•ARMSTRONG TOPE AKINTUNDE Reveals His AGENDA
In line with the Not too young to Run Campaign which has reduced the age limit for running for elected office in Nigeria which is aimed at promoting youth participation in political process, Armstrong Tope Akintunde a Lagos businessman has decided to serve his Ogun East people, on the Green Party of Nigeria platform for Ogun East Senatorial District, come 2019.
According to him, I believe the Legislature is the bedrock of democracy and it provides an untapped opportunity irrespective of age to make a positive difference through people-centric legislation and effective oversight of the Executive arm of government which will engender the rule of law, prosperity, equity, justice, progress, peace and true national unity for the enterprising, vibrant, intelligent, resourceful and good-natured people of Ogun East Senatorial District.
Consequently, by God’s Grace, I am presenting myself to my people in Ogun East Central Senatorial District for election into the Senate in 2019.
“My campaign will be based on issues, with emphasis on Economic development, empowerment of the people through education and economic opportunities, accountability and integrity in governance we stand for zero-tolerance for corruption). We need a new way of playing Politics in Ogun State. Sitting in the shadows and lamenting from the flanks will not bring the change we all yearn for.
Most people worry about people they perceive as “good” going into politics because of the lure of money. And indeed, many have fallen and joined the plunderers of our nation. By God’s Grace, this for me is about Service; selfless service unto God and the people of Ogun East”.
At a time where the country is clamoring for young and vibrant leaders and the need for free, fair and credible election and a viable means of selecting outstanding youth candidate void of god-fatherism influence, it is no surprise that Armstrong has decided to run.
“I intend to run for the Senate on the platform of the youth party, Green Party of Nigeria (GPN). After carefully considering the ideologies and mode of operation of the party which is the same with my Vision and mission statement for the benefit of all youths and the general populace. I decided to join the party.
“I strongly advise technocrats and youths who dream of better nation to actively join the political platform. I promise to ensure our lost glory is fought for and redeemed. I shall ensure good governance is provided in realizing the nation we desire”.
“And there is Grace for this race.
Who is Armstrong Tope Akintunde? We can tell you. He was born on 5th November 1983 to the family of late Fowodara of Araromi, in Iperu Remo, Ogun State.
He attended Wesley Primary School, Iperu between 1988 – 1992 and proceeded to Christ Apostolic Grammar School, Iperu Remo in 1992-1998. He furthered his studies at the University of Agriculture Abeokuta (UNAAB) now known a Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Agronomy.
He was a student union activist during his university days at UNAAB. He was the General Secretary of the National Association of Iperu students (NAIS) between 2000 – 2001, General Secretary of the National Association of Ogun state students (NAOSS) between 2003 – 2004. He was thereafter elected as the President of National Association of Ogun State Student (NAOSS) 2004-2005
He has attended several Real Estate and Project Management Courses and Conferences. He is a full time Businessman and Real estate Developer.
He joined Suru Group Limited in 2009 and is currently the Executive Director on Special Projects in the organization. He is also the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Aerofields Homes Limited.
He says, My Political mission is to build Nigeria into a genuinely united and prosperous nation where peace, justice, equity and righteousness reign. I am a social democrat with conservative values. I am ready to serve my people.
“Corruption has had a great toll on our economy, our infrastructures, our people and our institutions. The economic and social costs of corruption in the public and private sectors of Nigeria since attaining political independence in 1960 is possibly well over US$2Trillion!!.
By God’s Grace, when the good people of Ogun East Senatorial District choose me to represent them as a Distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2019, I shall be a Champion of Zero-Tolerance for Corruption.
Nigeria’s anti-corruption laws are too weak and mild. I will initiate legislation to amend our laws to give teeth to the agencies which are supposed to fight corruption.
I will also initiate legislation on Asset Forfeiture which places the onus on an accused person to prove that he/she rightfully earned the income with which he/she acquired properties which appear to be beyond his/her legitimate resources. If a public official cannot account for how he/she earned enough money to own companies, shares in quoted companies, a fleet of cars and other assets, such properties should be forfeited to the Federal Government by a Court Order at the instance of ANY NIGERIAN INDIVIDUAL OR AGENCY after due investigation mandated by the court.
I will also propose legislation on Whistle-Blower Protection that would ensure that when an Asset Forfeiture case is initiated and successfully prosecuted at the instance of an individual, such a person would be placed in a protection programme by the Federal Government to ensure that he/she and his/her family are not exposed to any negative repercussions whether physically, economically or psychologically.
Education should not be a privilege but a priority, I will sponsor a bill in the Senate for the reform I will initiate an amendment of the Nigerian Constitution to make funding for education a first-line charge on the nation’s consolidated accounts and to ensure that it represents at least 20% of the Budget of the Federal Government.
I am convinced that Nigeria has the financial resources to meet the additional costs this new education policy would entail. The problem is not the dearth of funds; the problem is LACK OF POLITICAL WILL TO MAKE QUALITY EDUCATION ACCESSIBLE TO ALL NIGERIANS. We can and we must secure the future of our youths by guaranteeing them first class education that would make them world-beaters!
India has become the place to go for all types of surgeries, organ transplants, treatment of various cancers and other diseases which had defied solution in our numerous University Teaching Hospitals and other “tertiary” medical institutions. And India is a developing country.
In summary, Nigeria is presently one of the worst places to be born and to live in the world. Our infants are dying needlessly; our young mothers are dying too.
Consequently, it is essential that there be synergy between our National Health Policy and our National Water Policy. The provision of safe drinking water nation-wide must be a critical element of our health care strategy.
Nigeria must improve funding for health care and ensure that we not only retain our medical professionals but attract those in the Diaspora who left the country in search of greener pastures.
As a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I will advocate and push legislation to ensure that at least 15% of the Annual Budget of the Federal Government is devoted to the Health sector. The increased funding that shall become available shall be used in improving facilities at public hospitals and to enhance the remuneration of our medical personnel so as to ensure parity with their peers who have similar qualifications and experience in western countries. I shall also promote the provision of safe drinking water nation-wide as an imperative for the good health of our peoples.
Like India is today, Nigeria can become the preferred destination for medical tourism within the next ten years if we commit ourselves to build and maintain world class hospitals and bring back our numerous medical professionals who are the leading lights in many health-care facilities in Europe and North America.
We can do it.
We need to create jobs The unemployment rate is high. With our huge population comprising mainly youths, this is worrisome and a great threat to our posterity. Nigeria needs to achieve a quick-win solution that ensures that most of our employable citizens are gainfully engaged. We must harness the innovative spirit and entrepreneurial acumen of our people in our battle against unemployment. We must empower our entrepreneurs to be in the position to create jobs on a large scale.
Nigeria’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises are faced with many challenges which have stunted their growth and development. Some of these challenges are poor infrastructural facilities, inadequate funding and lack of access to capital, weak managerial and entrepreneurial skills, limited demand for their products and services, and competition from foreign products. Among these challenges, the most restricting is the inadequacy of funds and lack of access to capital. Indeed, most of the other problems could easily be resolved with sufficient finance. Our financial institutions typically wait for entrepreneurs to become successful before they take any serious interest in their businesses. However creative and innovative they are, these entrepreneurs often cannot meet the strict credit risk acceptance criteria of banks. The solution is really simple: Venture Capital; which I like to call patient equity funding. I will initiate legislation for the establishment of a Venture Capital Corporation which will be a vehicle for the empowerment of indigenous entrepreneurs to be the drivers of employment creation in our economy as is the case in fast-growing economies such as China and Israel.
The focus of my Senatorial Constituency Projects shall be:Economic Development; and Human Development. Having been a business entrepreneur myself and having been a resource person in several training programmes for entrepreneurs, as a matter of priority, I shall establish a world-class academy for the training and development of young entrepreneurs. It shall be a centre of excellence which others would want to emulate.