The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 11 November governorship election in Kogi State, Dino Melaye, has promised to grant full financial autonomy to the local government councils in the state, if elected.
He also pledged to reform the state civil service.
He stated this on Friday while receiving the party’s policy document from the Policy Drafting Committee headed by Sam Amadi.
Other notable members of the committee are Olugbemiro Jegede, Victor Adoji, Natasha Akpoti, Musa Ahmadu, Olusiji Aina, Rotimi Ajayi, Safiya Ajayi, Dan Oguns and Justina Abaneda.
“I promise to grant local governments financial autonomy.
“Ten years ago, local government areas in Kogi State were doing projects and rural roads. Today, no local government in Kogi can dig a well.”
“Local government has no vehicles; salaries are not paid. Some local government secretariats are under lock and key. But we are saying that a new day is coming,” Mr Melaye said.
He described as abysmal the working conditions of the Kogi State civil servants under the present administration, where, he said, they receive stipends instead of their salaries.
“As I speak, Kogi is the only state where a permanent secretary is taking Okada to the office.
“In Kogi today, a level 16 officer is taking N18,000 as salary,
“Today in Kogi, there is no middle class. It is only the rich and the poor. Those in government are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.
“The civil service in Kogi State will be reformed, and we will pay salaries on the 25th of every month. We will also pay full salary, ” he said.
Revamping Kogi economy
Mr Melaye bemoaned what he said was the decadence, poverty, corruption and satanic manifestations in the state.
He said if elected, his administration would have a lot of work to do because “the state has been bastardized, the economy is in shambles, hospitals are mere consulting clinics, and there are no roads in the hinterland.”
The PDP candidate said the state is going to be free from depending on federal allocations for developments, as he had brought in some people from the Netherlands to study the surface minerals deposit in the confluence state, which will bring human and capital developments.
“I brought people from outside Nigeria, who did scientific research and gave me the mineral resources in Kogi; we have 52 mineral resources, but only one has been tapped – limestone. The rest are just there; we have uranium. We have the largest deposit of uranium in Nigeria.
“When elected, I would use the monthly federal allocation for payment of civil salaries, pension, gratuities, promotion, training and retraining, while internally generated revenue would be used for developmental projects. We are going to raise the revenue without taxing the poor,” he said.
Mr Melaye said the state has continued to witness unending insecurity, where many people have disappeared, including the chairman of the PDP in Okene, who has gone missing for more than four years without a trace.
Why I set up committee
He explained that he constituted the committee to provide intellectual and practical solutions to the endemic problems in the state.
“I commend the drafting committee for doing a good job: No other party is talking about policy documents apart from the PDP.
“I have looked at this document, I have read it, it is not only robust, but a solution book and prayer answered,” Mr Melaye said.
Presenting the document, Mr Amadi, a former chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC), said the document contains practical solutions when implemented.
He said the document has done justice to several sectors including education, agriculture, local government administration, technology, communications, tourism and others in line with the mandate given to them by the PDP candidate.
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“The committee recommended that there must be an Independent Kogi Economic Development Commission.”
“When Melaye becomes the governor, we are insisting that the people that will constitute that committee should be above board and should have influence on the activities of the governor.
“The commission should be independent; it should have people with pedigree and integrity so that when he is going wrong, they will bring him back,” he said.
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