Dino Melaye, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 11 governorship election in Kogi, has said that the state would witness a new era if he becomes its governor.
Mr Melaye made the pledge when he received the report of the party’s Policy Drafting Committee for Kogi Governorship election in Abuja on Friday.
He said that when elected as the state governor, he would reform the state civil service, improve infrastructure and create an Independent Kogi Economic Development Commission.
Mrelaye also promised to pay workers salaries, create four new districts and increase the state’s Internally Generated Revenue without a tax burden on the poor.
“The civil service in Kogi State will be reformed and we will pay salaries on the 25th of every month. We will also pay full salary.
“Today in Kogi, there is no middle class. It is only the rich and the poor. Those in government are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer,” Mr Melaye lamented.
The PDP candidate, who accused the state government of diverting funds meant for palliatives to the poor, promised to grant local governments financial autonomy.
“Ten years ago, local government areas in Kogi State were doing projects, rural roads. Today, no local government in Kogi can dig a well.
“Local government have no vehicles, salaries are not paid, some local government secretariats are under lock and key. But we are saying that a new day is coming,” Mr Melaye said.
He promised to harness and commercialise mineral resources, declaring that Kogi was “too blessed to be poor”.
“I brought people from outside Nigeria who did a scientific research and gave me the mineral resources in Kogi. We have 52 mineral resources but only one has been tapped – limestone.
“The rest are just there; we have Uranium. We have the largest deposit of Uranium in Nigeria,” Mr Melaye said.
He said that if elected, he would use the monthly federal allocation for payment of civil salaries, pension, gratuities, promotion, training and retraining, while internally revenue would be used for developmental projects.
“We are going to raise the revenue without taxing the poor,” he said.
Mr Melaye commended the drafting committee for doing a good job.
“No any other party is talking about policy document apart from the PDP. I have looked at this document, I have read it, it is not only robust, but a solution book and prayer answered,” he said.
The Committee Chairman, Sam Amadi, said the policy document, with over 100 pages, contains recommendations that would transform Kogi, if implemented.
He said that the policy covers several sectors including education, agriculture, local government administration, technology, communications, tourism and others in line with Melaye’s vision for the state.
“The committee recommended that there must be an Independent Kogi Economic Development Commission.
“When Melaye becomes the governor, we are insisting that the people that will constitute that committee should be above board and should have influence on the activities of the governor.
“The commission should be independent; it should have people with pedigree, integrity, so that when he is going wrong, they will bring him back,” Mr Amadi said.