- Igwe Ezeoba Alex Nwokedi said President Buhari has done well in the area of agriculture
- The traditional leader said farmers like him will benefit a lot from the administration
- He also said Governor Obiano deserves a second term in office
Igwe Ezeoba Alex Nwokedi of Achalla Kingdom in Anambra state has expressed optimism that President Muhammadu Buhari will hand over to an Igbo president in 2023.
Vanguard reports that the elder statesman also commended the president for his work in the area of agriculture.
Nwokedi also commend Governor Willie Obiano saying he deserves a second term in office.
He said if President Buhari continues to support Obiano in the area of agriculture, more farmers like him will benefit massively.
He said: “For instance, I have said to you severally that my governor, Willie Obiano, is a performing governor and I am sure that any governor in any state of the East that has performed will definitely have a second term and will continue to be relevant. So, if, as it were, Obiano makes it into the second term, you cannot be surprised because he merited it and that is all. And all of these meritorious achievements are largely in the areas of his contributions to agricultural, rural and road infrastructural development.
“I had advised that if President Muhammadu Buhari could support Obiano in the area of agriculture in addition to what he is already doing in that sector, Anambra State will produce rice that will be enough to feed not only the South-East but also the whole country. The President is doing that and it is commendable. That is because the state has a large concentration of farmers and my kingdom, Achalla, is prominent in this area.
“I am a farmer myself and you know that I am a big rice and yam farmer. I have a tractor now that I use in my farm and if other farmers can be supported to get bigger in agriculture, who says importation of rice cannot stop in a short time to come in Nigeria?”
“My son, there is no need for any Nigerian state government not to be able to pay salaries and I mean it. All you need to do is this, with market establishment and development of organized market centers alone, you can say bye-bye to federal allocation dependency.
“That way, even the government at the center will have rest of mind and enough time to concentrate on federal projects development, instead of having to bother on how to help states with loans to pay salaries and carry out other responsibilities that they need to do. This, also, is being done in Anambra State under the government of Obiano and I want other states to emulate him so that, together, Nigerian states will give massive boost, collectively, to the national economy.”
On road infrastructure, Nwokedi said, “Sometimes in the past when I travelled to Japan, I tell you that, from the Tokyo airport to town, they have up to 18 toll-gates. What that means is that, when you build the roads, you toll them and generate money for your government through that.”
“Corruption was why toll-gate system did not work in the past. Yet, the best way to keep road infrastructure intact is by tolling. You can operate separate account for toll-gate system to enable proper monitoring and management of it. Your priority for the toll-gate account is to cater for maintenance of existing roads and building of more. In a given accounting period, once you have taken what you need for maintenance, you push the rest funds into the general account. Your government is first felt by your road infrastructure.
“You can see that all the three areas of economic development that I have suggested here are doable. What do they cost any government? Nothing much! If you decide to take loans to execute them, therefore, it is reasonable because they can always fetch back the money with which you repay back the loans in no time. Let our governors of Nigeria carry out their economic reforms along these major areas and see whether they will lack in anything again.
“This is growth by creativity. Don’t forget that natural resources that you have in your states are owned by the Federal Government. If you develop those three areas of self-economy, you will have capacity for keeping your youth engaged and youth restiveness will be drastically reduced. If, like Anambra is doing, other states can follow suit, the peace and unity that we desire for Nigeria will come naturally and that is the way to go”.
Meanwhile, Osita Okechukwu, director general of the Voice of Nigeria (VON) and ardent supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari, has faulted Igbo leaders for rejecting the ceding of the Presidency to Ndigbo in 2023.
He disclosed his position following a call by the Igbo Leaders of Thought (ILT) group, an umbrella of Igbo statesmen intelligentsia led by Professor Ben Nwabueze, for a pursuit of restructuring of the country other than producing a president of Igbo extraction, Vanguard reports.
NAIJ.com gathers that Okechukwu disagreed with the ILT’s position; stating that in order to end the cries of marginalisation, Ndigbo needs the Presidency.
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