MUYIWA Coker is an Accountant, politician and one of the All Progressive Congress (APC) aspirants for the 2018 Ekiti governorship election. In this interview with ReportersAtLarge, the financial expert explains how he intends to transform the state by repositioning it to attract investors. Excerpts:
Sir, you are aspiring to be governor of Ekiti in 2018.
By the grace of God.
May we know why you are in the race?
I think Ekiti needed a change: we need to transform the state from a cost centre to investment centre so that our people can enjoy, live and run businesses in a decent and conducive environment.
But do you think APC can match Fayose in 2018?
Why not and if not. Definitely, yes.
What gave you the assurance?
Is the government of the day performing now? What is the standard of living in Ekiti now? So APC is very very firmly on ground to take over government from PDP.
What do you want to do differently from what is on ground now in the state?
Well, you see people talk about restructuring, all aspirants talk about it; but mine is with a difference. Restructuring has different parts: portfolios, organisation and financial restructuring, respectively. No investor will come to Ekiti the way it is now. We need to restructure our finances and that is the beginning of my own project. Look at the financial state of affairs now, for instance, if you go to a bank to solicit for a loan they can’t just give you money without asking you collateral and other things that will convince them you deserve the loan. But for a state, you must have a strong financial base. No investors will want to come and invest. Any investors that is coming in is expecting to get returns. So my first assignment is to sweep the balance sheet look at how we position our finances such that it will attract local and foreign investors. Then having said that we are going to go into massive agriculture; not elephant projects. We are going to do cottage agriculture, whereby for example, rice production is the core competence of in Ido Osi local government, we will invest in that in the area, so also we will do for the people of Ikogosi: empowering them in line with their specialities. With this, the people will be interested in the course because that is what they know how to do best. Before you know what is happening, Ekiti State would have become the food basket of the nation.
You mention portfolio restructuring can you just expantiate that, sir?
Portfolio restructuring is a kind of business mix, the kind of product you want to introduce in Ekiti, that is the meaning.
What is your definiton of rerestructuring?
Restructuring is to reposition, thereby making sure that what is not right now is put right and you need to put your strategies in place because when you don’t have a good strategy to get things done, you can’t achieve anything.
What is your take on stomach infrastructure introduced by Governor Ayo Fayose?
Well, that is not my own idea of empowering people and giving them money or food, instead of stomach infrastructure, you know I said initially that we will introduce cottage agricultural system that willl be the foundation of feeding our people not given people rice, chicken and garri
And you think that will replace stomach infrastructure?
Definitely yes, and it will be sustained.