President Buhari’s economic plan will favor the masses – Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu

The Very Charming Hajiya (Dr.) Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu (Ph-D)
Inside her heart of heart, Hajiya (Dr.) Ramatu Tijani Aliyu (Nee Sidi) wants the average
Nigerian to have a feel of government through quality governance. All her political
life, she has always believed that the biggest vehicle that can be used to
better the lots of many other than charity is government. No wonder, she has
risen from her humble beginning as a technocrat to become a major force in
present day political development in Nigeria as the women leader of the ruling
political party, APC.

Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani who is a member of several professional bodies like the Nigerian Institute of Town Planner
and  Nigerian
Institute
of Public Administration
to mention a few had her first degree in Urban and Regional planning from  Ahmadu
Bello University, Zaria
before she later went further for a Masters Degree
in  Public Administration from Nasarawa State University.


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The Kogi state born public administrator
was later honored with a Doctorate Degree in Public Administration, (Honoris
Causa) by Commonwealth University,
London.
Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu is the National Women Leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and was
elected as the President of the Council
of African
Political Parties in
July, 2015 at Khartoum, the capital
of Sudan during a congress. She
spoke to selected media executives in Abuja early in the week over President
Muhammad Buhari’s 100 days in office, the direction of the APC government on
economic development and the party’s policy on mass housing deficit in Nigeria
among sundry issues. Asabeafrika
brings you full details below. Enjoy!
Hajiyya (Dr.) Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu
PMB just marked his first 100 days in
office, what is your assessment of the journey so far?
Two words; quietly impressive!  Without injection of funds and devoid of any
propaganda we are witnessing significant improvements in virtually all aspects
of our National life. Look at power for instance. Just a few months back most
parts of this country barely enjoyed electricity supply regardless of whether
or not we paid electricity bills. But today, virtually all the nooks and
crannies of Nigeria enjoy good to steady power supply. Also the refineries are
now in full swing and operating near their respective maximum capacities, when
hitherto we were made to believe they would never see the light of day again.
Filling Stations now abide by the stipulated pump price of petroleum products
as against ripping off hapless and helpless Nigerians. The Anti Corruption
crusade is taking firm roots across the country in spite of attempts to derail
it. The treasury single account will go a long way in blocking the leakages in
the system and enthroning accountability and probity in the public sector. The
Assets of Our President and Vice President were published in line with their
promise to Nigerians. You can also see the renewed sense of responsibility and
dedication on the part of our security forces from the military to the Nigeria
Police. I can go on and on, it’s indeed a restoration of those basics which the
decades of misrule had made us believe were unattainable luxuries. And this is
just the beginning. 
First and foremost I must thank Allah for enabling me to contribute in
the various spheres of the society where I have been involved. Due credit must
go to my understanding husband; he has been a pillar of strength and
inspiration. With an understanding family half the work is done
.
Hajiya (Dr.) Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu…’My elevation at CAPP is an advantage to Gender Democratic Freedom’

So what do you make of the opinions expressed
by some analysts that the Nigerian Economy is receding?
Let me start by saying that the President Buhari I have come to know, respect and identify with is
not solely preoccupied with paper economics but also the tangible effects of
the economy on the common man. As we are all aware, ours is for all intent and
purposes a mono economy, literally dependent on oil which price continues to
fall in the International market. In the life of the past administration,
Nigeria sold oil for as high as a $120 per barrel, but today it’s barely $47
per barrel. In simple terms, we have lost about 2/3 of our national revenue.
That is bad news even in the biggest economies of the world. Nonetheless, as
far as President Buhari is
concerned, The ordinary Nigerian should be able to live a better quality of
life when we have steady power supply, better security of lives and property,
prompt and regular payment of salaries as exemplified by helping the states
wake up to their responsibilities of paying the backlog of workers
salaries across the Federation. Allied with a systematic
and comprehensive upgrading of our infrastructure; road network, communication
and an aggressive diversification of our economy which is heavily dependent on
oil is top on the agenda of this administration. This will in turn create
millions of jobs for Nigerians and shackle the unacceptable level of
unemployment in the country.
In any case, some of the studies or indices being bandied
around stretch back well into the previous administration and therefore cannot
be a fair assessment of this administration’s performance in the area of
economic development.
Hajiya (Dr.) Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu to the Media…’I have a very understanding husband and that earns me half of the job’
The President has come under criticism from
certain quarters on what is regarded as lopsided appointments. As an APC chieftain
what is your take on the controversy?
Controversy? I think the word ‘opinion’ better captures the
views that trailed President Buhari’s
recent appointment. And in my candid opinion, it is rather premature in the
life of this administration to make such assertions. He will cater to the needs
of all parts of this in the fullness of time; let’s give him the benefit of the
doubt. Nigeria is so diverse, over 200 ethnic groups, and therein lays our
collective strength. There are competent and honest Nigerians in all parts of
this country. In any case The President himself alluded to the issue of federal
character when he said even if he wanted to sideline any part of the country
the law would not permit him. So I have no doubt whatsoever that he will be
just to all and sundry. The issue of federal character should not be raised in
piecemeal but holistically. There are still plenty of appointments he is going
to make and for a government that has set to appoint on merit and ethical
balance, there is no doubt that the best of the best will emerge from all
quarters.

You have a background in Urban and Regional
Planning, what in your opinion is responsible for the housing deficit in
Nigeria?

Any analysis or diagnosis of the problems in the housing
sector must take into account the sum total of the historical antecedents in
the effort to reposition the sector. This will encompass a painstaking study
into why we are where we are in spite of the numerous attempts by various
regimes to bolster the fortunes of the housing subsector of our economy.
On a general note, almost all spheres of our society have
been afflicted with the scourge of corruption and this has inhibited growth and
development in all spheres, not just housing. But specifically, the housing
sector has been bedeviled with criminal intention and lack of planning on the
part of stakeholders.  The sector
contributes only about 4 percent to our GDP, compared to advanced climes where
the housing sector contributes up to a quarter of the National GDP.
This is largely attributable to the lack of political will
to overhaul the extant legislations regarding ownership, acquisition and
management of land in country. This obviously constitutes an impediment to easy
access to land and affordable houses for Nigerians.
Hajiyya Ramatu Tijani to Nigerians ‘PMB’s Economic Plan is for Masses’
What then is the Way forward, how can we make
the housing sector a Key contributor to the Nigerian Economy?
Our party, APC has a well thought out blueprint to bring the
sector out of the doldrums. We believe that housing as an independent sector
ought to be one of the key drivers of our national economy as a developing
country. It can contribute significantly to creation of jobs, especially for
the youths. We therefore intend to make it stronger than it is right now.
Hopefully we will get to a place where it begins to play a vital role as a key
component of our GDP.

Significantly,
we intend to create a sustainable land mortgage market by reforming land
ownership so as to give the common man easy access to title deeds.
I am of the opinion that we have a government that is bold
enough to roll out a revolutionary program in the sector to stimulate tangible
growth. The aim is to achieve a credible housing program which cuts across all
social classes of the society. A housing program that will kill the over 17
million mass housing deficit problem we have in Nigeria presently; it is a huge
challenge but it is not too difficult for a willing government. Like it is
said,
where there is will, there is a way PMB’s administration will in due course amend
the relevant laws to free up locked capital in land so as to create
freehold/leasehold interest in land acquisition for the benefit of the masses
our people.

You are from Kogi State; which gubernatorial election
is scheduled for November, what are the chances of the APC winning the
elections?
It has never been brighter like this before. The
wind of change which swept across Nigeria earlier this year has not abated. The
people of Kogi State deserve better
than the back to back PDP regimes of incompetent and rudderless
leadership. 
The primaries have come and gone, we must now go
into the elections as a united front. The people are ready to go out and vote
massively for the APC and even the opposition can sense it, hence their jittery
and restlessness.
 You were recently elected into the office of
the President of the Council of African political parties (women wing)
headquartered in The Republic of Sudan, Can you tell us about that?
The Council of African Political Parties is an umbrella body
of the Political parties or associations across the African continent. I was
chosen to represent APC, which happens to be the ruling party in Nigeria today
and it was a Rollercoaster experience. Everything happened so fast, it’s fair
to say it was ordained by Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’Ala). 
In a nutshell I was encouraged by peers and counterparts
from other countries to give it a shot as according to them I was eminently
qualified for the position which had only just become vacant.  As Allah will have it, I stood for the
elections and won. The rest as they say is history. 
Interesting; so, what is the trust of
your latest position and how do you intend to use it to benefit democracy in
Africa and Nigeria?
It
is pretty clear. We need not look further than the aims and objectives of the
Council which include among other things; to
Promote
a genuine sense of belonging to African continent and disseminate information
on its civilization and it’s social, Economic, political and cultural potentials;
to Reinforce co – ordination between the women entities in African political
parties for effective and service driven democracy.
To Enhancing and
promoting of the skills of African women to achieve the developmental renaissance
needed for the African people and to equally liaise with women friendly
entities in the world through dialogue between civilization and culture.
We are already putting
modalities in place to help achieve these set goals.
As a woman who has risen to an enviable
height in public and private life, how have you been able to juggle your
official engagements alongside your domestic work?
First and foremost I must thank Allah for enabling me to contribute in the various spheres of the
society where I have been involved. Due credit must go to my understanding husband;
he has been a pillar of strength and inspiration. With an understanding family
half the work is done. Nonetheless I have learnt to multitask so adroitly and
adeptly that I barely miss out on fulfilling my obligations, be it at home or
in the office. Planning and prayers have been the key instrument of success.

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