Too much power with FG, I’ll end it — Tinubu

Presidential Candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Bola Tinubu has expressed commitment to deepening Nigeria’s federal structure in a way that would see sub-national entities assuming more responsibilities.

Also, President Muhammadu Buhari pledged to be at the forefront of electing the former Lagos State governor as his successor.

He said electing Tinubu would consolidate the achievements of his administration as the presidential candidate has the capacity, visionary leadership and track record to do more.

According to him ”It would be disastrous to allow a situation that will lead to the reversal of the progress our country has made. Let me add that I joyfully accept the position of the chairman of the campaign council we are unveiling today.

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”Our candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is too well known for his capacity and can-do spirit. He stands tall in his track records as a democrat, a champion of the rule of law, a man at home in every part of our country, and a truly visionary leader. All you need to do is think of Lagos in 1999 and 2022!

”I, therefore, want to assure all party members and supporters of our government that I will be at the forefront of this campaign.

In his 80-page manifesto unveiled on Friday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Tinubu noted that since inception, too much power and resources have been lodged at the federal level.

“This has come at the expense of state and local governance. This is problematic because state governments are closer to the people and must be more responsive to local needs and aspirations.

“A Tinubu administration will re-balance the responsibilities and authorities of the different tiers of government. We will collaborate with the National Assembly and State Governments to amend our national governance architecture such that States are afforded the autonomy and resources needed to better serve the people”, he stated.

Tinubu added that his administration would review the constitutional legislative lists to ensure that States are given greater control over certain critical matters.

He said focus areas will include crime prevention, prisons, stamp duties and certain forms of taxation.
On resource allocation, the APC standard bearer said he would embark on a review of the federation revenue allocation system to recalibrate the division of funds among the three tiers of Government.

“More funds should be allocated to the States and Local Governments so that they can better address local concerns and fulfill their expanded constitutional obligations to the people”, he stated.

Out-of-School Children

Tinubu also expressed worry at the high number of out of school children which was recently put at 20 million, stating that he would create a task force headed by a “special czar” to tackle the menace.

“Raise to the highest priority the growing problem of out of school children throughout the country. Ending this problem will give tens of thousands of children a chance at education they otherwise would have foregone. This will also reduce the numbers of disaffected youth who might fall prey to recruitment by terrorist and other violent groups.

“A task force headed by a special czar will be created to address this problem. They will be tasked with reviewing and strengthening the scope of measures such as the school feeding programme established to keep at-risk children in school”, he stated.

On social and political empowerment of youths, the former Lagos governor said he would reserve at least three cabinet positions for persons under the age of 40 and six more positions for members under the age of 50.

“We shall also pass a presidential directive requiring that at least 20 percent of political appointments to MDAs be reserved for qualified people under the age of 40”, he stated.

Tinubu also promised to embark on the creation of a truly nationwide highway system, connecting all major cities and regions with modern, safe multi-lane highways.

“As part of that highway system, we shall rehabilitate and expand existing federal roads and expressways”.
Tinubu also promised to increase domestic oil production to 2.6 million barrels per day by 2027 and 4 million barrels per day by 2030.

“To increase domestic crude production, we must have greater success in deterring crude oil theft and preventing vandalism of our pipelines, crude infrastructure and assets.

“Therefore, we will establish a Special Enforcement and Monitoring Unit whose sole mandate will be to protect the nation’s pipelines by deploying technological interventions (stationary aerial monitoring platforms, drones) towards curbing production disruptions.

“Technological assets will be used to survey and track the movement of vessels and to provide real-time, immediate notification of any breaches or ruptures of pipelines or other facilities”, he added.

The APC candidate said he will modernize and expand agricultural production and enhance Nigeria’s strategic grain reserves to strengthen this line of defence against food shortage and enable the nation to maintain stable prices for its most important staples.

He said; “We shall also work with State and Local Governments (through the establishment of another incentive-based Federal Government funding program) to construct fresh produce storage facilities in major marketplaces of major cities and towns to minimise waste and better preserve perishable food items.

“We shall introduce commodity boards to establish minimum prices for strategic crops such as cashew, cocoa, sesame, soya, cassava, yam, rubber, okra, palm kernels, groundnut and okra. This will guarantee minimum incomes for farmers,

“Farm-to-market roads and access as well as freight networks will be priorities for our administration. We will, therefore, work with State and Local Governments to establish a Federal incentive or counterpart funding scheme”.

On security, Tinubu promised to re-position the police. He said he would boost public confidence in the Nigeria Police Force and other internal security agencies by increasing recruitment and providing high-tech, non-lethal equipment with corresponding manpower development schemes.

“Police reform will be focused on positioning the institution to better deliver on its primary duties of community policing and maintaining law and order through crime fighting and prevention.

“Police personnel will be freed from extraneous duties such as VIP security and guard duties. VIP Security and provision of security for government buildings, installations and other critical assets will be transferred to The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). The NSCDC shall be evaluated and reformed to be better integrated with our internal security apparatus.

“Highly trained and disciplined anti-terrorist battalions (ABATTS) with special forces units will be created. Their objective shall be to seize the strategic and tactical initiative, giving terrorists, kidnappers and bandits no respite.

“Military units will be better equipped with tactical communications gear and new vehicles to give them a greater communications and mobility advantage over criminals, bandits and terrorists.

“We will further modernise our Armed Forces by ensuring that our weapons systems (land, sea and air) are capable of addressing current and anticipated security threats in the modern world. This shall also mean the recruitment of people who possess the technical skills required for today’s military. We shall reduce our dependence on imported foreign military equipment by ramping up domestic production of basic and essential military hardware and equipment, including small arms and ammunition.”

“We shall focus our efforts on taking greater advantage of our aerial superiority to both deter as well as swiftly respond to attacks by terrorists, kidnappers and bandits.

“We will address the welfare concerns of front-line military and security personnel and improved special individual and family allowances”.

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