Monday, October 15, 2018 4.30PM /By Otto ABASIEKONG of Proshare WebTV
As the 2019 general elections beckons in Nigeria, the office of the President has received renewed interests from all geo-political zones in the country.
So far, there are over 11 candidates contesting for the position with the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the major opposition party the People’s Democratic Party, viewed as the major contenders for the elections.
In this article, we identify 10 qualities that will be expected of Nigeria’s next President;
Nigeria needs a President that will unite the country and ensure that the elements that seek to divide the nation, through ethno-religious lines are dealt with.
His/her appointments must reflect a proper representation of Nigeria’s unity in diversity and will leverage on the institutions that drive national cohesion, like the National Youth Service Corps, Unity schools and the National Orientation Agency.
A Strong Believer in the Seperation of Powers
The next President of Nigeria must be a strong believer in the seperation of powers between the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, which is a key component in strengthening democracy.
This is vital to ensuring that all arms of the government are allowed to perform their roles without interference or violation of procedures.
Respects the Rule of Law
In 2019, Nigeria will require a leader that has high value and respect for the rule of law and the provisions of the constitution of the nation.
This means that he/she will be guided by the precepts of the law.
Nigeria is known as a nation with a high display of entrepreneurship that covers all sectors from services to manufacturing.
For Nigeria’s economy to thrive, it needs a “Pro-Business President” who will ensure that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES) have a conducive environment to grow and contribute to the Gross Domestic Product of the Nation.
Understands Pro-Growth Economic Policies
Nigeria’s current economic growth is around 1.5%, which is lower than its population, that grows at 2%. In 2019 a President that will drive bold growth economic policies, that incentivizes key foreign direct investments will be key.
Pro-Growth economic policies will see more significant investments in infrastructure, creation of job opportunities, diversification of the nation’s revenue base amongst others.
Strengthening of Key Institutions
From 2019 and beyond Nigeria will require strong institutions that are able to drive the processes of the state, without any form of undue interference.
This is what the next President of Nigeria must be committed to, which is the strengthening of key institutions in the country, like the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), the Economic Financial Crimes Commission,Federal Inland Revenue Service(FIRS), National Electricity Regulatory Commission(NERC) and National Communications Commission (NCC) amongst others.
With the demography of the youth in Nigeria within the age of 18-30 constituting over 60% of the population, Nigeria’s next leader must be Pro-youth, driving policies that will encourage youth participation in the Nigerian socio-economic space.
A practical step will be at least 4 members of his/her cabinet should be within the age range of 30-40 years.
In 2019 it is expected that the President of Nigeria, will demonstrate a high sense of gender consciousness in appointments into the cabinet and federal positions.
It is expected that in the next cabinet will have nothing less than 10 female Ministers from across the 36 States of the Federation.
This present administration upon the inauguration of its cabinet had a representation of 6 women.
A Driver of Critical Reforms
Reforms are key to economic transformation in any country, and there are key ones required from the next President, especially the much talked about “Petroleum Industry Governance Bill”, which should reposition the Nigerian petroleum industry and drive transparency/accountability in the sector.
Zero Tolerance for Corruption
In all the qualities expected of the next Nigerian President, integrity and uprightness will be expected in a nation that is battling the gates and system of corruption.
The President from his/her body language must show zero tolerance for corruption, while ensuring that the anti-graft bodies are efficient and carrying out their duties effectively.
He/She must lead by example by declaring his/her assets in a transparent manner and process.
The Anti-corruption crusade should not be selective but holistic building trust in the system.