From Fred Itua, Abuja
All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential contender Moses Ayom said the World Bank’s current record of $ 26.2 billion in annual economic losses for Nigeria due to lack of access to electricity may be reversed through committed political leadership
Ayom, who is the first CPA member to run for president ahead of the 2023 general election, unveiled his plans via his well-known Twitter. [email protected]
“We have all the natural and human resources to ensure a good life for every Nigerian, lead Africa and play an important role in the top league of advanced world economies,” he said.
According to him, “Nigeria needs a good leader; one that is committed to boosting inclusive economic growth, technological innovation and entrepreneurship that creates jobs and raises the standard of living of every Nigerian. A leader who is religiously committed to the promotion of justice, equity and representation to give all entities in this country a practical stake and a deep and sincere sense of inclusion, as well as the prioritization of skills in the public service where governance is seen as a tool for the service of all rather than an avenue for political patronage.
As an important first step towards reviving the economy, Ayom said his presidency “will implement initiatives that will help transform the Southeast region into the manufacturing hub of Gwanzhou in Africa and support the goods produced. locally with tax incentives ”.
“We encourage the manufacture and use of Made in Nigeria products. As president, I would drive Innoson vehicles and force government agencies to follow suit.
The entrepreneur said he will ensure a constant supply of electricity as a fundamental tool needed to build a modern and prosperous Nigeria.
“According to the World Bank, more than 85 million Nigerians representing 43% of our population do not have access to the electricity grid. Lack of reliable electricity is a major constraint for citizens and businesses. The World Bank estimates that we are recording annual economic losses estimated at $ 26.2 billion (10.1 trillion yen), which is equivalent to about 2% of GDP, ”he said.
Ayom said Nigeria needs over 24,380 MW to power its economy and lamented that currently “our total installed generation capacity is 12,522 MW, but the average operational generation capacity is just under 5,000. MW at peak, about 7.4% is lost in the transmission, and up to 27.7% of the load is rejected at the distribution. ‘
He said the horrific electricity situation in Nigeria required an urgent reversal, noting that electricity should be the second priority to security which he said needed to be beefed up, well equipped, properly motivated and better trained to meet the many external and internal security challenges.
“We would therefore like to maintain the pace of investments in the armed forces, forge alliances that ensure a constant supply and availability of the most modern security equipment and to promote discipline and professionalism in the basis of our security architecture.
“We are going to build an armed force of one million men with the most modern combat equipment and training. Indeed, I think we now need a higher force to destroy the resolve of those who threaten our peace while seeking long-term solutions that would reduce the vulnerability of young people to insurgents, criminals and destabilizers, ”he said. he declared.
On measures to boost the economy, Ayom pledged that his administration would create free trade zones in all 36 states and provide the basic tools and infrastructure that will attract foreign and local investors for startups that will pull out all the money. street youth.
The aspirant believes that the creation of international development partnerships is essential to ensure a better future in Nigeria.
As an entrepreneur with experience in the development of solid minerals, Ayom noted that massive investment in the mining sector would serve as a catalyst for an employment-driven economy.
“When citizens have access to jobs while citizens are well educated and have the necessary tools to earn a decent living, there will be a corresponding drop in crime, banditry and other forms of social vices,” he said. he declared.
Ayom revealed that his deep involvement and extensive experience in the mining sector led him to a business trip with President Buhari, Aliko Dangote to China in 2016, an event which he said later attracted an installation. of 1 billion naira for his company, “Granite et Marble” of CBN as part of its intervention under the Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF).
“Granite and marble while they were part of the delegation signed a memorandum of understanding with SBM China, the world’s largest manufacturer of mining equipment,” the aspirant said.
He said any time the facility, which was facilitated by the late Ismaila Isa Funtua, is activated and inflamed, Nigeria’s mining sector would experience a turnaround.
He added, “During this trip, Nigeria signed major transformative agreements with the Republic of China. A notable one is the N720BN currency swap agreement. The bilateral currency exchange agreement (BCS) was supposed to allow importers of goods from China to transact in Yuan instead of the greenback (US dollar) and vice versa. This was done to reduce the demand for the US dollar, reducing the pressure on the Naira at the time, one of the many policies of CBN in managing the Naira.
“Another was a $ 2.6 billion deal to support the Dangote refinery to increase local refining capacity and tackle the burden of fuel imports.”
Ayom also spoke of addressing challenges in other sectors such as education, health, social infrastructure, including roads, bridges and transportation systems to ensure free and profitable movement of goods and services. .
“In particular, we would focus on partnerships with the Chinese Railway Corporation for the renovation of old roads and the expansion of modern rail lines across the country,” he noted.
On education, Ayom said his administration “will expand investments in education to ensure that every Nigerian has access to quality and affordable education for reasons of national security”.
“We will invest in our hospitals and medical centers in urban and rural areas, encourage private sector actors to create world-class health centers to discourage medical tourism and ensure health for all.
“In particular, we would create 6 state-of-the-art regional hospitals nationwide which would be managed by reputable international management companies so that no one would need to travel for medical care,” he said.
Emphasizing the need for rapid industrialization in Nigeria, Ayom said, “With the improvement that we hope to see in our power supply system, we hope to encourage the growth of industries in the country. This would fuel the production of high quality goods both for home use and for exports.
He spoke of the need to invest in expanding agriculture and agribusiness, adding that “we will encourage commercial agriculture and take advantage of the growing global demand for food.”
Regarding climate change, he said: “Climate change will be the key to the administration’s agenda.
“We would work with the relevant international organizations, ensure that our growth plans are climate friendly and environmentally friendly. “
Regarding the fight against the drug epidemic, he noted that the drug epidemic across the country is now a security problem. “It is fueling insurgents, kidnappers and criminals across the country. We will put in place a marshal plan to deal with this problem head on.
In declaring their support for Ayom’s presidential ambition, clergymen in the Middlebelt region, especially imams, appealed to former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, national leader of the APC and former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, as well as former Senate Speaker Abubakar Bukola Saraki, to withdraw interests from the 2023 presidency for Ayom.
Speaking on behalf of all the Middlebelt Imams on the occasion, Muhammad Salisu said: “We call on some of the revered fathers of our party, including Asiwaju leader Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to support the Moses Ayom project and to to occupy the reserved seat of a father and advisor, the same appeal goes also to our co-Muslims from all parties who are presented as interested in running for president. The Waziri Adamawa, Atiku Abubakar, former Senate Speaker Bukola Saraki and others to forge this path of honor by supporting a middle-belt Christian in the person of Chief Ayom who will be elected president this time.
“We also call on Chief Bisi Akande, our pioneer president, to also allow this desired change in order to harness the desired peace and religious harmony necessary for the rapid and continued development of our country.”