Thursday, 31 March 2022

C'River After The Exit Of Ben Ayade: Ben Akak To Cut The Gordian Knot

Globally, hardship is on the increase as the world keeps being negatively impacted by economic crunch, man-made misfortunes and natural disaster. The aforementioned have led to the increase of poverty above the baseline in the developing nations today. That said, it's an established statistics that about 40 percent of the population in subsahara Africa live below the US$1.90 a-day poverty ratio. Sadly, Nigeria has the largest  population of poor people in Subsaharan African (79 million); and contributes about 20 percent of those living in extreme poor in the world according to worldbank.

 As seen above, nations and its electorates are making genuine efforts in electing people with pragmatic, technocratic, utilitarian and earth-bound  managerial dexterity to possibly eradicate or alleviate poverty to its minimum level and at the same time, create wealth for its citizens.

This is the spirit of industry or the soul of an enterprise the governor of Cross River State, Sir Benedict Ayade  often glowly philosophises about, that naysayers for the umpteenth time misjudged as deceitful silver-tonguing.

As 2023 general elections draw close, political parties, non-party members, opinion makers, king-makers and the electorates are without being told, are interested in the search of capable hands to succeed the incumbent elective officers. 

In our dear state, Cross River, not a few aspirants have expressed their political aspirations in the open and some via proxy to succeed His Excellency, Prof. Ben Ayade after 29th May 2023. Amongst all the declarants, only a fistful of them have  that rare gubernatorial know-how to govern our economically fragile state. Top on the list, if I may mention names, is certainly Engr. Ben Akak 

Cross River State is internally indebted and our internally generated revenue (IGR) is low. According to the Debt Management Office of Nigeria's data for December 31, 2021, the domestic debt of Cross River State was standing tall at N159, 817, 911, 703.63 (One Hundred and Fifty-Nine Billion, Eight Hundred and Seventeen Million, Nine Hundred and Eleven Thousand, Seven Hundred and Three Naira and Sixty-Three Kobo). This is quite staggering and intimidating.

The state as of March 2022, has an external debt of US$279.7 million (Two Hundred and Seventy-nine Million and Seven Hundred Thousand). With this skyrocketing debt and other sundry challenges buffeting the state, it's expedient and natural that the governor must do all of his might in line with the people's choice to elect a down-to-earth prudent southerner, experienced in commerce and industry, politically determined, resilient and business minded person to judiciously mitigate this negative economy factor if the state must strive after the exit of Sir Ben Ayade-led administration.

It's no news that Ayade would leave industries and factories sprawling across the state. These projects might not survive the storm of mismanagement and maladministration as in the case of the old Imo state that comprised of the current Imo, Abia and part of Ebonyi state where the late Dr. Sam Mbakwa left standard factories/industries that were mismanaged by successive governments.

The Ayade legacies which are these industries and establishment would be given high premium management by the Ben Akak team of administrators when by God's grace, he emerges as governor of the state. The facts are not in contention that Ben Akak hasn't failed in business or in leadership venture before. There's a grace of a sort of Midas touch embedded in him.

In the running of his private businesses, he has demonstrated time and again a deep understanding of our problems, and by a fair and just opportunity at the helm of our state's affairs, he'll make us proud by solving every problems — however difficult through bold and drastic measures.

Comr.(Hon) Ogar Emmanuel Oko 
Is a public affairs analyst. He writes from Calabar.

The above article does not in anyway represent the thoughts, stands or opinion of TDN as they are purely that of the author