“Why President Buhari, APC still represent the best option for Nigerians,” says Hon. Tayo Agbaje

“Why President Buhari, APC still represent the best option for Nigerians,” says Hon. Tayo Agbaje

Hon. Tayo Tola Agbaje, a senior executive of Buhari Friends Organization Network (BFON) and the Executive Director, Business Development and Government Relations at Adron Homes and Properties, in this exclusive interview with AljazirahNigeria’s Assistant Editor, LUBEM GENA says the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will perform better if the governors, ministers and National Assembly members key into the change agenda. Apart from commenting on the real estate needs of the country and how his firm is bridging the gap, he also believes there are better days ahead for Nigerians. Excerpts:

Who is Hon Tayo Agbaje?

I am Hon Tayo Tola Agbaje. I am from Epe in Lagos state. I am the director of research and planning of the Buhari Action Group (BAG). I am the national secretary of APC Patriots. I am the national Public Relations Officer of the Buhari Friends Organisation Network (BFON). Equally I am the director of mobilisation of the Progressives Forum.

That is quite much for one person based on the rigorous nature of our political life. How do you then manage to cope and discharge the duties of your various offices?

I manage to cope because this is what I have acquainted myself in doing over the years. When you have a focus and are determined to make things happen, you can always be on top of your game. When you are focused, determined and always plan your programme, and with God on your side, you keep on going and making progress.

Being a key member of the Buhari support network and based on the passion you have for him as a person, what would you say about his administration which has entered the second year?

Thank you so much. I must be honest with you, we have not gotten there yet. We are walking towards that. But when people accuse him as the man that put us in problem, and that they haven’t felt his impact, I believe they have their opinion really by the way they perceived the administration. But at the same time, I believe if you look at this administration in the past two years now, in-as-much-as you will believe that it is not everything that has been properly attended to, at the same time, if you look at the economy, you will give to them that they have tried. If you look at the way the country has been secured from internal and external aggressors, that is security, of course you will know that much progress has been achieved. Before the 2015 elections, the areas in and around the north-east, that is Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe states, were no-go areas. But today the people in these places can sleep with their eyes closed. That was not the case in the past. We can still give it to this government that this administration has done excellently well.

In the issue of agriculture as well, you can see that this administration is doing very well. If you talk to the local farmers, you will see that they are happy that they are doing very well. In-as-much-as there is scarcity of some food items in the country, by the time the administration is properly settled down, Nigerians will start feeling its monumental impact.

Read also: Lopsided appointments: Acting President Osinbajo in the eye of the storm (EDITORIAL)

When do you therefore think Nigerians are going to fully start feeling the impact of the administration?

When we were campaigning, we said in six months we would turn around things but we failed to understand that things were bastardised beyond repair. What we have been doing in the past years is proper planning.  We know that government and governance are not anchored on excuses. Before this year runs out, Nigerians will start feeling the impact of this administration in this regard because we cannot continue giving Nigerians excuses. We just have to perform.

One thing that this administration is constantly criticised of is the issue of the economy. Are you truly satisfied that enough processes and measures have been put in place to revamp the country’s economy?

In the area of the economy, we are doing a lot that will make Nigerians feel the impact of the administration in a positive way. All Nigerians had so much hope in this administration and a lot of expectations from us and we cannot tell them at this particular point in time that we cannot come to their rescue. I think Nigerians are not comfortable with the way things are going and that is why they are raising their voices but at the same time, they have to understand with the government. We are not relenting on our efforts to get things working in this country and before the end of this administration, you and I will know that the president and the APC government have performed creditably well in taking Nigerians forward to some extent.

There appears to be so much anger against this administration. As a support organisation, how are you mobilising Nigerians to team up behind this administration?

Thank you very much. You have asked a wonderful question. At the Buhari Friends Organisation where I am the national PRO, this is what we have been doing over the years in order to add impetus into government policies and programmes. At any particular point in time, we try to educate the people on what the government is doing. We are promoting the president and projecting the policies and programmes he is carrying out. Even in the party too, we try to create awareness. We have been having programmes since last year. We are doing a compendium of this administration’s two-year milestones which will be launched in August. It is going to be a week-long event programme that will take place at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.

At any opportunity, we do have a forum that we address the press and by extension the public to enable them to know what the president is doing. Last year, we did a programme where we lambasted some of the ministers and national assembly members who are not performing. We wanted them to know that for the time they have been there, people are not feeling their impact. We are not a praise singer organisation. At some point, if we had not put the president there, they wouldn’t have been there. We made it known that, if they are not performing, we let them know and if they cannot give the best to Nigerians, very soon the elections will be here and we will not have anything to tell Nigerians while demanding for their votes. So far as they are there, they should let Nigerians know what they are doing. There should be transparency and accountability to keep Nigerians informed about the activities of the government.

You just mentioned that you have also extended your searchlight to other categories of government functionaries. How constructively have you engaged the ministers and even the national assembly members (as you mentioned) who are also members of your party to help President Buhari in changing the situation for the better?

We have been engaging them. It is not only the executive that we engage. We have been engaging the legislators too. I just spoke with the SA to the senate leader. It is all about moving this country forward. We are all stakeholders in this administration and we have all worked to put it in place. We can therefore not fold our hands when we see things going wrong. We have had cause to tell some of the ministers that things are not going on well and people are not feeling the impact of their ministries. We do engage them to let Nigerians know that the feelers we get from the nooks and crannies in terms of what they are lacking at the state and local government levels, are taken into consideration.

In fact, some of the state governments are not living up to expectations. They have not been impressive at all. If they can continue that way, we can assure them that in the next election, they are not going anywhere because we are going to campaign against their future elections. The essence of democracy is to impact positively on the grater majority. It is not about giving excuses at every time. And it is not by coming to Abuja every time to collect money, they can generate wealth. There are a lot of potentials in those states but they are more inclined towards coming to Abuja and collecting money on monthly basis. Look at how excellently well Lagos is doing.  It is among the states that are performing very well and the people are appreciating it. If they cannot change this attitude, we will have no option than to start campaign against them because it is not basically about the party; it is all about making Nigeria to work and move forward.

Read also: In the midst of anguish, missing Chibok girls’ parents express profound hope

One of the major campaign promises your party made to Nigerians is that they were going to provide affordable houses for Nigerians in order to deplete the housing deficit figures. As a key player in the real estate sector, what would you say has happened around this area?

The minister of Works, Housing and Power, Babatunde Fashola told Nigerians that these things are going to be carried out in phases. Although they have started, I think for now they are working on about 10,000 housing units which are spread across the nation. They are starting in Abuja. Last week, he said he is working towards it. The APC as a government is going to do that in phases.

What is the direct contribution of your real estate firm, Adron Properties and Homes in reducing the housing deficit in Nigeria?

In Adrons Homes and Property, our focus has been to let Nigerians have access to housing with the little they have.

How little is it bearing in mind that what is little to you may be much to me or others?

You can even start with N20,000:00 and we make it flexible. Like in Ibadan now, you can even be in a group of about six that can contribute like N1,000:00 and pay for one person and the circle goes on till it is completed. It is easy and flexible because we have considered so many factors. In Abuja, the one we were selling has now attracted 30% discount. You can start with ten, twenty, fifty or one-hundred thousand. About a week ago, we unveiled an arrangement for the kids which will cut across 27-months. In most of our estates, you can start with little money, you only need to have commitment.

In the next 5 or 10 years where do you think your organisation would be and how impactful will it be to the generality of Nigerians?

We have seen an organisation that has contributed meaningfully to national development. If you can be able to tackle the issue of housing by having a shelter that is yours, the remaining things are minimal. But if you see the problem of housing in this country, it is too disheartening. If you can secure this kind of piece of land and you gradually put up a structure there, at least it will belong to you forever. In our estates, we have infrastructural facilities including roads, pipe borne water, recreational centres, closed circuit cameras etc, you will feel at home. We are not like other estates that get bad within few years, our structures are solid. We have made use of the professionals that we have, such as surveyors, architects, engineers etc.

What message will you want to send to Nigerians so far as the real estate sector and the Buhari administration’s stance on it are concerned?

Nigerians should try and patronise Adron Homes and Properties. By doing that, they will not regret it because we will give them what they want. We always give the best.

As regard politics, Nigerians should still exercise some patience with Buhari. It is just that some people still talk about the cabal that is in the government. When we started, the way and manner we wanted to drive the change agenda is not the way some people think we are having it now. Definitely, we are going to perform. APC is going to make them feel the dividends of democracy because if we deliver, in the next election, we will not have the problem of seeking for votes from Nigerians.




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