“Our mission in Kogi State” -
“My primary goal in seeking the mandate of the people of Kogi State is to contribute to realizing a State that is socially responsive, economically viable and politically stable with a view to achieving an enduring solidarity and unity among the people. I shall thrive to forge a common identity through the building of a caring and sharing society which is inclusive and harmonious where the wellbeing, livelihood, and welfare of the people are enhanced. I shall address the state’s aspirations to lift the quality of life of the people through activities that are geared towards the promotion of sustainable development and social justice.”
Based on the above believe, together with all of you, we shall strive to assiduously implement the under listed programmes.
AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Poverty remains entrenched in Kogi State where 85 percent of the rural population lives below poverty line. In rural areas, poverty is highest among households that work in agriculture. At the same time, agriculture, which employs an average of 80 % of the people in the State is characterized by low productivity, and thus has not provided real employment, income and food security to the majority of the population in rural areas especially women.
Significant opportunities for income generation and employment creation exist in the agricultural and rural sectors in the State. However, to translate these opportunities into reality, bold measures are required to transform agricultural practices from low productivity traditional system to high value integrated agro-enterprises. In transforming the sector, a new cadre of agri-entrepreneurs with new skills and global market vision are needed. The next PDP government if given the mandate by the grace of God is strategically envisioned to achieve this mandate.
The drudgery associated with agriculture which discourages youths will be drastically reduced in order to make it attractive. In this regard, about 100 hectares of farm land will be cleared in each LGA which would be leased to individuals and or cooperative societies empowered to own and operate tractors. Agriculture would be operated as a commercial venture to get us out of the endemic low productivity by replicating the Kwara State-Zimbabwean farming model. We will subsidize and distribute basic agro inputs especially fertilizer, train and retrain agricultural worker to become agents of Change in the agricultural sector of the state.
The expected output of this revolution will not be allowed to waste as we shall partner with the private sector to establish viable agro industries that will add value to crops such as cassava, maize, beniseed and rice to which Kogi State has comparative advantage. In addition, fisheries and livestock will receive the required boost.
Majority of our people live in rural areas. In order to make these areas economically viable, socially and culturally interactive, and politically relevant, we will concentrate on the task of construction of all year round motor able roads to most rural communities in the state. Other facilities like electricity, water supply, health care etc will also be provided.
THE CIVIL SERVICE
Our goal is to establish an effective, efficient, transparent, responsive and accountable civil service systems through increased capacity-building, enhancement of public human resource competencies among bureaucracies, and increased collaboration among other civil and public servants. The civil service is the engine room of any government. If given the opportunity to govern this state in 2012, civil servants will be protected from the vagaries of politics as hard working and honest ones will be adequately rewarded while corrupt and dishonest ones will be punished according to the law. We will ensure that we have a quality civil service through trainings and retraining. The Federal Civil Service of Nigeria is today considered as a model for most states in the country. We shall thrive to domesticate those best practices in the areas of advancements, promotions, appointments and remunerations. In the same vein, retirees as senior citizens will be given special attention through prompt payment of gratuities and pensions.
HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Our urban centres and cities are fast becoming slumps due to either lack of proper planning or interferences on existing plans. Towards this end the Lokoja master plan recently commissioned will be strictly adhered to, while all our local government headquarters shall be considered urban centres in addition to the emerging towns like Anyigba, Egume, Ejule, Gegu- beki,Ihima, Ayetoro-gbede and Egbe. These towns and cities will be given the required face lift and attention to avoid environmentally related disasters. On housing, we will pursue the construction of 2000 housing units in Lokoja and the LGA headquarters.
We will ensure the integration of education into our development agenda by creating knowledge based society; achieving universal access to primary education; promoting early child care and development; and enhancing awareness of youths through education and activities in order to build a Kogi identity that will be based on friendship and cooperation.
Thus our priority is to eradicate illiteracy by ensuring compulsory primary education for all and to promote gender equality in education, through advocating for equal opportunity regardless of social class, background or physical disabilities. We hope to have improvements in the quality and adaptability of education, through technical/vocational/skills acquisition training for teaching staff and students. We will Undertake periodic reviews of the various state scholarship programmes for the students.
In other to provide a solid foundation for the industrialization of the state and Nigeria, science and ICT education shall be given priority. All the existing science secondary schools and related tertiary institutions will be adequately equipped and funded to provide the needed drive in our industrialization agenda. A new comprehensive secondary school with boarding facilities will be established in Lokoja as the present science secondary school has been over stressed. We will strive to renovate all our dilapidated secondary schools in order to make teaching and learning conducive. Facilities at the Kogi State University, Anyigba will be expanded to cope with ever increasing demands for admission. More courses will be added while existing ones will continue to receive the required accreditation. Graduates of Kogi State origin will be empowered to go for further studies through scholarships as the products will become the academic staff of our tertiary institutions.
HEALTH CARE DELIVERY
Our primary objective here is to ensure access to adequate and affordable healthcare, medical services and medicine, and promote healthy lifestyles for the people of the state. We shall deliberately promote investments in primary health care infrastructure in a rational manner in order to ensure adequate financing and social protection for the poor and marginalized populations for better access to services in our efforts to achieve health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Specifically, existing General Hospitals in the state will be comprehensively renovated and equipped in order to provide the needed services to the people. More medical personnel will be engaged and encouraged to work in rural areas through incentives. We will remain committed to all externally funded health programmes in order to bring qualitative health care delivery closer to the people.
YOUTH EMPOWEREMENT AND EMPLOYMENT GENERATION
Youths are the leaders and elders of tomorrow. As people that will take over the mantle of leadership from us, they should as a matter of necessity, be trained, nurtured and groomed for the challenges ahead. Our envisaged programmes,in agriculture, education and health are all geared towards youths empowerment and job creation. Specifically, we shall establish vocation training centres and other specialized institutes that will carter for the interest of youths – boys and girls, in schools and out of schools.
Kogi State has a lot of potentials for tourism as relics of our founding fathers are abound in the state. These will be protected and made attractive for tourists. The beaches of the river Niger will be cleaned up to make it attractive for investors in the tourist industry. The five star hotels currently under construction at the beach hotel site shall be completed to provide first class services to tourists and investors coming to the state. There will be concerted efforts towards the promotion of cultural creativity and industry in order to enhance our identity and togetherness.
SOLID MINERALS DEVELOPMENT
Kogi State is home to solid minerals like iron and steel, coal, limestone etc. we will join voices with our legislators to mount pressure on the Federal Government to actualize the dreams of setting up the iron and steel industry at Itakpe and Ajaokuta. Reputable and viable investors shall be encouraged to harness the potentials that abound in the coal and limestone industry in the State. As a State, we shall protect our people’s interest in exploitation of these mineral resources.