MINISTER of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige has declared his intention to contest the presidential election in 2023 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ngige, who made the declaration in Anambra State on Tuesday, said he has a burning desire to see a prosperous, united and equitable Nigeria.
According to him, having served 40 years in the public service, he was fully equipped as an administrator, with a vast wealth of experience, capacity and energy and a large heart to accommodate differences among Nigerians.
He described himself as the “Jack of all trades and master of all” that Nigeria needs in 2023.
“The zeal, the burning desire in me to see a prosperous, united and equitable Nigeria, where no man is oppressed, where there is no chasm between the haves and have not, would not allow me to go home and rest,” he said.
He noted that his stewardship in the Ministry of Labour and Employment had enriched his knowledge of workers’ problems, the difficulties industrialists and entrepreneurs face, why industries close down, and why some run far below their installed capacity and, in turn, employ fewer hands.
He said under his watch, the ministry settled 1,683 industrial disputes in the last seven years.
Ngige said he took labour administration to a higher level in the international arena, where, according to him, his labour diplomacy brought Nigeria back to the Governing Board (GB) of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) after ten years of absence.
He also explained that Nigeria came in first as deputy in 2017 and is now a full regular member of the GB, having also been elected as the Chairperson of the Government Group, where he presided over the affairs of 187 countries of the ILO between 2019 to 2020.
Ngige said if he becomes president, the Nigerian Police Force, as the agency in charge of homeland security, would be equipped with men and materials to function optimally.
He expressed regrets that attempts by the current administration to increase police personnel by 10,000 every year in the last five years were stifled by unnecessary bureaucracy.
According to him, the decentralization of the Nigerian police would ensure that governors of states effectively become chief security officers in name and in reality.
The former Anambra State governor added that the structure of the Nigerian police needs to change and mimic that of the judiciary which he said has worked well with the state judiciary and the federal arm.
He stressed that as a former governor and chief security officer of a state; he knows what to do and how to do it.
Ngige assured that if elected president, he would deploy the resources to expand the infrastructural projects of the current administration in roads, rail, air and inland waterways.