Unfolds agenda on socio-economic rejuvenation
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja â€¨
The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), has entered into a covenant with Nigerians highlighting his plan to tackle the challenges currently facing the country, including a Marshall Plan on the Boko Haram insurgency and insecurity.
In a document released on Monday titled ‘My Covenant With Nigerians’, the former military head of state unfolded his agenda for Nigeria and how his party intends to bring about a change in the country if elected into office.
He said what was required to revamp the Nigerian economy and rebuild the country was the party’s ability to galvanise all the citizens to believe once again in their government, in their country and especially in themselves.
Buhari committed to leading with integrity and honour, and committed himself totally to everything that is of concern to Nigerians: security, employment, health, education and good governance, among other issues.
One of the steps Buhari vowed he would undertake to deal with in governance is by publicly declaring his assets and liabilities and to encourage his political appointees to do the same.
He explained that his strategy for tackling corruption would not only focus on punishment but would also provide incentives for disclosure and transparency.
“I will show personal leadership in the war against corruption and also hold all the people who work with me to account and inaugurate the National Council on Procurement as stipulated in the Procurement Act so that the Federal Executive Council, which has been turned to a weekly session of contract bazaars, will concentrate on its principal function of policy making,” he said.
As part of strategy to check corruption, Buhari said he would make the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) an autonomous and operational agency and encourage proactive disclosure of information by government institutions in the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act.
He also promised to review and implement the audit recommendations by Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), work with the National Assembly towards the immediate enactment of a Whistle Blower Act, and strengthen the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by guaranteeing institutional and prosecutorial autonomy.
On the problem of the insurgency and insecurity, he said he would deliver a Marshall Plan on the insurgency, terrorism, ethnic and religious violence, kidnapping and rural banditry, and ensure that never again will Nigerian children be slaughtered or kidnapped at will.
Accordingly, Buhari said special attention would be paid to the welfare of the armed forces and all other security personnel and their families, including state-guaranteed life insurance for all officers and men as well as protecting the families of the country’s fallen heroes.
He also assured Nigerians that his administration would formulate a detailed strategy for protecting the fundamental rights and freedoms provided for in the constitution with emphasis on the rights of vulnerable persons including women, children and persons living with disabilities.
The former head of state said there would be interventions to attend to the plight of the people of the Niger Delta through the protection and regeneration of the environment, including a reform of investment in infrastructure development of the area, and to ensure that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is held accountable to its mandate.
Buhari also acknowledged the country’s diversity, stating that he would consciously promote equality and equity in all government businesses and activities, adding that he would implement the National Gender Policy including 35 per cent of appointive positions for women.
“I will work with the National Assembly to pass the National Disability Act and the Equal Opportunities Bill,” he said.
In the health sector, the APC presidential candidate assured Nigerians that he would unveil a health sector review policy to ensure the efficient and effective management of the country’s health system with focus on prevention.
Also in dealing with the challenges in the education sector, Buhari said he hoped to work with other levels of government and through the relevant government agencies to allocate resources to schools while strengthening community participation in school management.
He said Colleges of Skills and Enterprises would replace the old technical
He said his administration would make agriculture a major priority and would lay the institutional foundation to attract large-scale investments and capital to the sector.
On the issue of power supply, Buhari said he would address the gaps in the power sector privatisation to ensure it serves the needs of Nigerians.
He also pledged to explore and develop alternative sources of power such as small, medium and large hydro plants, wind, coal and solar and other forms of renewable energy to ensure efficient and affordable power supply.