By Paul Efiong, ABUJA – A presidential hopeful under the platform of African Democratic Congress, ADC, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia has pledged to build a fair and more inclusive Nigeria where all the people are happy and where men and women are equal before the law.
He looks forward to a country where all citizens will fully participate in the decisions that shape their lives and the future of their children if voted into power in the 2019 presidential election.
Declaring his intention to vie for the country’s presidency in 2019, before his supporters in Abuja, Dr. Mailafia who hailed from Kaduna state said he supports restructuring and if elected, he will launch a nationwide dialogue on how to restructure the country.
Unfolding his plans, the aspirant stated that… “these plans and programmes will cost a lot of money – humongous amounts of it. As a financial expert, I am in a position to know. My economic team and I have been working on a blueprint to raise massive capital to finance a mass industrial revolution in our country.
“It is a well-established axiom in political theory that taxation is good for democracy. Only those who pay their taxes are in a moral position to demand accountability from those who govern them. But we must keep tax levels moderate so as to boost our international competitiveness.
“What is needed is widening the tax base. We shall structure special funds for power and infrastructures, including deployment of instruments such as public-private projects (PPPs) and leveraging on idle pension funds.
“We shall continue to do business with China, but will negotiate staunchly to maximise the returns on investments while shielding our country from subtle economic re-colonisation that China represents on our continent.
Speaking further on his manifesto, he declared that “When we are voted into power we shall create an Implementation Directorate in Aso Villa run purely by technocrats. Their role will be to rigorously monitor and report on progress in implementation of our strategies and programmes. There shall be monthly, quarterly and annual reports. Any lapses will be reported and action will be taken.
“All ministers in the cabinet and all appointees in key ministries, departments and agencies of government (MDAs) will have performance contracts. Continuing to hold an office will not be a matter of sentiments. Even if you were my kinsman or woman and have fallen short of a performance target, you would be on your own. The government of Rwanda has operated for over a decade with such performance contracts and the results have been outstanding.
He lamented persistent leadership failures in the country and assured that he has all it takes to return Nigeria back to its lost glory.
According to him, “It is a sad commentary of our times that a government that was trusted by the people has wantonly betrayed that trust. They have frittered away whatever moral capital they came to power with. We currently have a lopsided administration in which where you come from and whom you know is far more important than what you know or your merit as a person.
“The much-vaunted War against Corruption has become a comedy of errors. Grand larceny is, paradoxically, waxing stronger. And what is worse, its purveyors are being protected by impunity and federal might. Those who dare to speak up are persecuted and hounded down. An atmosphere of fear, and with it, a strange and alien culture of silence, has overtaken our national soul,” he said.