By Samuel Oyadongha
YENAGOA— FORMER Nigerian envoy to the Scandinavian region and a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship aspirant in Bayelsa State, Ambassador Godknows Igali, has promised to prioritise human capacity building if elected governor of the oil-rich state.
He made the pledge yesterday, at a briefing to unveil his manifesto at his campaign office in Yenagoa.
Igali, a career diplomat would adopt a novel funding approach to drive the development of the state if elected as governor.
Igali said: “I come to the race prepared with a new approach and new strategy to serve the people of Bayelsa to improve their lot. I have the requisite expertise and international exposure to attract foreign capital to develop Bayelsa.
“When that happens, we save funds that hitherto would have gone into infrastructure and then deploy them to social services to make life more meaningful to the people of Bayelsa.
“My emphasis shall be on the human capacity development because without people, all the roads, bridges and buildings will have no meaning, it is the human factor that adds value and meaning to everything you do on the infrastructure front.
“My administration shall ensure free healthcare for children under 10 years and elderly above 65 years while the rest of the population shall enjoy affordable and accessible quality healthcare through a health insurance scheme.
“I have the experience and strength of character to lead the people and that is why I am unveiling my manifesto and it is my commitment to serve the people of Bayelsa and I want the people to use it and hold me accountable.
According to Godknows Igali, “I will leverage my exposure as an ambassador to attract development aid and foreign direct investment and deploy models used by other countries with similar challenges as Nigeria to develop Bayelsa.
“I will ensure that primary and secondary school students are fed twice at state government expense since there is a connection between nutrition and learning.”
Godknows Igali promised to sustain the free and compulsory primary and secondary education and subsidise tertiary education by payment of bursary to undergraduates.
Igali said that he plans to harness the abundant gas deposits in the state for power generation as he was already in talks with manufacturers of gas-fired generators to power street lights in the state.