By Sunday Ani

The candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the February 25 presidential election in Nigeria, Prince Adewole Adebayo, has blamed the country’s woes on incompetent and inefficient leaders, insisting that what the people get out of any government depends on the kind of persons they put in government as leaders.

He used the analogy of fishermen and farmers to drive home his argument, saying, “The fact that two fishermen are going to the same sea doesn’t mean they will catch the same amount of fish because the fishing skills of one would reflect. In the same vein, two farmers farming next to each other will not have the same yield because the farming skills of each farmer will reflect in the output. What you get out of government depends on who you put in government. Nigeria is a rich country. There is enough money to take care of all of us. There is no doubt about that. The resources are there, so it is now left for the government, if they are efficient, to collect all their revenues and use them for the good of the citizenry.”

Adebayo, who made this assertion while featuring in a television interview recently stressed that if the leaders should stop using the government’s resources to dispense favours, and channel such government revenue to the public good, as well as focus on efficiency in management, they would succeed. “Now, the government must be a promise keeper; it is the government that is distorting the economy because it will issue a contract to a contractor and the contractor, in turn, will go and collect loans from banks. The government will default on their payment, the contractor too will default to the bank and then the same government comes again to give money to the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) to buy back the bad debt. All these will have to go away if the leaders want to provide good governance to Nigerians,” he cautioned.

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He also noted that the country’s political leaders should stop concessioning the government’s assets to private people if they want the economy to grow, as such action amounts to sabotaging the nation’s economic growth and development. He said: “When the late Chief Raymond Dokpesi created the Africa Independent Television (AIT), he didn’t take over the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA). He only bought a license to create the AIT. When Igbinedion University was created, why didn’t they concession the University of Benin to Chief Igbinedion? I don’t believe we should be concessioning government property to anyone. President Olusegun Obasanjo said the Port Harcourt Refinery should be given to Aliko Dangote to run but the late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua said no. Now, it has paid off because Dangote now has his own refinery, yet the Port Harcourt Refinery is still intact. There are chances that if he had been given the Port Harcourt Refinery, he wouldn’t have created the Dangote Refinery today.”

He commended the former president, Muhammadu Buhari, for removing the issue of power generation and distribution from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent legislative list, and charged the current government of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to further liberalise it to make sure that all the Discos that just collect money without power, goes away so that Nigeria could have a proper energy market.

He equally urged President Tinubu to emulate Buhari in the area of infrastructure development, saying, “When it comes to investing in infrastructure, Buhari focused on it to the best of his ability. I believe that the people that are now on the saddle have better abilities than him, so they should not forget that investing in infrastructure is very important to the development of the country’s economy. Infrastructure like rail lines, better airports, and expansion of seaports are very important. This is because the ability to travel around the country, and move goo