Babajide Sanwoolu – Lagos State
Sanwoolu arguably has the toughest task of any politician in Nigeria today. He has to run a state of 22m people and a metropolis of 12m souls. Mass transit remains a nightmare, so he needs to build an underground metro, an overground heavy goods network that will among other things allow goods to be moved from Apapa by rail and then he has to complete the light railway that has been under construction since 2009.
Governor Sanwoolu then has the challenging task of sorting out the menace of dangerous buildings on Lagos Island. Basically, he needs to build a new town, move the residents there and then knock down Isale Eko and build it up from scratch into a neighbourhood of high rise buildings.
 Babagana Zulum – Borno State
I would argue that he has the second most difficult job in Nigeria today. Borno State is witnessing more upheaval than any other state in Nigeria today due to the Boko Haram crisis and the socio-economic effects are unprecedented.
With half of Borno’s population in Maiduguri and the rural countryside empty, Governor Zulum has to cash in on the development. Normally, it can take up to 30 years to get peasants to migrate into the cities but Boko Haram have done that job for us. He now needs to convert all those abandoned villages into commercial plantations and turn Maiduguri into the agro-processing capital of Africa to convert those crops into finished products. Borno should boast of US-style prairies, massive cattle ranches, wildlife game reserves and solar farms that generate about 1,000MW of power
 Mai Mala Buni – Yobe State
This is another state with huge potential as it is at the very bottom of the Nigerian education league. I cannot think of one governor in Nigeria who needs to spend more on education that Governor Buni. In terms of agriculture too, Governor Buni has his work cut out. With a massive landmass of 45,500 sq km and a sparse population of just 2.3m, one can easily convert three quarters of Yobe into farmland.
Governor Buni needs to embark on the mass cultivation of crops like neem, gum arabic, millet, sorghum, cassava, pepper, tomatoes, sugarcane, etc. He also needs to build Africa’s largest cattle ranch in Yobe and raise Nigeria’s cattle population to about 10m, converting the herdsmen saga into an opportunity
 Nyesom Wike – Rivers State
If Nigeria is to end her over-dependence on Apapa port and build alternative facilities, Governor Wike simply has to deliver. He can easily build as many as five ports in say Bonny, Buguma, Abonnema and Opobo.
Rivers State also has to lead the way when it comes to Nigeria developing a shipbuilding and maritime industry. Governor Wike owes it to Nigeria to provide us with boatyards. I look forward to the day Nigeria will build an aircraft carrier. In addition, he also has to tap into the state’s massive gas reserves and generate about 10,000MW of electricity through gas-fired power stations
 Ifeanyi Okowa – Delta State
In Delta State, the argument is similar to that of neighbouring Rivers State as if Nigeria is to end the over-dependence on Apapa port and build alternative facilities, we need ports at Warri, Forcados and Koko. Delta State also needs to similarly develop a shipbuilding and maritime industry.
Governor Okowa also owes it to Nigeria to provide us with boatyards. I also think that given the fact that the state has a petroleum university, Delta should also lead the way when it comes to petrochemical production. Governor Okowa should give us a date when Nigeria will stop exporting crude oil. In addition, I fail to see what Governor Okowa cannot build up to three bridges across the River Niger linking up with Anambra State
 Bello Mutawalle – Zamfara
How Governor Mutawalle ends the security crisis in his state is something I would like to see but believe you me, it will not be easy. Zamfara has one of the highest illiteracy rates in Nigeria and you simply cannot build any prosperity or security on the back of that so disarming thousands of Zamfarans and getting them into school will be his major challenge.
Zamfara also gets the most sunlight in Nigeria, so should be the solar capital of the country. Governor Mutawalle must turn the state into one huge solar farm where we manufacture panels, use them to capture electricity and also distribute power. His goal should be to generate at least 5,000MW from solar energy
 Darius Ishaku – Taraba
Taraba is arguably the most beautiful state in Nigeria. It has a lot of untouched wildlife in the Gashaka area in particular close to the Cameroon border, so the state should be one huge wildlife sanctuary, kind of similar to South Africa’s Kruge National Park.
Most of Taraba State is untapped, so wildlife and agriculture can thrive there, with the population moved into the main towns like Jalingo, Wukari and Gashaka, which should serve as agro-processing centres.
Governor Ishaku should set himself targets of say attracting 10m international tourists a year and generating say $5bn in foreign exchange earnings. Taraba is one of the few states in Nigeria where you are likely to find wild lions, giraffes, elephants, cheetahs, etc.
 Nasir El-Rufai – Kaduna
Is there any state in Nigeria that has wasted its potential like Kaduna? This was the one place where Frederick Lugard actually liked in Nigeria and at the time, he poured a lot of resources into developing Kaduna metropolis but today everything has been ruined.
As recently as the 1980s, Kaduna attracted Peugeot Automobile, Brahma Guarana, Capri Sun and was also home to indigenous enterprises like Arewa Textiles, Bank of the North and Defence Industries Corporation. Today, Kaduna is only known for violence, religious intolerance and her industrial estates are ghost towns. Governor El-Rufai should be charged with returning the city to its former glory.
 Ben Ayade – Cross River
Cross River should be Nigeria’s gateway to East Africa and Calabar airport should be an international hub where everyone catches connecting flight from. Do you know that in southern Cross River State, there is not even a bridge to take people to Cameroon? If you want to go to Cameroon by road, you have to go through Effraya in the north of the state.
Governor Ayade should build a 10-lane highway linking Nigeria with Cameroon and Central and East Africa and turn Calabar airport into a regional hub. Has he asked someone like Richard Branson if he is interested in such a venture?
 Samuel Ortom – Benue
Benue is the breadbasket of Nigeria, yet it is also home to poverty. With the amount of yam, soyabeans, cassava, maize, sugarcane, pepper, tomatoes, etc Benue State produces, it should be the nation’s agro-processing capital. Cities like Makurdi, Oturkpo, Katsina-Ala and Gboko should be brimming with industrial workers and food processing estates.
Governor Ortom should set himself a target of no longer wanting federal allocation by the end of his tenure. Were I in his shoes, I would invite all those herdsmen causing trouble to come and work in the agriculture industry. Give them jobs and a quality life and watch them lay down their AK47s.