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‘Kogi State has great potentials for growth’




A governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kogi State, Hajia Hadiza Ibrahim has offered an insight on why she is in the race for the top seat in the confluence state.

In an exclusive interview with The Guardian, she said incumbent Governor Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has not done enough to deserve a second term.

Finding faults in Wada, Hadiza who is the only female out of the 27 aspirants seeking the APC ticket, promised to tackle the infrastructural deficit in Kogi State if elected governor.

According to her, “I am passionate about my state. I want to see things rightly done. I am passionate for greatness and success and Kogi people are an embodiment of both, all they need is the required leadership to harness their positivity in the right direction. It is my duty as a woman to reinforce a positive direction as to the guiding principle of administration in the state.

“My priorities are geared towards improving education, agriculture, health, social infrastructure and human capital development. I am determined to rewrite the history of my people, and this is why I am in the race for the governorship election in Kogi State.

“At this juncture, I must inform the world that I am capable of performing excellently as my past experience in assisting the government and in being involved in non-governmental organizations had prepared me for this race. Firstly, it has not been easy funding this campaign. We have gathered all our resources to finance this campaign. In fact, we have started to raise funds to help inject finance into the campaign, and I believe that we will soar high.”

“Kogi under Wada had to cut workers salary by 40 percent. The state received then sum of N3.7billion from the federal budget in March, and after the decrease in federal allocation it was allocated N2.5 billion. Meanwhile monthly wage bill is N3.2 billion. This shows how heavily the state relies on federal allocations to run its expenditure.

Continuing, she said, “the infrastructure in Kogi are in a sorry state of negligence and disrepair. The city’s facilities and infrastructure are grossly inadequate and inequitably spread where available. The problem has been attributed to the inability of the provided infrastructures to meet the needs of the teeming population. There’s insufficient or lack of provision of pipe borne or potable drinking water, and over 60 percent of the city dwellers lack access, with some 20 percent drawing water from unhygienic sources.

“Electricity which has been privatised for efficiency is yet to be impressive in performance. From the state of infrastructure in the state, the main constraint in the provision and management is funding and this can be directly linked to over reliance on federal allocation.”

On how she intends to move the state forward, she noted: “This is the era of private public partnership; funds must be obtained for investment from the private sector or capital market. The way forward now in finances is for public agencies and parastatals to resort to the financial intermediaries and credit rating agencies.

“At this state, it will not be out of place for the state government to take cue from measures that have been replicated in other countries like India and Brazil, where they have established infrastructure leasing and financial services (ILFS) to finance infrastructure institutions. I am confident that a modification of this sort in Kogi State will be seen as a provider of a new perspective of development in project financing.

“Secondly it is time to take us back to our glory of beyond. Kogi State has resources to be self-reliant and to generate internal revenue. We have cashew, palm plantation and we have the Ajaokuta Steel Mill, which was served by the abundant iron ore deposit, which has now attracted the Dangote cement factory. More reliance in our resources will go a long way to generate revenue and reduce unemployment amongst our able bodied youths who at this point have nothing to rely on. In fact this is my first mission to be accomplished as the state governor, because it is our duty to preserve our cultural heritage by promoting it’s inheritance from our ancestors long gone.”

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