A cross section of Nigerians resident in Benue spoke to James Ibechi and bared their minds on their expectations from the incoming government on May 29.
Speaking, a former chairman of Obi LGC said on condition of anonymity that the problem stagnating the country’s development is the endemic corruption that has bedeviled the polity.
He said the only way out of the nasty situation is for the new administration at national and state levels to enthrone due process in the award of contracts by ensuring competitive bidding as well as insulate the Executive Council from sitting over contracts awards as is the case at present. This he said is consequent to the abandonment of many projects across the country.
The ex-chairman also advised the incoming government to strengthen anti- corruption agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, (ICPC) by giving them more and potent teeth and better funding as well as insulate them from executive funding to perform better.
“The appointment to serve into these graft bodies should be made by independent body, and not the President.
“They should establish offices of independent investigators and prosecutors who can even prosecute EFCC and ICPC officials involved in corrupt practices, and stiff penalties must be melted for corruption in line with global best practices, and job costing, transparency as well as credible and honesty,” he advised.
While stating his disgust at the lackadaisical and poor manner the nation’s education sector is patterned and handled, he stressed the importance of good and functional education quoting former South African President, late Nelson Mandela who once said “quality education is the most important weapon against poverty. “
He posited that the incoming government must give priority to education, especially the type that provides the youths with relevant to self-employment.
“No modern economy can grow without requisite skills of its workforce. Government must increase funding and ensure quality education to most of the citizenry especially of the girl child.
“Abduction of over 200 Chibok girls is a sad reminder of the attempt to deny the girl child education. Our new government must do every thing to bring back these girls,” he added.
Commenting on the epileptic electricity supply which has been hampering economic growth in the country, Zuanah advocated for the review of the whole power blue print especially the entire privatization process. There is a whole lot of problem with electricity in the country.
“Because of its importance to the economy, the new administration must do everything possible to tackle the embarrassing power situation in the country as it is absolutely important in growing the economy.”
In his view, the chairman of Benue Network of Non Governmental Organizations, BENGONET, Justine Gbagir urged the new administration to make it a deliberate policy to fully implement chapter three of Nigerian constitution which makes it mandatory for government to live up to its bidding visa vis the masses.
Gbagir called on the incoming governments across the country to quickly roll out plan of action to create job opportunities.
He stressed the need for the new administration to step up the regulation of the economy in such a way that no single individual hold it to ransom, but operate for the benefit of all Nigerians.
A woman activist, Linda Omoha in her opinion implored the incoming government in Benue state to revitalize the state health sector by changing the face of healthcare institutions from mere consulting centres.
She expressed disgust over the lackadaisical manner the outgoing administration of Governor Suswam handled the accreditation problem of the only State School of Nursing and Midwifery, Makurdi as well as the College of Health Technology, Agasha, saying such has brought about shortage of health personnel in the health centres in the state.