2023: "I Want To Build An Economy That Is More People Inclusive" Amb. Nkoyo Toyo Speaks As She Declares For CRS Governorship Seat


By Oluchi Omai

Amb. Nkoyo Toyo, the only female gubernatorial candidate in Cross River State has declared that she will build an economy that is more people inclusive. 

This she said on Monday during her official declaration at the Peoples Democratic Party Secretariat in Calabar. Toyo noted that governance will succeed when people are carried along and not left in the dark.

She said, "Our politics is faced with three major problems; First, we rule by exclusion so people are not feeling governance at the most basic level and when you don't feel governance at the most basic level, you feel like you are not wanted, you feel the country is not working, you feel that things are not just right. So, we need to make governance more inclusive and participatory."

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"The second problem is that we have a growth-less economy, it is not growing. People are poor, and the level of indebtedness of the state is so high. It shows you that the state has a serious economic problem. Our internally generated revenue is leaking, leaking very badly. it doesn't go into the state purse.  the revenue we are getting from the federal government is not helping us either. So the economy is not growing, and there are no opportunities. so something needs to be done about making the economy more inclusive in terms of growth and development.

"The last thing is that we have what we call prebendal politics. A politics where we reward people for producing very little. So, anybody, my loyalty is rewarded and this results in a dysfunctional system. Your civil service is rewarded on the bases, not of those who can produce the work, but on the bases of those you favor." 

"In many countries there is corruption, we are not talking about that yet.  corruption is a different question. We are even talking about the functionality of government. You give appointments to people who cannot even function in the position you have given them. 

So, what happens in the long term? The government collapses, it's a difunctional system, you can't go to any government establishment and it's functioning and you are able to get what the government is doing. You don't need a magician to tell you, you don't need a soothsayer to see it. that is why our internally generated revenue is not rewarding because there is no system that holds anyone accountable for a certain level of internally generated revenue."

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Toyo revealed that she is poised to build an economy that is more inclusive by returning to the Local Government system.

"I want to build an economy that is more people inclusive, which means one has to start from the ground. one of the main defining attributes of my leadership will be returning government to the local governments. 

"You cannot rule the Northern Senatorial District from Calabar. You need people on the ground if you need governance to count for the people. And therefore the local government system needs to begin to work again because that is where the people are. 

"We need to look for creative ways to bring the religious and traditional institution into governance. People believe in the church, we have to tap into the energy in redefining those work ethics and values of returning to some level of accountability."

"The system of the bureaucracy has to work, training, recruitment of new people to work alongside the many working people."

Amb. Toyo further stated that the government should be able to respond to the need of the people and improve existing institutions.

"And lastly, we must make politics more inclusive. The government should be able to respond to the need of the people and improve our institutions" She said. 

Reacting, the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Cross River State, Hon. Venatius Ikem said, "Well, I've known Amb. Nkoyo Toyo for about two decades now and the only word you can describe her perfectly with is competence. She comes with a lot of experience and capacity if you like capacity for job delivery. 

"I have watched her run NGOs, I have watched her become a politician and she went to the House of Reps. And I've watched her pursue women's gender issues. I have read her story as a lawyer and seen her perform as an ambassador for this country.

"I have no doubt on my mind that if given a chance, she will make a fantastic government. And I know that she is not just looking for a chance she is going to contest toe to toe with anybody who is in the race. She comes as good as anyone if not better than most.

"So, I wish our society will be more liberal on gender issues and be less patriarchial and access her on the bases of her competencies and I think could mean a lot more to Cross River State than many more, thank you."

The Peoples Democratic Party National Women Leader, Prof. Stella Attoe in her remark

"I want to use this public occasion to commend you for coming out. It takes a bold woman to come out not only in Cross River State but in Nigeria. Why am I saying this? our society is basically patriarchial and for a woman to come out to say I want to be the governor of Cross River State, I don't think she woke up from the dream and just decided to come out. She must have checked her background, she must have checked her credentials, she must have checked her experience, and she must have checked her exposure. She must have done a lot of checking and that does not apply to Nkoyo alone but to many other women who have come out to contest  even House of Reps, even state House of Assembly, it is always like that because as a woman before you come out you must check yourself because you are not only coming out to face the male folks, you are coming out to face the patriarchal Nigerian society."

She further added that she gives her support to her and encourages everyone to do so as much as they can.

I am very happy she came out, and I think we should all give her the necessary support" She added.

She also added that she is supporting Amb. Nkoyo Toyo, not because she is a woman but because she is an intellectual person. 

"I am emotional in this situation because she is of my gender, not just because she is of my gender but, because she is qualified," She said.

Other women in attendance include Ntunkai Grace Eyo Ita, Mrs Nella Andem Ewa (SAN), Mrs. Bridget Odey,  Mrs Ganyi to mention but a few.

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