100,000 minimum wage, 200,000 teacher recruitment… Sowore’s plans for new Nigeria

OMOYELE Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters and Presidential Candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) says he will raise the national minimum wage to N100,000 and recruit over 250,000 teachers in his first term if he wins the 2019 presidential election.

Sowore, together with his running mate,  Rabiu Ahmed Rufai, made these promises while appearing on ‘The Candidates’, a presidential town hall event organised by Daria Media in collaboration with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and supported by the MacArthur Foundation.

On how he intends to raise enough funds to quadruple the minimum wage, Sowore said that there is enough wealth to go round in Nigeria “but when we continue to feed the greedy, the needy will suffer”.


Sowore said he does not have a dime to his name at the moment except the donations he receives from people of goodwill who are supporting his presidential ambition. He clarified, however, that what people usually, erroneously, attribute to him is actually the worth of Sahara Reporters, the media house that he founded. He pointed out that the Sahara Reporters is a separate entity from Omoyele Sowore as an individual


An AAC presidency will ensure that the over 13 million out-of-school children in Nigeria are taken off the streets and back into classrooms, says Rufai. 200,000 teachers will be recruited across the country and teachers will be better paid.

The sum of N1.3 trillion will be dedicated to getting Nigerian kids out of the streets and back into classrooms, according to Sowore. The money will be sourced from already established education funds which are currently being effectively utilised. The police and other relevant law enforcement agencies will enforce the Universal Basic Education Act and ensure that no Nigerian child is denied the rught to education.


Sowore’s running mate, Rufai, said their administration will make use of advanced technology to boost the economy. Coding, development of computer applications and software will be the top priority, and these will be deployed in all facets of the economy, including health and education.

He gave an instance with the State of California in the United States of America which he said is among the richest in the world “because of the tech companies that are there: Google, eBay, Amazon, and so on”.

If voted into power, Sowore said his administration will need about $500 billion to actualise its plans within its first four-year-term. This sum will be raised by increasing revenue generation through a more robust and transparent tax regime, as well as by plugging leakages from where government funds get frittered away.

Sowore also promised to legalise marijuana and cannabis and make them one of Nigeria’s main export commodity in order to boost Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings.


The minimum wage will be increased to N100,000 which Sowore and Rufai christened “living wage”. The funds will be sourced from the money saved from purging the over 500,000 ghost workers that are currently on the government payroll. Also, the huge revenues being lost to corruption will be stopped and channelled into workers’ welfare.


Sowore said his administration will create 5 million new jobs for Nigerian youths in his first term in office, two million of these new job opportunities will be created in the power sector alone.

He added that he was looking at creating between 200,000 and 300,000 jobs in the security sector, while many other job opportunities will be created in the education and agricultural sectors.


Sowore said his administration will invest about $10 billion in the power sector and will raise power generation from the present 7000 megawatts to 24,000 megawatts, adding an extra 17,000 megawatts to what is obtainable at the moment.

He said the $10 billion will come from investors who will be certain that they will be getting commensurate returns on their investment. He gave an instance with telecommunications giant, MTN, which he said made up to $13 billion in profit.

Investments in solar energy will be prioritised and solar farms will be constructed across the country that will generate 4,500 megawatts. A 90-kilowatt solar plant will be constructed in every government-owned university.


Great care will be taken in choosing the people that will man Nigeria’s security agencies to ensure that only the best hands, both in terms of operations and morals, are placed in leadership positions.

Sowore pointed out that the Boko Haram crisis has lasted this long because “it has become a business” through which the leadership of the Nigeria Army pocket billions of naira illegally, either by not procuring adequate arms or by helping themselves to the funds meant for soldiers welfare.

He promised that on assumption of office, he would send all the corrupt army generals packing.

Also, the method of agriculture will be reviewed in order to curb the incessant herders/ farmers clashes. Commercial ranching will be preferred to open grazing.


    Asked whether he will accept the result of the election should he lose, Sowore’s response was, “If the election is free and fair, there’s no way we can lose”.

    Perhaps, because of time constraint, Sowore was not asked what his plan for the health sector was.

    The next edition of ‘The Candidates’ will hold on Wednesday, January 31, 2019, and it will feature the presidential and vice presidential candidates of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi.

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