Few weeks into the Presidential primaries of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the immediate past Minister of Transportation and a top contender in the presidential race, Rt Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has promised that he would grow the nation’s economy by revamping the agricultural sector if he wins the primary and gets elected next year.
Amaechi said one of the woes of the nation’s economy was the shift from agriculture by successive governments to service economy, promising that he would revamp the sector which would in turn help in creating wealth and employment opportunities for the masses.
The former Transportation Minister spoke at a consultative meeting with delegates of the APC in Lafia, the Nasarawa State Capital, Tuesday. Amaechi also met with the State Governor Engr. Abdullahi Sule to inform him of his plans to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, “I will fight to change the economy by focusing on agriculture. I will also invest in the manufacturing and productive industries because the problem of Nigeria is that we moved into the service industry and we have refused to pay attention to production. So, you see somebody producing chicken, he doesn’t have a processing factory, he doesn’t have an abatoir that will kill the chicken, process it and sell it as a finished product.”
“If you have a processing factory you will employ more hands. So, we will depend on States like Nasarawa that have very high level of practice in agriculture, and that will change the face of Nasarawa State,” Amaechi said.
He further appealed to the delegates to shun politicians with deceitful tendencies who would come to them for votes, appealing that they (delegates) should consider his (Amaechi’s) track record over the years in public service and vote for him for a better Nigeria.
“I have come to beg you to elect me because you are the most important politicians now in APC. Don’t be deceived by politicians who would come here to speak English. I have worked with two of your governors…I have the capacity to deliver. Check my work in the ministry of transportation, I delivered Abuja-Kaduna railway, I started the Kano-Kaduna railway, I started the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway, I completed the Warri-Itakpe railway and completed the Lagos-Ibadan railway. I changed the face of the maritime sector, so I am tested and I am trusted. All I can say to you is to go out on that day and vote for me,” Amaechi said.
Earlier at the government house, Lafia, Amaechi recounted his achievements as Rivers Governor in the area of security, noting that he would replicate the feat if elected.
Responding, Governor Abdullahi Sule who extolled the virtues of the former Minister, said, “Sir, you don’t have to sell yourself to me at all. I may know you more than you think I do. One introduction about you that was not done is the doggedness of who you are, you are a dogged fighter. You fought to emerge as the chairman of the governor’s forum, you fought to become the Rivers Governor, everything about you, you fought to get them. So, today you are fighting to be the President of Nigeria, I wish you well. The most amazing thing is the intimidating team you have been able to put together, a lot of people in your team are well known to me and one thing about our party is that we have competent aspirants and I was happy when you mentioned that even among the aspirants in the party you are the most competent,” Governor Sule said.
Amaechi also paid a brief condolence visit to the Palace of Ahmadu Al-Makura, the Sangarin Kwandere who is also the elder brother to former Governor Tanko Al-Makura.
Politicians and Associates who accompanied the former Minister include, Sen. Ayogu Eze, former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Burutai, former DG NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, former Acting Governor of Abia, Rt Hon. Stanley Ohajuru, former Imo State Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, former Assistant Commissioner of Police, Jonhson Oni and former Speaker, Benue State House of Assembly, Emmanuel Jime, amongst others.