Kwankwaso unveils manifesto, promises free JAMB, WAEC, NECO registration
promises free JAMB, WAEC, registrations
To recruit 750,000 into the military, increase NPF to one million personnel
The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabi’u Kwankwaso, on Tuesday unveiled his manifesto and policy document, vowing to examine and review all subsidy regimes from the 1970s till date.
Kwankwaso, a former Kano State governor, also promised to ensure that all entry examinations into tertiary institutions were free for Nigerians.
Specifically, he said his administration if elected in 2023, would ensure parents won’t pay a dime as registration fees for the West African Examination Council, WAEC, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and National Examination Council.
In his 160-page manifesto titled “My pledges to you. The RMK2023 blueprint”, unveiled in Abuja, and obtained by The Guardian, Kwankwaso said aside from ensuring free examination forms, JAMB results under his government will have a lifespan of four years.
Though silent on whether his administration would end the controversial petrol subsidy gulping trillions of naira annually, Kwankwaso said Nigeria had lost billions to subsidy, hence, if elected his administration would assess past subsidy regimes in the overall interest of Nigeria.
Recall that subsidies were first introduced in Nigeria in the 1970s as a response to the oil price shock of 1973.
The situation of shock led to a global rise in oil prices and if the international rates were to be used would have made Nigerians pay more, thereby forcing the government to regulate local prices for energy products.
A decree which was further enacted in 1977 institutionalised subsidies in Nigeria.
“It’s very important that we look at the subsidy. The way we have it on the ground today is not acceptable. We have a lot of corruption, everybody knows that. And these are things that we have to check. We have to ensure value for money. And I can assure you that a lot of money, billions of dollars are being wasted to corruption and I believe that the first place of call to look at is a subsidy in this country”, Kwankwaso stated.
The NNPP Presidential candidate also pledged to mop up the 20 million out-of-school children in Nigeria in the next four years.
He said this would be achieved through the launch of a half a million classroom initiative in his first few weeks in office by building 40 blocks of classrooms per local government per annum for the first four years.
In the document, Kwankwaso maintained that examination bodies are not revenue-generating agencies and must not operate as such.
He described it as a misnomer notion that any examination body will generate income and contribute to the federation accounts.
The document stated: “Examination bodies are service agencies that facilitate access to higher education and training for our teaming young population.
“For our administration, no Nigerian child shall be denied the opportunity to write WAEC, NECO, JAMB, etc., because of their inability to pay exorbitant registration/examination fees. These examinations shall be free and all application forms for admission into tertiary education institutions (TEls) shall also be free;
“These examination bodies will be adequately funded by the kwankwaso administration.
“The notion that matriculation examination in Nigeria expires after one year will be stopped forthwith. JAMB results under the Kwankwaso government will have a lifespan of four years and TEIs will be required to accept these results for the purposes of admission.
On insecurity, the NNPP presidential candidate said an additional 750,000 personnel will be recruited into the armed forces, adding that the Nigerian Police Force, NPF, will also be built to one million active service men and women.
Speaking further at the event, Kwankwaso said the release of the manifesto was delayed deliberately because his ideas could easily be picked by other candidates to forge their own arrangements.
He said: “We are happy that at least the three parties have already released their own blueprints. We have seen them and anybody looking at our own would agree with me that there are original ideas that we have been nursing over the years to have an opportunity to bring them to Nigeria.
“And I hope Nigerians will take time to ensure that they read through all this write-up we have bonded”
Noting that the document would be translated into local languages, the former governor advised Nigerians to vote for leaders with practical, sincere and acceptable plans to hit the ground running when elected.
He added: “The country has never been so divided as it is now with massive mistrust amongst the people; the level of insecurity has never been this bad with everywhere being unsafe and everyone feeling threatened; the economic woes resulting into abject poverty for the majority has never been this biting with avoidable inflation and freefall of the Naira;
“The crises of unemployment are so alarming and there appears to be no effort being made to create opportunities for the teaming unemployed youth resulting in despondency, hopelessness and the rise of crime.
“The education subsector that is supposed to provide the backbone for our high-level manpower and human capital development has never been so neglected and relegated resulting in the continuous rot and decay of both the services and the infrastructure at all levels of education provisioning.
He, however, assured that the NNPP would right the wrongs of past administrations.