Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has called for the reduction in high cost of governance in the country through the immediate diversification of the economy and control of the number of political appointments.
This is just as the state Commissioner overseeing the Ministries of Finance and Economic Planning, Olorogun Kenneth Okpara says Delta is the leading light on the “Beyond Oil Initiative” campaign which formed the theme of the just concluded Executive Session of the Nigerian Guild of Editors’ 9th All Nigerian Editors Conference in held in Asaba.
According to Governor Uduaghan, “the cost of governance is high because everybody now depends on government for business, we need to develop other sectors of the economy so as to create job opportunities independent of government.
“We cannot just embark on the reduction of the number of the workforce in order to reduce the cost of governance but we can reduce and control political appointments especially those that we don’t really need. There should be a limit to political appointments.”
Dr. Uduaghan appealed to the Nigerian Guild of Editors and the Media to study and propagate the Nigeria beyond oil initiative and elevate economic issues to the front burners. He charged them to publicize developmental and economic issues that would help create employment and industrialization in the country rather just political issues.
While stating that the “Beyond Oil Initiative” should be comprehensive and integrated he decried the high level of soil and environmental pollution in the Niger-Delta region which would prevent development of agriculture and called for the regeneration of the damaged areas to enable agriculture and agro- allied businesses to strive.
The governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Fayemi Kayode, in his comments called for the diversification of the economy from mono-product based to a knowledge based one. He urged the nation to embrace full financial federalism that would make states develop their vast resources and improve their internally generated revenue.
Fayemi noted that to diversify the economy, there is the need for skilled based education among Nigerian youths with a well developed curriculum that would propel the Nigeria beyond oil initiative and called for fiscal discipline and a more accountable government to reduce corruption and the impunity that accompanies it in the country.
Also speaking, Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State who said that oil was to be blamed for the high cost of governance in Nigeria advocated for an economic growth that would create jobs and bring about industrialization. He said, “ We should fight greed which is beyond corruption as it kills enterprenship, professionalism and hard work. If we diversify our economy, Nigeria will become a more creative country with hard working and enterprising people.”
Meanwhile, the Delta State Commissioner for Finace, Olorogun Kenneth Okpara has described the state as a leading light in achieving the “Beyond Oil Initiative”, saying that the campaign championed by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s administration has towered to national and global acceptance.
Okpara, who made the disclosure during a chat with Blank NEWS Online in his office, said the theme of the 9th All Nigerian Editors Conference in Asaba, tagged, “Nigeria Beyond Oil: Role of the Editor” was apt and critical to resolving immediated national development and economic issues.
While reaffirming that the idea was initiated in Delta State and has now transcended the state to become a national issue, he said it has also proven that the vision and progressive thinking of Governor Uduaghan has formed an agenda of national public importance for the overall good of Nigerians.
Okpara said; “I feel very elated in the sense that an idea which was initiated by Delta State State is now being taken to the national level with the decision of the Nigeria Guild of Editors to make it the theme of its 9th All Nigerian Editors conference in Asaba. It shows that Delta is a leader and is indeed leading in helping to define the future of the Nigerian economy in tandem with the Transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.”
The Delta Finance Commissioner, who also oversees the Economic Planning Ministry where he was recently in charge, said that the fact that the Journalists adopted the state’s economic initiative as the theme for its Editors Conference is a clear indication that they belive in what Delta is doing and this will no doubt help to boost the image of the state nationally.
Olorogun Okpara further averred that this national recognition has justified the need to be creative and to pursue the vision of exploring new ways to ensure the provision of greater democracy dividends to the people, adding that the recognition of an idea originated by Delta has given him joy and the satisfaction that it was a worthy cause to champion.
According to him, the objective of the ‘Delta Beyond Oil’ initiative is to create more jobs for Deltans and move the economy forward and the Delta State government was poised to build on this national recognition to drive the initiative more vigourously.
“Of course this national recognition will definitely put more pressure on us to now work harder in our efforts, sustain the the idea going forward and ultimately improve on it to achieve more success and establish a solid platform and structure for our economy to thrive in the future,” he said.