Frontline Presidential Candidate, Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, berated at the weekend the poor economic management strategy of the governing All Progressive Congress (APC), which has led to greater poverty amongst Nigerians.
The candidate running on the platform of the popular People’s Trust (PT) regretted that “APC’s woeful failure has put 88million Nigerians into acute poverty. 1.1m got into that bracket in the last four months despite relatively high oil price”
In an interactive session with journalists at the weekend, he said Nigerians are getting poorer because of the woeful economic management strategy or lack of strategy of the APC government, and “even though Nigeria was not a prosperous economy when President Buhari took over, Nigerian economy has now gone from bad to worse”.
The cerebral politician stressed that the recent revelation by the Brooklyn Institute that 88 million Nigerians now live under acute poverty is disappointing, especially that a new 1million more Nigerians moved into the poverty bracket within the last four months.
The global energy executive noted that the data from Youth unemployment, job losses look like the APC has a covenant with poverty and misery. “There is no reason for this when oil prices is high”.
He vowed to cut down acute poverty by half in the country, within five years of his election as president and commander-in-chief, and then set the nation’s economy on the path of modernization and all round development.
Olawepo-Hashim emphasized, “Our new Nigerian Economic Development plan will create 4 trillion dollars GDP in 10 years by the Grace of God. We target to net 5% of Global infrastructure funds in 10 years by removing obstacles to investments and rapidly increase the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
“We will promote an innovative economy by protecting proprietary rights of innovators and the sanctity of agreement. We will integrate Agriculture, Solid Mineral Sector with industries and increase manufacturing share of the GDP to 40% and then tackle unemployment through industry based jobs”
A veteran of many struggles, right from his youth as a student union activist in the 1980’s, and a pro-democracy activist in the early 90’s, he has been a businessman politician for almost two and a half decades.
The mission for him remains Nigeria, “the transformation of Nigeria’s economy from a poor 510 billion dollar economy to a 4 trillion dollar economy within 10 years, the reduction in poverty and the restoration of peace, unity and stability in Nigeria, a country that the ruling party has badly mismanaged”
“I am therefore better placed to bring the country back together. I am most assured I can get the job done given my record of accomplishment” he said with a high of confidence, adding “I will restructure the economy from a dependent one to a self-reliant economy by investing in iron and steel, research and development, and in other critical sectors”
These critical sectors, he pursued, will include “chemical and machine tools, so as to generate the production of capital goods, local capital and to bring in prosperity, through the needed multipliers”
The business mogul with substantial interest in Oil Exploration and Energy generation also promised to implement a New Economic Development Programme (NEDP), which will lead to the expansion of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Besides, the NEDP will also increase the Per Capital Income (PCI) of the average Nigerian to between 16,000 to18, 000 US dollars within ten years as well. This, to the cerebral politician, will make Nigeria to be at par with middle-income countries like Malaysia, with whom we had comparable income level at independence.
Other than this, the astute politician said NEDP would target an estimated 2 trillion US dollars into infrastructure within ten years. It will also create jobs from manufacturing, industrialization, and then link up industries with solid minerals and the agricultural sector.
According to him, the agricultural sector will be integrated with the industrial and solid mineral sectors, to create sustainable jobs for youths employment will also be accelerated through the promotion of innovation and the knowledge economy.