By Henry Umoru
ABUJA-AS campaigns for the 2019 general and presidential elections kicked off yesterday, the Presidential candidate of the Action Democratic Party, ADP, Engr. Yabagi Yusuf Sani, yesterday unveiled his blueprint for the country, with a promise to pay a minimum wage of N100,000 to workers if elected as the President of the country.
Addressing the leadership of the party, candidates, members and Journalists yesterday in Abuja at the party’s National Secretariat, Engr. Sani who also promised to create five million jobs annually, however took a swipe at the government over the present condition of Nigeria workers, stressing that the minimum wage of N30,000 the Organised Labour was asking for was too small for the workers in the country if they must live above board.
The ADP Presidential candidate said, “A country that is the sixth largest oil producing country in the world, third largest gas exporting country in the world, a country that is the next frontier in terms of where the resources of this world is deposited, cannot be paying N30,000 as minimum wage. We have the capacity to pay N100,000. The day we stay growing our economy believe you me that day you will believe that yes we can pay more the N100,000.”
Speaking further, the Presidential candidate said, “My decision to run for the Presidency of our Country is a response to a generational challenge. It Is borne out of my determination never to remain passive and indifferent in the face of monumental political, economic and social challenges confronting this generation of Nigerians and by extension, future generations.
“At 58, Nigeria has no excuse for the abysmal performance we have recorded in every sphere of human development. Our records on the Human Development Index show Nigeria as: The Country with the highest number of poor people in the world.
The Country with about 13.5 million children out of school – the highest in Africa. The Country with the third most serious humanitarian crisis after Syria and Yemen. One of the Countries with lowest allocations to Education in their annual budgets.
“This is against United Nations advice that every Country allocates 26% of its annual budget to Education. One of the Countries with the lowest GDP growth rate in Africa. One of the countries with the highest population growth in the world. While population is increasing, the GDP is decreasing. This is a serious sign of decline and under-development, caused by poor planning and ineffective governance. One of the most insecure or unsafe Countries in the world. One of the Countries high up on the Corruption Perception Index globally. One of the Countries with the lowest per capita incomes world-wide.
“As a patriot with focus, drive and uncommon commitment to national development, I am determined to change the narratives and be the CREDIBLE ALTERNATIVE our Country Men and Women are earnestly yearning for. Our agenda shall be anchored on the deployment of new governance models to restructure Nigeria and give our people a new direction.
“Our government shall plan and sustain economic strategies for a private-sector driven economy with stronger regulatory agencies and institutions which will administer economic reforms in the overall interest of our people. It is irrefutable that there cannot be industrialization and economic development where power and other forms of infrastructure have collapsed.
“We will rebuild our infrastructure base and power architecture to ease industrialization and the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Bureaucratic impediments to business shall be eliminated to enhance the inflow of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and check capital flight which remains a major threat to our economy.
“Since education is central to development, ADP Government shall create a synergy between the Education sector and the economy. This will ensure that the products of our education system have the necessary skills required in the economy.
A synergy between the education sector and the economy will help tackle unemployment by ensuring that unemployable people without skills are not churned out by our educational institutions. It will also ensure that skilled labour is produced. Our Universities will be given a new attention to enable them play their roles effectively as breeding grounds for the future leaders who will manage the affairs of our Country at the highest levels.
“Lecturers and teachers at all levels of our educational system will be properly motivated with commensurate remunerations and proper facilities to function effectively. New strategies will be employed to ensure that our universities pay greater attention to research and that researchers are motivated with the right incentives. This will arrest the interruption in the academic calendar caused by the frequent industrial actions often embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
“Insecurity remains a major challenge to our overall national economic, social, and political aspirations. A situation where Nigerians, particularly those in the Northeast, cannot sleep with two eyes closed, will never be tolerated. While the Northeast remains a huge humanitarian problem, the rest of the Country is encumbered and challenged by pervasive insecurity.
“The primary responsibility of any government, is to protect life and property. My administration will never be found wanting in this regard. A new orientation shall be encouraged in the military, with the provision of state of the art hardware to stamp out insurgency and other forms of threats to our territorial sovereignty. An ADP government will ensure that no inch of Nigeria’s territory is yielded or conceded to insurgents of whatsoever names called.
“The health of Nigerians shall be top priority to our government. The Health sector shall be over-hauled to stem the tide of Health Tourism. Our Policy on Health shall encourage adequate funding, equipment and provision of all necessary facilities to make the sector function effectively. A major thrust of our Health Policy is enhancement of access of all Nigerians to affordable healthcare. Also the Health Policy shall pay greater attention to the unreached, socially-alienated and other Nigerians at the lowest rung of the social ladder. Their health shall remain a top priority on our national agenda.
“Our policy on Aviation will be geared towards widening the space for more carriers to participate in the sector. This will enhance local and international business activities without compromising air safety and the safety of Nigeria’s air space. Local and Foreign sector operators will be encouraged to participate in Nigeria’s Aviation industry.
“Our policy on oil and gas sector shall be geared towards domestication and accountability. My administration shall review the current policy on sales of crude oil and gas on Free On Board (FOB) to Cost Insurance and Freight; and also our Cabotage Law to stop the annual loss of estimated $16.2 recently reported by the National Chairman, National Fleet Implementation Committee (NFIC).
“Furthermore, our government shall make it mandatory for buyers of crude oil and gas from Nigeria to refine at least 30% of their allocation locally in order to stop the export of jobs to other nations at the expense of our teaming unemployed graduates and youth.
“My administration shall make it compulsory for the operators of our crude oil and gas export terminals to install an online monitoring system that shall enable relevant government agencies to have an unhindered access to information and data on actual quantities of exports and revenue accruable to the nation so as to institute culture of accountability and transparency.
“On foreign policy, we shall maintain Africa as the CENTRE=PIECE of our Foreign policy. A united and virile Africa would be better placed to champion the interests of her various countries. We shall encourage liberalization in foreign trade to enhance competitiveness without prejudice to some level of protectionism to secure our Local industries against stiff competition from the industrialized world.”