By Kayode Crown
We all know that there is no way we can grow sustainably without industries, which is about creating values towards making Ondo State a cynosure of all eyes.
Ondo State government has been taking some initiatives to create platforms for people to be employed.
There is the Idanre Chocolate Factory which the government said would be take off at the end of the year.
According the Commissioner for Agriculture, Otunba Gboyega Adefarati, as reported in The Hope, this will move signals a new lease of life in the agricultural sector of the state.
He said: “Before the end of the year, the factory would be in full operation.” Such a go-getting spirit is what we need at this time.
Also the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Yemi Olowolabi, in a recent report, revealed the strides the government has been making towards enhancing the economic development of the state.
He said: “It is no longer a secret that Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has been making efforts to get the State a Deep Seaport, which would help in no small way to improve the lot of the state. Everyone knows a Deep Seaport will translate into a beehive of economic activities in the state.”
He also mentioned the matter of the bitumen deposit in the state which would be a big boost to the state if the exploration of the mineral deposit gets up and running.
According to him: “This government is not unmindful of the bitumen deposit in the state. By the time the Federal and State governments conclude the exploration of this deposit, definitely, our collective fortune is bound to improve.”
The Deep Seaport and the Bitumen deposit are like two aces that can catapult the state to the top when it comes to economic development.
Now that the political party at the top in the state is also the same at the federal level, we expect frictionless interaction, and all paper works to ensure these projects take off done and dusted in no time.
In this wise, all hands must be on deck for all the political and economic strings to be pulled to ensure that the above projects take off successfully.
One remembers the picture of the Governor of Ondo State, together with the Minister for Mines and Steel Development, Mr Kayode Fayemi, who is a close associate of the Governor, sitting with President Muhammed Buhari in his Aso Rock office, with the reported agenda on the table being the Ondo Deep Sea Port. So this has gone beyond mere wishful thinking.
Since we have something of such value that can turn the southern part of the state into another “Apapa”, exploring it is the right way to go.
The resultant economic boom from both the bitumen exploration and the realisation of the Deep Sea Port would definitely leap frog the state from the present economic cul-de-sac.
It is clear that the culture of financial probity being put in place by the Akeredolu government is a perfect condiment to the development that is coming.
If not, every possible gain might corruptly waste away and both the bitumen and the Deep Sea Port, instead of being a blessing, would be a curse.
We should learn from what oil exploration did to the South South of Nigeria in the anger, discontent and malcontent of the people, and wastage, so much so that it was reported that a former Head of State declared that the problem with Nigeria is not money, just what to do with it.
See where our lack of deep thought, futuristic thinking, saving culture, and ideas (which whatever money we got did not deliver to us) have landed us.
The Bible says that without vision the people cast off restraint. We should not just earn money from the different means that are now coming on stream, to just spend it anyhow. We should have plans to tie the new channels of income to solve specific problems and not get into the lethargic zone where rather than make the resources and income to serve us, we serve and are drowned in them. And what should be our glory turns to our shame.
Our current situation as stated by the image maker of the state, Mr Olowolabi, is thus: “The economic situation of the state is not the best due to our reliance on the stipend we collect from the federation account. That notwithstanding, we however, remain determined.”
He added something that is very instructive: “People in government need to make use of the power they have to change the fortune of people. We believe we can do it.”
This is definitely a departure from the practice of government when it comes to giving excuses.
If this is the thinking of this government across board, then we have one that is ready to take responsibility, take the bull by the horn and charge forward.
The word of the image maker of the government focuses us on what government can do for the people, rather than what the people in government can do for themselves with the resources.
The wheel of this government is moving and we expect that we will soon land at the right location.
Speaking of legacy, Olowolabi said: “This government has the mission to improve the people, the infrastructure and strengthen the system.”
It seems the proverbial “head” of the government is in the “right place” and the rest of the body (the state) will follow suit.
It however hears repeating here that there is no way we can continue with the monthly routine of going to Abuja to share money and be able to make headway as we should.
We should even stop that now. Can’t the money just be sent to the state automatically, rather than the “monthly thing”?
There is something the “monthly thing” does to the mind, it fosters an unhealthy sense of dependence that paralyses creative thinking and self initiative. The monthly routine cripples the thinking, let’s not deceive ourselves.
If the money shared this month is big we all rejoice, if small, we cry.
It is a roller coaster that we need to discontinue.
Can’t another system be evolved, in view of technological advancement?
There should be no need to have the representatives of the state governments make a monthly trip to Abuja. It paints us all as mental slaves.
The monthly sharing of money at the Abuja Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting is the financial climax of each month (like a drug addict taking his regular fix). It’s a slavery arrangement.
The Federal Government should show some respect to the state by getting the money across somehow without the need for each to travel to Abuja. If a law needs to be changed in that regard, let’s change it.
This monthly ritual (which I am suggesting should be scrapped) ties us to the apron string of the federal government and affects the collective self esteem of the dwellers of each state.
Many may see this as nothing, but it is not “nothing”. This is money matter and money has a way of making you feel attached and beholden to the person who doles it out.
We need to be mentally free from the money coming from the Federal Government, we don’t need to go to Abuja every time.
Let the money come to us and not us to the money. It could actually be deposited once a quarter, so that we can begin to have some form of long-term thinking.
We need a departure from this limiting past to be able to move boldly into the future through industrialisation.