Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
As campaigns for the governorship election kicked off nationwide on Saturday, the Ogun state governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Gboyega Nasiru Isiaka, has launched his ‘7 Steps to Abundance’ manifesto.
Speaking yesterday at the public presentation of the manifesto in Abeokuta, the state capital, Isiaka expressed confidence that his programme will revamp the state’s fortunes and restore good governance, which has been relegated to a backseat by the incumbent administration.
The two-time governorship candidate, equally stated that education and health sectors are in shambles, while the state’s debt servicing costs will create big dent in future revenue prospects and may hamper future developmental plans.
According to him, statistics from recent years have shown noticeable decline, which had hindered the dreams of the state’s founding fathers from being actualised forty two years on.
He, however, promised to revamp education sector by creating special funding to tackle deplorable infrastructures in schools and equally return missionary schools to the owners, if given the mandate to govern the state in 2019.
While pointing out that all the model schools established by the outgoing government will be converted into vocational centres, Isiaka, declared that his manifesto will adequately cover provision of potable water, sanitation, health care, agriculture and women empowerment.
He stressed further that servicing the debt of the state will take a negative toll on future revenue prospect of the state and observed that running an economy should be about the people and not about projects that lack capacity to enhance the welfare of the populace.
“With an external debt overhang of $107.5 million as at December 2017 (up from $103.4 million in 2016), coupled with an increase in domestic debt that rose from N58.38 billion in 2013 to N106.53 billion in 2017 (totaling N140 billion as at 2018), Ogun State’s debt servicing costs will create big dent in future revenue prospects and may hamper future developmental plans because domestic debt servicing is accelerating at 18% every year. What this indicates is unsustainably high executive financial mismanagement.
“Away from the numbers that is at best precarious at the moment, their negative social and economic impact on the people is even more shocking. Running an economy should be about the people and where a state incurs debt, it ought to be tied to projects and programmes that significantly enhances the people’s welfare and also has capacity to regenerate income for the state,” Isiaka submitted.