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Industrialist wants governors’ forum abolished

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Rotimi Ameachi

Governor Amaechi of Rivers State is a factional leader of the Governors’ Forum

An Industrialist, Chief Sylvester Obinna, has called for the abolition of governor’s forum, saying it has become a forum to challenge the president.

Speaking in an interview with The Guardian, he said that the forum has become a wasteful venture as governors now spend resources that would have gone into development of their state to fund politics of the forum.
Obinna, therefore, called on the President-elect, Major Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), to discourage the forum, stressing further that many of those concerned spend much resources moving to Abuja in the name of the governor’s forum.

He said: “I have always said this to anybody who cares to listen that for any administration to succeed, all of us will play our role.

Before now, there have been several challenges that faced the government. For instance, the issue of governors’ forum is a very big challenge. People should learn to stay in the places they are elected to govern instead all of them jumping to Abuja everyday in the name of governors’ forum and instead of using the forum to cross-fertilise ideas, it became a forum to challenge the president.

“They (governors) should be in their states; local government chairmen should be in the councils and councilors in their ward. This will help them know the feelings of their people to enable them formulate good policies for their people.

“When somebody is flying jet every day, it is very costly, most of them fly on private jets and that is a lot of money. Sometimes, if you put together the kind of money they spend in one month to go to Abuja and back, it might even be enough to build some 30 kilometres of road.

“What we have seen in the last few years is a situation where they come to Abuja to challenge the president. Before now what were governors doing? They can go and understudy policies by the other governor and not coming to the center and congregating. It has been so far counterproductive. It has not yielded anything apart from challenging the authority at the centre. They spend so much money they would have used to develop their states to pursue politics at the centre.”

On unemployment, Obinna said it could be tackled with every state government having good industrial plan that could guarantee good roads, water and electricity supply, saying it could attract industry naturally.

He said: “All over the world, every economy is private-sector driven; therefore, the government needs to provide the environment so that industrialists will naturally come. They don’t need to travel far to get investors. All they need do is to put in place the enabling environment, because the world has become a global village. The best way to solve to unemployment is for government to create enabling environment to attract investors.”

He said creating the enabling environment would include roads, power and good water scheme, stressing that, without these, the burden would shift to the entrepreneurs. He added that when the investor spends much money in providing amenities, his production cost goes higher.


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