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Ajilesoro: Nigerian Economy, Too Cumbersome To Tackle, Deserves Flexible Policies

Ajilesoro: Nigerian Economy, Too Cumbersome To Tackle, Deserves Flexible Policies

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Ajilesoro: Nigerian Economy, Too Cumbersome To Tackle, Deserves Flexible Policies

 

A member of the House of Representatives from the Ife Central/Ife North/Ife South/Ife East constituency in the 10th National Assembly, Honourable Taofeek Abimbola Ajilesoro, explains why broadcasting stations in Nigeria must be digitalised among other national issues

 

 

 

NASSNEWS: Please Sir, can you give us a brief introduction of yourself?

 

 

HON. TAOFEEK ABIMBOLA AJILESORO: My name is Honourable Taofeek Abimbola Ajilesoro. I represent the Ife Federal Constituency, in Osun State.

 

 

NASSNEWS: can you give us a brief summary of your latest motion on the floor of the House?

 

 

HON. TAOFEEK ABIMBOLA AJILESORO: It is a very straightforward motion. We are trying to be on the side of Nigerians at this critical time. The motion is to review the digitalisation programme in the Nigerian broadcasting industry. What we are trying to do is for the Nigerian broadcasting industry to be fully digitalized. I think they have started the process about 13 years ago. Some states had already been captured including Kano, Plateau, Kwara and even my state, Osun. However, the exercise had stopped and we don’t know the reason it was stopped. We are now bringing the motion for the relevant authorities to revisit the full implementation.

 

 

NASSNEWS: What’s the benefit of the digitalisation to an average Nigerian?

 

 

HON. TAOFEEK ABIMBOLA AJILESORO:

The impact of it is that a common man who can’t afford to pay for Cable television networks like the DSTV, GOTV or Startimes due to the lack of money would also have access to quality broadcasting like those using the cable TV’s.

For example, for me to have a premium coverage of DSTV, I’m paying over N27,000. At least, Nigerians have the rights and we owe them the duty to make them get access to information. The government is doing so many things and all when the people turn on their television channels, they should be able to have access to basic programming with little amounts.

 

NASSNEWS: How did the digitalisation process start and why bringing up a motion on it?

 

 

HON. TAOFEEK ABIMBOLA AJILESORO:

From what happened at that time, Nigeria broadcasting industry was able to partner with Star Times and with that, you will be able to watch many channels conveniently, at least let them have access to basic news, access to channels, being able to watch our plenary and all those things.

So, the motion is for us to try to be on the side of Nigerians or don’t give all these international company full priority and taking advantage of Nigerians. So that is what we’re urging the committee on digital information technology, with the committee on information too, to work together and invite the relevant stakeholders, and let them revisit the digitalization exercise.

 

 

NASSNEWS: What stage is the digitalisation programme now?

 

 

HON. TAOFEEK ABIMBOLA AJILESORO:

 

 

Some states like Lagos, Kano, Plateau, Kwara, Osun, Kaduna, Enugu, Rivers and FCT have been captured. We have 36 states, the states that have been captured now are just eight and the FCT. So, we still have like 28 states to go.

 

 

 

NASSNEWS: Why was the reason the exercise was discontinued in the first place?

 

 

HON. TAOFEEK ABIMBOLA AJILESORO:

 

 

Programmes hardly have finishing period in our country. I don’t know why it was stopped and I am not also alleging anybody deliberately did it. We have big companies in Nigeria. We call them the bourgeoisie, these companies are making mega millions from Nigerians. They might have gone the right way to find a way of telling them to suppress it but I’m not alleging that anybody has done that. However, they have no reason to stop it and that’s why I’m bringing it back.

I don’t know the reason why they stopped it. I know that former Minister of Information, Lai Muhammad brought it up during former President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime but, they didn’t do anything or continued with the programme. So that’s why I said that, we have a new government and our renewed hope agenda. So the motion is within the renewed hope agenda. Let’s look for everything that can bring succor to Nigerians.

 

 

NASSNEWS: Sir, talking about renewed hope, do you think that Nigerians should still have faith in the government? With the way things are right now?

 

 

HON. TAOFEEK ABIMBOLA AJILESORO: What choice do we have? Like someone said, we are already in the plane, we have a pilot. The only thing we can do is to start praying for the pilot, for him to land us safely. So what I mean is that hope means that life, anybody that has lost hope completely is no longer living. So we are doing our own part, I’m on the side of the opposition, I’m a member of the PDP but I really want Mr President to succeed because it is when he succeeds that the common Nigerians will have hope in democracy. If all hope is lost for democracy, Nigeria will stop existing.

So let us have hope, and keep praying for this nation, and make sure we are contributing our quota, like my current motion, I am doing my job as a parliamentarian. Every one of us should look for areas where we can give the executive an advice. So, everybody should play his own part, even journalists have their own part to play. Let us keep supporting this government, let us correct them when they are doing something that is not right. Let us protest when we think that a policy that is introduced is not affecting Nigeria positively. Whenever we see all these challenges, we just have to make sure we chastise government by criticizing them positively.

 

 

 

NASSNEWS: Personally, do you think that there’s anything that could have been done differently? Or let’s say if you’re in a position to advise the President, is there anything you’d like to tell him that you think he could do differently, to move Nigeria forward?

 

 

 

HON. TAOFEEK ABIMBOLA AJILESORO: The Nigerian economy is a cumbersome thing to address. If the executive are being truthful to themselves, our economy will grow. Like in one of the motions moved today, they are still talking about food security up till now. Government come today and say food security, they will encourage farming and all that but you will see them doing the talking but not the action. Like someone suggested, I don’t buy the idea of giving Nigerians money. You have budgeted billions of naira to be shared to some certain set of people. When they finish the cash, they will go back to how they were living before. The government should instead, channel that cash to advanced agricultural mechanization, advanced farming, encourage farmers, encourage the young one and give them a very easy platform for them to farm. The products can also be bought by Nigerians. With that, a lot youths would be encouraged to take up farming as a profession. There lots of youths, young school dropouts who should be encouraged to embrace farming. With that, we would have more farm produce, we will have food, we would have more than enough to export. That means we are taking action. What our executive is doing now is that they want to give rice today, and still give rice tomorrow. I don’t even want to talk about it anymore because to me, it doesn’t make sense.

The extra money we are making from removing subsidy should be channeled towards agriculture. That is what we have now to use in exchange for the crude oil. Crude oil will finish one day and someone mentioned that even if want to go into farming, our farms are not not secure anymore. Many farmers have been chased away from this part of the country, chased away from their farms due to insurgency. The Government has a lot to do in securing this nation. So if I were to advice the President, anything that you know that you’re not going to do, don’t talk about it. Let your actions speak louder than words.

 

 

 

NASSNEWS: Do you think the problem is from the President or the people around him?

 

 

HON. TAOFEEK ABIMBOLA AJILESORO: The President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. He is the leader of the entire nation, the number one citizen of Nigeria. If Nigeria is good, they will give him the credit, if Nigeria is bad, they will blame it for it. Who would I put the blame on, the common Nigerians? No, it is the Government. President Bola Tinubu is the one that put himself forward that he can deliver. For me, I won’t criticize this government for now. Like many people are saying, the time is still short. Maybe the implementation of the policy they are dishing out has not yet manifested, so let’s give them time, but the time should not be endless time. In a couple of years, they will be talking about another election.

So to me, this government is doing too much things at one time, let me put it that way. The effect is on the masses. When the dollar’s rate was increasing, the customs went ahead to increase their tariff. The custom can still exercise restraints afterall the money they are making is for Nigeria. They could have waited a little bit and let the nation stabalize. The subsidy was removed, the price of petrol was jerked up, many things happened then the dollars was increased at the same time. All these will have a very huge impact on the common Nigerians

So, what I’m saying is that, like I said, we should keep praying for Nigeria and the executive because they are do ones driving this nation, they should take more action than just talking and if you introduce a policy and that policy is not working, reverse it immediately, try another one. We should not be rigid about a particular policy that is not working.

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