Friday, 11 September 2015

President Buhari’s economic plan will favor the masses – Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu


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The Very Charming Hajiya (Dr.) Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu (Ph-D)
Inside her heart of heart, Hajiya (Dr.) Ramatu Tijani Aliyu (Nee Sidi) wants the average Nigerian to have a feel of government through quality governance. All her political life, she has always believed that the biggest vehicle that can be used to better the lots of many other than charity is government. No wonder, she has risen from her humble beginning as a technocrat to become a major force in present day political development in Nigeria as the women leader of the ruling political party, APC.
Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani who is a member of several professional bodies like the Nigerian Institute of Town Planner and  Nigerian Institute of Public Administration to mention a few had her first degree in Urban and Regional planning from  Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria before she later went further for a Masters Degree in  Public Administration from Nasarawa State University.

The Kogi state born public administrator was later honored with a Doctorate Degree in Public Administration, (Honoris Causa) by Commonwealth University, London.
Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu is the National Women Leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and was elected as the President of the Council of African Political Parties in July, 2015 at Khartoum, the capital of Sudan during a congress. She spoke to selected media executives in Abuja early in the week over President Muhammad Buhari’s 100 days in office, the direction of the APC government on economic development and the party’s policy on mass housing deficit in Nigeria among sundry issues. Asabeafrika brings you full details below. Enjoy!
Hajiyya (Dr.) Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu
PMB just marked his first 100 days in office, what is your assessment of the journey so far?
Two words; quietly impressive!  Without injection of funds and devoid of any propaganda we are witnessing significant improvements in virtually all aspects of our National life. Look at power for instance. Just a few months back most parts of this country barely enjoyed electricity supply regardless of whether or not we paid electricity bills. But today, virtually all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria enjoy good to steady power supply. Also the refineries are now in full swing and operating near their respective maximum capacities, when hitherto we were made to believe they would never see the light of day again. Filling Stations now abide by the stipulated pump price of petroleum products as against ripping off hapless and helpless Nigerians. The Anti Corruption crusade is taking firm roots across the country in spite of attempts to derail it. The treasury single account will go a long way in blocking the leakages in the system and enthroning accountability and probity in the public sector. The Assets of Our President and Vice President were published in line with their promise to Nigerians. You can also see the renewed sense of responsibility and dedication on the part of our security forces from the military to the Nigeria Police. I can go on and on, it's indeed a restoration of those basics which the decades of misrule had made us believe were unattainable luxuries. And this is just the beginning. 
First and foremost I must thank Allah for enabling me to contribute in the various spheres of the society where I have been involved. Due credit must go to my understanding husband; he has been a pillar of strength and inspiration. With an understanding family half the work is done.
Hajiya (Dr.) Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu...'My elevation at CAPP is an advantage to Gender Democratic Freedom'

So what do you make of the opinions expressed by some analysts that the Nigerian Economy is receding?
Let me start by saying that the President Buhari I have come to know, respect and identify with is not solely preoccupied with paper economics but also the tangible effects of the economy on the common man. As we are all aware, ours is for all intent and purposes a mono economy, literally dependent on oil which price continues to fall in the International market. In the life of the past administration, Nigeria sold oil for as high as a $120 per barrel, but today it's barely $47 per barrel. In simple terms, we have lost about 2/3 of our national revenue. That is bad news even in the biggest economies of the world. Nonetheless, as far as President Buhari is concerned, The ordinary Nigerian should be able to live a better quality of life when we have steady power supply, better security of lives and property, prompt and regular payment of salaries as exemplified by helping the states wake up to their responsibilities of paying the backlog of workers salaries across the Federation. Allied with a systematic and comprehensive upgrading of our infrastructure; road network, communication and an aggressive diversification of our economy which is heavily dependent on oil is top on the agenda of this administration. This will in turn create millions of jobs for Nigerians and shackle the unacceptable level of unemployment in the country.
In any case, some of the studies or indices being bandied around stretch back well into the previous administration and therefore cannot be a fair assessment of this administration's performance in the area of economic development.
Hajiya (Dr.) Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu to the Media...'I have a very understanding husband and that earns me half of the job'
The President has come under criticism from certain quarters on what is regarded as lopsided appointments. As an APC chieftain what is your take on the controversy?
Controversy? I think the word 'opinion' better captures the views that trailed President Buhari's recent appointment. And in my candid opinion, it is rather premature in the life of this administration to make such assertions. He will cater to the needs of all parts of this in the fullness of time; let's give him the benefit of the doubt. Nigeria is so diverse, over 200 ethnic groups, and therein lays our collective strength. There are competent and honest Nigerians in all parts of this country. In any case The President himself alluded to the issue of federal character when he said even if he wanted to sideline any part of the country the law would not permit him. So I have no doubt whatsoever that he will be just to all and sundry. The issue of federal character should not be raised in piecemeal but holistically. There are still plenty of appointments he is going to make and for a government that has set to appoint on merit and ethical balance, there is no doubt that the best of the best will emerge from all quarters.
You have a background in Urban and Regional Planning, what in your opinion is responsible for the housing deficit in Nigeria?
Any analysis or diagnosis of the problems in the housing sector must take into account the sum total of the historical antecedents in the effort to reposition the sector. This will encompass a painstaking study into why we are where we are in spite of the numerous attempts by various regimes to bolster the fortunes of the housing subsector of our economy.
On a general note, almost all spheres of our society have been afflicted with the scourge of corruption and this has inhibited growth and development in all spheres, not just housing. But specifically, the housing sector has been bedeviled with criminal intention and lack of planning on the part of stakeholders.  The sector contributes only about 4 percent to our GDP, compared to advanced climes where the housing sector contributes up to a quarter of the National GDP.
This is largely attributable to the lack of political will to overhaul the extant legislations regarding ownership, acquisition and management of land in country. This obviously constitutes an impediment to easy access to land and affordable houses for Nigerians.
Hajiyya Ramatu Tijani to Nigerians 'PMB's Economic Plan is for Masses'
What then is the Way forward, how can we make the housing sector a Key contributor to the Nigerian Economy?
Our party, APC has a well thought out blueprint to bring the sector out of the doldrums. We believe that housing as an independent sector ought to be one of the key drivers of our national economy as a developing country. It can contribute significantly to creation of jobs, especially for the youths. We therefore intend to make it stronger than it is right now. Hopefully we will get to a place where it begins to play a vital role as a key component of our GDP.
Significantly, we intend to create a sustainable land mortgage market by reforming land ownership so as to give the common man easy access to title deeds. I am of the opinion that we have a government that is bold enough to roll out a revolutionary program in the sector to stimulate tangible growth. The aim is to achieve a credible housing program which cuts across all social classes of the society. A housing program that will kill the over 17 million mass housing deficit problem we have in Nigeria presently; it is a huge challenge but it is not too difficult for a willing government. Like it is said, where there is will, there is a way PMB’s administration will in due course amend the relevant laws to free up locked capital in land so as to create freehold/leasehold interest in land acquisition for the benefit of the masses our people.
You are from Kogi State; which gubernatorial election is scheduled for November, what are the chances of the APC winning the elections?
It has never been brighter like this before. The wind of change which swept across Nigeria earlier this year has not abated. The people of Kogi State deserve better than the back to back PDP regimes of incompetent and rudderless leadership. 
The primaries have come and gone, we must now go into the elections as a united front. The people are ready to go out and vote massively for the APC and even the opposition can sense it, hence their jittery and restlessness.
 You were recently elected into the office of the President of the Council of African political parties (women wing) headquartered in The Republic of Sudan, Can you tell us about that?
The Council of African Political Parties is an umbrella body of the Political parties or associations across the African continent. I was chosen to represent APC, which happens to be the ruling party in Nigeria today and it was a Rollercoaster experience. Everything happened so fast, it's fair to say it was ordained by Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'Ala). 
In a nutshell I was encouraged by peers and counterparts from other countries to give it a shot as according to them I was eminently qualified for the position which had only just become vacant.  As Allah will have it, I stood for the elections and won. The rest as they say is history. 
Interesting; so, what is the trust of your latest position and how do you intend to use it to benefit democracy in Africa and Nigeria?
It is pretty clear. We need not look further than the aims and objectives of the Council which include among other things; to
Promote a genuine sense of belonging to African continent and disseminate information on its civilization and it's social, Economic, political and cultural potentials; to Reinforce co - ordination between the women entities in African political parties for effective and service driven democracy. To Enhancing and promoting of the skills of African women to achieve the developmental renaissance needed for the African people and to equally liaise with women friendly entities in the world through dialogue between civilization and culture.
We are already putting modalities in place to help achieve these set goals.
As a woman who has risen to an enviable height in public and private life, how have you been able to juggle your official engagements alongside your domestic work?
First and foremost I must thank Allah for enabling me to contribute in the various spheres of the society where I have been involved. Due credit must go to my understanding husband; he has been a pillar of strength and inspiration. With an understanding family half the work is done. Nonetheless I have learnt to multitask so adroitly and adeptly that I barely miss out on fulfilling my obligations, be it at home or in the office. Planning and prayers have been the key instrument of success.

Gbenga Dan Asabe

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