PPN Edo governorship hopeful, Iyoha John Darlington, unveils his Edo-for-Edo-People agenda, promises payment of N120,000 Social Security Fund to the unemployed if elected Governor.
Iyoha DarlingtonHow I joined the Edo State Governorship race in 2020?
For starters, I am not a lone ranger in this race, with all due respect,Iwould have your question rephrasedseeing that we in the Diaspora are working as a team out to correct the debilitating anomalies staring our state ominously in the face by launchingour presence into Edo political space.
Ionly emerged from a people-oriented selection process at the historic 2018 Turin Conference in faraway Italy where joint resolutions were adopted,christened, “The 2018 Turin Declaration”.
This historic conference was well-attended by concerned delegates of Edo State extraction, I mean like-minded delegates drawn from across the European Union.
Therefore, we are a team of highly competent technocrats compelled by an overwhelming necessity to discardthe old order which isladen with power retention, institutions of repression, corruption, sponsorship of political vengeance, mephistophellian pursuits and rudderless ideology whose end products have been nothing short ofextreme poverty, hunger and hopelessness.
These, I dare say, have, doubtlesslyplunged our stateto abysmal depths.
Secondly,our rugged political terrain has yielded nothing but tears, sorrow and blood with our cries for rescue falling on deaf ears. Like I did say a while ago this is borne out of an overwhelming necessity to revitalize the obviously decadent paralysis that has bedevilled our state over the years.
Part of the joint resolutionswas to rescue our state from successive failedleaderships diabolically foisted on itby a tribe ofegocentric loners.
Edo economy, you will agree with meis in the cold hands of malignant fate as our people have become poorer and hopeless thus forcing our children out of schoolsfor unprecedented migration abroad.
This is not withoutits attendantdemographic effects if you need remindingas many have died in the course of this needless adventure.
As you can see, our mission is borne out of none other than altruistic considerations. We would have otherwise chosen to remain in our different comfort zones in Europe where virtually everything works which is non-existent back home on our part of the globe.
What are your plans for the electorates?
Part of the resolutions jointly adopted at the period under review is to usher in an economic Nirvana that will impact positively on the lives of our people. In our capacity as one of Nigeria’s green states, our people deserve the best.
It is, therefore,our interest and desire to formulate and implement economic policies to give our people a life of wealth and comfort to live. We have spent too much time brooding over past mistakes without taking urgent steps to correct these and plan for tomorrow.
As a participant-observer in Nigeria’s unfolding democratic experiment, Edo electorates have often done their bid which has not been reciprocated by our self-styled perfect masters with an over-inflated sense of self worth that have kept us all under permanent subjugation.We do hope to reverse the ignobletrend as obtains in advanced countries where we have sojourned for over three or more decades.
Our plans to employ 700,000 annually and to stop increase in migration
One of the resolutions adopted at the 2018Turin Conference is to speedily transformEdo State to Piemonte Regionof Italy, one of the leading industrial heartlandsin the eurozone because there is no denying the fact our people suffer from too many problems and these rangefrom ourindividual complexity to frustration factor.
Unemployment has actually become a state-wide phenomenon promoting crimes of varying degrees across the state particularly violent ones. It is, therefore, our unshaken conviction to mobilise and productively engage the broad spectrum of our people which is incumbent upon the government of the day.
In this connection we resolveto aggressively embark on job creation to generate adequate employment opportunities to pave the way for seven hundred thousandnew entrants into our workforce every year with a review and an adjustment of our wage structure and labour cost to what obtains in developed economies. This, we also resolve,will in no small measure halt the on-going unprecedented migration abroad.
Below is our blueprint for job creation
Part of the joint resolutions was to adopt agriculture-led job creation strategy as agriculture and the agricultural sub-sector remain the largest single occupation for the foreseeable future. This, in fact, is the only way to create quickly millions of jobs for our people with limited purchasing powerand limited capital for investment.
Therefore, my administration shall, in all honesty, quickly implement these joint resolutions to create enabling environment for self-employment and entrepreneurship, with emphasis on agriculture and agro-industry.
All through history, agriculture has played a major role as an engine for economic growth, employment and source of essential food production.
We shall also endeavour to increase agricultural productivity and explore every possibility to shift attention tocommercial crops which aredynamic engines for economic growth.
This will stimulate job creation, give rise to higher incomes and rural purchasing power, pave the way for wider markets for produce, and ultimately drive the growth of downstream industries.
Though Edo is an oil-producing state, we have resolved not to rely solely on incomes accrued from 13 per cent oil derivation fund from the Federal Government with lots and lots of virgin forests for cultivation and other untapped mineral resources in our land.
We shall also strive to start vocational training and youth empowerment scheme as obtains in advance capitalist economies which will create a competitive business and investment environment.
If we could recall from dim memory post-war Japan and 19th century England resorted to agricultural productivity for job creation with emphasis on commercial crops and this paid off in the long run as sufficient jobs were created or generated to eradicate poverty which later became dynamic engines for economic growth.
My administration shall endeavour to encourage training, skill acqusition distribution channels and marketing to accelerate self-employment in both urban and rural areas.
Policies would also be formulated by my administration to develop the service sector for job growth.
In Japan, for instance, the supportive policies implemented in that country provided an enabling environment for trade, transport to generate well over 25 million jobs.
Another strategy for employment generation by the incoming PPN administration in Edo State is to adopt low-cost employment strategy that will focus on expansion of commerce, repair services, transport etc
How will we generate 10,000 megawatt in Edo State for 24 hour power supply
“Nothing is impossible to a French General”, said Georgelin to the beleagueredMuir confirming President Macron’s assertionthat Notre Dame could re-open within five years.
I really did say during my induction speech in Abuja, Nigeria that we will do everything that is humanly possible to make Edo an industrial hub in the West African sub-region by damming our inland waterwaysfor hydroelectric power to give us no fewer than 10,000 megawatts of electricity since there is no existing legislation in Nigeria against states generating its own electricity.
This is not only possible but achievable because Norway in the far Scandinavian where I also lived for two years generates over 10,000 megawatts of electricity which provides the country with over 99 per cent of its power.
So also areBrazil and the Democratic Republic of the Congo which enjoy uninterrupted power supplies.
Stable power supply will make Edo investors’ attraction. The Benin and Ovia Rivers are known for their high tides and roundly suitable for hydroelectric power generation.
Extensive research and analysis have shown that electricity generated from dams is by far the largest renewable source of energy which over 90 per cent of the world’s renewable eletricity comes from.
While in Norway years ago, curiosity got the better of me and I had to ask my Norwegian eletrical engineer friend, how the country attained a 24-hour power supply calling to mind the obviously sad situation in Nigeria, my fatherland having battled this problem through the ages but failing at every turn.
He said powerpumping-storage plants, using power produced during the night, while the demand is low could also produce amazing results as eletricity is used to pump water up to the higher reservoir which is in turn used during the peak demand period to produce electricity which is today used by many countries as the only economic mass storage available for electricity.
Nigeria parades a good number of qualified electrical engineers but endemic corruption has made this pretty difficult. That is why we are still moving round in circles!
However, if this could work in other parts of the world, with the tenacity of purpose of our team set to revitalize the obviously decadent paralysis it will work better if not all over Nigeria but in Edo State where we want to set the pace.
With this energy revolution in Edo State, it will encourage investment and development of all sectors. We shall build light rails, underground metroline and city trams powered by electric locomotives in all our urban centres.
I repeat with all the emphasis at my regal command, we are not planning to fail and by no stretch of the imagination shall we allow anyone to sabotage our efforts either.
Unemployed Edo residents will get N120,000 Social Security Fund Scheme
To every unemployed Edo resident irrespectiveyour tribe, ethnicity nd religion, we shall assist with N120, 000 from the Social Security Fund Scheme to set up by the incoming PPN administration and kick start the payment within the first 8 months of our administration.
I say yet again all the joint resolutions adopted at the historic 2018 Turin Declaration in Italy will be implemented to the last letter.
The bulk of the money to implement this Social Security Fund Schemewill come from the development of agriculture and the agricultural sub-sector by revolutionizing agriculture as obtains in developed nations where we have sojourned for over two decades by discarding Nigeria’s medieval agro-template.
Holland a country in northwest Europe with a comparatively small land mass raked in over 92 billion euros from the sale and export of agricultural produce in the year 2017.
92 billion euros, you will all agree with me,is a lot of money which by the current exchange rate is over thirty-six trillion, eight-hundred billion Naira. This is what Nigeria earns in three years.
With this colossal amount of moneyInternally-generatedfrom agriculture and the agricultural sub-sector coupled with the monthly allocation and 13 per cent oil derivation fund from the Federal Government wecan effectively run the Social Security Fund Scheme to give our people better lives, in other words a life of wealth and comfort to live. Frankly, all we crave, at this juncture, is your active support as we pledge to remain your unfailing servant-leaders.
Some naysayers would aptly call this in question by calling attention to the recently signed N30,000 National Minimum Wage by the Federal Government.
You must bear in mind that Nigeria is a federation where every state is allowed to develop at its own pace.
This Social Security FundScheme happens to fall under the Concurrent List which any of the federating states can implement without any let or hindrance from the Federal Government.
Never a time has the Federal Government interferedin the payment of bursary award by some states government to its students.
Hence, this is constitutionally permissible without the Federal Government drawing the red lines.
Edo State, which is comparatively three times bigger than Holland in terms of geographical landmassis a state that is blessed with vast agricultural potentials whose labour she has fortunately or unfortunately not taken the right steps to positively mobilize. Huge revenues to better the lives of our people have been lost to this untapped sector over the years.
Edo State Goverment under our dynamic leadership shall franchise world’s leading retail chains such as Wall Mart, Carrefour, IperCoop and others which shall be more than willing to establish their presence in an economically-empowered state under our leadership considering the availability of raw materials from our proposed vast state-owned food farms.
I say yet again we are not prophets of doom but a team of competent technocrats out to rescue our people who have been pauperized by successive visionless and directionless leaderships.
The agricultural produce from our state-owned food farms would be sold at highly subsidized rates only to residents of the state at sales outlets throughout the state while introducing smart cards to check incidence of multiple or weekly bulk purchasing.
All these are geared towards the eradication of hunger to enhance the quality of life of our people.
To qualify you for this benefit, you must be in the social economy of our state. In other words, you must be a resident of the state with official proofs which shall be stored in our state’s data base irrespective of your state of origin.
These measures are deemed absolutely necessary to give our people better lives. We crave your indulgence and active support in this regard as this is not only achievable but possible.
This is your entitlements which you have been denied of over the years by successive Edo State governments.
Author: Victor Ogunyinka