‘Massive And Adequate Investment Should Be Made In Education Sector’
A popular artisan in Jos, Plateau State Capital, Mr. Augustine Michael Hanson, said that what he wants from the incoming governments is to run an all- inclusive government, irrespective of tribes, zones, religious or political affiliations.
In the area of education, Hanson said the new government should employ more qualified teachers for primary and tertiary institutions in Plateau State.
“The government must provide learning facilities and adequate funding because the tertiary institutions in the state are on strike now for non-payment of salaries.”
On healthcare, he advised the incoming administration to consolidate on the achievements of the out-going government by completing the vast health infrastructures started by the present government, while more health workers, doctors and nurses should be massively employed to man those health facilities.
“New government must provide enough drugs in those health institutions.”
Speaking on poverty, which he said has eaten deep into the fabrics of the society, he urged the new administration to create enough employment opportunities to reduce the number of university graduates roaming the streets.
“Our economy should be stabilized to encourage public/private partnership in business, while adequate security for all sectors should be provided.”
Hanson, who also touched on stable electricity, advised the new government to revive all the generating plants, like Kanji Dam, Shiroro Dam and others in the country.
“There should be constant supply of electricity and power generation should be decentralized to allow private investors to participate in the generation and distribution of electricity to be supervised by the anti-graft agencies to eradicate corruption in the system.
Also, government must make pre-paid meters compulsory to check the excess of the meter readers.”
On the construction of access roads, Hanson called on the new government to expand the existing ones, while it should link the local government roads to the state capitals and the state roads should be linked to the federal capital.
“The aviation industry should be properly funded and supervised. The railway projects should link major cities in the states to and the federal capital for easy transportation of goods and people.”
He advised the incoming government that in order to eradicate corruption and waste in society, the fight against corruption must be top-bottom approach, while the anti-graft agencies must be empowered to deal with the menace. The Judiciary, National and State Assemblies should have a level of autonomy to carry out their functions effectively without fear or favour.
Hanson also advised government to consolidate on the e-payment system either in terms of business transaction or of salaries, wages, pensions and other service deliveries.
“The security agencies and para-military agencies should be overhauled. Adequate manpower training and enough military hardwares and other equipment must be provided for the personnel.
On his part, an Igbo Elder in Jos North of Plateau State, Chief Okafor Eni said that business is scattered in the state which has led to hardship and poverty. He specifically mentioned the Jos Main Market which was gutted by fire years ago. He urged the incoming government to try and put it in place.
“If this new government can put back the main market Jos, I think and believe that one part of re-organising and reviving the state from acute poverty would have been established. Another one is that peace is the most important thing that grows the economy. So, if the new government is able to join hands together with all the tribes in Plateau, no matter where you come from, if they can bring them together and form government, I believe there is going to be peace, there is going to be progress,” he said.
Eni also believed that putting back the Terminus Main Market would raise funds for government to take care of the workers, and other areas of development in the state.
On tackling corruption and wastage, he suggested that government should introduce discipline in the offices. “When a minister is assigned a responsibility, he should be monitored so that if the budget estimated and the minister does not use it the right way, he should be punished severely.
“You see, when you pick one person, two people, three people and use them as examples, I believe that others will come down and do the right thing. The government that is coming now, I believe, is a government that can handle the issue of corruption in Nigeria. And I believe that first of all, if the head is normal, the whole body will be normal. I believe that General Muhammadu Buhari as our President-elect, from his past records, I believe that if he follows the same steps, there will be no problem. There will be no corruption because he is a man of action,” Eni added.
Speaking about functional healthcare system, Eni stressed that the issue of health is very important to human beings.
“Government should handle the health issue properly. There must be steady electricity, enough medicines. I advise this government to sustain that tempo and the issue of treated insecticide nets, because the problem we always have in Nigeria is malaria.
The government should in their budget create a channel of investing in the medical areas. You pay the doctors, nurses promptly so that there will be no strike so that the patients are taken care of at any time.”
He emphasised the importance of education to any nation, saying that the only best legacy a government can bequeath to the child is education. He advised the incoming government to try and give free education to the public “because not everybody is able to pay the high school fees of the private school.”
“I remember in 1970s, government used to send inspectors who would come and monitor, test the class, see what the teachers are doing, but is no longer existing.
Now, there is no sanity again in the school. So, the incoming government as a matter of fact should invest more in education and bring back the monitoring team who use to go from school to school, from class to class and see what the children and teachers are doing.
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