By Daniel Adaji
The senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Kogi East in the 2023 elections, Dr Victor Adoji, in a recent letter titled My Desire to Become Your Senator to prominent sons and daughters of the Igala kingdom, has stated clearly his motivation for contesting the Senate seat, outlining his position with facts and figures as they border on Nigeria, Kogi state and Kogi East.
It is my chief responsibility to evolve policies and, with the support of my colleagues, pass laws that would jump-start the country and particularly Kogi state and Kogi East
In the letter, Dr Adoji lamented the increasing external debt of the country as well as the continued decrease in the value of Naira. From his academic qualifications, he stands on a high ground to clearly understand the country’s economic predicaments, as he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria, four MBAs with specializations in Corporate Strategy, Leadership and Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Business Analytics as well as five graduate (Masters) degrees in Economics, Public Administration and International Affairs, Sociology, Managerial Psychology and Social Welfare, and two doctoral degrees on credit management from the University of Panama, and on leadership, corporate governance and people management, from Leeds Beckett University, UK.
Analysing the Nigerian economy, Dr Adoji said in his letter, “In the past years, while the Naira-US dollar exchange rate at the official Investors and Exporters (I&E) market averaged around the ₦420/$1, the Naira continues its downward path as it heads towards ₦650/$1 on the black market. Our Gross Domestic product (GDP) has shrunk substantially, productivity pushed southwards, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) significantly dwindled and the capacity to create, recreate and sustain jobs especially through private-capital-initiatives suppressed. It is difficult (almost impossible) to grow the economy, create jobs, create wealth and lower poverty without enabling private –sector led enterprises, entrepreneurship as well as intraprenuership in the public sector.”
He further showed worries about the over 90 million unemployed Nigerian youths and about 10 million out-of-school children in the country. To drive home is point; Victor said “our myriad challenges in Kogi East are cast in similar mold.”
He promised to evolve policies with the help of his colleagues at the Senate that would wake the country up from her “slumber”. In his words, “it is my chief responsibility to evolve policies and, with the support of my colleagues, pass laws that would jump-start the country and particularly Kogi state and Kogi East. For instance, it is unacceptable that since 1958 when preparation for the Nigerian steel sector began, Nigeria is yet to fully develop the iron steel sector despite over $7 billion already expended. For the records, the global steel market was valued at US$1092 billion in 2022 and it is projected to continue growing at 3.9% over the next decade. Note that in 2020 alone, Nigeria imported $1.18billion worth of steel materials and ₦837.76 billion worth of steel imports as at third quarter of 2021. It goes without saying that revamping the iron and steel sector will tremendously contribute to fostering the economy while creating enormous upstream and downstream jobs alongside the plethora of industries that would evolve through the value chain”.
It is unacceptable that since 1958 when preparation for the Nigerian steel sector began, Nigeria is yet to fully develop the iron steel sector despite over $7 billion already expended
Adoji believes that the state cannot be fixed without ‘Unfixing the plethora of anomalies currently bedeviling the national space.” He highlighted the need for a Law School in Kogi-East stating that the eastern flank of Kogi state has more numbers of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) and hosts the first law campus in the state.
He pointed the need to develop strategies and make decisions based on real time data. “For instance, statistics do not exist on say girl-child education, out-of-school children or trade in Kogi East.”
My objectives would include adopting design-thinking protocols to establish a bureau for records and analytics to end the era of working limbo, take advantage of our location as a nexus to influence the opening-up of Kogi-East
In a state where government is not paying the workers’ salaries, food inflation is still on the increase. Kogi state is recorded the state with the highest food inflation in June 2022.
In his promise while soliciting support from Kogi Easterners, Victor stated “my objectives would include adopting design-thinking protocols to establish a bureau for records and analytics to end the era of working limbo, take advantage of our location as a nexus to influence the opening-up of Kogi-East by building of bridges from Idah to Aganabode, Bassa to Shintaku and Abejukolo to Sheria.
In a state where government is not paying the workers’ salaries, food inflation is still on the increase
These I hope will be sustained by the foundation for evolving a Kogi-East Development Rolling Plan which will be superintendented by a Trusteeship Council.” Dr Adoji, therefore, solicits the support of all Kogi-Easters in the forthcoming election to help win the senatorial district. He hopes that the mandate of the people conferred on him would not be lost should he emerge winner.
Dr Victor Alewo Adoji, simply known as DVAA by friends and well-wishers, is Kogi-born and a former Kogi State governorship aspirant during the last 2019 general elections and now the People Democratic Party’s Kogi East Senatorial District aspirant for 2023 general elections. Born on May 29, 1971 to the family of late (Elder) Bernard Angulu Adoji and Deaconess Rebecca Adoji of Okula-Alloma in Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi State, Nigeria, Victor had his primary and secondary education at the St. Paul’s Primary School (now, Mohammed Bankano Primary School), Sokoto and Federal Government College Sokoto, respectively.
Adoji started his career with Paterson Cussons (Nig) Plc as a superintendent from where he moved to become the deputy editor, the business section of the northern-based Concern Magazine. He joined Zenith Bank Plc in 2000 and disengaged in 2018 as the head of corporate communication after a meritorious service spanning 18 years.
He is reputed as a transformation agent with the competence to engineer continuous process improvement while incorporating business-out sourcing initiatives to enhance productivity and modernize operations to attain remarkable results in the face of regulated resources.
Dr Adoji is cosmopolitan, a well-groomed gentleman and he is joyfully married to Mrs Helen Eneumi and gracefully blessed with children.
When Adoji ran for the Senate in 2019 and was not successful in getting the nomination of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), he alternatively ran on the platform of the African Democratic Congress (ADC). Within four months (October – January) he had (again) traversed over 700 villages in Igala land and all the 98 wards in the eastern flank of Kogi State.
On the platform of a relatively unknown (at the time) ADC, the people, hand-in-gloves with Victor, humbled pessimists and derided predictions with the pre-election, election and post-election outcomes.
Nonetheless, insightful and knowledgeable observers would confirm that the 31,171 votes ‘received’ by Victor Alewo Adoji was a confirmation of two things; Victor is an entrenched grassroots politician and that his strength resides with a generality of the people.
DVAA’s humanitarian gestures cannot be overemphasized as he has contributed immensely to the growth and development of the Igala Kingdom (Kogi State) in several areas especially around education, empowerment, health care delivery and physical development.
Even before his attainment of fame as a public figure, his humanitarian service started as a pro bono auxiliary teacher at CSCC, Anyigba for a long period of time.
He singlehandedly built the main mosque and UEC Church in his village (Okula-Aloma). Added to this, he built a modern classroom block in the only primary school in Okula and in conjunction with other elites in the village established the secondary school in the village.
For over 12 years, he has been responsible for paying the salaries of all the teachers in his village. He is in the process of building an estate in the village under a 20-year mortgage scheme for people of his village-based in states around the country to own houses in the village.
He has sunk several boreholes in several villages and places including the Open University in Idah, the catholic orphanage in Anyigba and for the people of Ogene-Igah his maternal home.
The Zenith Bank branches in Anyigba and Ankpa and the cash office in Idah are all to his credit. This is aside from the numerous people whose employment he influenced and never mentions for professional and strategic reasons.
He has been focused on empowerment and capacity building of young Igala people especially in the fields of education (where he has several indigent students on his scholarship) and the creative industry where he partners with an assortment of thespians on an ongoing, evolving and ad hoc basis.
He has been focused on the empowerment and capacity building of young Igala people to embark on further studies, particularly in Kogi East and Kogi State at large. Because he hates to have his humanitarian services mentioned in public, he used individuals and organizations to assist several less privileged people to pay school fees, hospital bills and provision of shelters in times of need.