By DIANA OMUEZA
ABUJA- The ADC Presidential Candidate, Mr Dumebi Kachikwu, has set a new target for other presidential candidates in the 2023 general election by holding an almost 5 hours long Twitter Space session.
The space which was hosted by Dr Ademola Bayonle on his Village Square platform, saw Nigerians from all over the world taking on the ADC Presidential candidate on various topics ranging from security, economy, corruption, Jakpa syndrome, medical tourism, unemployment, etc.
This is contained in a statement by Kachikwu on Monday in Abuja.
He said that the participants were particularly surprised that he didn’t decline any question.
Kachikwu proffered solutions on education, debt portfolio, minimum wage, etc.
He also challenged Nigerians to be the change they wanted.
He said: “I think that the incoming President of Nigeria has to first of all understand the root cause of our failure as a nation.
“Having understood what the root cause is, he now has to design specific solutions to our problems then put together a team of competent Nigerians who have what it takes to deliver or to implement those solutions.”
On the dwindling fortunes of the nation’s economy and rising inflation, he said: “We all understand that the global economic downturn was triggered by COVID and every nation is responding to it differently depending on the managers of the resources of that nation.
“Nigeria lost a huge opportunity in responding to COVID and the opportunity we had with agriculture. We knew that nations would struggle in meeting their supply gaps when economies opened up.
“Across Nigeria we have arable land that is good for agriculture. Farmers are the richest people all over the world. Nigerian farmers are the poorest people.
“What do we do with agriculture? We need to start getting people to understand how to go from farming into agriprenurship – to leave subsistence farming into the business of farming.”
“To do that, we need to train these people and take farm support services closer to the farmers. As President of Nigeria I would establish an agro processing park in every Senatorial District.
“This park would do two things: it would ensure that whatever you farm within that Senatorial district there is someone within that agro processing park that is an off-taker.
“I will have a farm to fork model that makes sure that our agro produce has a market in Nigeria equal to the export market.
“I will ensure that we have storage and processing facilities across Nigeria so that we don’t have the issues like what I saw in Kano and Kaduna a few years ago where a young woman had all her harvested tomatoes baked by the sun because of lack of storage facilities or ability to process.”
“If we were to do this and start telling our youths to understand that this issue of migrating from the rural to the urban areas that there is a middle class lifestyle that can be supported in the rural areas because that is where the true wealth is.
“We have to allow them see this by giving them support facilities to grow.”
The ADC candidate however, insisted that ‘Jakpa syndrome’ especially in the healthcare was being encouraged by western and developed countries to steal the nation’s budding talents and its wealth.
“Typically when a nation is failing, the developed nations understand this. They see the trigger mechanism or failure factors in that nation. What they do is to open a window of opportunity for the wealth of that nation to leave.
“The wealth of any nation is the middle class – that is where the talent and resorces of the nation is domiciled.
“So they open a window for those people to leave, when those people leave, they leave with their resources. So people are leaving for UK to do study but when they are leaving they sell their properties, they are going to pay school fees and rent.
“Imagine the multiplier effect of the money Nigerians are taking to the UK or America on those economies,” Kachikwu said.
He added:“Jakpa syndrome is being encouraged by the western or developed nations to take talents off nations that are failing.
“How can we stop Jakpa syndrome, you have to start appealing to the patriotism of people. But how do I appeal to your patriotism and say to you come and risk your life and die.
“But we have to let people know that everyone is needed. The fight you avoid today is the war you must fight tomorrow. Our war is here upon us. All Nigerians must be involved in this fight.”
He said that Nigerian experts abroad especially medical doctors can only be attracted back home if they are paid good wages commensurate with their output and talent and guaranteed security of life and property.
“In the healthcare sector, several years ago, I pushed for what I called the Abuja medical city, a 100-hectare facility, under the President Goodluck Jonathan’s government.
“I did that to attract our medical professionals overseas into a city that could absorb all their talents. They need to get training and modern facilities to improve their efficiencies and optimise their output.
“As long as we don’t see these people as important, as long as we continue to neglect these people and neglect that sector, they will continue to leave in droves.
“We must start paying decent wages for a decent effort. That is the only way. But for these people to stay even if you are paying a good wage, will you stay when you know that armed robbers are likely enter your house because they have been in your street the whole of that week? No,” he said.
“Will you stay even if you are earning a million Naira and know that the million naira will not sustain you for two weeks? You won’t stay.
“Our problems are all encompassing which is why I said you cannot point to seven hot button issues.
“We have to deal with all our problems simultaneously by putting the best hands to man critical sectors.”(NAN)