By Jimitota ONOYUME
PORT HARCOURT: Nigerian Institute of Welding, NIW, had its annual conference recently. National President of the body, Chief Solomon Iyobosa Edeberi, MON, in this interview speaks on the focus of the five day event in Lagos.
He said the conference looked at the issue of job creation, industrialization and the challenges militating against productive economy in the system.
According to Edebiri, the government could still do more to stimulate a buoyant economy. For instance, he said efforts should be made to fix the bad roads in the country. He said the East -West road that carries much of the economy of the country, should be given urgent attention. Steps should be taken to make the road a four- way lane on the right and left. He said if the road is fixed it would reduce man hour lost to traffic by companies.
He said government can still take a step further, to create a healthy environment for industrialization and also encourage small/ medium scale enterprise to grow.
“The conference was centred on job creation. We want people to create opportunities for jobs. We want government to stimulate the environment for industrialisation.
We believe that government can do more by encouraging small and medium scale enterprises. Government should develop skill in the youths
In Niger Delta, the East- West road is so bad. It will be a disaster that we have President Goodluck Jonathan and the road is not motorable at the end of his tenure. We need four ways on the right and left on the East West road so that we can do Port Harcourt to Warri in less than two hours. We need a rail transport system in the region. The region needs attention.
Edebiri again pleaded with the federal government to listen to yearnings of the people. According to him, the level of poverty in the country was getting higher by the day. He said the situation had become so bad that the few Nigerians who could afford three square meals fear to walk on the streets for fear of being kidnapped.
He said the government should take steps to address the problem of insecurity and also encourage private sector participation to grow the economy. He said this way; the high rate of youth unemployment would drop.
“I expect the best from the federal government. The government should listen to the yearnings of Nigerians. Government should give serious attention to the problem of security, bad roads. The government should create jobs. We have almost forty percent or more unemployment rate in the country. If we go higher, then this will be disaster for the country.
Government should develop the youths. This will promote peace in the country. The youths are suffering. People are no longer free to work for fear of being kidnapped. Government should give jobs to the people. The youths should be self employed. Industrialisation should be given urgent attention.”
The President of NIW, also enjoined the federal and the various state governments to stick to their budgets for the 2013 fiscal year.