*Security, sports, women, youth development top list
By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Labour Party (LP), Kaduna State Governorship Candidate, Honourable Jonathan Asake has unveiled a five-point agenda which he said, would ensure growth, prosperity and development if elected governor in March 2023.
Asake revealed the policy document on Saturday January 7 in an interactive session with representatives and stakeholders of key sectors in the society, including the media, education, civil society organizations, health, agriculture, persons with disability among others.
The gubernatorial dialogue organized by a collection of nonprofit organizations such as ; Partnership For Issues-based Campaign in Nigeria ( PICaN) and Legal Awareness For Nigerian Women ( LANW) in collaboration with action Aid and Partnership To Educate Reform and Learn (PERL), drew participants from the media, academia, women and youth organizations across Kaduna State.
The LP flag bearer decried deteriorating security situation in the state, which according to him, has crippled agriculture, education, trade, investment and general economy of capital of the old northern region, the hub of business activities in the past.
He listed; security, sports, women and youth development, human capital development, inclusive economic and infrastructural Development, institutional reforms as key tripod he would build his administration on if elected.
The former president of Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) lamented high indebtedness of the state of almost half a trillion Naira mostly accrued under the present All Progressives Congress (APC) administration of Governor Nasir el-Rufai, questioning the wisdom of collecting foreign loans with virtually nothing to show for it in human and capital development.
He pledged to ensure and uphold the autonomy of local government, saying it’s a constitutional matter which must be respected by law-abiding executive arm of governance.
He attributed lack of trust, ethnic and religious disharmony among citizens to absence of equity and fairness in distribution of wealth and resources, particular in contract allocations by state government, promising to make justice key before taking important decisions that would have far-reaching effects on people of the state.
” We will fight poverty head-on by providing enabling environment for citizens to thrive in their respective vocations and different fields of human endeavors so that the state would flourish in business and become attractive for both local and foreign investors.
“We will revamp the educational sector by reviewing high fees charged by state-owned institutions and above all make our educational sector skill oriented so our young population can be self-reliant after finishing school instead of becoming a burden for the society.
“Traditional institutions will be given their rightful place as custodians of culture and traditions and the values of people within respective domains.
“We will review the peace commission law and strengthen the local government, ward and committees to address current challenges, and carry out confidence-building with violence prone communities by taking proactive actions to get their inputs in efforts to prevent communal clashes.
“The state has about 1,678 healthcare facilities with one of the poorest records healthcare deliveries due to poor investment in the sector.
“While sustaining the 15 per cent budgetary allocation to Health,We will strengthen and expand the contributory health scheme to reach more residents in the state.
“Increase public investment in climate smart agriculture sector which will be the key driver of economic development of the state.
“Government shall provide land and social amenities to citizens and property developers with the aim of opening new layouts for affordable housing scheme.
“We shall reschedule our debts servicing and renegotiate to ensure transparency and accountability in utilization of loans to ensure maximum value for money.
“Sports fosters unity among communities in a way that is both remarkable and inspiring,We shall therefore double spend and implement National Sports Policy to the letter, especially towards eliminating gender gap and increasing participation among youth.
“Special attention shall be given to to poverty alleviation programmes to engage especially women and youth in gainful economic activities.
“The state shall create cottage industries in agricultural processing and privatize them to indigenous agropreneur through hybrid build, operate and transfer arrangements,” he stated.
Earlier in his remarks, moderator of the session, Yusuf Goje, an advocate of good and participatory governance at the grassroots, said the event, a second in a series of others to come, was organized to afford citizens the opportunity to hear from those wishing to govern them, policy statements and development plans so they could make informed decisions on who to elect.