The Senator Representing Imo West in the red chamber, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has taken a swipe at Governors for failing to think outside the box in their bid to rescue the economies of their respective states.
Okorocha spoke in Abuja at the weekend when he hosted a Web Conference with Nigerians in South Africa under the aegis of ‘Nigerians in South Africa Association’.
Responding to some questions from members of the group on the implementation of the 2014 National Conference Report, the Imo lawmaker stressed that the problem with the country was not implementing the confab report, but the lack of leaders with vision.
He identified that though the resources in the hands of governors may be limited, due to the enormous work that lies before them, Governors who have a vision of turning around the fortunes of their respective states can still achieve a lot, if they have vision.
His words: “When you talk about implementing the confab reports, it’s the same thing, it depends on the leadership, because the Constitution is what is the guiding principle, and every president has the right to devolve his powers to what is called either agency or delegatory authority to do that on his behalf. As a President of this country, I will not be involved in the process of contract awards system of weekly meetings. What am I doing there? He should delegate his powers to people that will give him results, knowing that our people do not work unless there is a Task Force; a challenge, there is no challenge in this country that’s why we don’t have any Ivy League University, all Universities; Secondary schools and LGAs are equal, who tells you that?”, Okorocha laments.
As the governor of Imo State, my monthly total income was between five to six billion naira, at most seven billion naira, take an average of 6 billion per month times 12 that gives you 72 billion per annum, times it by eight it gives you over five hundred and something billion, that’s what Akwa Ibom and Rivers states get in a year, even Lagos State”. “So how can I cut my coat according to my size, I have to cut my coat according to my material available, that’s the vision which they don’t have, that’s the problem”.
And out of this N539 billion, seventy five percent of it goes as salary, so I have about N130 billion to work with and out of what I am left with I built 6 Universities, 4 Polytechnics; 2 Colleges of Education; the best Cargo Airport; the best High Court; the Best Police and Prison headquarters, there are there for everyone to see, 546 schools built; free education at all levels.
“I was able to create wealth, ask around in Imo state; I was able to replicate the best Conference Centre equivalent of what we have in the capital city, Abuja. I built more roads than any governor put together in Imo State in the past 36 years, it takes vision, but you know government are better at propaganda than the real work, if you are good at propaganda in this country there is no need to do the work at hand”. He said.
The Confab report is not the problem of Nigeria, the problem with our nation is getting the right leader with the right vision, even if you do resource control and a man without vision are controlling that resources, it will be worse than it was before, ‘so seek ye first leaders and every other thing shall be added unto you.’
“Why do we go about with this compendium of papers every time seeking for excuse, that’s why when they bring economist here, they come and read theories, they quote Adam Smith’s system of ‘Economics’ and they say when the price goes up demand will fall, but we know that in Nigeria when prices go up demands follows it up, that is the culture of the people, because we don’t know whether the price will come down, they say everything that goes up will come down, it is not true. It is not right to use a ‘Westernize Arrangement’ to judge Nigeria, it does not work.”