Emerhor lauds media, to boost SMEs with N10b initial funding
ALL Progressives Congress (APC), governorship candidate in Delta State, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, has said that the Nigerian Press is one of the most vibrant in the world and commended the fighting spirit of the nation’s iournalists, especially in their concerted efforts towards the restoration of constitutional democracy at a time the military held Nigerians to ransom.
He gave the commendation yesterday during a media chat with journalists in Lagos. He said it was on record that Nigerian Journalists spoke with one voice against military editorship during the dark days of military era where some of our leaders were being hunted, killed, jailed or forced to go on exile for their patriotism for the good of our country.
Emerhor, a member of the Order of the Niger (OON), noted that survival of democracy would also largely depend on the professional contributions of members of the mass media, such that balanced stories and unbiased reporting of political events will create healthy competition and bring out the very best of ideas from candidates and political parties in the forthcoming elections and beyond.
Answering a question which bordered on poverty and high rate of unemployment in Delta State in particular and Nigeria in general, the APC candidate promised to tackle them head-long, such that he would inject an initial N10 billion within his first 100 days in office to assist petty traders, market women, cassava farmers, fishermen and women as well as small scale entrepreneurs’ who have business ideas that requires financial assistance to actualize.
He said the funds shall be disbursed through micro-finance banks and other local financial institutions through what he called “Access Points” in the local communities, pointing out that the selection process for disbursement shall be transparent without political party affiliations so that qualified Deltans can access the funds without any internal or external influence and political godfatherism.
Emerhor urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to do the needful within its capacity to conduct free and fair elections so as not to provoke further violence and insecurity. He said Nigerians were very much concerned about the outcome of the 2015 elections which is why INEC must call its commissioners and other auxiliary staff to order as regard temptation to collect gratification or bride in order to ring elections.
He told the senior editors from both print and electronic media that he deliberated picked a refined journalist as his running mate to express his gratitude to the Nigerian press for their enviable contributions towards nation building, pointing out that the choice of Mr. Felix Akugha, an Executive Director (News and Current Affairs) of the African Independent Television (AIT) is to further reawaken the importance of the Press as fourth estate in the realm, contained under section 39 of Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
He is optimistic that APC will win both the presidential and gubernatorial elections nationwide because of the “desire of Nigerians, who are frustrated over the 16 years of the PDP misrule.”
Emerhor added that APC has been accepted by a majority of Nigerians as the alternative national party that “will salvage and rescue the country from the massive corruption regime of the PDP.”