Feature: The Presidential Manifesto Nigerians Anticipated

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By Ayo Akinfe

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In an ideal world, Nigerians would have been voting for a candidate who based his campaign on a manifesto that looked like this

[1] We will get the federal government to buy the rights to the Volkswagen Beetle. Then enter into a pact with Innoson Motors where the government owns 25% of a joint venture that manufactures electric Beetles. Make Nigeria the world’s largest manufacturer of such vehicles

[2] We will build the world’s largest wind farm along Nigeria’s Atlantic coastline stretching for 850km from Calabar to Badagry

[3] We will import millions of the giraffe’s relative the okapi and make it Nigeria’s national animal like the Australian kangaroo or the New Zealand kiwi. We will open the world’s largest okapi sanctuaries and attract tourists in their millions

[4] We will dramatically expand papaya production and make a global statement that this is Nigeria’s national fruit. We will open processing plants to make papaya juice, papaya cake, papaya bars, etc

[5] We will attract the likes of KLM, Lufthansa and Air France to invest in a Nigerian national carrier called Air Afrique. Then set it the goal of acquiring as many other African airlines as possible with the aim of making it a genuine global colossus that can compete with the likes of BA, Emirates, Virgin, etc

[6] We will open negotiations with our neighbours about merging to create a a sub-Saharan giant. By 2050, it is predicted that Nigeria will be the third most populous nation on earth. Our current landmass is insufficient to sustain this, so whether we like it or not, we simply have to merge with Niger Republic, Cameroon and Benin Republic and create a new country, which I will name Songhai

[7] We will make Nigeria a maritime power by opening four shipyards in the Niger Delta. We will offer these shipyards anything just to attract them

[8] We will create unprecedented history by turning the Sahara Desert in the current Niger Republic into the world’s largest solar farm that generates up to 50% of global electricity. Up to 70% of Niger Republic is Sahara Desert, so in this age of solar and clean energy, it is prime time real estate. I crave Niger Republic’s Sahara Desert more than how Taubman Goldie or Frederick Lugard craved Nigeria

[9] As the world’s largest black nation, we simply have to be the centre of tropical medicine. Today, India prides itself on being the pharmacy of the world. We should be in there competing with them

[10] To kick-start this whole thing, we need to host another Festac. I still remember the buzz Festac 77 gave us. It also kick-started an infrastructural boom that included National Theatre, Festac Town, Satellite Town, etc. Let us aim for Festac 2024 to kickstart this whole thing

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