New Telegraph

2023: Denying South East presidency’ll be burden on Nigeria’s conscience – Anyim

The former President of the Senate and presidential aspirant in the 2023 general elections on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Anyim Pius Anyim, has said that the failure of political parties in Nigeria to zone the presidency to the South East in 2023 will be a burden on the conscience of the nation.

Speaking on Arise Television Monday, Anyim said there is also an agreement about the zoning principle regarding rotation between the north and the south in the PDP constitution. He said the South-East must produce the president in 2023 for every section of the country to have a sense of belonging.

He said: “The issue of equity, fairness and justice is fundamental. The federal character is entrenched in every facet of public service, which is why it makes sense for the presidency to emerge from the South East this time.

“In the PDP constitution, there is also an agreement about the zoning principle regarding rotation between the north and the south, with the region micro-zoning among themselves. The reason is that every section of the country must have a sense of belonging; not following it will be a burden on the conscience of the nation.”

The former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) said he will tackle Nigeria’s debt problem and other economic challenges through the aggressive pursuit of industrialisation and manufacturing, talents and innovation, science and technology.

“This, certainly, is going to be the key drivers of the economy of the second half of the 21st century and I will develop this, build on this and prepare Nigeria to fit into the fourth industrial revolution. That, obviously, will expand the economy; that will make the economy more competitive and more dynamic.

“I will also focus on the enablers of development, the factors, the circumstances, and the situations that promote prosperity and development. I understand that last year the nation earned about N5.5 trillion as revenue and out of the N5.5 trillion, N4.2 trillion went into debt servicing and debt repayment, leaving just N1.3 trillion to run the country.

“I also want to believe as a matter of rule that you are not allowed to borrow more than 40 per cent of your GDP and our borrowing rate now is at 36.9 per cent. I think that will make it more frightening for anybody coming in. But I can tell you that even at that, it does not scare me.

“The challenges are temporary and the challenges are that of leadership. If I am to focus on the economy as I did say before, I will focus on the contemporary world direction – manufacturing, talent and innovation, science and technology.”

According to Anyim, if elected president of the country, his administration will create an environment that will enable jobs to multiply. “If you elevate talent and innovation, then all you need to do is simply create the infrastructure for innovation and support new start-up businesses, then just concentrate on what will create jobs on its own.

“Support the younger ones in setting up their own businesses in such a manner that they don’t need to wait for government employment, and once they create their own businesses, they will be in the position to employ others. The advantage of private sector employment is that it is more efficient; it is more rewarding in terms of payment of salaries and it is more productive.

“So, I will focus on those things that will create an economic environment that will encourage talented Nigerians to deploy their talents and eventually focus on innovation that will fit into the fourth industrial revolution that is already here with us.

“I want to believe that will help get us out of the issue of borrowing to pay salaries, borrowing to pay the recurrent expenditure. I want to believe that my economic direction will actually shift from where we are today to a new direction of the world economy.”

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