Vice Presidential Candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Prof. Yemi Osibajo has unfolded plans by his party to introduce a social security scheme for the elderly and disabled in Nigeria just as he promised that APC-led Federal Government will provide 720,000 jobs in its first year, when elected come February 14.
Professor Osibajo disclosed this on Thursday in Benin City when he met with the people of Edo State across political divides where he articulated the position of APC in its quest to effect change in the social and economic life of Nigerians.
Addressing the mammoth crowd at Imaguero College Hall, Osibajo said, “For the first time in the history of Africa, we are introducing a social security scheme. It means the elderly who are poor and the disabled will be given stipends.
“Now the reason why that is important is because our country has continued to be one of the poorest 35 countries in the world despite our resources. We have 110 million people who are extremely poor, so we need to lift people out of poverty.”
He said: “As a first term relief, the APC intends that state governments will, with the backing of the Federal Government that has 52% of the revenue control, employ 20,000 young persons per state acting as emergency relief.
He said, “If we do not tackle that emergency, we will run into trouble because as you can see, there is a lot of youth restlessness. You will notice that unless we do something about this, we will be in great trouble.
“We are turning people out of the universities; graduates are coming out from all sorts of tertiary institutions. We are not engaging them, it is important that we find solutions and the APC has set out a solution today”, he stressed.
Professor Osibajo mentioned other priorities of the APC to include uninterrupted power supply through a complete privatization of generation and transmission of power; promotion of economic activities through the setting up of industries and revamping of moribund industries across the country.
He said, “APC-led Federal Government will give serious attention to a Agriculture as a way of accelerating employment opportunities in the country.
According to him, “APC plans to revamp cassava revolution. You remember during President Obasanjo reign when he introduced the cassava revolution, farmers produced great quantities but there was no buyers. We will introduce rice revolution in Nigeria.
“The farmers will be encouraged to produce while the government will buy them and by so doing encourage many to go into farming. Infact, we will have Nigerian Rice just like we have Thailand rice”.
While lamenting the high incidence of death rate amongst women and children arising from various diseases, Prof. Osibajo affirmed the determination of the APC towards effective healthcare delivery system that will guarantee basic medical treatment for Nigerians and called on all and sundry to support the Party Presidential candidate, General Muhammandu Buhari and all APC candidates in the 2015 General elections.
The Chief Host and Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole said, “We thought we should have this indoor meeting of non-party members to interact with the Vice Presidential candidate of the APC to give you a window of what the issues are.
“To move away from primordial sentiments of, where is he from and where is he not from? Not a question of being a Muslim or a Christian but what will you do differently? How will you guarantee our future? How can we convert people who have been reduced to thuggery to people being industrial workers?”
Oshiomhole said, “If in the early 50’s and 60’s, our leaders recognized that we needed to add value and not just export raw cocoa and they set up those industries in Ikeja and our leaders recognized that we shouldn’t be exporting cotton but we can add value by processing, it is a competition based on development and not empty rhetoric. While we can see the incidence of poverty increasing, we can see more Nigerians having private jets.”
Oshiomhole added, “Nigeria worked before and it can work again and it will work again but we need to address the issues of poverty, unemployment and poor education”, and called on Edo people to avail themselves OF the opportunity to ask questions so that their children do not inherit the culture and tradition of lamentation.
Others who spoke at the ceremony were the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola and Barrister Anselm Ojezua, APC State Chairman.
Present at the occasion were political chieftains from within and outside the state, APC party supporters, Traditional Rulers, Student union governments, trade unions, Market Women, Academicians among others.