Oyo State Governorship aspirant under the platform of the Alliance for Democracy, AD, Engr. Hakeem Alao has unveiled some of his campaign promises.
The campaign manifesto, which was critically and scrupulously presented by the urbane governorship aspirant, during an exclusive interview session with InsideOyo.com, subsumed quality and free primary education, quality healthcare, sustainable development, mechanised agriculture, industrialisation, and good governance among Engr. Hakeem Alao’s main agenda for the overall development and transformation of Oyo State.
The former student activist and a graduate of the University of Lagos bemoaned the comatose state and poor conditions of most of the state-owned hospitals in Oyo State. While promising advances in healthcare in the state, if elected the governor, Engr. Alao vows to put a lasting end to ugly situations where doctors often had to conduct operations without basic medical facilities and equipment.
“Be it in the United Kingdom, the United State, Gulf region, Asia and other parts of the world, it is free primary health services. So what is the problem? Why can’t we have free primary health care services, even if it is for a certain age bracket?”
Speaking during the interview in Ibadan, where he was born and bred, Engr. Alao stated that he will provide free, quality primary education to all pupils in Oyo State and also ensure that Oyo State produces intellects in order to build strong human capital which will subsequently help in the transformation of Oyo State.
Pledging to guarantee an improved funding of the education sector in Oyo State, Engr. Alao averred that his government would raise education budgetary allocation of the state from 4% to 26% in order to cater for the necessary education demands of Oyo state and also to meet the recommended budgetary benchmark of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO. He also promised to ensure that nobody from Oyo state would ever be denied access to education on the basis of lack of fund, the absence of qualified teachers, or the bad academic environment.
The former Shell project engineer said “some people think free primary education is not possible in Nigeria but I am promising with all my life that my government will bring back free primary education that was earlier introduced by Chief Obafemi Awolowo. We will also make secondary education free.”
The governorship aspirant also promised that he would regain the lost glory of Oyo State as the Pacesetter state. Engr. Alao expressed his displeasure over the fact that Oyo state has for a very long time stopped being the leading state in Nigeria. It will be recalled that the first university, the first television station in West Africa, and the first tallest building in Nigeria are in Ibadan. According to the AD governorship aspirant, now is the time for Oyo state to lead again as new innovations would be seen and experienced in the state once he becomes the state governor.
Alao, the wealthy technology expert and seasoned oil and gas connoisseur, who had judiciously and faithfully managed several billions of dollars while heading different businesses in Nigeria and abroad, has promised the good people of Oyo State that, if elected as governor, he would ensure that the funds of the state government are never be diverted for personal use. Alao said he would ensure transparency, accountability, fairness, incorruptible behaviour, and sincerity in his government.
On industrialisation, Alao said he would create an enabling environment for business investors, entrepreneurs and multinational companies to invest in Oyo state. “Without industrialisation, no nation can grow,” Alao affirmed. Alao said his administration is going to prioritize employment creation by supporting Small and Medium Scale businesses and also encouraging more local and foreign investments in the state. He also promised to tackle insecurity and epileptic power supply in the state. While promising constant electricity supply, the young seasoned engineer said his government would go extra miles to generate complementary power from different sources specifically for industrial use alone while the presently available IBEDC power will be supplied basically for domestic and household use. “Our government will create an industrial hub where we will have many industries operating in the state. A particular state in Ethiopia is doing something similar, so we can do it as well”, Engr. Alao told Inside Oyo.
Although the federal allocation to Oyo state is not enough to fully transform the entire state into first class cities, Engr. Alao said his government will build the state’s economy by generating more internal revenues in the state and not be overdependent on federal allocations.
But challenges remain for the AD aspirant, chief among them is his slim chances of winning a governorship seat in a state where many known figures jostling for the ticket of either of the two dominant parties in the state, the ruling APC, and opposition PDP. Notwithstanding the several challenges, Engr. Alao believes the people of Oyo state would give their mandates to the best candidate, regardless of the political party he belongs to. He also said no candidate is more qualified than the other. “We are all equally qualified,” Alao said.
On what he would do if he lost the election, Engr. Alao said, “It is not a do-or-die affair”!