1. Nigeria is a nation with limitless potentials. It is the most populous and arguably the largest economy on the African continent. It has a young dynamic population of more than 182.2 million people (the Economist:2018), abundant hydrocarbon and almost all other mineral resources found anywhere in the world.
It covers 923,768 sq km, 37.3% of which is arable. It has more than 230bn cubit meters of poorly utilized total renewable water resources for expansion of productivity through irrigation, hydroelectricity generation and fisheries; etc.
- Yet, the country has continued to be entangled in unemployment, poverty, corruption and indoctrinal pollution; leading to one crisis after the other: activities of the Niger Delta Militants, Boko Haram, Killer Herdsmen, ethnic militias etc. resulting in sustained insecurity, simmering tensions, threats of national disintegration, high rate of crimes, hunger, squalor and diseases.
Despite all our resources, more than 64% of Nigerians live on less than $1 per day; 33% are living in absolute poverty; 23% of children under 5 years are underweight; infant mortality rate is 75/1000; under 5 mortality is 128/1000; maternal mortality rate is 575/100,000; and, life expectancy is 53.3 years.
These figures are, to say the least, unfortunate. With a current annual average population growth rate of 2.7%, Nigeria is forecast to reach 440m people by the year 2050. No plan is being made for this large population.
- The dwindling fortunes of this great nation is due to poor leadership, recycling of old leaders and retired military dictators as “democratic” leaders with no capacity to develop long term sustainable development guide to lead the nation to prosperity.
They always repeat the same mistakes of doing things the same old military dictatorial way with its attendant human rights violations, high-handedness, disrespect for the rule of law, nepotism, selective justice and imbalance in citizens’ access to opportunities for growth and development.
VISION AND MISSION
5. My intention to contest for the exalted office of the President of our great nation is to partner with fellow Nigerians for the realization of my long sustained vision for a unified, peaceful, independent and economically self-sufficient Nigeria beyond corruption, free from indoctrinal pollution, ethnic militia, Boko Haram insurgency, Killer Herdsmen, Armed Robbers and Kidnappers.
A Nigeria where we can partner with good people and well-meaning investors from nations across the world to bring investment in hard work, enterprise innovations and technology to harness our abundant resources, and build a robust economy in a polity that has respect for individual liberty and the rule of law that will bring dignity and prosperity to Nigerians and by extension to the whole of Africa.
MY READINESS FOR THE JOB
7. It will not be immodest to state that I am fully prepared to lead Nigeria out of the current mess considering my impeccable academic, professional and political pedigree summarised as follows: B.Sc. Accounting (Second Class, Upper Division: ABU Zaria,1985); M.Sc. Economics (Unilag,1992);
PGD Computer Science (1998); and, PhD Accounting at the Igbinediom University Okada, Benin (2013); Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA); Fellow, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (FCIB); Fellow, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (FCIT); Fellow, Nigeria Economic Society (FNES); Fellow, Nigeria Institute of Management (FNIM);
Fellow, Nigerian Association for Educational Administration and Planning (FNAEAP); and, my work experience traversing both the private and public spheres of the financial system.
I worked with Messrs Coopers and Lybrand Chattered Accountants (now Price Water House Coopers), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); became the Accountant-General of Gombe State; and, Accountant-General of the Federation from where I voluntarily retired, contested for Governorship and won with record landslide in 2011;
again contested for a second term and won in 2015 where interestingly, I was the only PDP Governor in the whole of the Northern Nigeria that was re-elected to serve for the second term, which is attributed to good governance informed by prudent financial management, justice, fairness and equity.
- During my Service career, I was a member of the CBN Board of Directors; President/Chairman, Accountants-General and Auditors-General Forum of West Africa; Chairman, ECOWAS Audit Committee; Board Member, Extractive Industries Transparency International etc.
As Accountant-General of the Federation I left behind as my legacies, many transparency-centred reforms such as Treasury Single Account, E-payment and Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS), Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) and International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) among others.
- As Governor of Gombe State, I have distinguished myself in the areas of education, which I made our first, second and third priority; followed by the provision of infrastructure, healthcare, agriculture, water supply, environmental degradation control and economic empowerment.
I am the first Governor that created a cogent development plan for Gombe State and went ahead to start implementing the plan thereby putting the State on the right track for sustainable development.
I am also the Governor that conceived of a marshal plan for the development of the North-east region of Nigeria and organised the Northeast Economic Summit (2013) to bring the plan, the North-East Development Initiative, into a regional development blueprint, which is to bring about economic growth and sustainably check the security challenges in the insurgency infested Northeast sub region, acceptable to all stakeholders.
It is this same plan that the Federal Government now adopted for implementation as Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE).
- If this brief outline of my biography is what defines an undisputed well-rounded Economist, a renowned Chartered Accountant, an expert on taxation, forensic auditing, fraud detection, international banking and financial management, a successful politician and a seasoned technocrat, then you can count me as one.
It is, as well, a pointer to my readiness to rescue Nigeria from the current state of decadence, degradation and decay.