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How APC ’ll tackle unemployment, power, by Osinbajo

The vice-presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has said it is possible to fix vital infrastructure and rid the country of corruption within four years, if politicians showed sincerity of purpose and will to take progressive decisions.

Osinbajo, who spoke yesterday at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos when he met with youths and leaders of various volunteer groups working for the actualisation of the APC presidency, said fixing Nigeria was no rocket science.

He said fate had brought him on a joint ticket with General Muhammadu Buhari to rescue the nation from the grip of a non-performing government, noting that APC government believed there was need for direct intervention in the welfare of the people.

Osinbajo, a former Lagos State attorney-general, said the growing youth unemployment showed that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had failed the people.

His words: "Why should 80 per cent of graduates be without jobs and we say we have practised democracy in the last 16 years?

"We believe there is a disconnection between the people and the PDP government and we cannot continue to give excuses every time. There is no reason for the energetic population to be jobless and this is why the youth must vote APC for change.

"If elected, the APC presidency would make the youth the centre of its programmes, because of their limitless human resources. Under an APC government, graduates who cannot get jobs after the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme would be engaged in compulsory vocation training for which they would get monthly stipends as incentives.

"Government is about the people. I wonder why President Goodluck Jonathan is seeking re-election if his administration cannot improve the economy in the last five years."

The APC candidate said all areas of the economy were riddled with the leakages through which country's resources were drained by a few individuals. Plugging the leakages, he said, would control corruption and restore integrity to government.

"They said the major revenue generator is Nigeria's oil and this is a sector that has been cornered by a few people loyal to the government. We have a problem of accountability here because nobody knows how much we make from crude oil.

"If the corruption in the management process of the country's resources is controlled, there is a lot of revenue we would have saved from going into private pockets.

"I believe with Gen. Buhari's unassailable integrity and openness, corruption will be reduced and people would enjoy good governance again."

The professor of public law scored the PDP government low in power generation, saying the huge resources the Federal Government had committed to generate insignificant megawatts of electricity had made people to lose hope in government.

Osinbajo said APC had a clear-cut manifesto on how to improve power supply. He said the only way to achieve uninterrupted power supply was to have a will to pursue the amendment of the law making it impossible for private electricity generation.

He said APC would encourage states and local governments to create their independent power projects for the benefit of the people in their domain.

"We need to do away with this impracticable model of power generation. We plan to decentralise power supply to make it easy for private individuals or companies to have their own power plants.

"We will amend the law mandating willing individuals to get licence before generating power for domestic use. If we fail to act now, we will still be here in the next 10 to 15 years."

On security, Osinbajo said the Jonathan administration lacked good management skill in the disbursement of security vote. He wondered why security agencies still complain of lack of weapons when the government said it had voted over N4 trillion for security.

Rather than unravelling the cause of Boko Haram, Osinbajo said the PDP government deliberately accused the opposition of sponsoring insurgency in the North.

"They leave the real cause of Boko Haram; they are looking for scapegoats to punish for their lack of ideas on how to contain the monster," he said.

The APC vice presidential candidate promised that APC government would unravel the identity of the people behind the insurgency and improve the military in modern warfare to tackle insurgency. This, he said, would be achieved with prudent management of security budget.

Osinbajo dismissed insinuations that Buhari would islamise the country if elected.

He said those calling the APC presidential candidate a bigot should be the ones people must avoid.

"When Gen. Buhari had absolute power, he never allowed the country to participate in the meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC). As a military head of state, almost all his civilian cabinet members were Christians. So, why should anyone accuse him of being a bigot