The presidential candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, has vowed to step on toes of vested interests to ensure that Nigerias problems are fixed if elected president.
The former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), told Pulse during an interview on Monday, November 19, 2018, that he would not care about vested interests as long as it results in making Nigeria progress as a nation.
The presidential candiate said this while speaking on his plans to fix Nigeria's economy and the power sector which he said should be performing better with the right kind of leadership.
To fix Nigeria's economy, he said he'll ensure that property rights are respected and that the country's economy will have to become more innovation-driven. He added that his government will also establish a N1 trillion venture capital fund to help Nigerians run their businesses more efficiently and profitably.
He called for the abolishment of the Land Use Act and promised to get rid of Nigeria's dependency on oil.
He said, "My plan for fixing Nigeria's economy is a very fundamental plan. It is not a plan at the level of economically-illiterate politicians making noise. It's a plan that understands the secrets of creating the wealth of nation. It's a plan that understands the secrets of running a succesful capitalist economy which is that you must have three conditions.
"Number one is that property rights must be respected. We don't have full respect for property rights in our economy today because the state owns all the land because of the Land Use Act. That has to be abolished. We must set land free; ownership of land must be set free because land is a major factor in economics.
"Property rights include intellectual property - we don't see respect for that in Nigeria. When you go on the street and you find pirated videos and pirated books and all that, it means that people are losing money for the value of their intelligence. They're not getting economic rent on it.
"Number two is innovation. I will move Nigeria towards an innovation-driven economy and move it away from oil which I've always called the worship of the god of small things.
"What drives economies in the western world and in Asia is innovation; people are producing and inventing new things that are economically useful. Those things are being mass-produced and pipelined into markets. The inventor, middleman, wholesaler and retailer are making money.
"Meanwhile, we have a lot of young people in this country who are inventing things. You just see them in the newspaper, everybody will clap for them but they're not making any money from their inventions. Terrible.
"Finally, capital. My government will establish a N1 trillion venture capital fund. That venture capital fund will finance new businesses. The fund will co-own the business with you and you just split the profit for some years until they cash out after you've made enough profit. Do you know what that would do for the Nigerian economy?
"The capital for this venture capital fund would be N500 billion from my government, as president, and N500 billion from the private sector."
How I'll solve power problem - Moghalu
Moghalu said restructuring Nigeria will go a long way in solving the nation's years of struggle with power generation. According to him, a decentralisation of grids will prove pivotal to solving the problem.
He said, "When you restructure this country, the power generation will become the business of the regions. You're not going to have some central national grid. No, you're going to have a decentralisation of grids and that is very necessary so that it's not all managed in one place and from one place.
"Number two, there'll be a lot of captive power that can be set up in various regions.
"Three, as president, my proposal would be that we move all the hydro-electric power and gas-powered electricity to support industrial zones like Kano, Kaduna, Lagos, Aba and Onitsha.
"When those places have 24-hour electricity, the price of goods will come down dramatically in this country because 40% to 50% of the prices of all goods produced in Nigeria is electricity-generation cost.
"For the normal people then, we'll open and create a new market for renewable energy - solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy which we have in abundance as a natural resource in this country."
"I don't care about stepping on toes" - Moghalu
To actualise his vision for Nigeria, Moghalu said he does not care on whose toes he has to step as long as it helps the country. He clarified that this means he'll be a decisive leader and not necessarily a confrontational one.
He said, "The reason why I know that I'll achieve a lot in four years is this. As president of Nigeria, I'm going to govern Nigeria largely with the mechanism of four offices that'll be in the presidency: the office of national strategy, the national office of risk management, the office of performance management and the office of human capital development.
"These four offices will drive my presidency and will be measuring our performance against benchmarks that we have set as an overall strategy for four years. We'll run Nigeria like a corporation.
"I don't care about stepping on toes, In fact, I'll smash a lot of toes. If your toe is stopping progress in this country, I'm going to be your enemy.
"When I talk about smashing toes, I'm not saying that I'll have a confrontational style, I'm just saying I'm going to be a decisive leader."
2019 presidential election
The 2019 presidential election, scheduled for February 16, 2019, is billed to be closely-fought between President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, of the People's Democratic Party (PDP).
Alongside Moghalu in the chasing pack is Donald Duke of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Oby Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Fela Durotoye of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), and Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC).
Others are Tope Fasua of the Abundance Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), Eunice Atuejide of the National Interest Party (NIP), Adesina Fagbenro-Byron of the Kowa Party (KP), Chike Ukaegbu of the Advanced Allied Party (AAP), Hamza Al-Mustapha of the People's Party of Nigeria (PPN), Obadiah Mailafia of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), and many more.
79 candidates will contest in the election, the highest number ever in Nigeria's electoral history.