A governorship aspirant in Nigeria’s south-south Rivers state of the All Blending Party (ABP), Mr. Prince Allison, has promised to boost human capital development, which, he said, has received zero priority in the present administration.
According to him, the current government in the state has only been interested in building roads without thinking of how the people will get their daily bread.
Allison, the youngest governorship candidate for the 2019 elections stated this at the weekend in the northcentral state of Jos the Plateau state capital during the flag-off campaign of ABP into various political offices.
He said, “What is lacking in Rivers State is human capital development; you don’t spend public money on building roads without finding out if people are actually eating. It is wrong to walk on the roads without food in the stomach. It is good to build infrastructure but what about investing in the people?.
“As far as I am concerned, Nyesom Wike’s government is the poorest government in the history of Rivers state. His Commissioners are poor, his House of Assembly members are rubber stamp; there is basically nothing to talk about in his government, except the roads he has constructed which he is using the same set of contractors and at the end of the day all the benefits comes back to him”.
According to him, youth restiveness and criminality have been on the increase due to high rate of unemployment, adding that people cannot go out at night with their phones feeling safe.
“What they do is to ensure that they people remain poor so that during election they give them little money to induce them into voting and the electorate will begin to feel that government is working: this is why we are championing the Younger Rivers Vision in the state”.
The ABP governorship candidate who took advantage of the Not Too Young To Run bill signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, said he had what it takes to unseat the incumbent leadership of Governor Nyesom Wike in Rivers state.
Allison said that Wike and his predecessors has relied on oil as the only alternative source of income generation in the state, saying that it gave reason as to why the state is indebted to the tune of N191 billion.
He said, “Rivers State is a hub of untapped human and mineral resources with numerous sources of revenue generation but only with the right captain can this ship be steered to maximally utilize its potentials.
“It is therefore, a matter of utmost dismay, to knowthat despite all the state has to offer, it is still in debt of about N191billion.
“The Debt Management Office (DMO) places it among the top five states in Nigeria with the highest debt stock for the first half of the year 2018. How is this so? Poor governance as well as the overly concentration on crude oil to the neglect of other core revenue sources”.
The governorship candidate said the solution to end the dept profile of the state is to shift from over reliance on crude oil, saying that other sources of revenue generation such as commercial scale farming, fishing, and tourism have been overshadowed in the state.
Allison said, “About 39% (760,000 hectares) of the state total landmass is suitable for cultivation of major cash crops such as oil palm products, rubber, coconut, raffia palm. Indonesia alone in 2017 exported oil palm worth 18.5 billion dollars. This alone would upset the entire debt owed by our state.
“Ultimately, it will take good governance to recogniseand tackle the basic problems through constant power generation, industrial,commercial and economic booms.
“Previous governments have attempted to address the issue of power since 1999 till date. The state government, from Peter Odili’s administration to that of Rotimi Amaechi, committed over N60 billion in the construction of the gas turbine, but the project has become a subject of bitter political war between Gov. Nyesom Wike and the immediate past governor of the state, Rotimi Amaechi.
“The two prominent politicians are locked in a war of words over who did what on the project: while their visions were big and laudable, they lacked the right approach which has left over 100 billion Naira worth of power projects just rotting away with heaps of ceaseless court cases.
“The issue of Good governance is not just a wish anymore but “a must” in Rivers state.”