By Vanessa Obioha
The People’s Trust (PT) presidential candidate, Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, believes fervently that the story of gloom in the country can be turned to that of boom and the tide of poverty averted and movement towards prosperity for al started. With paradigm shifts in leadership, which Olawepo-Hashim represents, implementation will be scientific.
In the People’s Trust (PT), we believe that through a rigorous application of a set of policy initiatives under the leadership of Olawepo-Hashim, Nigeria will achieve the predicted milestones ahead of timelines forecast by independent observers and friends of Nigeria.
The PT presidential candidate made his name as a student union and rights activist. He drew global attention when he was imprisoned without trial by the Ibrahim Babangida regime. Declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, Olawepo-Hashim was later freed after legal battle and international pressure. He was the founding Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Originally from Kwara State, he now chooses to contest for political office out of the FCT. He is a serial investor in different sectors of the economy and multi-billionaire businessman
New Nigeria Economic Development Plan
The economic strategy of People’s Trust is a bold agenda and plan aimed at changing the present economic structure of dependence. It is revolutionary and massive. We are to exit monolithic economic and technical dependence. We are to fast track and expand indigenous technology at least for the production of what we consume. We are eliminating poverty by fundamentally reordering our national economy. We will stop “Mickey-Mouse” economy which parodies the Nigerian economy presently by expanding it (Nigerian economy) exponentially.
The critical issue facing Nigeria, beyond all other assessments, is that the size of the economy is abysmally small and therefore incapable of stimulating development, tackling poverty or creating national prosperity. An annual national revenue of US$50 billion or thereabout is inadequate to finance meaningful development or take the nation to new development height.
A new Nigeria Economic Development Agenda is to expand the Nigerian economic base to a four trillion dollar in the next 10 years to tackle fundamentally challenges of under-development and poverty. Expansion of the GDP shall be funded through targeting 5% of global infrastructure fund, which will mount to 3,9 trillion US Dollars; increase in remittances to 100 billion US Dollars per year, totaling 1 trillion USD in 10 years by integrating Diaspora community into local investment platforms; boosting tourism and other sources of investment.
Justice Sector Reforms
We will implement fundamental reforms of the justice administration sector to guarantee the independence of the judiciary from the executive interference while strengthening the system to justly and efficiently discharge its constitutional mandate. We intend to make the judiciary truly the last hope of the common man by stopping police brutality and removing hindrance in the justice administration system. Some of the policy objectives in this regard include; immediate end to oppression of the poor though unjust incarceration; protection of judicial officers from humiliation through vindictive prosecutions; and strengthening the National Judicial Council (NJC) to discipline judicial officers without interference by the executive
SECURING AND DEFENDING NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY
Nigeria is a fragile nation being pulled in various directions by centrifugal and centripetal forces as well as external and internal insurgencies. Dowsing social tensions through social investments is to be complemented by strategically-focused defence and foreign policies geared towards securing and defending our national sovereignty. A PT government will immediately start work on; creation of a new security body between the military and police for quelling national insurrections; creation of a new national military doctrine; reforming and strengthening of domestic defence industry and capacity; introduction of military service to enhance culture of military service; building our foreign policy on solid national foundation with a focus on cementing national unity; putting the interest of citizens first in our foreign policy in all international interactions; reinforcing in the foreign policy our national interest of building strong economy at home; giving our security forces priority attention on all fronts; strengthening domestic capacity for defence externally and internally and enforcing a Nigerian first agenda in all areas of interactions
PRIORITISING SOCIAL INVESTMENTS IN EDUCATION AND HEALTH
Nigeria faces multiple social challenges and sectoral issues in health and education. The picture is scary across the health and education sectors. Hence, we focus on reversing the trend through emphasis on educational reforms and fundamental professional review of the health sector.
Social divisions and tensions among Nigerians are to be bridged and doused respectively in order to build a truly united, healthy and educationally sound nation. The steps to be taken in this regard includes addressing national inequality with direct poverty-alleviating policies and programmes; access to health to meet the SDG goals is to be pursued with vigour and passion; social care for the elderly and the youth is to be adopted as a principle of state governance; health reform to transform Nigeria as a destination of medical tourism is to be implemented; access to education for indigent but brilliant students is to be a state policy; accountability in the management of the educational institutions is to be pursued and welfare of the citizenry, irrespective of race and ethnicity, is to be the main preoccupation of a PT’s government.
We will implement fundamental reforms of the justice administration sector to guarantee the independence of the judiciary from the executive interference while strengthening the system to justly and efficiently discharge its constitutional mandate