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I’ll end poverty, grow Nigeria’s economy if elected president – Moghalu

by on December 24, 2018
 

A former deputy governor, Financial Systems Stability (FSS) of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Kingsley Moghalu, says he will wage a decisive war that will end poverty in Nigeria within the first four years of his term if elected president in 2019.

Mr Moghalu, who is the presidential candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), also spoke on how he hopes to resolve the problems that have made the Nigerian economy fail to benefit a large number of citizens.

The candidate spoke in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES journalists at the corporate headquarters of the newspaper in Abuja. He spoke on his plans, vision, and programmes for Nigeria if elected president in 2019.

Mr Moghalu described himself as the only candidate who combines possession of an understanding of what leadership is, with the political will to deliver on the vision, and the technocratic competence to do the job.

“I am offering the Nigerian people a different type of leadership. I am offering the Nigerian people the possibility of transformational leadership in the nature of Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, of Mahathir Bin Mohamad of Malaysia and Jinping of China,” he said.

“My presidency will create an inclusive growth environment that will address the real questions of economic development. We will address the structure of the Nigerian economy by moving it away from dependence on crude oil rents.

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“My economic blueprint will be an innovation economy in Nigeria, where inventions and innovations will drive the economy. We will invest in those inventions, pipe them into the markets and an economic boom will ensue, eventually,” he said.

On poverty, Mr Moghalu said his presidency will focus on attacking the structural foundations of poverty, namely illiteracy, lack of skills and lack of access to finance for small businesses.

“We will reform the education system through teacher training and curriculum reform towards technology, science, skills, and entrepreneurship to produce human capital that is competitive for an economy led by innovation, not by crude oil.

“We will reform how our young people learn to be more innovative, creative and original, rather than just cramming and reproducing stuff during exams.

“We will invest in educational infrastructure. We will invest in education holistically by moving the budget from 7 per cent today to a minimum of 20 per cent in my first year in office, while healthcare will be 15 per cent.”

On skills development, he said his presidency will establish skills training and acquisition centres in all the 774 local government areas of the country, to give young people leaving secondary schools and universities IT skills in a modern technical way.

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To create easy access to affordable finance, Mr Moghalu said his presidency will establish a N1 trillion venture capital that will inject equity capital into new ventures.

These new ventures, he said, will be started by millions of unemployed people who either cannot access capital or credits or are unable pay back loans at 25-30 per cent interest rate.

On how it will work, Mr Moghalu explained that the venture capital will invest and co-own the business with the entrepreneur but will exit the business for the entrepreneur to take full ownership after both are satisfied they have made enough profit to cover their investments.

He said 50 per cent of the N1 trillion venture capital will come from the budget for the social investment fund, while the balance will come from the private sector under a public-private partnership, with the private sector as managers of the fund.

Under the venture capital fund, Nigerians will be able to get investment capitals of between N100,000, and N1 million to start a real business with the capacity to employ people.

He said his presidency will also open up the agriculture sector to provide new jobs to Nigerians.

Nigeria’s economy, he noted, is not structurally balanced at the moment, as it more than 90 per cent based on lending or financing from banks, and not on credits and equity, as in a normal economy.

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He identified the problem with the country’s economy to be the absence of leadership with a properly thought through economic philosophy on how to create wealth and grow the economy.

“If you don’t have it (leadership), you cannot have an economic vision. If you don’t have an economic vision, you cannot have an effective economic policy. If you don’t have an effective economic policy, you cannot have a successful institutional and market framework for the economy.

“My presidency will be transformational because we will come with a philosophical foundation for the Nigerian economy.

“I believe we should be an entrepreneurial capitalist economy, that is to say, capitalism with a conscience; not that the government will totally remove its hand for the steering wheel and the rich will be getting richer and the poor will be getting poorer. No!” he said.

According to him, a free market is the best way to create value, pointing out that based on an established economic foundation, his presidency will attack the three secrets to creating a successful capitalist economy.

These include having good property laws in Nigeria; making sure the economy is driven by innovation, and making sure there is capital for prospective investors.

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