of 2023;
d. Ensure financially stable, capable and customer service delivery-oriented
e. Support local manufacturing capacity of power technologies;
f. Encourage and expand local R&D in universities, training centres, and workshops;
g. Deliver 5,000 direct jobs and 100,000 indirect jobs in the Nigeria
Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
VII. We will diversify the funding for our national surface transportation system (roads, rail, bridges, and mass transit) and programmes with the creation of the Highway Trust Fund Account. This account will be funded jointly by federal government, states, and private sector on a ratio to be agreed with government participation limited to those areas where there is a manifest need for government intervention.

VIII. We will vigorously support the private sector to construct fibreoptic backbone connecting all tertiary institutions and state capitals, to enable free broadband access for accelerated digital transformation of the economy.

IX. We will create financing incentives to unlock private capital provision of affordable social housing for Nigerian workers and people in proximity to their businesses and workplaces. The incentives will include tax concessions, streamlining of permitting processes, loan guarantees, and working with states for dismantling of institutionalised brigandage.

X. We will build a Nigerian maritime sector that will leverage on in-country value creation and addition; optimizing shipping and shipbuilding value chain and unleash positive spillover effects on other sectors of the economy. In this regard, the Cabotage Vessels Finance Fund (CVFF) will be enhanced and channeled to catalyze ship and boat building and repairs, open up the inland waterways (river ports and jetties) and link our rivers and creeks with coastal trade including goods and passenger movement; provide for physical security and proper maritime safety in our coastal and inland waterways, effective dredging mappings, markings and management of the waterways, identification of routes based on passenger and cargo concentrations, and finally building, maintenance and repairs of the watercrafts that are specific to all these considerations.

XI. A comprehensive plan for livestock production will be worked out for nomadic rearers. Through innovation and the erection of dams and irrigation facilities in arid-prone areas, forage production would be accessible to farmers.

Yet, plans on human capital development empathizes:

Enhance the human capital of Nigerian youths for productivity and global competitiveness through investment in world-class scholarship and research, quality healthcare, and entrepreneurship education.

I. The World Bank’s Human Capital Development Index ranks Nigeria 168 out of 173 countries. To move Nigeria right to the top bracket of the index, we will pursue a Marshall plan-type programme on education that incorporates compulsory technical and vocational skills, sports, entrepreneurship, programming, and digital skills from the primary to the secondary level. In line with this commitment to transform our educational sector, we will prioritize the funding of this critical sector. Our tertiary institutions will be remodeled to serve as hubs or centres for research, development, and commercialisation of ideas for the quick industrialization of Nigeria.

II. Following from the above, our government shall prioritize education to serve the following functions: technical and industry relevance; alignment with local comparative advantages and factor endowments; modern skills proficiency, critical thinking, ethical citizenship values, global competitiveness, and talent export. Our government will enter into strategic partnerships with state governments, private-led groups and international partners to establish incubators that will train young Nigerians in the latest digital and technological skills, provide workspaces, access to seed funding and mentorship by industry experts.
III. Achieving the revolution we envisage for the educational sector would require bold initiatives including:
a. Retraining, retooling and re-certification of teachers
b. Incentivising industry experts to take up teaching roles in partnership with universities
c. Curriculum overhaul, and
d. Policy and institutional review.

IV. We will prioritize scaling up Nigeria’s Human Capital Index (HCI), through significant and sustainable funding for the health, education, sports, and social welfare sectors, with the imperative of improving the remuneration and conditions of service for our teachers, health workers, and administrators.

V. We will introduce a mandatory “No Child left Behind” educational policy, mindful that Nigeria’s inadequate investment in the social sectors – health, education, and housing – has resulted in the current dismal social and demographic trends reflected in low life expectancy, teenage pregnancies, high maternal mortality rate, large number of out-of- school children, huge unmet housing needs, as well as high youth unemployment.

VI. We will address the gaps in the legislation guiding the funding access modalities to Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), to remove prevailing bottlenecks, create greater transparency and ensure increased flexibility, and optimum availability of funds required to meet the educational need of the Nigerian students whom they are meant to serve. The Ministry of Education will work out a Public-Private model that involves private corporations assuming funding and managerial responsibilities in a specially restructured taxation plan. This design will see some private corporations pay their taxes in the form of taking management of a school while the Ministry continues to retain ownership, set the national curriculum and manage other oversight functions. This will reduce the bottlenecks and burden of the government and ensure that education is delivered with consistent high quality.

VII. We will provide health insurance cover to 133 million poorest Nigerians including pregnant women, children, the aged and the disabled. This shall be without discrimination by socio-economic status in line with constitutional provisions as captured in Chapter 2 Section 17 (3)(d) of our constitution.
The NHIS shall be strengthened in an efficient manner to stimulate private sector-driven health provision driven by accessibility and affordability to cover informal sector workers, the weak and the vulnerable.

VIII. We will strive to honour Nigeria’s commitment pursuant to the 2001 African Union Abuja Declaration on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Other related Infectious Diseases, which set the target of allocating at least 15 percent of annual budgets to the improvement of the health sector in African countries.

IX. We will put to an end the financial resources-depleting practice of medical tourism, by supporting national teaching hospitals to specialize in niche areas of medicine, thus enjoying expeditious faculty and facilities enhancement and the attendant comparative advantage. We will implement the National Health Act of 2014 to the letter, and enforce the provision of its Section 46. This will be followed with further actions to improve the quality and service delivery of our health care system as follows:
a. Strengthening the leadership, coordination and integration of the health system, while simultaneously improving its regulation, standardisation and quality of service;
b. Comprehensive mapping of Nigeria’s healthcare system occupational categories to generate relevant data on human capacity and resources for healthcare training, with a view to reversing brain drain and stopping medical tourism while tapping into our huge Diaspora capacity in healthcare.
c. Effective overhaul and restructuring of training for all cadre of healthcare system providers.
d. Stepwise scaling up of the healthcare system budget in line with Abuja Declaration, while devolving PHC Funding directly to a revamped National Primary Healthcare Agency.
e. Increase NHIS uptake, with a robust healthcare insurance scheme at the basic healthcare level with a goal to provide cover for the 133 million poorest Nigerians including pregnant women, children, elderly and people living with disabilities.
f. Generate innovative healthcare financing by encouraging public private healthcare sector initiatives, implementing special taxes and duty waivers. This will include special incentives to encourage the domestic production of pharmaceuticals, drugs, vaccines and medical consumables. The incentives shall also be targeted at boosting research and development in the healthcare system, together with their commercialisation within a process that will be carefully audited, monitored, and evaluated.
X. Our government will enforce the requirements of the National Gender Policy, aimed at promoting gender equity, affirmative action, and good governance across the three tiers of government. We shall enforce an equitable distribution of appointments to men, women, youths, and people living with disabilities.

XI. We will facilitate both public and private sector investments to reactivate and reposition our sports sector to become globally competitive. The sports ministry shall be strengthened to attract investments through blended financial mechanisms towards developing sporting talents, revamping sporting facilities and recreation centres across the nation. We will work with state governments to introduce state leagues in key sports such as football and basketball to enhance the growth and professionalization of grassroots sports. This would create thousands of jobs for the youth.

XII. We will encourage the establishment of integrated health training institutions and provide the necessary incentives for active private sector participation.

XIII. We will deploy available national resources combined with extant policies and programmes to tackle and reduce the high rate of youth unemployment; and address the high prevalence of our national youth population that are categorized as NEET (not in education, employment or training).

XIV. We will vigorously support the creative industries (fashion, music, arts, film, entertainment) to become significant areas of our comparative advantage and also sources of job creation for our youths and tourism. We will support the establishment of institutions to provide training and certification for our youths in the creative industries.

XV. In pursuing our goal of not leaving anyone behind and birthing a Nigeria that works for all, our government will cater to the specific needs of people living with disabilities (PLWDs), be they physical, learning or psychological – for example, through the provision of appropriate alternative access to public buildings and spaces. Our national policy on PLWDs will be based on a recognition that they are bona fide members of society and that they can be productively engaged; we will therefore guarantee them equitable rights, in line with our Constitution. Any unjust discrimination against such persons will be criminalized.

Again, attention on ravaging poverty says:

Addressing Multidimensional Poverty
XVI. The prevalence of multidimensional poverty in Nigeria today is unarguably the outcome of failed government policies and rigged prosperity, resulting from oil theft, poverty-inducing fuel subsidy program, and woeful macroeconomic policies. These have resulted in a few wealthy households having disproportionate access to economic opportunities, whereas millions of Nigerians languish in absolute and degenerative poverty.

While government policies have exacerbated poverty, the policy responses to tackling it has fared worse. Attempts over the past years to directly target poverty through various pro-poor developmental programmes have yielded little or no result. We shall not continue on the same track. Our approach to poverty alleviation is to engineer massive economic growth that will create jobs, grow incomes, build capacities and capabilities across the breadth of the socio- economic divide. We will bake a larger pie and ensure that the prosperity is shared in an all-inclusive and equal opportunity basis.

Our approach to tackling poverty will discourage citizens from the Stockholm syndrome, where they become slaves to the same political elites that immersed them in poverty in the first place.

Poor policy choices and massive distortion of the operation of the private sector by the government, e.g., multiple exchange rates, multiple taxation, and capital control, contribute to Nigeria’s current poor economic condition. More so, the ineffective communication of government decisions amplifies uncertainty about the country’s economic prospects and thereby discouraging both local and foreign investment. We will create massive economic opportunities to ensure that individuals not only bootstrap themselves out of poverty, but begin to aspire to the lofty heights of the good life as enshrined in our Constitution.

Poverty breeds insecurity which in turn, worsens poverty. Our commitment to tackling insecurity head-on will guarantee peace and security of citizens and property, which is a necessary pre-condition for development and growth that solve the problem of poverty.
We will resource the generation of quality data on livelihoods to monitor poverty. Poverty is the lack of capacity and capability. Our human capital development strategy will ensure that all Nigerians are equipped with skills and talents to fend for themselves. These interventions will focus on expanding access to quality health and nutrition, education, and labour force participation of every Nigerian and especially, youths, women, and people living with disability. Our agricultural intervention will increase the productivity of agriculture, ensuring food security and meaningful jobs.

Conduct an afro-centric diplomacy that protects the rights of Nigerian citizens abroad and advances the economic interests of Nigerians and Nigerian businesses in a changing world.
I. While Africa will remain the focus of our foreign policy, we will prioritize Nigeria’s economic interest through promoting Nigerian businesses and protecting our people across the globe. Trade and investment will remain core components of our African foreign policy. Our foreign policy will integrate ‘Citizen Diplomacy’ and ‘Economic Diplomacy’. We will be unrelenting in protecting the rights of Nigeria anywhere in the world, as well as pragmatically respond to changes in the global economic order in a manner that leverages diplomacy for economic development in Nigeria. We will end the days of ‘coctail diplomacy’. We will be developmentalist like South Korea and Japan under their reformist governments.

II. We will rebuild Nigeria’s military power, re-organise its security architecture and enhance its technological prowess to improve security at home and Nigeria’s diplomatic influence in sub-regional, regional, and global affairs via peacekeeping activities.

III. We will proactively reassert Nigeria’s leadership role in African affairs through constructive engagement using existing sub-regional and regional fora, as well as bilateral platforms for dialogue on current and emerging challenges.

IV. We shall creatively deploy Nigeria’s soft power in Africa and around the world through Nigeria’s leading role in entertainment – music and Nollywood – to enhance the effectiveness of our domestic economic growth strategies.

V. We will pay special attention to the ECOWAS region in order to secure our borders and ensure the integrity of regional security and development architecture that promotes human security in Nigeria. Our strategic interest is peaceful and democratic West Africa as our primary sphere of influence.

VI. Despite obvious challenges posed by migration, we will respect ECOWAS Freedom of Movement Protocols as it relates to movement of persons and goods. We will work with our neighbours to secure our borders and fight cross- border crimes while strengthening our immigration to account for movement into the country.

VII. We will seek to restore credibility to Nigeria’s foreign policy through its adherence to and leadership on regional initiatives and programmes such as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA), the New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) and the African Peer Review Mechanism. We will also pursue the strengthening of our relationship with our development partners and adherence and commitment to global peace and security.

VIII. We will prioritize the drive to expand Nigeria’s exports by building strong bilateral relationships with end-user global markets. This will include creating structures such as nationally organised strategic trade and investment missions which are industry targeted; in-country trade missions that complement our current foreign missions, with specific responsibilities to build up acceptable markets for made-in-Nigeria goods and services.

IX. We will embrace political entrepreneurialism to directly lead missions to top Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and leading Global Value Chain headquarters, lobbying and granting them all the necessary incentives to expand their production and manufacturing value chains to our country to link us to the important, income-growing, and employment-generating global value chains.

More details on the biography of both candidates

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