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Monday, April 1, 2013


"... You guys are being mischievous and taking pot shots at the Governor. All's fair in love and war. Whatever you guys say, I am inviting you to Uyo for the grand commissioning of the Tropicana Entertainment Center end of 2013. It will be one of the biggest entertainment resorts in the Gulf of Guinea. It will employ over 5,000 Akwa Ibom indigenes. Also the state govt is poised to unleash one of the biggest hatcheries in West Africa situated in Uruan. There's also the 36,000 capacity Olympic stadium to be commissioned before 2015. ????, let's talk uncommon sustainable development and leave this mundane topic that is almost 7 yrs old. Have a great day."

The above statement generally reflects the thinking (and they are true believers) of the current political class and their propagandist in Nigerian political developments. The government building few infrastructures;roads,bridges,schools,cinema halls(?), In the 21st century we are enjoined to canonize governors for building roads,schools ,overhead bridges and paying public service workers salary. I am really still analyzing why and how Nigeria,got to this stage in its socio-political development.When most of those thinking from this pedestrian, and  myopic view point are otherwise learned people and  "leaders" that may one day be in political offices. We begin to wonder when the cyclical misfortune in Nigerian political development will be abated,when most of our supposed leaders of tomorrow think this way.

In the 1980s, I still remember going to watch movies in Calabar, in Cross Rivers State in Patsol (if that is correct ) and there was another movie theatre where we enjoyed Bruce Lee and mostly martial arts movies.I cannot remember the government of that state being responsible for the Business.Also in Lagos we had movie theatres in the 1970s,I am not aware of lagos State government being the promoter of those theatre.In Port harcourt ,I am not aware of the government investing in building the movie theatre there. So why is Akwa Ibom governmnet bragging about building Entertainment centres. Why is the State government investing in such capital intensive projects that ,partnering with the private sector would have been more effective for the economic growth of the State.
Evidence has shown that governments (particularly in Nigeria) do not have good records of sustaining public built infrastructures.These structures require huge capital to maintain,and governments are not always capable of delivering.
In Akwa Ibom State,there used to be companies like Champion Brewery in Uyo,Qua Iboe Steel company in Eket,Battery & Biscuits  company in Ikot Ekpene and Abak,Alscon Steel in Ikot Abasi (Federal government also involved) and other state government promoted business and owned initiative.What in God's blue sky happened to these companies? The clear answer is corruption and incompetence by the state govenment and its agents ruined these industries. Akwa Ibom State government and governments generally have limited capacity to run businesses that would stand test of time. Then why is Gov. Akpabio and his administration investing humongous capital in setting up businesses that would collapse in the near future.We have been here before.

I suggest that creating enabling environment for private enterprise to strive is the way to go.That is why I commend him for building roads and bridges but that alone would not fly.The tax code in Akwa Ibom should be made to attract investors into the state.Importantly,the issues of security of life and property of citizens and residents of the state is fundamental from any economic growth.He could lobby the federal government,using his personal and political influence ,that is of high currency value now,to be creative in the area of power generation. With current technology,Akwa Ibom could invest in effective power generation and distribution (with partnership with the federal government) so that the industrial base of Akwa Ibom is enhanced.It is the private sector that could grow the economy of Akwa Ibom existentially and exponentially. The building of hospitals ,Stadium and other may be good,if we are sure these institutions would not be relics worthy for the homeless in months after Mr. Akpabio leaves office. I suggest ,that the state government should seek highly competent,emphasis (seek) professionals of Akwa Ibom in diaspora,partner with them or partner with other competent (not cronies) professional anywhere in the world to run these institutions as  private enterprise. I am aware of the duties of government to take care of the poor and weak in society.These policy objectives could always be embedded in the controlling agreement the government would enter into  with those to manage or own these institutions.

 On educational policy, the governor has shown good instinct in introducing free education program in the state. Education being one of the fundamental strategies that will position the state to economic growth. However, free education (if Akwa Ibom can afford it) does not begin and end with tuition waiver . It also must include quality educational aids, quality and motivated instructors, modern classrooms with digital applicable tools. Encouraging scholarship programs could take pressure off the state finances. Private and non government organization could be encourage to support scholarship programs. The syllabi and curriculum of the elementary and high schools must be reformed to make our kids competitive globally.

The point of my note,here is that Gov. Akpabio should not distract himself from the initiatives and policy goals he set for himself, when he came into power as governor, by engaging in self promoting politicking and superficial projects.He could go in history as the "Renaissance Governor" of Akwa Ibom State, if he puts his focus on projects that will stand the test of time and promote REAL economic growth of the State.

These praise singers and courtiers, (#Ekerette Udo+, and his ilk ; anyone read,the pathetic article he wrote recently on the governor? Such Reuben Abatirian journalism, is what corrupts the political space.
("THE MOB ATTACK ON GOVERNOR AKPABIO IN THE PRESS: ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE", Articles | THISDAY LIVE http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/the-..), (04/01/2013).
They (courtiers) are ready to malign and  ascribe ulterior motives to anyone who disagree on policy or politics of the governor. They are actually not doing him nor the state any favors. In a democracy ,if one is not ready to accept and intelligently counter criticisms,whether stupid or intelligent,is not ready to be transformational. After all,deepening the institutional benefits and derivatives of democracy should be the creed of us all ;for motherland.

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