Nigeria is blessed with an abundance of solid and liquid minerals. We are blessed with the best climate and environmental conditions for their exploitation, yet very little is done with all these gifts of nature. We spend our energy pursuing crude oil exploitation as if nothing else could give us substantial revenue to utilize in doing substantial work for our people.
My administration will identify all our natural solid and liquid mineral resources, and develop a futuristic agenda as to their exploration and exploitation for the benefit of the entire country. Our local communities will be employed in the quest to discover and ascertain the commercial relevance and value of every mineral deposit found in Nigeria.
We will invite businesses and open up for international investments in the various types of industries which our numerous mineral deposits can provide raw materials for. This will boost our economic policies, and significantly raise the employment potentials of our country.
Oil and Gas
One of the worst things to happen to us was the discovery of oil on our soils, however it is time to turn the curse into a blessing. The unprecedented levels of corruption that independence brought about not only worsened by the discovery of crude oil, that discovery warranted the shameless institutionalisation of corruption in our polity. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (“NNPC”) instead of being the custodian and preserver of our national wealth, became the looting quarters for all ill thinking leaders Nigeria has so far had.
We will completely revamp the leadership of the NNPC. We will replace the old NNPC with one which is only interested in the betterment of our people no matter their regions. An NNPC which will think progressively and implement measures which ensure intelligent, environment and community sensitive exploration and exploitation of our crude oil resources.
No more directors of NNPC who are barely qualified to stand guard at our children’s schools. No more NNPC directors who were ordained by our corrupt leaders. We will put credible men and women in charge of NNPC affairs, and through them help the companies and communities where crude oil is exploited find peaceful and mutually beneficial ways of co-existing.
Made in Nigeria Goods and Services
I believe that the best ways to innovate, prosper, and create good-paying jobs is to produce more in Nigeria. This is why we will firmly support manufacturing in Nigeria. We will constitute a “Made in Nigeria” commission under the Trade Ministry and give it the duty of establishing thriving manufacturing communities and hubs in Nigeria.
I know that goods and services in Nigeria are not produced at the highest possible standards, therefore people in and outside Nigeria are reluctant to patronise our “Made In Nigeria” goods. My administration will work with the Standards Organisation, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, and other relevant agencies to put measures together to ensure our goods and services meet internationally accepted standards. This will in turn open up more markets for our goods, and provide employment for millions of us in Nigeria.
Small and Medium Sized Enterprises
We will support entrepreneurship and small business growth in our communities by providing funding through bank loans, mentoring and training to entrepreneurs and small business owners.
We will make it easier to start and grow a small business in every corner of Nigeria. By supporting small business and entrepreneurship, we can grow jobs faster in Nigeria. We will remove policies which hold back small businesses and entrepreneurs in our country. We will open up access to credit because we know that small businesses are some of the best job creators in our communities.
We will provide tax reliefs and make the taxation system simple. We will create access to international markets and link into the critical importance of small businesses as a source of opportunity for our women and youth to work and nurture entrepreneurship.
A Unified Exchange Rate
Currently, the Central Bank of Nigeria (“CBN”) uses eleven different exchange rates. The pilgrims get a different exchange rate from customs, who get a different one from banks, or bureau de change etc. This is an anomaly and we will fix it.
We will have only one exchange rate and this rate will apply across all quarters. Furthermore, we will not spend taxpayers’ money to fund any religious pilgrimages, no matter the denomination.
Pilgrimages are a luxury that only the few wealthy people in society are able to afford. I therefore expect every person or group that decides to go on religious pilgrimages to fund such luxuries from their own private pockets. Our national wealth is needed to develop our people and our economy, funding religious pilgrimages is not among the issues for consideration in the equation.