#Edo 2020: My blueprint for poverty alleviation

Iyoha John Darlington
Iyoha John Darlington

There is no restating the obvious that we stand at the forefront of green states, in other words states rich in natural resources which support the Nigerian economy.

However, this has been stagnated with a low investment and credit, poor capacity utilization in industries and an undependable agricultural growth.

This is not in dispute and more so it is hardly a surprising fact that job growth is low as well which tells abysmally on the economic lives and wellbeing of our people.

From available statistics and extensive research our state in the last twenty years under the successive administrations of the ruling All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party, Edo GDP growth was less than 10 % while its net job growth stood at 2%. This is abysmally low all things considered.

These visionless administrations did nothing in this regard. Visionless it is when the productive sector is left with reckless abandon. With competent economic managers in our team we shall vigoursly pursue 8-10 % annual growth rate and double this before 2024 thereby adding no fewer than 10 crore new job seekers. This is as sure as fate if you need reminding.

Our administration will in all honesty prioritize policies that link GDP growth with job growth. To further achieve this vision, we shall introduce initiative like ‘Startup Edo’.

However, there are also key policies which shall be introduced and implemented to bring about quality jobs.

Our administration will commence by creating a vast, integrated ecosystem for entrepreneurship education, mentoring and support in which startup and growth ideas can be traversed.

This shall also include understanding in the basics of startups and small business growth. It should have means to approach mentors, innovation labs, funding, angel investors and other sources of capital.

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I did say in one of the interviews with Radio France International while the international media correspondent of the Green Party of Nigeria that a GPN-controlled Federal Government shall introduce a scheme such as Small and Business Enterprises (SMEs) which are none other than primary drivers of job growth.

Thus, a large number of policies should be given to SMEs, ranging from easier compliance to tax breaks, to more research and development avenues by the government.

In this connection what obtains now that has given rise to archaic micro, small and medium businesses based on invested capital, needs to be scrapped and policies reconfigured to encourage every business to grow, leading to a more dynamic economy and more jobs.

The incoming PPN administration shall ensure that major scheme on business innovation is launched to allow various government departments allocate funds via SMEs, selected through an open, competitive process. This we shall vigorously pursue to bring about innovation grants annually.

Educational development gives rise to advancement in technology which any country requires in order to develop. Therefore entrepreneurs, innovators, angel investors, and other key ecosystem participants have much work to do to set our state on a par with other developed economies while the government provides technology and knowledge infrastructure that fuel the proposed startup and SME initiatives.

Frankly, our administration shall prepare the ground for this proposal which is fool-proof and would be treated holistically for tangible results to alleviate the sufferings of our people who have been pauperized and impoverished by the incumbent government in our state.

A vote for us is a vote for progress and economic growth, development and prosperity.

Iyoha John Darlington
Edo State Governorship Candidate
Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN)

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