Kogi Deputy Governor and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP governorship running mate, Arc. Abayomi Awoniyi, has said the administration of Capt Idris Wada has put Kogi on the path of progress and transformation. Consequently, he wants the people of the state to re-elect Wada for another term in order to consolidate his vision of making Kogi one of the most developed states in Nigeria by 2020.
Awoniyi made this known in an exclusive interview with Vanguard in Lokoja recently. He said the Wada administration has recorded great achievements in the areas of education, healthcare, agriculture, industrialization and empowerment. The Aro of Mopa and scion of the Awoniyi political dynasty said government’s massive investment in tourism reflects the determination of the Wada administration to move the state away from over reliance on federal allocation, which he said, has failed to meet the developmental needs of Kogi people.
On education and healthcare
When we came in, we knew that for Kogi to match our development target, we need to revamp our education and healthcare. An informed and healthy populace will be able to contribute meaningfully to the development of the state.
Our predecessor has been able to make giant strides in this direction. We have been able to remodel some legacy schools around the state to create a conducive environment for teaching and learning as well as provide facilities for academic excellence. This is a project we will love to continue until every school in the state is touched.
Our massive investment in providing a world-class Teaching Hospital at our State University in Anyigba has been commended. We have also improved the structural outlook of our higher citadels of learning across the state. Despite criticisms by our detractors, we have been able to sustain the trend of paying SSCE fees for our students in spite of the lean resources coming into the state’s coffers.
As a government, we appreciate that to be healthy is to be wealthy. To this end, we embarked on massive investments in the health sector. Apart from the Teaching Hospital at Anyigba, another Diagnostic Centre is near completion in Lokoja as we have already taken delivery of the state-of-the-art facilities for the centre.
Apart from employing more health officers, we have also strengthened the capacity of our health-training institutions to match our rising profile in health infrastructures. The general hospitals in Kabba and Obangede have been reverted to Specialist Hospitals to increase their capacities for tertiary healthcare delivery.
As a responsible government, we have also come to the realization of the need to strengthen primary healthcare delivery at the rural areas and have received commendations for that.
On agriculture and industrialization
Even our detractors are left with no option than to commend our agricultural initiatives. We have been able to strengthen the capacity of Kogi farmers to produce. Our specific crop targets have been yielding fruits as we gradually move Kogi into mechanized agriculture.
Through our agricultural policies, we have been able to engage a number of our youths across the state. The government has improved the credit worthiness of our farmers by providing funds and guarantee for farmers to access capital.
In the area of industrialization, I make bold to say we have proven doubters wrong. We have been able to attract A-grade industries into the state to take advantage of our agriculture and mining. These are achievements that cannot be hidden.
On sports and youths development
In the area of sports, our administration has been able to complete the Confluence Stadium, a magnificent project undertaken by our predecessor and leader, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris.
Under this administration, we have been able to repackage the Kogi United Football Club and secured sponsorship for the team. Football fans now throng our state-of-the-art stadium to watch our darling team. We have also invested in Female Football, Handball and athletics.
Our youth development efforts are there for all to see. Through our YAD4KOGI programme, we have been able to engage thousands of our youths in productive endeavours. Our joint project with a firm from Korea, which is near completion will help us in training our youths to take over the industrial revolution of Kogi State.
On tourism and housing
The Wada administration has placed high premium on the need to develop tourism and enable it boost the economy of the state. Our investments on roads and hospitals are aimed at ensuring tourists have access to the best facilities while in our state.
Tourism thrives with good security, healthcare and good infrastructural facilities. By the time we complete all our roads and housing projects, Kogites will begin to appreciate our modest contributions to the development of the state.
Lokoja township roads
We have fixed a good number of roads in Lokoja. Most of the Lokoja township roads are in good condition. The only one for which we have been attacked by our opponents is the one from Zango to Felele. Work is ongoing on the road and we feel the pains of the residents. We need to ensure we do a thorough job to ensure we don’t have to revisit it again in the next few years. We want to ensure we have a good drainage as Lokoja is prone to flooding. Apart from the Lokoja township roads, we are also working on other township roads across the state.
Criticisms against the Administration
My boss, the governor of the state has captured it aptly. Opposition will never hail a sitting governor, especially when election is around the corner. Some of the opposition leaders had said great things about our government. But today, they are saying we have not done anything just because they want to win elections. We respect everyone and will keep our feet on the ground to continue to serve the Kogi people.
On Saturday’s election
I have said it before that the upcoming governorship election is a battle between integrity and falsehood, humility and arrogance. The past four years has witnessed silent revolution in many sectors of our economy. Kogites will make the right choice on November 21.
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