By Aloysius Osuji
It is often said that if one continues to do things the same way, he will continue to get the same old results. From one dispensation to the other, people keep lamenting about the failings of their leadership. Issues of unemployment, poverty, poor healthcare, hunger, declining educational standards, insecurity, absence of social security schemes and widening inequalities in income distribution, continue to resonate.
But like an American best-selling author of Why Ask Why rightly posited; “If you do not ask the right questions, you will never get the rights answers”. Yes this statement is altruistic and relevant to the Nigeria situation. It is practically impossible for anybody to run with wolves without learning how to howl; nor to fly with eagles without learning to soar (John Mason). In our Igbo parlance, we normally say that “onye na-amaghi ebe mmiri si mawa ya, agaghi ama ebe mmiri kwusiri ima ya. In other words, One must identify the cause of his problems before seeking solutions to them.
2019 general elections will present to Nigerians and Imo people in particular, another opportunity put the State on the right pedestal. The so-called dominant or popular political parties and the perennial aspirants and/or candidates have copiously disappointed the people. It is in recognition of this continued failure of our attempts to build a stable and virile economy that a technocrat of international standing, Barr. Aloysius Osondu Osuji has vowed to condescend from his Olympian heights in order to create a new but dynamic order in the State via the new and fresh MAJA party.
In Barr. Osjui’s thinking, the problem with governance in Nigeria especially, at State level, remained the absence of well thought out of policies to drive sustainable development and kick-start state’s economies. Policies are like softwares that drive hardwares or devices in a computer system. Likewise, any government programme or project that is not anchored on expertly-advised policy will usually in the long-run, fail to achieve targeted outcomes. Unfortunately, majority of the citizenry appears not to understand when a government is running on mere adhocracy or zero policy.
In Barr. Osuji’s view, for a policy to qualify as public policy, it must satisfy certain criteria which include the fact that such a policy most have some avowed socio-economic objectives. That is, it must have inherent economic benefits for the people and such benefits must be measurable in concrete terms. Again such a policy must not only be feasible but also sustainable.
Thus, sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, education and technology, healthcare, security, etc, must have clear cut policies or blueprints that will drive and sustain them. Periodically, the objectives of such policies will be evaluated to ensure that set targets are being achieved.
A country like Isreal for instance, has successfully applied policies in converting large areas of rocky soil to arable land for mechanized agriculture. The State of Isreal though relatively small in size, has today become a major producer and exporter of food in the world. This was a similar vision for which past leaders like Michael Okpara, Akanu Ibiam and Sam Mbakwe established farm settlements, plantations and industries that revolutionalised the then economies of Eastern Nigeria and old Imo State.
China on the other hand has leveraged well designed policies to metamorphose into a manufacturing belt on the global arena and by so doing, eradicating prevalent poverty and sparked-off an upsurge in the number of both upper and middle class citizens even in the face of population challenges. Our nearby West Africa neighbours, Ghana, is fast becoming a destination for international students seeking to acquire quality University or higher education. Like the United Kingdom, international students now account for a significant percentage of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP. This is what consistency in policy can do for a nation.
Barr. Osuji is determined to create a new order in the governance of Imo State come 2019. He is prepared to deploy his experience as an accomplished technocrat, industrialist and Philanthropist to re-engineer the critical sectors of the State’s economy. The era where government projects and programmes end up as cost-centres will become a thing of the past because a reformer, he will ensure that only the best policies and programmes that first and foremost, serve public good will be implemented. Moreover, political will and human face are important ingredients for achieving government policies objectives including cultivating the habit of openness to advice, team spirit and discipline in the conduct of government business.
Focus will be on developing competencies and skills that align with industry and job demands, concentrating on the establishments of agro-allieds and small and medium Enterprises (SMEs) projects as engine of growth; incorporate entrepreneurial learning to harness talents in the areas of conceptualization, development and establishment of business. The idea is to reduce unemployment and over-dependence on paid employment, and achieve an overall quantum leap in economic activities.
It is expected therefore that Imo people will key into this new philosophy of reformation as expounded by Barr. Aloysius Osondu Osuji (Aguneche Ibe), and the Mass Action Joint Alliance, MAJA Party. Invariably things must be done differently this time around for Imo to get it right in 2019.