Un­em­ploy­ment is prob­a­bly be­tween 70% and 80%

The Africa Report - - FRONTLINE - Don­ald Duke Pres­i­den­tial con­ten nder

Muham­madu Buhari ran for of­fice on two main prob­lems: se­cu­rity and cor­rup­tion. You can only judge him based on what he said. Cor­rup­tion, where are we? We are still as cor­rupt as ever. In fact, if we use the [Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional] in­tegrity in­dex, we are worse. We need to un­der­stand po­lice in the to­tal­ity of polic­ing […]. In­ci­dences of kid­nap­ping are still ram­pant, the herds­men prob­lem has reared its head even more un­der Pres­i­dent Buhari’s watch. Boko Haram: Pres­i­dent Buhari has an­nounced about three times that it is over, but it is still there. He didn’t say much about the econ­omy; he said he will make the naira stronger, but we all

know it couldn’t hap­pen. What peo­ple are look­ing at is not the value of the cur­rency but the sta­bil­ity of the cur­rency […]. Be­cause you are a mono-econ­omy, you need to en­gage the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund, you need to have a buf­fer with them and cre­ate a con­fi­dence that, come what may, we are giv­ing you a guar­an­tee that we have reached a deal whereby the price of the naira will re­main at 350 naira to a dol­lar for the next 10 years. In the United States, Pres­i­dent Buhari was asked how he will deal with the Niger Delta, the south-east etc. He made a state­ment that those who did not vote for him should not ex­pect as much as those who voted for him. That’s not lead­er­ship. If you don’t vote for him, it is more rea­son why he should win your heart and soul next time. I will use my ex­am­ple. In 1999, I got only 19,000 votes from an en­tire se­na­to­rial district, Cross River North. If you took out the vote from that district, I still won the election. What did I do? I fo­cused on them, I in­vested heav­ily. You are a leader of not just part of the coun­try, you are a leader of the en­tire coun­try. To me, that was a fail­ure of lead­er­ship. The cry for Bi­afra is a cry of marginal­i­sa­tion. The peo­ple feel that you don’t care for them. Each time a sec­tion of the coun­try doesn’t feel car­ried along, they are go­ing to re­act. I don’t be­lieve in the sta­tis­tics that say un­em­ploy­ment in Nige­ria is 15%. It is prob­a­bly be­tween 70% and 80%. Even those who are em­ployed are un­der­em­ployed and un­der­paid. So you find that it puts a lot pres­sure on those who are em­ployed

“The cry for Bi­afra is a cry of marginal­i­sa­tion. The peo­ple feel you don’t care for them”

be­cause they have to sup­port those who are un­em­ployed. The ad­van­tage of a de­vel­op­ing coun­try is that it opens up op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple be­cause so many things have not been done. In Nige­ria, which has a 20m-unit hous­ing short­age, that is a big op­por­tu­nity. Schools have to be built. We have a lot of peo­ple who are out of school. Even the stu­dent-teacher ra­tio is in­ad­e­quate, so you need to re­cruit more teach­ers. We should be bustling with op­por­tu­ni­ties, but we are not. You have a credit sys­tem that does not al­low for small and medium-scale in­dus­tries. Even for the large-scale in­dus­tries, [banks] charge in­ter­est in the up­per 20%. In a nut­shell, my fo­cus will be to cre­ate as many jobs and in­clude as many peo­ple into the econ­omy as pos­si­ble. That will douse a lot of things. That will even douse cor­rup­tion. That will douse se­cu­rity threats.

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