THE FAILURES OF BAYELSA STATE POLITICIANS/RICH FOLKS IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS: NEEDING THE NEEDFULL



Government’s duties are inescapably oodles. One of its duties is to take care of the welfare of its citizens. According to Anthony Giddens (1938 - ) in The Third Way: The Renewal of Social Democracy, Government has an essential role to play in investing in the human resources and infrastructure needed to develop an entrepreneurial culture.” This is one the vital ways a conscientious government trounce the challenges of refining the lives of the citizens. Government is leadership and leadership means, meaning well for the citizens. The duty to cater for the welfare of the people is not a lonesome task of the government. That is, not the job of the elected ones alone. Well-to-do private citizens are also servants to humanity. Service to humanity is everybody’s routine. The body that fails to do this has failed the basic exam of life. In so far as the well-to-do and the poor have a service to humanity, the well-to-do has a major role to play on the physical, that is to say, material resources. Most states in Nigeria have lived by example in this light. Such as: Ogun, Lagos, Imo, Rivers, etc. But how well has this been achieved in Bayelsa State?

Bayelsa state is a state created out of Rivers State on the 1st of October 1996, which means the state is 20 years old as at when this piece is written. 20 years means Bayelsa state in no longer an infant state. A man of 20 years old is a man of accountability because a man of 18 is an adult. Thus, Bayelsa state does not have any excuse to give in performing admirably well. This is counter to the squabble that Bayelsa state is young and should not be compared with other elderly states. While the people tolerably wait for the state’s government to create jobs outside the Civil Servant jobs, as earlier asserted, private persons are expected to contribute massively in creating jobs. These groups of persons are assorted from politicians and mere business men that cut across different vocations of life. Job creation can be achieved by setting up companies, and other business organizations that would help in engaging jobless youths and the society in general. Margaret Thatcher, former British prime minister once was said that: “Young people ought not to be idle. It is very bad for them”.
As earlier stated some states in Nigeria have been examplenary in not just creating jobs for her state’s men but also in contributing immensely to the macro-economy of Nigeria. In Abia for instance, so many industries have been built by well meaning business men that have led to massive job creation. Besides Oil, there are other industries manufacturing textiles, soaps, plastics, cosmetics, cements and lots more which contribute successfully to the Gross Domestics products of the state and today it is recognized as one of the most commercialized states in Nigeria and Africa at large. Abia state was created in 1991 which means Abia is just five years older than Bayelsa State. Ogun for years has been one of the leading states where many Nigeria-made goods are made. Ogun has the Procter and Gamble in Agbara, Lafarge Cement factory in Ewekoro, Dangote, Nestle Factories in Ewekoro, etc. In one of the writer’s travelling to Ile Ife at Osun state, he observed that there were many big buildings. After five to six residences, the next would be such big houses. When questions were asked to some passengers, it was discovered that most of such houses are warehouses used for the production and storing of many produced goods. This was made possible as a result of the zeal put up by well meaning entrepreneurs, small and big, and other politicians that did not just anchor their hopes on monies from politics but the establishing of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SME’s) and other major business outlets. For Lagos, we speak of a good business role model whose contribution to the Nation’s economy is not questionable or contested. This made Lagos the fifth largest economy in Africa with a Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of 131 billion Dollars, as reported by Naij.com, thereby even surpassing some countries in Africa.
In Bayelsa state the reserve always seems to be the case. Though, the indigenes may not be too blamed for not being too business inclined due to fact that the Apprentice-System is not in the blood of the people, but what about the development of entrepreneurship skills in the people and the contribution of government and private citizens to achieve this? The answer has always been on the negative. Yes, the government has a role to play, but what about the ordinary politicians and rich folks? What business ideas do they have? What platforms have they set up to establish others who have good feasibility studies on business ideas? In Bayelsa, the business ideas of the rich are very poor. The best one can invest in are: Filling stations, Secondary Schools, Estates and Hotels. Most of the big hotels in Bayelsa state are owned by the rich politicians. Is hotel business the best, Bayelsa State politicians can invest in? How many people can a Hotel employ? How many people can Secondary schools, Filling stations and House building employ?  Where are the farms, paint industries, shoe making companies, Sugar factories, cosmetics factories, Motor selling companies, etc, owned by Bayelsa State rich politicians? The failure of our rich folks has contributed gravely to the reason why strangers in the state conclude that Bayelsa state indigenes are Lazy. It is high time, our politicians and rich folks rise up and make things happen. It is high time they grow above the stage of just singing exaggerated eulogies, lodging prostitutes in Motels and hotels, drinking beer, having sex and wasting their monies on frivolous activities. It is high time, they think of the people they are called to serve; whether politicians or not, it doesn’t matter. For those who have the money, they are expected to know that God has simply placed them in the position to help their state. This is not a task for the government alone. It is a task for everyone. Build private schools, Estates, and Industries, etc. Invest monies that will create jobs for the people and also help to contribute to the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state. Bayelsa needs to be financially independent. The people do not need the peanuts from the federal government alone, so that when the going gets tough they can sustain themselves. Human development is the best development in the world. For the government, it needs to grow beyond the level it is. John Maynard Keynes (1883 - 1946), British economist once said in The End of Laisser-Faire: “The important thing for Government is not to do things which individuals are doing already, and to do them a little better or a little worse; but to do those things which at present are not done at all.” If this is successfully done, the statement attributed to the once American President, Ronald Reagan (1911 - 2004), which is that Government is not the solution to the problem—government is the problem, would be defeated here in Bayelsa state. Bayelsa state politicians and rich folks must understand that:  For a government to survive, it must serve humanity.” 

                                                                                             

                                                
The duty to cater for the welfare of the people is not a lonesome task of the government. That is, not the job of the elected ones alone. Well-to-do private citizens are also servants to humanity. Service to humanity is everybody’s routine. 

                                                                                                                                       Ebi Robert.


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