President Bola Tinubu on Sunday announced that with construction works nearing completion at the hitherto abandoned Ajaokuta Steel Complex, his administration will create at least, 500,000 jobs when the project is designated as a free trade zone.
The President further promised to fully harness the potentials of the Complex once it is completed, as it would boost Nigeria’s foreign direct investment and provide avenue for the creation of the much-needed conducive business environment for all sectors to thrive.
Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity to the President Stanley Nkwocha in a statement said, Vice President Kashim Shettima, who represented the President, made this known at the flag-off of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship campaign in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.
The governorship poll in the state is slated for November 11.
Addressing a mammoth crowd in Lokoja, Shettima also noted that Tinubu remained committed to completing the constructions of the River Niger, the Kabba-Lokoja and the Abuja-Lokoja roads.
President Tinubu, VP Shettima stated, is a man of plenty ideas who is determined to reposition the nation in its rightful place, especially as it borders on restructuring and stimulating the Nigerian economy.
“Given Mr President’s commitment to the development of Kogi State and indeed the entirety of Nigeria, Kogi in particular being a confluence state, cannot afford to have a governor who is hostile to the center. We must be partners in progress and work hand in hand to develop this great nation,” the Vice President said.
He further hinted about plans by the Tinubu administration to make the Itakpe crop processing project a dream come true, just as he promised jobs and affordable education under the present government.
Reemphasising that the welfare of the citizenry would never be willfully compromised, VP Shettima called on Kogi citizens to come out en masse on November 11 to vote for the candidate of the APC, Ahmed Usman Ododo, in order to consolidate on the achievements of the APC government in the state.
He added that the natural endowments of Kogi State would be harnessed for the development of the state and the nation at large, adding that President Tinubu had further given his nod for the rehabilitation of Obajana-Okene road in Kogi State.
Speaking earlier, Kogi State Governor, Alh. Yahaya Bello, thanked President Tinubu for accepting to flag off the governorship campaign in his state, disclosing that his administration has achieved a lot, and it is time for consolidation in order to move the state forward.
“We have done a lot in the area of security, education and health, among others. We want to consolidate on that. I am, therefore, calling on the people of our dear state to vote for our candidate in order to move Kogi State forward,” he said.
For his part, APC National Chairman, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, said because Governor Yahaya Bello has provided good governance to the people of Kogi, the state cannot afford to be left behind by giving power to another party different from the one at the center.
Also, the Chairman of the APC Campaign Council for Kogi State, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, enjoined the people of Kogi State to clean up their voter cards and turn out in numbers to vote for the candidate of the APC in the November 11 governorship election.
On his part, Kogi State APC governorship candidate, Ahmed Ododo, pledged to carry the people of the state along if elected, saying he remained committed to the development agenda of Kogi State.
“We will build on the legacies of my mentor, Governor Yahaya Bello. We will give attention to security, education, agriculture and health. Our women will also be empowered,” he said.
Other dignitaries at the campaign rally were the Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq; Minister of Steel Development, Shuaibu Abubakar Audu, and members of the National Working Committee of the APC, among others.
The Vice President’s engagements in Kogi had started with an audience with traditional rulers and other stakeholders of the state ahead of the November 11 governorship election.
At the audience with the stakeholders, VP Shettima also solicited support for the APC candidate in the forthcoming election.
Responding on behalf of his colleagues, the President, Kogi State Traditional Council and the Attah of Igala, HRH Mathew Ipaluwa, pledged their support for President Bola Tinubu.
The royal father commended the state governor, Yahaya Bello, for working hard in addressing security challenges in the state.