By Chinonso Alozie
Owerri—The 2019 Imo state governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Mr. Okey Ezeh, yesterday said the state needed a credible leader to put it on the wheel of economic progress.
He spoke in Owerri, days after the amalgamation of Imo Professional Bodies and Associations, AIPA, was launched in the state, adding that the economy of the state has continued to go down.
Vanguard learnt that AIPA, was formed to enlighten Imolites on the need to put the interest of Imo first, before, during and after election as well as to ensure that leaders who were passionate about the progress of the state occupy positions of authority.
However, SDP, guber candidate Ezeh, was of the view that politics should not be left for politicians alone, adding that it was for this reason he joined the race.
He also called on the governed to actively involve themselves in politics so as to determine who becomes their governor in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state.
Ezeh said: “If the society is not working, the responsibility does not stop at the door step of the leaders. The followers are part of the problem.
“As we are about to enter 2019, election is an opportunity for us to recommit ourselves to a just and workable society, the society that will enthrone democracy and project credibility. That is why some of us joined politics because we think politics should not be left to politicians alone. We must use credible people, we must use people who have verifiable track in Imo.”
On some of the strategies to build the economy of the state, he believed that, “The key policy thrust of a state like Imo should be to create jobs through State Capitalism which means that the states acts as an investor by creating new State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) that operate according to private sector mechanisms, are based on sound business plans and are entirely independent of government.
“The key consideration here is that the SOEs would not only serve government, but also generate income from rendering services to the private sector, which would eventually lead them to becoming self-sufficient.
“As private sector for-profit entities, SOEs as conceptualized are able to enter into technical partnerships with investors for knowledge transfer and access to non-state funding, and would therefore be better positioned to render efficient and effective services to both government and the private sector.
“This economic model if and when properly implemented has the proven capacity of creating 300,000 private sector jobs within the first two years of initiation.
“There are still other blueprints that border on large-scale Entrepreneurship Training Programmes and Agro-Industrial, Creative and Tech Industries (Entertainment, Dance, Music, Film, Advertising, Graphic Design, Arts, Social Media, Software/App Development, E-Commerce among others.
“Initiatives that can combine to permanently keep the unemployment wolf away from Imo’s door without mortgaging generations unborn with unpayable debt stocks. It does not require any clairvoyance to know that the days of easy money derivable from a mono-product economy are gone for good.”