…To mainstream science and technology to drive industrialisation
Senator representing Ondo North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Ajayi Boroffice has declared his intention to run for the office of the president in the forthcoming general elections in 2023 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Making his declaration at the weekend in Abuja, Boroffice, former chairman of the Senate Committee for Science and Technology, unveiled a four-pillar ‘Progressive Agenda’ codified into security, economic development, education and human resources development and anti-corruption.
According to him, the four-pillar Progressive Agenda with nine policy priorities, as captured in the National Development Plan, will help tackle the many challenges confronting Nigeria.
These nine priority policies will improve security for all, build a thriving and sustainable economy, enlarge agricultural output for food security, attain energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products, expand transport and other infrastructure development and expand business growth, entrepreneurship and industrialisation.
Others are the improvement of access to quality education, affordable healthcare and productivity, enhancement of social inclusion and reduction of poverty, as well as building systems to fight corruption, improve governance and create national cohesion.
Speaking at the event live-streamed from Abuja, Boroffice lauded the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for its landmark achievements of procurement of massive equipment for the military, electoral reforms, the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), construction and completion of the Abuja-Kaduna rail line, construction of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line, construction of the 1.6km-long second Niger Bridge from Asaba to Onitsha, robust National Social Investment Programme, amongst others.
He, however, posited that though President Buhari has made tremendous progress to close the infrastructural deficit in the nation by laying a very strong foundation for accelerated growth and rapid development, there are still many challenges confronting Nigeria.
“We are swimming against the tide of corruption, greed, indiscipline, religious bigotry and ethnic intolerance. Principally, insecurity and economic challenges. My perspective is that rather than look at the issues in silos, a holistic approach is the best,” he stated.
The lawmaker expressed optimism that the challenges are surmountable, adding that the solution is here.
He reiterated that the National Development Plan (2021 – 2025) is a well thought out plan to address these challenges, adding that he has the political will to mobilise human, financial and natural resources to vigorously implement this plan.
Boroffice further said his administration would mainstream science and technology into Nigeria’s national policy and development strategy to drive industrialisation, adding that the difference between developed and developing economies is the level of investment and application of science and technology as a tool for national development.
Listing his credentials and experience, Boroffice emphasised that Nigeria needs a visionary, a leader with sterling records, without baggage, one which all Nigerians, irrespective of their tribe, religion and gender, will be proud of; a leader with the passion and energy to confront the challenges of the country.
“I am a firm believer in the supremacy of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Rule of Law and Federalism. I have an excellent mix of both Legislative and Executive experience, plus sterling public service records. I am presently the deputy majority leader of the Nigerian Senate, chairman of the Southwest Caucus in the Nigerian Senate and a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament.
“I was the chairman of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology for eight years. Over the last 11 years, I have diligently served as a member of many standing committees of the Senate. My experience with the committees has enriched my understanding of the problems of many sectors and afforded me the platform to provide solutions through legislative interventions.
“I have worked with committees on constitutional review, science and technology, land transport, special duties, navy, education (basic & secondary), trade & investment, primary healthcare & communicable diseases, local content, works, Niger Delta affairs, labour & productivity and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
“In the 1990s, as director of science, National Agency for Science and Engineering and Infrastructure (NASENI), I mid-wived the establishment of National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) and National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
“As pioneer director-general and chief executive of NASRDA in 1999, NASRDA launched 2 satellites; a low-orbit earth observations microsatellite (NigeriaSat-1) in 2003 and a communication satellite (NigcomSat-1) in 2007. I also initiated and delivered the groundwork for the launch of NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X, launched in August 2011 from Russia,” he said.
He urged Nigerians to look no further or farther, as he possesses the qualities and represents who Nigeria needs at this point in her history.
“I appeal to our party leaders, governors, my colleagues in the National Assembly, State Assembly members, all elected and appointed members of our party and, indeed, all registered members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to support my aspiration and elect me as the presidential flagbearer of our party for the 2023 presidential election,” he added.