Six presidential candidates on Sunday explained their plans ahead of February 16 general election.
The candidates are Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC), Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Donald Duke of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Tope Fasua of the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party, (ANRP) Fela Durotoye of the Alliance for New Nigeria, (ANN) and Sani Yusuf of the Action Democratic Party (ADP).
They disclosed their plans at a Presidential debate tagged “The People’s Debate.” organised by a Civil Society Organisation, Enough is Enough (EIE) in collaboration with Television Continent (TVC) on Sunday.
Mr Sowore called on Nigerians to vote for him because he has the capacity to correct the ills in the system.
“There is data everywhere but our analogue leaders don’t know how to process data. My government will right the wrongs.
“For 58 years now, some wicked political jackals took over the affairs of this nation. Today, we have a country where people are sad.”
Mr Sowore said his government “would create jobs, jobs, jobs”.
“I will kick (hit) the ground running upon the assumption of office as President of Nigeria. From day one, Nigeria will be secured, corruption will be clamped down, massive infrastructural development, agricultural revolution.
“We will return Nigeria to people who can build and maintain. Under our government, broadband will become a human right. No economic policy in the world will provide jobs without electricity, infrastructure and human capital.
“In the power sector, we will increase our power generation, massive infrastructural developments, hire 200,000 teachers when we assume office,” Mr Sowore said.
Mr Moghalu said his cabinet will be ready within 48 hours of his inauguration. He said his government will create unique representation for Nigerians.
“Too many Nigerians still don’t have the basic necessities of life. Malaysia, Singapore, China were once backward but they have moved on. In 2015, it was anyone but Jonathan; let 2019 not be anyone but Buhari. It is time to elect a capable leader to harness the creative potentials of Nigerians,” he said.
“It is time to elect a competent leader. It is time to have a leader who has the vision to manage the economy. YPP will constitutionally restructure the country.”
“We will encourage PPP so that government can focus more on using its finances in the rural areas of the country.”
Mr Moghalu also said he will end ASUU strike totally in Nigeria. “The first budget of my government for education will be 20 per cent (of total budget). Training and retraining of teachers will be my priority.”
Speaking on economy, he said, “Nigeria has no clear economic philosophy and without one, we can’t move forward as a nation. Is Nigeria a capitalist nation? If yes, what makes capitalism work for the common man on the street? I will work for the abolition of the land use act as a constitutional issue.”
Mr Duke condemned the high interest rate in the country over the years. He said “affordable and access to capital is key to driving the economy”.
“The time is now to change the trajectory of the nation. As long as population growth exceeds economic growth, we are in recession. Nigeria is in recession”, he said. “To enhance the productivity of the Nigerian economy; I will create an environment that improves affordability and access to capital.”
On education, he said: “In Cross River State as Governor, teachers were given a tax break. As president, our curriculum will be updated, teacher progression will be tied to teachers performance.”
Mr Durotoye said, “Unemployment in Nigeria is man-made and it was created by those who have held power in the past 20 years”.
“Under the leadership of ANN, we will deliver a nation that works for everyone, a nation that provides jobs for everyone. On job creation in Nigeria, those who have ruled us have done so with the intent of creating unemployment so as to impoverish the citizens. We will create a special business intervention fund to create five million jobs within one year.”
Mr Durotoye also said: “In 2008, we helped 48,000 students in Oyo State to prepare for NECO exams, which increased their pass rate in the exam.”
In the same vein, Mr Fashua spoke about creating ‘a revolution for abundant jobs’.
“We are going to create a revolution that will create abundant jobs by tapping into Nigeria’s abundant human resource.
“I’m going to review the budget from N8 trillion to N15 trillion. I will digitize the civil service within 100 days. Every student in Nigeria will be encouraged to practice what they study. It is the people and the youth of this country that will build it.
“The infrastructure problem isn’t about money. Public goods are unavailable in Nigeria. 80 milliion children are out of school. Imported development in Nigeria will not work for us. I’m a practical person, I’ve been to the streets and I believe Nigerians should vote for me,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Yusuf emphasised that his government will implement “stomach infrastructure.”
“We will address the issue of stomach infrastructure because it is very important. The missing link between Nigeria and greatness is leadership. We have a goldmine but it is being stolen. Corruption is the issue, if you can address it, investment will come into the country.
“By wealth of experience, I need to step forward to take this country to greater heights. In 100 days, I will turn the country around for good. We will rule on four elements: Capacity, Credibility, Organisation & Plan. With that, investment will ‘chase’ Nigeria. We will take advantage of the sector where we have a comparative advantage: Oil & Gas.”
Mr Yabagi also said: “Education is our priority, qualitative and affordable education will be our major focus from day one. Our security agencies will be revamped within the first 100 days.”