By Philip Obin
With some exceptions, the governors are the biggest challenge to our progress as a nation. Unfortunately, Nigerians think their problem is FG. Truly an unfortunate situation!
I make bold to say that Governors are major contributors to our security challenges. It’s good to see them meeting, but they should look first look inward. My Biase LGA (Cross River) with an area of 1,310 km2 and a population of about 200,000 has no security or government presence.
My LGA gets average of 180-million-naira monthly FAAC but Governor Ayade arm-twist the Council Chairman off the entire funds & leaves the LGA with only about 5 million naira monthly, even when thousands of citizens in the LGA are IDPs as communal clashes continue to ravage the LGA.
I challenge Governor Ben Ayade to come public and tell the world how much security votes he receives monthly, what efforts he’s made to address the rising communal clashes in the state, how many operational vehicles & other equipment he’s procured for security agencies in the state from 2015 till date.
Just last week, some Fulani Herders were killed and dozens of their cows carted away, somewhere in my LGA, yet the Governor would do everything to ensure the news doesn’t get to the public, while he does nothing about the real situation; forgetting that the herders are most likely to attack back.
Governors are happy to get their allocations intact from FG, but would arm-twist LGAs off theirs, forgetting that the LGAs were created for purposes of taking security, jobs, democracy, governance and developmental progress to the grassroots.
I grew up to meet working health centres, other local government-funded facilities and establishments in virtually every community in my LGA. These establishments employed people in their hundreds and contributed a quota to the economies of the communities.
At least, one neighbour, an uncle and my father were staff of the health centre in my community that had dozens of staff. Today, that health centre is dead and gone and the place it was situated is now a grown ‘forest’, yet Governors are running to Abuja and meeting endlessly, when part of the solution to their problems are as easy as allowing the Local Government Authorities to function at full capacity.
Yet after looting the states dry in 8 years, they will run to the senate and continue their evil against the ordinary Nigerian.
I therefore call on Nigerians to activate consciousness of asking questions and ensuring that governors and legislators give periodic accounts of their stewardship.
There’s little restructuring, community or state policing can do to help our current situation until the Governors are willing and ready to face realities and do the needful.
While FG is engaging over 1 million Nigerian youths through N-Power, the Nigerian Youths Investment Fund (NIYF) and other programmes under the SIPs, why can’t states replicate same in smaller amounts and units.
For example, FG is releasing up to 10 million naira to Nigerians as loans under the AGSMEIS, N500,000 – N25,000,000 under the COVID-19 Targeted Credit Facility (TCF), paying for 250,000 Nigerians to register their businesses with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for FREE. Imagine state governments undertaking same or similar programmes across Nigeria and the attendant economic impact.
Today, the average Nigerian youth wants to learn a digital skill such as programming, PPC marketing, SEO, Email marketing, Mobile design principles, Mobile optimisation, Omni-channel marketing, Improving customer experience with digital technologies, Social media marketing, online forex and cryptocurrency trading.
Setting up digital Skills Academy for the youths to get busy learning these skills, earning legitimate income and staying out of trouble will cost as little as what it takes to buy a single Toyota Hilux vehicle to combat crimes committed by same youths.
This should be a wakeup call to all well-meaning Nigerians.
Obin, is a concerned citizen of the federal republic of Nigerian.