What a pity? A nation of over 100 years of existence and almost 55 years of independence is still struggling to secure a space among the under developed countries let alone developed. If not to avoid exaggeration, I would have opined that Nigeria is the Garden of Eden. For the creator has bestowed on this blessed nation. I believe it is because women have not been allowed to judiciously utilize their potentials in the development of this nation. As a female, I know that I can bring change and development to this country more than men can and the areas that I would like to address are: Free education, unemployment, economic growth, infrastructural development and urbanization of rural areas.
Firstly, free education will be provided from elementary levels to tertiary institutions. If the poor masses and indigent ones have access to an outstanding education, no one can convince them to commit any form of crime because education would have exposed them to the value of their potentials. In short, I believe free education can and will reduce insurgency in Nigeria.
Secondly, Unemployment is a situation where someone of working age isn’t able to get a job. The estimated figure of unemployment in Nigeria in 2012 was 54% and it seems to be growing yearly. If I am voted into power, unemployment will reduce drastically because I have plans that will create jobs. I will create employment by introducing and encouraging agriculture because it is a highly lucrative field. Also, I will encourage small scale industries financially and also provide energy/electricity for them. For example, hairdressers will gain more money with constant electricity and that will help them to have the capability to employ one or two people.
Thirdly, though we (Nigeria) are seen as having the largest economy in Africa, we the citizens know that it is not reflecting in our daily lives. In Nigeria, oil contributes or provides 20% of GDP, 95% of foreign exchange earnings and 6% budgetary revenues, although oil is a non-renewable resource and can go extinct at any time, citizens can be enriched by sharing the petroleum profit. This is the situation in Saudi Arabia and Denmark, where citizens have shares in total profit generated from the sale of petroleum. Another plan that I have for the economic growth of the country is the continuous export of other resources like palm oil (Imo State), Cocoa (Ogun and Ondo state), rubber (Edo State), cement (Kogi) etc. This is where agriculture comes in, thereby creating jobs and increasing the economy of the country. This way, we can rely on oil and other renewable resources without fear of imminent scarcity.
Another thing that I will focus on is infrastructural development. Infrastructure is the basic physical system of a country’s population including roads, utilities, water etc. Years of neglect of these infrastructures has left Nigeria’s infrastructure in tatters. Roads in Nigeria makes you have pains in your backside and relying primarily on generators for power, makes the price of doing business costly. If I am voted as president, all these will be a thing of the past because if South Africa can provide 40,000 megawatts for its 50 million people, the 174 million people of Nigeria should be a minor thing. Though infrastructural development requires a lot of money, my plans for economic growth will generate enough funds for it.
Lastly, Urbanization of rural areas, villages as well as towns with bad infrastructure will be taken into account. If this is achieved, overpopulation in cities will be reduced. For instance, Lagos is a city that houses approximately 17 million people each from different sates of the country. Indigenes of Imo State wouldn’t come to Lagos if jobs are created and the areas are urbanized.
I am running for presidential post because I believe in a better Nigeria. I dream of a Nigeria where youths can study what they choose because that is their passion and not what their parents choose for them or what the school offers. I dream of a Nigeria where pensions are paid to retired people. I dream of a Nigeria where law and order is upheld and there exists no sacred cow in the struggle against corruption. I dream of a Nigeria that I will be proud of anywhere I go in the world. I dream of a Nigeria that I would be proud of as a citizen.
To conclude, I know that if I am elected as president, free education will be enjoyed, unemployment, economic meltdown, infrastructural neglect and under development of rural areas will be a thing of the past after I become President.
Murtala Mohammed Airport Secondary school.