By Abdullahi Mohammed, Abuja
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu declared Sunday that with the hitherto abandoned Ajaokuta Steel Complex now nearing completion, the project would have the capacity to employ 500,000 Nigerians once designated as a free trade zone.
The President said this in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital, during the flag-off of the All Progressives Congress (APC) campaign for the November 11 governorship election.
Represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, the President promised to fully harness the potentials of the complex once it is completed.
He said the complex would boost Nigeria’s foreign direct investment and provide avenue for the creation of the much-needed conducive business environment for all sectors to thrive.
Addressing a mammoth crowd, the Vice President said the President remains committed to completing the constructions of the River Niger, the Kabba-Lokoja and the Abuja-Lokoja roads.
“Given Mr President’s commitment to the development of Kogi state and indeed the entirety of Nigeria, Kogi in particular being a confluence state, cannot afford to have a governor who is hostile to the center. We must be partners in progress and work hand in hand to develop this great nation,” the Vice President said.
He said the Tinubu administration would make the Itakpe crop processing project a a reality, and assured of jobs and affordable education under the present government.
Stressing that the welfare of the citizenry would never be willfully compromised, the Vice President called on Kogi citizens to come out en masse on November 11 to vote for the candidate of the APC, Ahmed Usman Ododo, in order to consolidate on the achievements of the APC government in the state.
He said the natural endowments of Kogi state would be harnessed for the development of the state and the nation at large, adding that the President had given his nod for the rehabilitation of Obajana-Okene road in Kogi state.
Also speaking at the campaign rally, Governor, Alh. Yahaya Bello of Kogi state thanked President Tinubu for accepting to flag-off the governorship campaign.
The governor said his administration has achieved a lot, stressing that now it’s time for consolidation in order to move the state forward.
“We have done a lot in the area of security, education and health, among others. We want to consolidate on that. I am, therefore, calling on the people of our dear state to vote for our candidate in order to move Kogi state forward,” he said.
Also speaking, national chairman of APC, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, said because of the good governance provided to the people of Kogi by the governor, the state cannot afford to be left behind by giving power to another party different from the one at the centre.
Also speaking, chairman of the APC Campaign Council for Kogi state, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun state, enjoined the people of the state to clean up their voter cards and turn out in numbers to vote for the candidate of the APC in the November 11 governorship election.
In his remarks, the APC governorship candidate, Ahmed Ododo, pledged to carry the people of the state along if elected, saying he remained committed to the development agenda of Kogi state.
“We will build on the legacies of my mentor, Governor Yahaya Bello. We will give attention to security, education, agriculture and health. Our women will also be empowered,” he said.