Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja
A leading governorship aspirant under the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the Edo State September 10 election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has said his desire to contest the election is predicated on the change the state desires and not based on sloganeering or deceit.
He also said he had analysed the challenges facing the state, consulted widely across the 18 local government areas, and on the basis of his party’s manifesto had come up with a robust blueprint to launch Edo State on the path to sustainable prosperity and holistic development.
The former Secretary to the Edo State Government stated this after picking his form recently in Benin City to contest the election.
“Ours is a genuine roadmap to transform our state from its present unacceptable condition of underdevelopment to an attractive state with vibrant economy. The blueprint, code-named SIMPLE Agenda, offers measurable commitments that would be implemented with passion, single-mindedness, incisive competence and experience”, he stated.
Examining issues at stake in the coming election, Ize-Iyamu said any government that intends to bring real development and prosperity to its citizens must focus on comprehensive and sustainable development that encompasses several aspects including improvement of infrastructure, health, education, human resource development, job creation, industrialisation, agriculture, security and improvement of municipal services in the state.
According to him, “Unfortunately, over the past seven years, Edo State has been denied this best practice approach to sustainable development. Rather, the state government has been obsessed with a single item, road maintenance. It completely neglected all other important areas of the development crying for attention.”
The chieftain who was accompanied to the PDP state secretariat by thousand of his supporters, said the state under the All Progressive Congress (APC) had not fared very well in the past seven years saying, despite the receipt of colossal revenues that surpass those of successive administrations, and that the state has the highest level of external debt of $168 million among the South-south states.
Ize-Iyamu added though that the journey of the people to the promised land may not be long, he said the road would not be easy.
The pastor in the Redeemed Church of God added that his economic model would be based on diversification to harness the immense economic potentials that abound in the state, which include agriculture, solid minerals, oil/gas, cultural products and tourism.
A trained lawyer, the governorship hopeful said although taxation would remain a veritable part of revenue generation in his government, the administration’s policy on taxation would be pursed alongside a wealth creation policy that will bring about economic empowerment of the people so as to promote happiness among the greater majority of the people.
He also promised to plug financial leakages, improve efficiency in public expenditure and build a robust and sustainable financial base for the state that will include transparent public procurement process and procedures to ensure value for money, and a leading edge funds management system anchored on cutting edge technology.