Understanding His Enduring Quest for a New Nigeria

0

By Udora Orizu

Fela Adetokunbo Durotoye was born on May 121971 is a politician, leadership expert and the CEO of the Gemstone Group, a leadership development institution aimed at raising leaders of excellence and exemplary values who would be committed to building Nigeria into a most desirable nation to live in by 2025. Durotoye earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science with Economics, as well as a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He is an alumnus of John F. Kennedy School of Government Executive Education programme of Harvard University. Fela Durotoye has been at the forefront of the movement to build a new Nigeria for over a decade. On February 22, 2018, he made his intention to run for president of Nigeria under the political party Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN). On September 29, 2018, he emerged as the presidential candidate of the ANN. The leadership of the ANN and the Young Progressives Party (YPP) formed a coalition known as ‘The Force’, which they said is to help salvage Nigeria from those they said have held it hostage for far too long.

Education

We will work with states and local governments to ensure nationwide rehabilitation and equipping of all existing government schools at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. We will develop customised programmes for gifted and talented children and children with learning difficulties and special needs. We will invest in teacher training and strengthen the teacher training programs across the country. Revitalise the quality assurance agency and equip it with the tools to conduct evaluation of teachers and schools. We will also empower it with the ability to implement remedial actions necessary to improve schools and teachers. We will develop nationwide teacher salary scale and ensure that all teachers earn a liveable wage and incentivise the states to adopt this salary scale. Increase the number of teachers in the rural areas by providing robust incentives for teachers that relocate to such communities by establishing a Teacher’s Incentive Fund (ITF), and focus educational on such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Program that will prepare students for success in colleges, careers and help them engage and be relevant in the global world.

Health

For health, We will have at least one functional primary health care centre in each local government. Today only 20% of existing primary health care centres are functional. We will ensure that there is adequate infrastructure, equipment, supplies and staffing at all local primary health centres. We understand that this requires significant investment so will focus on innovative models that will minimise costs. Provide incentives for health professionals to attract the best in the sector. Provide free medical care for our most vulnerable demographics- Children 5 years and under and elderly persons 65 years and above. We will fund specialised medical centres across the nation providing first rate medical care for chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, kidney problems, cancer etc. we will repatriate experts in these areas to support the development of these centres.

Infrastructure

Nigeria is faced with a huge infrastructure deficit which impedes the ease of doing business and frustrates the inflow of foreign direct investment. For transport infrastructure, we will invest in all the existing seaports and develop new ones in collaboration with the private sector to reduce the congestion at the Lagos port. Build and extend functional rail lines to these seaports to help in speedy evacuation of cargo. For airports, the most viable airports undergoing various stages of rebuild will be completed within 12 months. We will facilitate the launch of a national carrier with very little government involvement and make it a majorly private sector driven initiative in a transparent process. The road sector accounts for about 90 percent of all freight and passenger movements in the country. We will revisit existing national highway construction standards and contracting strategy, bring them up to date in line with global best practices and ensure standardisation in implementation and execution of road projects.

Introduce and enforce 24 hours construction policy on roads to speed up completion times. Clean water supply and improved sanitation at all tiers of government cannot be overemphasised. For water sector, Greater allocation of funds to the sector especially at the state and local government, enforce regulations that control water provision and quality, and increase awareness on sanitation and healthy environment. For housing sector, we will work with states to make it easier and cheaper to buy and sell land which will facilitate investment, work with the states to simplify their property registration and construction permitting processes and digitise their land registry systems, this will enable proper planning, access to information and transfer of landed properties. For technology, we are going to establish a Nigeria Information Technology Modernisation Fund (NITMF) with the focus to educate, train and develop comprehensive IT core competency across Nigeria’s critical assets and build the technology capabilities which will help propel Nigeria to become leading digital commerce in 21st century. Facilitate technology hubs in agriculture, e-commerce, government, education with the primary objective to advance the effective use, sustenance of technology in Nigeria.

Security

Security issues affect all Nigerians. Beyond the people directly impacted and in the instance of the north, actually displaced, security challenges limit the mobility of our people and goods across the country. We will support the creation of local and state police (alongside existing federal police). Spearhead a reform of the police system with a focus on giving police officers a liveable wage to ensure they are comfortable enough to focus on law enforcement. Support states affected by the herdsmen crisis in developing workable solutions to ensure safety of both farms and cattle. We will ensure kidnapping is a thing of the past through improved policing, and prosecute and widely publicise the prosecution of all those caught funding militia or engaging in fraudulent practices such as 419, Yahoo Yahoo etc. Eradicate the current proliferation of security militia groups across states and replace with state police. This will include severe punishment for private citizens found to be funding militia.

Agriculture

Nigeria is a potential agriculture paradise. Agriculture has the potential to more than double current jobs in Nigeria and leapfrog the economy to greatness. We will ensure aggressive promotion of value addition to agricultural produce via support for establishment of agro-allied industries in local government across the nation. Reforming our quality institutions (SON, NAFDAC) with a focus on supporting companies in their efforts to improve the quality of the products and access export markets. Democratising access to funding in agriculture by increasing meritocracy and transparency with a focus on value addition and innovation in agriculture. We will work with states to make land easily available for agriculture and industrial activities and empower all local governments to generate their own revenue through support for private sector investments in agriculture.

Restructuring

There has been a lot of talk about restructuring in the public square. There is no doubt that the current structure is not working for all Nigerians and things need to change. We are proposing the type of restructuring that will lead to restoration. A restoration of every single local government in Nigeria to it’s rightful status as a revenue generating entity that is powered by it’s citizens. The Fela Durotoye administration plans to give 60% allocation to states, local government and town natural resources are extracted from. Full autonomy for states to generate their power, reclassify federal roads to allow local government and states to be responsible for more road construction and maintenance and introduction of state policing as described in the security pillar.