By Uche Amunike
The presidential flag bearer of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso’s manifesto has finally been released, having among other things, the assurances of contributing to the education sector.
Kwankwaso’s manifesto made promises of ensuring that all entry examinations into tertiary institutions were free for a Nigerians.
The former Kano state governor averred that if he is elected president in 2023, his administration would ensure that parents won’t pay any registration fees for the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB), the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO).
Kwankwaso’s manifesto, which is a 160-paged document titled: ‘My Pledges to You. The RMK2023 Blueprint’, was unveiled in Abuja, Tuesday.
He further promised to mop-up 20 million Nigerian students who are out of school, in the next four years, stating that it would be achieved through the launch of his Half-a-Million classroom initiative within his first few weeks in office. He assured that he would do this successfully by constructing 40 blocks of classrooms in each local government area per year, in the first four years.
He maintained that examination bodies were not
created to generate revenue and as such, must not be operated like revenue-generating agencies.
He reiterated that it was improper for examination bodies to generate income and contribute to the Federation account. This was particularly outlined in Kwankwaso’s manifesto thus: ‘Examination bodies are service agencies that facilitate access to higher education and training for our teaming young population.
‘For our administration, no Nigerian child shall be denied the opportunity to write WAEC, NECO, JAMB, etc., because of their inability to pay exorbitant registration/examination fees. These examinations shall be free and all application forms for admission into tertiary education institutions (TEls) shall also be free.’
‘These examination bodies will be adequately funded by the kwankwaso administration.’
‘The notion that matriculation examination in Nigeria expires after one year will be stopped forthwith. JAMB results under the Kwankwaso government will have a lifespan of four years and TEIs will be required to accept these results for the purposes of admission.’
Apart from education, the Presidential hopeful also assured Nigerians that his administration would right the wrongs of his predecessors. Hear him: ‘The country has never been so divided as it is now with massive mistrust amongst the people; the level of insecurity has never been this bad with everywhere being unsafe and everyone feeling threatened; the economic woes resulting into abject poverty for the majority has never been this biting with avoidable inflation and freefall of the Naira.’
‘The crises of unemployment are so alarming and there appears to be no effort being made to create opportunities for the teaming unemployed youth resulting in despondency, hopelessness and the rise of crime.’
‘The education subsector that is supposed to provide the backbone for our high-level manpower and human capital development has never been so neglected and relegated resulting in the continuous rot and decay of both the services and the infrastructure at all levels of education provisioning.’
He promised to get it right this time, especially as his manifesto would be translated into local languages. He urged Nigerians to vote wisely for leaders with acceptable plans to make the country better when elected.