On the campaign trail The framework of national policies

A body of experts consisting of representatives of former school proprietors or voluntary agencies will be set up to review existing government ownership of primary and secondary schools (including Teacher Training Colleges), and recommend what type of collaboration or partnership there should be between them and the government.

  1. Medical and health facilities, will, as from next October, be provided free of charge to every Nigerian. The present policy, under which only a few persons enjoy these facilities, is discriminatory and not permissible under our new Constitution. The chief constraint on the implementation of this programme is the shortage of doctors, health officers, and ancillary workers. The training of this personnel will be pursued with vigour and a sense of urgency. Meanwhile, Nigerian herbalists, who satisfy certain criteria which will be prescribed, will be called upon to attend to certain classes of ailments at Government’s expense.
  2. The modernisation of agriculture and the radical transformation of the rural areas will commence immediately after our accession to office. To this end, our opticom scheme will be established simultaneously in all parts of the country. It is envisaged that, within our first term of office, no farmer, however low his present income, will earn less than N2,400.00 net profit a year. It is also envisaged that, during the same period, most of the wretched and disgraceful shelters which now abound in our rural areas will have disappeared, and that these areas would have become as habitable as our towns and cities. In particular, we will ensure a considerable increase in the production of food crops like rice, wheat, maize, and yams, and cash crops like cotton, rubber, cocoa, oil-palm produce and groundnuts.
  3. The forces of nature are unruly. But man is ordained to conquer, tame and harness them for his own well-being and happiness. In order to conquer the aridness of most parts of the country, especially the northern parts, we will, as a matter of urgency, embark on extensive irrigation schemes with a view to making the fertile lands of those arid areas yield their fruits in abundance.
  4. The development of agriculture will be accompanied by the processing of foodcrops: the conversion of cassava tubers into garri, of wheat grains into flour, of yams into powder for Iyan and Amala, of maize into Ogi and poultry feeds and of rice into Uncle Ben type of product.
  5. The self-employed roadside mechanics, vulcanizers, and other allied operators provide very useful services to a majority of car users, lorry bus owners, and motor cyclists. But these technicians lack modern equipment as well as ideal premises for the prosecution of their trades. Early steps will be taken: (a) to assist them to organise themselves into cooperatives; (b) to provide them with workshops in suitable locations; (c) to procure modern equipments for them; and (d) to provide them where necessary, with managerial know- how and advice.

The cost of all these services would be deducted instalmentally from their annual profits.

  1. All petty traders of whatever description will be provided with decent markets in suitable locations to ensure easy access for all concerned.
  2. Modern abattoirs will be provided in all our large towns and cities, and cold stores, for the use of meat sellers, will be provided on rental basis in every market.
  3. Our Constitution stipulates that every Nigerian should be guaranteed a National Minimum Living Income to enable him to secure suitable and adequate food, suitable and adequate shelter, and, by necessary implication, decent clothing and reasonable comfort. After a cursory investigation, we are satisfied that a monthly wage, salary or income below 200.00 cannot procure for any of us the basic necessities of life stipulated in our new Constitution. Accordingly, the UPN will take every necessary step to ensure, within our first term of office, that no Nigerian earns, as income or wage, anything less than this monthly minimum.
  4. We already have a complete design of a three-bedroom bungalow which does not cost more than 4,500.00. Within our term of office, we will ensure that most Nigerians own their own houses through a special mortgage loan scheme. With a minimum income of 2,400.00, any Nigerian who is willing should be able to take advantage of the special mortgage scheme.
  5. Poll Tax, Community Tax and Jangali are oppressive and regressive imposts. Accordingly they will be abolished immediately after our assumption of office. So also will tenement rates levied on houses in villages and hamlets in certain parts of the country.
  6. All existing bans on imports and all restraints on commerce will be removed. Save that, with regard to certain countries to which we lose heavily in foreign exchange, we will insist on a complete reciprocity of trade; failing which we will be obliged to exclude imports from such countries from entering into Nigeria. In other words, if reciprocity of trade is established with the exporting countries, import of stockfish will be allowed without restraint.

Simultaneously, with the lifting of bans on imports, a deferred payment system will be introduced as an interim measure, in respect of certain items of imports.

  1. We will radically transform all our towns and cities, by constructing better and wider tarred roads with effective drains, and by keeping them free of refuse, filth and stench. Within the next two years, we should make all our urban areas objects of which every Nigerian can feel justifiably proud.
  2. Our railways will be completely modernised. Our aim is both to attain a speed of more than 160 kmh and efficient management. The present policy of the FMG whereby a body of foreign experts are invited to improve the tone of our railway management will be continued, save that we will insist that the foreign experts should also have a capital-participating stake in the venture.

Furthermore, for a beginning, we will within our term of office, construct new, modern, and fast railway lines between Lagos and Kano: Lagos and Enugu; and Kaduna and Enugu.

  1. Air travel is now very popular with our people. But they are from time to time frustrated by delays. We will do all in our power to ensure regular and punctual internal and external air services.