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My Vision for Ekiti – Otunba Segun Agbalajobi

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Otunba Segun Agbalajobi is a governorship aspirant in Ekiti State under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). As the state prepares for the election in 2018, the United Kingdom-based politician reveals how Nigeria can overcome economic recession, create jobs and tackle security challenges in an interview with select reporters. Bisi Oladele of The Nation was there.

Due to economic recession, Nigeria is today struggling to survive with most of the federating states struggling to pay salaries and run the governance machine. If you are elected governor of Ekiti State, how do you intend to overcome this problem and bring prosperity to the people of the state?

It is about setting priorities right; putting the right people in the right positions. There are highly intelligent and exposed Nigerians who have a lot to deliver but have not had the opportunity. This is one of the reasons I offered myself to serve my people. Since my ambition is to govern Ekiti State, let me focus more on how my state can get out of the mess. If given the opportunity to serve my people, one of my plans to bail out the dwindling economy of the state is by releasing special agricultural funds for 200 farmers in each of the 16 local governments for a start to venture into large scale mechanised cash crops farming. I intend to generate funds from the sales of the crops by exporting them to foreign countries within the first two years of my administration.

Ekiti is primarily an agrarian state. But aside agriculture, in what other ways will you boost the economy of the state?
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Without being immodest, I have travelled to most parts of the developed world and I have the necessary link and have sufficient knowledge on governance. Having travelled to major tourism centres in Europe and discovered how nations in European countries turn their tourism centres to wealth for their citizenry and governments, I will package Ikogosi and other tourist centres in the state into international standards and facilitate easy movement of tourism developers to Ekiti State from European countries. One thing that Nigerian leaders have failed to realise over the years is the fact that there are lots of revenues derivable from tourism. I can assure you that Ekiti State will record millions of Naira from tourism within a short period.

Ekiti people are known for their love for education. How will you meet their yearnings in the face of dwindling resources?

For a start, I will identify 100 primary and secondary schools that need urgent renovation and facilitate a special United Nations Educational Funds meant to revamp poor schools in third world countries. I believe that will be the first as no government in the country has thought along this line as the money are transferred to a special account only to be monitored and supervised by the donors.

Millions of youths in the country are unemployed. How do you hope to tackle unemployment in your state?

That is one major area that gives me a lot of worry every now and then. On assumption of office, I will create jobs for the youths by opening up different skills acquisition centres in the 16 local government areas of the state and ensure that graduates from this one year training centres are employed to work in special recreational centres and other areas, and are placed on special salaries.

Insecurity is another worrisome issue that is giving the country bad reputation. What is your advice for the Federal Government?

My advice for the Federal Government is to be more proactive in its surveillance by forming partnership with the UK government whose air surveillance security is second to none in the world. Religious extremists are yet to launch any attack on UK because the country’s security through air surveillance has remained unbeatable among other nations of the world. They are able to ward off ISIS before they can plan any attack on Britain. (The Nation)
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