Tackling Unemployment In Rivers

by Odimegwu Onwumere

It is always said that youths are the leaders of tomorrow. This mantra has
passed the test of time, without much youth-oriented outcome. The
successive governments in the Nigerian states use this axiom to brainwash
the already brainwashed youths to believing that tomorrow is entrusted in
their care as if there is any meaningful programme that will be left for
the youths by the elders of today who are webbed in *lootocracy *when the
indefinable tomorrow finally comes. When any government in Nigeria says
that it is building avenues for employment, such statement is targeted at
the youths. Rivers State is among the numerous states that have always made
the statement of being committed to improve on employment and create more
jobs in the state. The government has always talked about improving on
agriculture and wants the youths to participate on farming.

Governor Chibuike Amaechi might mean well in his Rivers State-led
government. This could be the reason the government is often praised for
some laudable achievements. But before one could go to Eleme Junction and
returns, those projects the government is praised for have dilapidated
immediately the contractors removed their equipments from the sites. This
leaves one to ask about the need of building projects when they cannot last
to serve the purpose they were built. One aspect of the many dilapidated
projects is the roads; you see works going on and see the people heaving a
sigh of relieve, but they are at last taken back to their usual peril.
There are some roads we saw in the state that were not built for years
leaving the people in a melancholic state. But after we saw government
doing work on them and our praises being hipped on the government for
standing up to the occasion, we are only left to swallow our praise for the
shoddy jobs they have finally done on the roads that sometimes the former
state of the roads was better.

This is why we must tell the government that it is not about giving hope
upon hope to the residents whereas they are still suffering upon the hopes.
It is said that anyone who tricks himself or herself is very wicked. Is the
state of our leaders in Rivers State? It is not about broadcasting that the
Risonpalm is being rehabilitated and that about 2,000 hectares of banana
farm area is being established in Ogoni area; it is not about saying that
3,000 hectares of cocoa and other crops farm are in Etche and several fish
farms here and there; it is not about signing these bills into law – the
Rivers State Universal Basic Education Amendment Bill 2012, the Rivers
State Senior Secondary Schools’ Board Bill 2012, the Rivers State Governor
and Deputy Governor Pensions and Fringe Benefits Bill 2012, the Rivers
State House of Assembly Service Commission Amendment Bill 2012 and the
Rivers State Water Sector Development Law 2012. It is about sustenance.

One thing we have found out is that the Government of Rivers State must
have something to tell any group or persons that visited the government
house. Such as the promise of immortalization of prominent sons and
daughters of some communities in Rivers State, which it is oblivious that
will not bring food on the people’s table. People are hungry, and here is
Rivers State that cannot confidently boast of a functional industry,
talking about employment opportunities in the state. Let us take for
instance that the government is doing well by sending Rivers people abroad
to study, but this development is targeted at the so called university
graduates. Let us arguably agree that efforts were also on to ensure steady
provision of potable water in the state, maybe for the non-graduates to be
water sellers?

Amaechi cannot earnestly say that he is vehemently impressed by
manufacturer’s progress in Rivers, when what they are manufacturing is not
meeting the eyes. Is it the fuel that they are manufacturing? Can we see
one plant in Rivers State where production is going on? Some of the
‘manufacturers’ who impress Amaechi with their vague good reports and
achievements in doing business in the state are just operating in the state
on distributorship aspect. And you ask, how much money are their indigenous
workers take home monthly. Just peanuts!

The unfortunate aspect of the unholy politics being played in Rivers State
against the Rivers residents, which are the real danger against development
in the state, should be mowed. The state is divided by the attentions
Governor Amaechi has been giving to the residents and by the less result
the residents are seeing from the attention. There are pressures coming
from the political quarters and the highly needed businessmen who only want
the money for the works they want awarded to them, and not the work they
want to do for the residents to enjoy.

Where is the succour Amaechi has incessantly promised the Rivers residents
who were supposedly been robbed, deprived and insulted before his emergence
as governor? Have the Rivers people finally gotten the peace that they once
wanted and a focused leader they crazily craved for a total exemplary shift
from the selfish and corruption-ridden past? Is Amaechi still enjoying
massive and unparalleled support from the people of the state the way they
did in 2007 and 2008? Has Amaechi failed the people again? Has Rivers State
achieved any meaningful development different from the media-buildup of his
first tenure? Is the Amaechi-led government a wolf in sheep clothing?

The governor should stop congratulating Dagogo, Nte and Wogu when they
visit the government house without first finding out their real state of
businesses in Rivers State. It is not pertinent praising people on the
ground of their own account when we have not heard from our fact finding
sources. The state’s infrastructures should be sincerely built, because the
youths that the government wants to be prepared for farming, need reality
today than fiction, for a better tomorrow.

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