The manifesto for Nigeria’s advance – Part 4
This is a period during which we must deal with the acute problem of insecurity in the society, in which even our country’s national capital city has become totally unsafe. We also have to settle some other serious problems that threaten the civil society, including the issue of producing a people-based National Constitution that will bind all. Law is made for man and not man for the Law! What has happened to our Doctrine of Necessity? Is the situation in the country not critical enough for us to dust it up once again? We therefore caution that in the likely rejection of this suggestion and a headlong plunge into national elections in 2023, there will be consequences. The outcome of such elections, especially the presidential election, could produce a great upheaval of the sort never ever witnessed in Nigeria before!
Accordingly and to safeguard the country, we propose an interim government at the end of the Buhari presidency in May 2023. The interim government is to be run by a six-man Presidential Council in which each of our six geopolitical zones shall pick, select or elect and contribute one individual to represent the zone or region in the said Council. The Council is to elect a chairman from among themselves.
The chairman shall bear the designation Interim-President of Nigeria. He shall work with the other members of the Council in much the same way Prime-Ministers function within the governing cabinet. The Council should be given a period of 12-18 months within which to work to solve the problem of insecurity in the country, encourage reconciliation, openness, dialogue, etc., and revamp our electoral commission with a view to conducting clean national elections to install a new central government for Nigeria. Need I restate the fact that for that crucial national election to be free, fair and transparent, we need all eyes on the ball?
Further attributes of the Minimal Conditions for the realization of the New Nigeria
I have always said that the most important reform Nigeria needs is political. This explains the time given to political aspect of Nigeria’s degeneration and the need for a change of direction.
In concrete terms, I dare say, and this is my considered opinion, that we need to effect the following as part of the overall build up towards the launching of the New Nigeria of our dream:
Mandate Socio-political Highlights
Apart from the return to federalism / con-federalism advanced above with its implied further devolution of powers and roles to the lower tiers of government, we need to specifically do the following as part of the minimal agenda for the emergence of a New Nigeria: Return Nigeria to the Parliamentary System of Government.
The Presidential System of Government, currently in vogue in Nigeria, is basically productive of presidencies that in actuality are like ‘democratised monarchies’, which are gravely prone to degenerating into autocracy and dictatorships. The system is not attuned to Nigeria’s multiple diversity in ethnicities, cultures and religions. Under the system, too many groups are alienated from governance. These therefore breed unnecessary dichotomies and enmity in our young un-rooted democracy.
Create State police now, to be followed by LGA police later.
course to achieve the above two clauses, the Interim Government will have to set up a Constituent Assembly to produce a new people-based Constitution for Nigeria.
Recover and resettle indigenous natives displaced from their lands by jihadists and terrorists and who now languish in Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDP) camps outside their homelands.
Enforce the law that prohibits Open Grazing of cattle in the country and encourage the establishment of Cattle Ranches in the sector and across the country.
This should secure farms from destruction by cattle, safeguard farmers from incessant attacks and killings by wanton trespassers, herders and their militia as well as compel the rich owners of these cattle to resettle their oppressed and alienated cattle herders who live very disturbing and permanently dehumanising existence as bushmen, by providing them adequate housing and other amenities of modern life within functional communities.
It is now also recognised that open grazing of cattle is largely responsible for the rapid desert encroachment in Nigeria’s Far-North.
Return Merit to its pride of place in work and industry, and the Nigerian scheme of things
Education: Reopen Kitchens/Cafeterias to serve meals to students in our various federal or state-owned tertiary educational institutions. That should help stop students from eating in ‘bukaterias’ and other obscure unhygienic joints or cooking their meals in their college rooms and dormitories. This should help them concentrate on their studies!
Mandate Socio-economic Highlights
Deconstruct the national grid and allow states and regions to manage or supervise private sector-led Electricity generation, transmission and distribution within their respective domains.
Ditto for ‘on-shore’ mining and petroleum products prospecting, extraction, refinery and sales.
Restore normal activity in the Eastern and Midwestern Seaports of Calabar, PH, Onne, Warri, etc., as well as build functional river ports along the River Niger and River Benue.
The Naira must be made to have only one exchange rate for all other national currencies.
Finally, I think that Nigeria will benefit immensely from the application of the following novel fiscal policies:
Government must ensure that Labour-share of national income is optimised (at alltimes) by stipulating that labour-share of company income or added-value shall not fall below a given minimum level or percentage for all business enterprises operating in the country.
It should also be stipulated that within a company, the total emolument, including allowances, of the highest paid worker, the managing director or CEO, must not be more than twenty to forty times that of the lowest paid worker.
Enhance Openness in the management of group affairs as a means of checking corruption. Government must immediately institute a process of direct taxation of company income or added-value as against the present system of taxing company profit.
Enhance Openness in the management of group affairs as a means of checking corruption. Specifically, grant Organised Labour in every company the right to audit the company Accounts. This is a prerequisite in centrist relations of production where the factor-shares are proportions of the value-added at any point in time.
(5), (6), (7)& (8) of this section are culled from my new book, The Centrist Manifesto.
Nwankwo can be reached at email@example.com
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