ADP’s Fingesi fingers poverty as Rivers greatest bane, points to way out – Businessday

Poverty is ravaging Rivers State at the moment despite the glitter of painted flyovers and township roads.
Victor Fingesi, the governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), says rebuilding the economy of the state and dedicating 25 per cent of the budget (about N100Bn) every year on human capital development including education sector.
Fingesi said this when he was presented to the media last week in PH by the state chairman, Kendrick Christian, along with his running mate, a pastor, Believe Ekiye.
Declaring the platform as ‘Credible Alternative’, Fingesi said poverty is the case, the bane. “We have a rich state but poor people. This state has everything to be rich: seaports, airports, oil and gas free zone, etc, that can create jobs, but there are no jobs in Port Harcourt or anywhere in the state.”
He decried what he called frightening statistics about Rivers State where unemployment rate is one of the highest in Nigeria in a state that spends about N400Bn every year, but none for job creation and skill development.
“Trans-Amadi is now an industrial graveyard instead of industrial layout. There is generational wealth crisis. It is moving away. Families that were wealthy in the 1980s are no more around. Their families are all abroad.
“Wealthy Rivers State is possible. It is easy to turn Rivers State into an international centre. I have foreign friends and contacts. The King of UAE (Dubai) was my classmate in the US. They called all their people from the US and Europe back home to join in an effort to develop it, to come and rebuild their nation. This can be done.
“We will drive away poverty in first two years. It will not be about putting billions of naira into people pockets but by prosperity for all with a contented life.
“People do not make a city, cities make themselves. If local council leaders create activities around their areas, people will come and settle to make a living.
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“We will create wealth by making Rivers State an internet hub free. It just to hang a satellite above the state. We do not need to buy it. We just rent one and it boosts the economy of the state. We renew periodically. We can grow the economy of the state.
“Why we left the PDP that we helped to found. We saw that the dreams we all had at the beginning had been lost. The party boasts of structures but is it not just making some tens of persons at ward, local and state government levels rich. These people are in minority because the masses there are not part of what is happening.’
It is like his hope is in the 2022 Electoral Act which he said has changed the game. “You may have all the money but you can no longer control peoples votes. People are hungry. They want to take back power.
“I have seen it all since 1982. Am not in it to enrich myself. I want to see my environment grow and develop aggressively. We don’t need deep pocket. People are hungry and angry. They want to see evidence of sincere and credible leadership to join and bring about a new system.
“People are hungry even in the presence of deep pockets, while some of us are philanthropists without being deep pockets, yet people around us are happy. My philosophy of giving is that If I give, my Creator gives me back much more.
“The gear has shifted. You cannot stop change that has come. Power of the youths is real. EndSARS proved it. Obi-dient has emerged and the big parties are rattled. In 2023, knowledge will speak.”
He said sanitation days are a waste and a creative government will make people to wake up by 5am everyday and clean up their places. The over five hours lost through shutdown every month is a huge waste and a sign of ignorance, he added.
“We know why people collect money from politicians. We will teach our people how to multiply money and be free from slavery and poverty.”
In a policy paper he presented, Fingesi stated thus: “Poverty is the reason why we are having an increased rate of crime and insecurity. A State that is blessed with natural and human resources, generating N57.3 billion annually yet having over 1,714,188 unemployed youths, 188,590 out of school teenagers (as recorded by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics), clearly shows that something is not right. Obviously, that is leadership!”
Agriculture: Rivers State has all it takes to be amongst the richest in the world. We have the best terrain for all forms of agricultural production. With over 250, 000 hectares of fertile arable land, and rich water ways, Rivers State can lead an agricultural revolution across LGAs. Where we can grow our food and feed the rest of the world.
Jobs: Massive jobs can be created out of agric industrialization. True empowerment implies the building of the unskilled individual to become self sufficient through applicable skills that can easily generate incomes and make the individual self sustaining. We will bring mentoring experts and skill trainers from functional economies to come transfer skills and knowledge to our people which will rebuild the economy of Rivers State to our desires and dreams.
Education: We will invest in the education of our people at all level of the society, in tech, formal and vocational forms of education with 25 per cent of the State budget. Our administration will turn our youths into globally competitive force and we will harness their full potentials in rebuilding Rivers State.
Investing massively in these key areas would put Rivers State on the Golden path of Generational wealth; where there would be endless jobs opportunities for all, massive food production and export, infrastructural development, healthcare, security and the total elimination of hunger and poverty from Rivers State.
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