The member who represented Ondo State on the governing board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Olugbenga Edema, says he remains the best person to continue with the legacies of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu come 2024, after the state governorship election.
Edema, who expressed his aspiration to succeed Akeredolu, while speaking with journalists in Akure on Tuesday revealed that his motivation to serve the people stems from the urgent need to provide more effective solutions to improve the living standards of the citizens.
He, therefore, said that he has developed socio-economic plans to turn the state’s economy around.
Edema, who formerly held the position of Chairman of the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC), emphasized that the provision of requisite infrastructure and education would be a catalyst for the development of the state.
The erstwhile Chairman of the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) emphasized that the provision of proper infrastructure would be vital for the development of the state.
The former member of the state House of Assembly also stressed that creating a supportive environment and implementing effective strategies to attract investors into the state’s socio-economic initiatives would significantly place the state on the proper pedestal.
He said: “I have informed my principal (Akeredolu) of my desire to run, and he has not opposed it. I consider myself the best man who will carry on Akeredolu’s legacy to the next level because we have shared all these legacies together before.
“When the deep sea port comes on stream directly, it should be able to attract about 10,000 directly. By the time you start to talk about the multiplier effect, it can hire about 30,000 people.
If, for instance, we are able to open up Ondo State through the Lekki Peninsula to Dangote Refinery, that road will also expand opportunities for us.
“Some people think that Nigerians are lazy or don’t know what to do. There are things you do to make the citizens active. You can do this by putting structures in place to attract investors to the state. What investment needs is an enabling environment.
“When you talk about visionary leadership, it is not rocket science. In our own clime here, for those of us that are not too old, we have heard of Obafemi Awolowo. In 1955, he said that the only way the west can improve is through free and compulsory education.
“In 1966, the West became the most advanced region in terms of intellectualism in Nigeria. So the only way to develop other people is only through education, especially through vocation and skill education.”
Edema further stressed that “Our education curriculum should be redesigned to meet our current demands. We need to focus more on vocational and technical skill acquisition.
“When I was at the Assembly, I got some people trained at Don Bosco for skill acquisition. Likewise, when I was at OSOPADEC, I encouraged many to go to school and train in technical skills.
“We will tinker with our curriculum to align with our current needs and demands and to the advantage of our state.
“So, our children should be trained in entrepreneurship right from an early age so they know how to make and use money.”