Mr Christopher Imumolen, presidential candidate of the Accord Party (AP), has promised to prioritise education when elected president of Nigeria in 2023.
Imumolen made the pledge during his interactive session with the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that as a young international entrepreneur, he believed that Nigeria needed to educate its citizens to address its numerous challenges, and not by waiting for expatriates.
“The problem of education is a big one. I will priotise education. I will be dedicating nothing less than 20 per cent of our budget just to education.
“As it is today, we have about just 6.5 per cent of our budget to education in a country that has over 18.5 million people out of school.
“We are in a country where 97.5 million Nigerians live in poverty.
“We are still a third world nation and education must be given a priority.
“I will ensure that Nigerians have education at a very subsidised rate and if possible, free from the primary to secondary school.”
Imumolen said he was already doing that privately to show his commitment to education.
“Right in this hall, those that came with me are not politicians but students that have benefited from my scholarship.
“There is no state in Nigeria where I don’t have up 200 students on scholarship being sponsored from my personal money.”
Imumolen said that his emergence as president of Nigeria in 2023 would breathe a fresh air of opportunities for Nigerians, especially the youth.
He said it was high time the youth took over the position of leadership, while the elders assumed advisory role.
“It it time for the country to hand over its economy to young and energetic youths to manage like Canada and other developed countries.
“We need young and energetic youth who will work hard to bring back the glory of the country.”
On policy proposal by CAN for presidential candidates, Imumolen said that the proposed policy document by the religious group was just a reflection of his manifesto.
He, however, said that Nigeria did not need a leader with just manifesto but leader with manifestation, vision and fear of God to lead the country right.
“One of the ways to generate wealth is to help states to identify and harness their resources and help them to trade internationally.
“Do you know that we have more than 4,000 mineral resources in Nigeria, yet to be harnessed. We are only focusing on crude oil. We are only focusing on easy things.
He urged religious leaders to continue to seek the face of God regarding Nigeria and 2023, saying God still spoke and there was need to hear from Him.
The CAN President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh in his remarks, said that the association was worried about the challenges facing the country, but believed there was hope and brighter future for Nigeria.
Okoh said that the hope and future rest on resolving the constitutional incoherence that had determined the country’s ugly past and present as well threatened to deny it the future.
“But if we agree to create a new constitutional order on the basis of equality, justice, and self-determination, if we determine to create a new social compact between Nigerians of different religious, ethnic, and social groups, we will recover the promise of a great, peaceful, and prosperous Nigeria.”