A frontline aspirant on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Kogi State governorship election, scheduled to hold on November 21, 2015, Senator Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, has said that the people of Kogi State will have reasons to be happy if he is given the chance to take over the mantle of leadership in the state.
Abatemi-Usman made the remark in a statement issued by his media adviser, Michael Jegede, to congratulate the people of Kogi on the 24th anniversary of the state.
While urging the people to thank God for the gift of life, the immediate past Senator of Kogi Central Senatorial District, lamented the stagnation occasioned by bad leadership, which has remained the bane of infrastructural and socio-economic development in the state for the past 24 years.
His words: I congratulate my fellow citizens from Kogi State on the occasion of the 24th anniversary of our beloved state. Though, there is nothing on ground to call for celebration, but we have to thank God that we are alive to witness this day. Kogi State was created on the 27th of August 1991 from the old Benue and Kwara States. It was set up to achieve rapid growth via the comparative advantages of human capital (the youths constitute 77% of the population), vast mineral resources and good governance which would cascade to development for the good people of Kogi State. However, since the return to democratic rule from 1999 to date, the story has been that of stagnation and negative growth. The State is now amongst the poorest States in Nigeria with negative indicators such as low life expectancy rate, high infant mortality rate, poor infrastructure, high unemployment, low literacy level, to mention a few. It is abysmally appalling and pathetic that after 24 years in existence, we cannot as citizens from Kogi be proud of our own dear State. My fellow Kogites, we just cannot allow this to continue. The time for change has come and we must all join hands together to make it happen. Kogi will certainly be better under our government if we are given the chance to come on board.”
Continuing, he said: “Our mission is to focus on our People, build great Institutions through better Processes aimed at Agriculture/Infrastructure, Economic Advancement, Health, Social Welfare and Human Capacity Development in Kogi State, anchored on isolating and expanding our funding base to give us independence from Federal allocations. We will ‘Activate Kogi’ simply by activating the existing potential and inherent capabilities of our resources both human and material; Focus on liberating our People by establishing structures via Institutions and using best laid down Processes in order to positively affect the socio-economic fabric of our people; Make Kogi State and her indigenes truly prosperous socially and economically; Capitalizing on our diversity, cultural backgrounds, ethnic dispositions (our people) to create a progressive ‘One Kogi’; Ensure full use of Public-Private Partnerships and also encourage Private Initiatives; Activate our sleeping assets both human and mineral by establishing/improving institutions and structures devoid of sentiment, ethnic proclivities and bias to achieve One Kogi; Redesign the processes by which governance is carried out through an inclusive government.”
The governorship hopeful added: “Through the redesigning of our processes and the entrenching of institutions and structures, we will use a combination of financial strategies to achieve our ambitions: Allocation from Federal purse (to be strategically managed to achieve smart and impactful goals which benefit the masses); Internally Generated Revenue IGR – to be escalated beyond the token N500 million average to N3 billion within a year and continuous rapid scale-up in the following years; Other sources – Private Sector Finance, Low cost Funds from Development Institutions and already identified Partners. Also, we shall ensure open book policy in fiscal responsibility and budgetary process and adopt new technological approach to fiscal responsibility (disbursements and generation).”
He called on the delegates for the gubernatorial primary election of APC holding this Saturday to see this period as the appropriate time for them to make the right choice in order to bring about a new Kogi, where life would be better for all and sundry.