Gubernatorial candidate of Action Peoples Party (APP), Chief Mascot Uzor Kalu has highlighted his plans to make Abia great again if given the mandate to govern the state in the 2023 elections by the people.
Speaking to a group of senior editors from Abia state recently, Mascot who is very dissatisfied with parlous state of things in the state, said that one of his priorities is job creation and will be creating 10,000 jobs yearly, to absorb the teeming youths roaming the streets.
My government “will have partnerships with local and international investors as well as private sector and multilateral agencies to create a minimum of 10.000 jobs each year therby making 40,000 jobs in the first four years of our administration.
He also reveals his other agenda t revive the state. “We also want to place high premium and emphasis on education. Education is important; it is one thing that will give opportunity for the child of a rich person and poor person to dine on the same table. We are going to reestablish the free primary and secondary education policy in Abia state. This is not its first time, it has been done in the past, and we are also priotising infrastructure.
“Our party is a new one, but it is also made up of young vibrant men and women, who are not satisfied with the state of affairs in our state, and wish to do things differently and we are coming with a passion to work, role our sleeves , get down t it.
“We strongly believe that our state is not where we need to have people who are there, having retirement mentality, feeling entitled. We must have people, who are ready to make their mark, provide service based on their competencies, and passion to drive excellence. So Chief Mascot Uzor Kalu comes with that capacity and matched with his deputy, Professor Osondu Akomas are going to have a formidable pair that will inspire all peace loving and good people of Abia state to join this team (Our mantra in APP is ‘For a better Abia), to build a better Abia when the citizens of Abia give us their mandate after the next election.
“With Chief Mascot Orji Uzor Kalu as a former chief of staff, he is not going to start looking for how to get things done. He is already in tune with the internal workings of government house. When people start blaming governance for not starting work early, usually, there is this learning curve that is associated with getting in tune with the rhythm of the government bureaucracy. You actually agree with me that the chief of staff is the clearing house of governance, so getting down to the real business of governance from day one will be that simple for us.
“In the midst of these, we are not unmindful of the challenges of governance in Abia state. The ones you mentioned are the ones you remember; we want to be sure that our priorities, annexing the productive capacity of our people by engaging private sector initiatives; we get down to creating jobs for our teeming youths.
“As a matter of fact you can be sure that the business hub in Aba today, people are suffering in terms of access to goods and services because the road infrastructure is not there. However this road infrastructure is such that requires funding.
“Also in the rural areas, we have plans to rebuild moribund state owned companies. Abia Palm Nigeria Ltd about 10,000 acres is an economic boom, it will employ a lot of our youths and it will yield revenue. The poultry farm in Ukwa West, the modern Ceramics in Umuahia, and Golden Guinea Breweries. There are several state owned companies that can absorb our teeming youths by way of their being employed and they earn gainful income from there.
“With these companies, we are going to be very deliberate in signing up public private partnerships and getting investors to come on board. These things are really achievable. Also we will involve multilateral agencies, who are ready to invest in very profitable and lucrative businesses even in the power sector.
“Look at what Professor Barth Nnaji has done with Geometric Power Ltd. More people can still come in into that sector to create jobs. What we are saying is that there must be that credible integrity and trust in governance for investors to come in so that whatever is put on pen and paper is done and the administration will fall through with it.
“One good thing about this is that chief Mascot Uzor Kalu who has done business both internationally and locally has the ability to inspire investors, has eyes for good projects, viable projects that will sustain themselves and also create jobs. When the jobs are available, people will earn income, when they earn income, you have income taxes that will be remitted to state coffers. As a matter of fact IGR will be boosted and then will be channeled into infrastructure.
“We all know that there is a huge opportunity in Ukwa East area where my deputy comes from. The proposed seaport project in Obeaku that many investors have shown interest is barely 50 nautical miles from the Atlantic Ocean. The business community in Aba will benefit a lot and when you tie that project to the internal container port in Isiala Ngwa that the federal government has approved, you can be sure that there will be good economic coordination between Aba and Umuahia and the Isiala Ngwa Port, if they are connected to the Obeaku Port.
“More so, you find a situation where the phase two of that project will involve connecting the coastal environment. All these things if properly articulated in a well structured mutual and business plan will turn around businesses in Abia that will yield revenue, create jobs and our people will have good sense of achievement.
“The youths are the industry in Aba and they have very strong skill set, however up till now they have not been properly harnessed, because of lack of infrastructure and foresight in government which involves providing the enabling environment for them to operate.”
The APP candidate noted with his cognate experience as chief of staff to Senator Thedore Orji, coupled with his sagacity, business acumen and joint ticket with Professor Osondu Akoma, former university teacher, civil servant and international researcher, the people will deliver Abia from its present precarious state.
Picture: Chief Mascot Uzor Kalu