Nigeria: 'Time for Visionary, Purposeful & Competent Leadership' - Presidential Declaration

Kingsley Moghalu.
1 March 2018

Lagos — Declaration of Intention to Contest the 2019 Presidential Election

With love for our country and a fierce commitment to a vision of rapid progress for our more than 180 million citizens, and following wide-ranging consultations, I offer myself to serve you as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as from May 29, 2019. I therefore intend to be a candidate in the 2019 presidential election. I seek the opportunity to offer our country visionary, purposeful, competent leadership to build our future.

Nearly 60 years ago, our Founding Fathers Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Ahmadu Bello and Chief Obafemi Awolowo envisioned a great country that would take its pride of place in the world based on the talents of its citizens and a constitutional federation that would ensure justice, equity, and economic productivity.

Their vision and hopes have yet to materialize—military rule, oil booms and busts, and the successive leadership failures of our civilian political class have combined to rob us of what seemed our destiny at independence.

I am standing here today saying that it is time we shatter the downward spiral to nowhere.

I am here today, standing with the 110 missing girls of Dapchi and their grieving family, and with the traumatized young women of Chibok, those with us and those still in captivity.

I am here today standing with 180 million Nigerians, in addition to thousands of businesses struggling to share a measly 4000MW of electricity.

I am here today standing with the 100 million Nigerians experiencing crushing poverty, living on less than 300 naira a day.

I am here today because 33 million of our able men and women are unemployed or underemployed, nearly 15 million children are out of school, and only 60% of Nigerians are literate.

I am here today because our hospitals are understaffed and mismanaged death traps, and women are still subject to horrific prejudices and devastating early marriages.

I am taking this stand, here and now, because Nigeria today is divided by ethnic and religious conflicts, made worse by corruption. The government has failed in its very first duty of securing our lives as citizens, and we have lost our place in the world. The time has come for us to fix this.

We are collectively exhausted by these politicians who continually fall in and out of alliances with each other and care nothing for the ordinary Nigerian. They aggravate our fears in the hope that we will continue to keep them in power even though offer nothing new.

IT IS TIME for a radical change in the political leadership of Nigeria.

IT IS TIME for a visionary, competent and inclusive leadership that truly cares about our country.

IT IS TIME for a leadership equipped with the skills, intellect and competence to wage a decisive war against poverty and unemployment.

IT IS TIME for a Nigeria in which our youth can fulfill their full potential and our daughters can aspire to any opportunity they desire.

IT IS TIME for a 21st century leader to lead us into a new and different future.

What we need now is a REAL movement of the people, by the people and, most importantly FOR the people of Nigeria to move our country forward and break with our troubled past. I offer myself as part of that movement.

We are a nation of great people; as seen by the way Nigerians abroad are thriving. We hear the stories of those who leave home with little more than a hope and a prayer, change the world abroad.

Nigerians have smarts, ingenuity, drive, relentlessness, vision, and sheer force of will. We must be able to harness our strengths and make them work for us here at home.

My fellow Nigerians, to quote the immortal words of the late US president John F. Kennedy, "politics is too important to be left to the politicians."

We must ask our government hard questions about the promises they made about our security, about power, about civil aviation, about healthcare, about women's rights.

The world is changing: time and tide have in several countries swept away old orders and brought in new, more dynamic ones. Nigeria must not remain stuck in its past.  We, you and I, can do it for our country too.

We need to modernize, and quickly. For instance, we know that women in leadership and in government can accelerate growth for any economy, yet only 6% of our legislature are women. There are many, many competent, smart women who are more than ready to dig in and work together to rescue this country. We must draw them out and ensure that their voices are heard.

We must stop recycling failed politicians and regenerate our leadership ranks with competent and experienced young men or women. Youth who have prepared themselves with the relevant qualifications must take over the mantle of leadership because this struggle is about the future of Nigeria, not its past.

The battle to reorient Nigeria into a strong, capable country requires competence, capacity, and character. And as a citizen who aspires to be President I possess all three.

If it is about competence: my work as a Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria who played a leadership role in rescuing and stabilizing the Nigerian banking system after the global financial crisis speaks for itself.

If it is about capacity, my work in the United Nations reconstructing countries torn by civil war or reforming the internal workings of the world body is there for everyone to see.

If it is about character, well, talk to my colleagues, mentors, friends, and of course my family and listen to what they have to say. Strong, knowledgeable guidance is needed as Nigeria navigates these difficult waters, and I offer myself for service with a solid track record of leadership.

I'm not here to tell you that there are quick, easy solutions to our nation's problems. Far from it. Decades of economic and leadership mismanagement cannot be undone in a few short weeks or months. Things will be difficult and painful choices will have to be collectively made.

What I am here to tell you is that:

TOGETHER, we can choose a NEW path.

TOGETHER, we can set a BOLD agenda.

TOGETHER, we can deliver for ourselves a DIFFERENT outcome.

Nigeria will achieve greatness.

I have not announced today the party platform on which I intend to contest for the presidency. My focus for now is the people of Nigeria and not on party platforms that have in the past been mere vehicles for capturing political power.

While I have been approached by a number of political parties, the movement that I am part of will decide which one we will join. That decision will be based on commonality of vision and the IMPERATIVE of a generational shift in leadership, and we will announce this decision in the coming weeks.

Based on such a decision, we shall seek to build a formidable coalition of parties for the presidential election that together will represent a clear and credible alternative to the failed political leadership class that has enthroned corruption and incompetence in the governance of our country.

It is important that we begin to focus more closely on the individuals seeking elective office in our country and their qualifications in terms of character, competence, capacity, and track record.

We have traditionally focused of platforms and structures that, though a necessary part of the democratic process, in our national experience have mainly delivered the wrong candidates. Naturally, those candidates have gone on to be failed leaders. It is good candidates that will create credible political parties. Visionless parties cannot produce the best candidates.


My vision for our country is set out in my new book BIG (Build, Innovate, Grow) which was released two days ago. In summary, however, the agenda of a government under my leadership includes the following:[TO1]

Leadership and Governance

  • Compose a world-class, "first eleven" team based on merit and inclusive governance to drive government policy. We will be ready on Day One. The appointment of all senior officials of the Presidency will be announced within 48 hours. My government will enthrone evidence-based public policy, strategy and risk management as tools of effective and modern governance. 
  • Establish and propagate through the educational system a foundational philosophical worldview for the Nigerian state, around which all Nigerians will unite in a common purpose


  • Lead a consultative political process, in cooperation with the National Assembly, to achieve a constitutional restructuring of Nigeria and return our country to true federalism for stability and prosperity by 2021.
  • Implement a 50:50 gender parity policy in all political appointments – nearly double the ratio recommended by the National Gender Policy of 2008. 
  • Establish and implement a Diaspora engagement and return policy and strategy as a new, fundamental component of our national quest for development as has been the case in China, India and Israel. My government will build the Diaspora Commission approved by the National Assembly into an effective, world-class institution to accomplish this important agenda.
  • Fundamental overhaul of the Nigerian Police Force that will emphasize training, equipment, and  boosting the strength of the Force by recruiting at least 1.5 million policemen and women, up from the grossly inadequate present force strength of 350,000.


  • Establish an innovation-led economy, with intellectual property and commercialization of local innovation as its bedrock.
  • Establish a Venture Capital Fund with a minimum of N500 billion as a public-private partnership to invest in the creation of new businesses by presently unemployed youth in Nigeria; the new businesses created with support from this fund will in turn create new jobs. The fund will be managed by private sector partners while the Federal Government of Nigeria will be a core investor.
  • Reform energy policy to create an enabling environment for Nigerian households to be powered by renewable energy while industrial zones are served by gas and hydro-powered energy.
  • Fundamental reform of Nigeria's healthcare system to assure quality healthcare for Nigerian citizens and remove the need for medical tourism abroad. Healthcare will have 15 per cent of Nigeria's budget in line with the Abuja Declaration of the African Union in 2001. A world-class hospital will be established in each of the six geopolitical zones at a federal university teaching hospital.
  • Fundamental reform of Nigeria's education system to create skills and human capital that will drive Nigeria's industrialization and job creation. Education will be allocated 20 per cent of the federal government budget, with a progressive increase to 30 per cent over eight years.


I am here today because I want what is best for my country.

We have no godfathers. We are just ordinary Nigerians who want a future that is very different from the sad reality of broken promises and unfulfilled national potential that has been the lot of the Nigerian people for far too long.

But we know that, with your support we can bring about real progress in our country. To accomplish this, however, every citizen aged 18 years and above must obtain his or her Permanent Voters Card (PVC) and vote in the 2019 elections.

Fellow Nigerians, this movement of the people, the REAL coalition of everyone and not a select few, belongs to you. Because it truly belongs to you, it will be accountable to you, the people. For this reason, we need to crowdsource our intellect and resources to move this country forward. To support the movement, go to

We must refuse to allow the political elite to continue to intimidate us with the idea that no one can displace them. They boast they will outspend us and more.

But we say to them: Nigerians will not be taken for a ride yet again. The time to sit on the fence is past, ladies and gentlemen.

I'd like to end my speech by thanking my family. My lovely and ever supportive wife, who always challenges me to be the best man I can be. Thank you, dearest. To my sons and daughter, continue to be the amazing, talented people you are. I am so proud of you.

Nigeria, we can do this. Let's get to work!


Kingsley Moghalu's Vision Summary

Kingsley Moghalu’s BIG (Build, Innovate and Grow) Vision for Our Country

If elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2019 I will take the following actions:

•    Uphold high ethical and moral standards of governance
•    Lead by example based on the principles of transformative governance
•    Personally hold town hall meetings across the country to communicate a new vision of leadership and governance in Nigeria
•    Empower the “Office of the Citizen” to hold the government and governance accountable
•    Organize and execute intensive leadership training for the leadership of all political parties in Nigeria in order to begin to inculcate the true meaning and values of leadership

•    Establish a Worldview Charter (“One Nation, One Destiny”) setting out a philosophical foundation for the Nigerian state and a statement of collective national ambition
•    Make the Worldview Charter a core part of the national educational curriculum in primary and secondary education

•    Constitute a merit-based and inclusive government
•    Ready on Day One to hit the ground running
•    Reduce recurrent expenditure to 50% and increase capital spending to 50% within two years
•    Govern with strategy (professional strategy management and execution discipline) for transformative outcomes
•    De-politicize and strengthen the independence of institutions of state
•    Principles of corporate governance will guide the governance and operations of public sector institutions

•    Fight corruption with impartiality and accountability that will begin with officials of my government
•    Make the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission independent of the Presidency
•    Combat corruption more effectively with value-system education and re-orientation, plugging systemic loopholes, improved public service remuneration, and the establishment of social safety nets

•    Ensure the teaching of Nigerian history in all secondary schools, with an emphasis on the lessons of history as a forward-looking nation-building tool

•    Promote and ensure gender equality in access to education for young girls, access to finance and women’s marital protection rights
•    Combat violence against women
•    Execute a policy of 50:50 gender parity in political appointments and encourage stronger representation of women in the elective legislative arms of government
•    Promote social and culture change in society through laws and education
•    Mainstream gender equity by promoting the role of men in ensuring gender equality

•    Prioritize the urgent implement of the National Youth Policy of 2009, with particular emphasis on youth literacy programs, youth employment, supporting youth with disabilities, and curbing drug abuse, crime, and cultism.
•    Encourage the participation of youth in democratic processes, politics and leadership in order to ensure that leadership in Nigeria is regenerative and intergenerational

•    Utilize the immense human capital in the Nigerian Diaspora as a strategic tool for economic and social transformation
•    Institutionalize Diaspora engagement through the National Commission on the Diaspora established by a legislation of the National Assembly
•    Develop and implement an effective strategy for medium to longer term Diaspora engagement and return
•    Establish a Diaspora Fund to finance the Diaspora engagement strategy
•    Advocate for Diaspora voting abroad in Nigerian national elections to be instituted by the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) at the soonest possible time, in any case no later than the 2023 national elections

•    Commence and complete a process of constitutional restructuring of Nigeria towards true federalism between 2019 and 2021 in partnership with the National Assembly and State Assemblies, restructuring the federating units into regions, with ownership of natural resources vesting in such regions as they may be found, and regional or state police to ensure more effective national security

•    Redefine the concept of national security away from narrow, specific threats to a more broad-based, interlocking one
•    Comprehensive reform of the Nigerian Police Force: increasing NPF strength from 350,000 strength to a minimum of 1.5 million policemen and women, re-training, recruitment process reform, increased specialization, and upward review of remuneration of members of the police force

•    Establish an economic philosophy from which Nigeria’s economic vision will be derived. Such a vision will make clear the respective roles of the state and the market, and its position on capitalism and its various adaptations – entrepreneurial, crony capitalism, state capitalism, and welfare capitalism. The economic ecosystem will operate and be managed within this framework.

•    Create an enabling environment for an innovation-driven economy through appropriate laws and policy.

•    Overhaul economic management with the establishment of a full-time Council of Economic Advisers, headed by a Chairman that will serve as Chief Economic Adviser that researches and monitors the economy 24/7 and advises the President on actions to take to enhance economic growth. This council, composed of 5 or 6 members, will be Nigeria’s economic team.

•    Establish a concrete economic diversification plan with a concrete path to a post-oil future for Nigeria, based on emerging global trends. This plan, akin to the Saudi Arabian government’s economic diversification plan, should include a clear strategy with interlinked policies – trade, industrial, fiscal – and far-reaching structural and governance reforms of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation that could include partial privatization (with share listed on the stock exchange for purchase by ordinary Nigerians and not by government-related cronies). In doing so, the interests of local communities in oil-producing regions must be protected – for example, by ensuring a set-aside in private ownership of the NNPC by members of the communities in the oil-producing regions).

•    To create millions of jobs within a four to five-year period, establish a public-private partnership venture capital fund to support job-creation through access to entrepreneurship capital. This fund should be established with not less than N500 billion, with contributions from the federal government and private sector funders, and be run on a for-profit basis as a private company by private sector managers. Mutual accountabilities must be established between the government and private sector partners, and for the operating entity.

•    Design and implement a fundamental overhaul of Nigeria’s educational system to cut that the system’s propensity to produce graduates little or no employable skills. A two-track educational system should be established at secondary school level, one track going into vocational skills training, the other going into tertiary institutions reconfigured to produce graduates in applied technology and entrepreneurship subjects in a ratio of 70:30 to nontechnology or entrepreneurship subjects.

•    Encourage increased foreign investment in education and human capital development.

•    Follow the ownership trail of Nigeria’s estimated 140 million mobile telephone lines to bring operators in the informal economy in the tax net and the formal economy. This approach will generate dramatically increased internal revenue and reduce the need for external indebtedness. In return, my government will enter into, and deliver on a solemn social contract with the Nigerian people to provide our citizens with the most basic goods of security, access to education and quality healthcare, and infrastructure.

•     The Constitution of Nigeria should be amended to make the Development Bank of Nigeria a first-line charge to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation. This will enable the Bank to provide funding for big-ticket infrastructure items at single-digit interest rates.

•    Power policy will prioritize industrial clusters such as Aba, Kano, Lagos, Nnewi, and Onitsha. Investments and incentives will be established in renewable energy that can serve households.

•    Propose a constitutional amendment repealing the Land Use Act. Doing so will help improve access to capital in the economic system because freehold land ownership will provide additional levels of collateral for bank or other forms of borrowing to start businesses.

•    Demonstrate political commitment to health system transformation.

•    Establish one world-class hospital in each of the six geopolitical zones


•    Undertake a fundamental review of Nigerian foreign policy, linking it to a national worldview and addressing the domestic national circumstances that undermine effective foreign policy and power projection.
•    Reform of the Nigerian Foreign Service with emphasis on re-professionalization, training, greatly increased funding for the Foreign Service, and the establishment of a Foreign Service Commission in recognition of the unique needs and circumstances of the Foreign Service.
•    A career to non-career ration of 70:30 in the appointment of ambassadors, with non-career ambassadors to undergo intensive training in diplomacy and international affairs.

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