Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Why Ayade must continue with his "Food on the table", "expanded governance" style - Adaha

It is no secret that the primary essence of government is to protect lives and properties of her citizens, and also to bring the dividend of democracy to the people. Some countries painfully are still struggling with the provision of basics needs, while their counterparts in advance climes are talking of  traveling to space and Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

Unarguably, Nigeria sadly still finds herself among the leagues of developing nations (to be fair in judgement) as others think we are underdeveloped.
Cross River state in recent time can be described as "floating" when compared to other states in the country that can't even meet up, considering the recent release of some key indices such as unemployment rate, HIV prevalence rate among others by the National Bureau of statistics (NBS)  and others. The truth be told, the government of Ayade introduced the policy of a large sized government, which I chose to call an all inclusive style of government. 

Although, I have some strong reservations with the way at which this policy is been implemented, just as pundits believe it has done more harm than good. Arguable, they alleged it was BASICALLY concocted to compensate their field soldiers in previous elections who are mostly the ill ones of the society, who belong to dreadful groups and associations, which have high tendencies of causing mayhem and chaos. Recent data released by NBS shows that the state wasn't among the top three most unemployment states in the country. 

One would rationally begin to ask what economic activities are actually been concentrated in the state to have given gainful employment to such high number of indigenes, as from survey just a few industries exist in the state which can't give the number of employment needed by the state to escape the top positions of most hit, among the leagues of unemployment stricken states.

Surprisingly, the state government actually did the magic. With the relatively high number of state civil servants, and the presence of daily employment scheme of the  Federal University of Calabar closely supporting, coupling also the about six thousand if not more political appointees of the state government, ended the puzzle.

 Hence advising the state government to cut down the number of political appointees without any structured strategy already put in place to cushion the effect of casualties, would create a major mayhem in the state. And has the tendency of make the state ungovernable, imagine those people who belong to those dreadful societies and associations, and had no prior source of livelihood before the advent of the "APPOINTMENT" by the state government, would they be plunged back to the street?. It would just create a situation where the lawful citizens of the state would have no other choice but to become their 'forceful employers'. Also have any body considered the number of families that would be hit?. 

Some argue that the governor's large sized appointees would only worsen situation considering the new minimum wage system, but we have forgotten to reason also that if this monies isn't in circulation via salaries and wages, it would create a system where there would be so much money to loot while the masses still suffers.

And who says government is simply about appropriating the already existing allocations and revenues, and not out sourcing for new possible ways for expansions of income?. Why shouldn't the government look into how best to develop our tourism sector, invest in our Agricultural sector to improve our Cocoa export business, our local rice production, consider our plantains, rubber and others.

Who says with the large amount of  fibre cables buried on our soil  in the state ICT hubs can't be created?. The toothpick factory is a welcome development, if only more small factories can be created in every single local government of the state, to boost our productivity and create jobs.
The agricultural industry itself is a big one that involves, cultivation, processing, storing, marketing and logistics this alone can make the state an Agricultural hub with millions of jobs created if well looked into.

But until the state government diversifies the state dependency on civil service and appointments, not omitting our over dependency on Federal allocation, we won't find our full potential. down sizing the staff strength of the state appointees would only paint a picture of the Ayade's government running away from challenges. 

It is worthy of mention to note that, every challenge presents an opportunity to either make an impact by solving a problem and writing one's name in the annals of time, or simply chicken out, and surccum to defeat, and lose a golden opportunity to be a hero and become a yardstick for predecessor's and successors. You also forfeit the historic rare opportunity  of being a 'Solution architect'.

The state is only faced with the challenge of how to increase her REVENUE. Tax shouldn't be what should naturally just come to the mind of our state economic team, because the basic requirements of her citizens from the government haven't been met. A state with a very epileptic power supply, un -motorable roads, and NO security of lives and properties. On what moral grounds would such increase in tax be justified?.

Lastly the digital Governor should not contemplate down sizing at least NOT now, until such a time when he has created an alternative for the people and citizens as a whole. Rather he should continue to enlarge his appointees strength by enlisting more people and creating more meaningful and life impacting agencies, departments and ministries. Depending on when he finally industrializes the state to an industrial hub, then and only then he can rationally and morally down size.

Victor Adaha
Is a Public Affairs Analyst who writes from Yola.