The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Candidate, Sen. Bola Tinubu, said if elected, he would ensure full exploration of the oil reserves in the Benue trough and Chad basin for the development of the North and Nigeria as a whole.
Tinubu made the pledge at an interactive session on his vision for the Northern Region, organized by some Northern groups on Monday in Kaduna.
According to him, there is abundant oil and gas in the Benue Trough, Chad Basin, and other prospective locations in the North.
“These gas projects will fast-track the industrialization of the areas and increase revenue generation significantly for the entire country,” he said.
He also pledged to complete the ongoing Abuja-Kaduna-Kano and the trans-Saharan gas pipeline project.
“I will develop a blueprint that will attract local and international institutional investors for both exploration and exploitation of these resources for international trading,” he added.
The APC presidential candidate said if elected, he would ensure that Nigeria’s diversity served as a source of prosperity for all.
“Unity in diversity, peace and prosperity are the fulcrum of my mission in this contest,” he said.
On security, Tinubu said he would mobilise all assets to secure the country.
“First, I acknowledge the primacy of security as the number one function of government.
“If you give me the mandate, my administration will give it all the necessary attention and consolidate on the recent investments in our security agencies and successes being recorded in this regard.
“Safe environment is the bedrock of prosperity, I will be committed to mobilizing all assets within our national power to secure Nigeria,” the APC flag bearer said.
Tinubu recalled that as governor of Lagos State, he adopted many initiatives, especially the Security Trust Fund, to address many needs of the security forces, which helped to sanitise the state.
“I returned law and order, tamed what could have been a huge ethnic war and made Lagos one of the safest states in Nigeria. I will replicate that across the country.
“We will deal decisively with all elements threatening our peace, security and unity.
“I guarantee you, we will end kidnapping and banditry not only through increasing our policing footprint and capacity but also through other soft approaches that would promote inclusion and boost the economy of our local communities.”
He further assured that every inch of Nigerian territory would be secured and defended.
On the economy, Tinubu assured that with strategic investment in research and development and effective management, his administration would explore and exploit the country’s natural resources to the fullest.
“There is no local government in Nigeria that has no resource or endowment that can be harnessed for greater economic development.
“The nation’s major economic challenges are underinvestment and ineffective management.
“Our economic plan would utilize the vast natural resources we have, through strategic investment in infrastructure which will lead to the diversification of the economy and wealth creation across the entire country.”
He said, “There is a lot of wealth beneath the land of numerous Northern States, like in many other Nigerian states.
“From Gold in Zamfara, to Lithium in Nasarawa, Nickel in Kaduna and Iron Ore in Kogi, among others, we are not utilizing the full potentials of these resources.”
He said his administration would focus on modern economic drivers such as the digital economy, creative industries, sports and entertainment, for the benefit of young people.
Tinubu noted that the Federal Government had taken several measures to build infrastructure and improve the ease of doing business across the country.
“This has been complemented by the efforts of some of our states to attract investments in diverse sectors of the economy.”
Tinubu also assured to prioritize and strengthen the existing power sector reforms as a catalyst to sustainable industrialization.
“Aside the ongoing power intervention from the Federal Government, I know that the 19 Northern States and the FCT have incorporated a special purpose vehicle to build 100MW of solar project per state to complement other power generation systems across the country.
“These are the kind of initiatives I will encourage and support to revamp industrialization.
“We will accelerate the completion of the Mambilla hydro power project, explore and construct other sources of power in line with global best practices.”
The APC presidential candidate pledged to reposition existing industries and make them a competitive source of industrialization and growth not just for the North but the entire country.
On Agriculture, he said it was important to build competitive advantage for farmers through value addition while attracting investments and creating enabling environment to ensure the resurgence of all moribund industries.
He added that, if elected, his administration would continue the infrastructural revolution of the present administration on the railways and highways, and invest in inland waterways for safer and efficient transportation to complement his industrialization vision.
“We will improve investment in our livestock value chain, specifically, subsectors like the dairy industry that has the potential of adding billions of dollars into our economy will receive significant attention.”
He reiterated that he had the competence, knowledge, and experience to provide good leadership to the country and run it very well.