Ekiti State Governor and Presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has offered explanations on how he will tackle critical problems afflicting the polity if elected President in the 2023 general elections.
Dr. Fayemi identified insecurity, unemployment, epileptic public power supply, mounting public debts, oil subsidy, dwindling revenue, among others as major problems that will receive his immediate attention if he succeeds in winning the Presidency.
Dr Fayemi also unveiled what he described as his “Big Idea” for Nigeria which will provide a panacea to critical problems facing Nigeria and take the country to the realm of prosperity
He explained that his big idea for a new Nigeria is one built on prosperity and harnessing the country’s human capital, and improving productivity, creating safe, secure and Investment-friendly environment that encourages inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and entrenching a justice system that is fair and equitable.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) stressed what is most important is to deal with the socio-economic root causes of insecurity, bordering on economic opportunities, food security, national cohesion, equity and justice, amongst others.
In his bid to make Nigeria a more secure country, Fayemi noted that a key goal of his administration as President will be to evaluate every action we take within this context to ensure we address insecurity holistically.
While admitting that Nigeria still has some distance to go it can achieve the level of security its citizens desire, Dr Fayemi canvassed the need to build on some of the gains, especially improvements in the north-east, while also addressing the gaps that have seen a worrying trend growing in the north-west and north-central zones.
He said: “First, we must improve the effectiveness of policing, driven by an implementation of the new Police Act, assented to by President Buhari in 2021. The new Act will make our Police Force more accountable to the people, service oriented, and less militaristic.
“We must ensure the gains of the Act are maximized, my immediate focus will be to remove the bureaucratic hurdles that have prevented us from recruiting the required number of police officers required to effectively secure the country. Apart from the obvious need to recruit more police officers, there is a need to modernise our policing equipment by providing the required technology to support the boots on group.
“This includes the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), CCTVs, licence plate and facial recognition, and biometric records, amongst others. Some of these solutions are already being implemented in Ekiti state, and have helped us successfully respond to our internal security challenges.
“Secondly, we must also minimise the corruption in the security architecture, and I am pleased to see the Buhari government has commenced a holistic review of the conditions of service of police officers to undercut the incentive for corrupt behaviour. This must be supported by strong accountability mechanisms, especially in the area of public finance management, to ensure the funds budgeted and released to the police are utilised for the intended purposes, and that sufficient transparency allows for public verification.
“Thirdly, we will need to deal with the perception of the police service. No police accountability mechanism can be considered fair if it fails to inspire public confidence, and we must guarantee independent and fair investigations into public complaints against police.”
On how his administration will revive the economy with the attendant problems of piling debts, dwindling oil revenue and skyrocketing prices of goods and services, Dr. Fayemi said his experience Ekiti governor will be valuable in tackling economic challenges facing the country. This, he said, was achieved with investment in critical infrastructure, attraction of investments and intervention in critical social sectors without increasing the debt portfolio he met upon assumption of office which was done by improving internally generated revenue, restructuring existing debt portfolio to improve cash flow and attracting private investors and development partners.
Speaking on his vision for job creation, Dr. Fayemi identified the need to ensure sustained economic growth which he believes will lead to an expansion of economic activities and focusing on creating incentives for growth poles for new jobs especially those driven by technology and digital economy
He added: “We must also address a major labour market failure driven by the skills gap in our economy. With our high unemployment numbers, it is important we minimize situations where employers cannot fill vacancies due to a shortage of skilled workers.
“A possible solution to this problem is a partnership between interested states and the federal government to development a national skills programme, supported by a Labour Management Information System that helps to place trained labour in available jobs.”
To address the problems in power sector, Dr. Fayemi advocated the need to complement the existing national grid with a number of decentralized grids and a review of the regulatory environment noting that the ongoing constitutional review exercise provides for an amendment to allow states to generate, transmit and distribute electricity.