Tayo Alasoadura is the senator representing Ondo Central District.The former Commissioner for Finance spoke with DAMISI OJO on his governorship ambition and other national issues. Excerpts:
You are a Senator. Why do you want to be governor?
When God looked at the affliction of human beings, He asked His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to go and save them. That was why Jesus came here. Jesus abandoned his kingdom. He left everything and came to rescue mankind. Ondo state has been bastardised; Ondo State has been pushed back for another 20 years; Ondo state has been pillaged; Ondo state has been ruined. Somebody has to have the courage to come and say we can do it better.
No patriot can see the way things are now that will not feel sorry for Ondo State. I cannot fold my arms and allow things to go the way they are going. It will not be good for me; it will not be good for the people of Ondo state; it will not even be good for my children. I can still add value to what we are doing in Ondo state. I can still reverse this ugly situation we are experiencing in the state.
What are your plans for the state?
During the government of Late Olusegun Agagu, we had what was called ‘Roadmap to Progress’ which was well documented. We had policy papers that were prepared for all sectors in this state. Is it agriculture, education, health or industrialization? We intend to bring them out. If there are areas to make changes, we would make changes. We have to industrialize this state. We started Olokola Free Trade Zone but the present government ensured that it was killed. We are going to revive Olokola.
Free trade zones are one of the effective development strategies in the world today. Dubai was a desert. They started building free trade zones here and there. The country has now become the cynosure of all eyes. It has become the economic hub of the far east. Everybody goes to Dubai now to go and buy this or that. Even people go there to rest.
I can remember that the first factory that was to be put in Olokola was requesting for 4000 housing units for its senior staff. Can you imagine how many people could have worked while building those housing units? Even if it was only five artisans for a unit, 20,000 would have worked there. By the time the housing units would have been completed, those senior staff would have employed middle-level and junior staff. I am sure the company would have employed not less than 20,000 people. If it was 20 or 30 percent that the company gave us as the catchment area, 6000 Ondo state indigenes would have worked in that company. Other factories would have come.
We have factories that are now moribund. If I become governor, I am not going to revive Oluwa Glass Industry as it is today because it is not revivable. The Chinese have the cheapest ways of doing things. I will go to China as well as other places and bring those who can bring the required technology to do the work. Partners will come. Give them the enabling environment. Let Ondo state own maximum of 20 percent of that organization. Our people will work there. We would be seen as an industrialized state. People who come to buy what we produce here will lodge in the hotels around. The ripple effects will be unimaginable. So, industrialization is one. We also intend to empower our women, revive our education and health systems as well as getting our road networks in good condition. When we were in government, we used to get a kilometer of road constructed for N42million. But when this government came, it is doing it for N165million per kilometer.
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