Penitentiary Capitalism, Acute Underdevelopment and Economic Civilization


By Jérôme-Mario Utomi

This coin stems from three recent developments in the country. The first is the final argument of development-conscious Nigerians that the perennial hemorrhage / crisis of the nation’s leadership is aggregated by a successive deficiency in leadership vision and, in some cases, compounded by the understanding and interpretation of problems by public officials with clarity but lack of political will to see through or implement solutions. A development that has made the nation in dire need of a functioning system, a government that cares for its citizens, especially young people, secures lives and property while strengthening the economy.

The second, very relevant, is the Southern Governors Forum’s insistence that the presidency must be transferred to the south of the country by 2023, coupled with the recent decision of the main opposition party in Nigeria, the Peoples Democratic. Party (PDP), to zone the post of national chairman of the northern party.

As we know, it is a political principle adopted by the main political parties in Nigeria that whenever the national president of a political party comes out of the north, the presidential candidate of the same party usually comes out of the south where prominent figures as Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State originated.

The third and most essential concerns the new appeal made by the leader of the minority in the House of Representatives, Mr. Ndudi Elumelu, to Mr. Okowa to run for the presidency of the country in 2023.

The minority leader, who spoke at the installation of the 2nd Rotary Club President for the Rotary Club Year 2021/2022 (Club of Asaba Downtown District 9141), stressed that Governor Okowa should serve as president of the nation so that he can replicate his accomplishments. in the massive development of infrastructure and human capital in Delta State at the national level.

He pointed out that Governor Okowa was endowed with the capacity and the competence to save the nation from the bad governance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and to reposition it on the path of peace, unity and economic prosperity. .

“I must commend Governor Okowa for his selfless service and sacrifices which have led to unprecedented massive infrastructure development in our beloved state as well as a better standard of living for our people.

“Governor Okowa is a rare gift not only to Delta State, but also to our nation, Nigeria, as a whole. I firmly believe that he is endowed with the capacity and competence to serve our nation at the highest level so that he can replicate the successes recorded in our state at the national level.

“I sincerely call on him to make him available to serve the nation again. He deserves to be the president of this country, in 2023, ”said Elumelu.

However, despite the popularity of this opinion, it will be antithetical to supporting a movement based on feeling or allowing feeling to determine our actions. Therefore, in accordance with the Christian holy book, the Bible, urged in 1 John 4; 1 that we do not believe in all spirits, but test spirits to see if they are of God because many false prophets have come out into the world.

It will be, for reasons, of considerable importance to subject this call to an objective analysis to fundamentally help voters to make informed decisions “because the ignorance of a voter in a democracy compromises the security of all”.

To fulfill this function properly, the following installers will be needed; Does Governor Okowa have a vital leadership capacity necessary to tame the country’s eternal “leadership hemorrhage / crisis in the country compounded by a successive deficiency in leadership vision and compounded by the understanding and interpretation of problems by the country? public officials with clarity but lack of political will to see through or implement? solutions? Has Governor Okowa really achieved massive infrastructure and human capital development in Delta State? Did he indeed and truly show selfless service and sacrifice as Mr. Elumelu claims?

Again, according to Elumelu’s contention, another issue would be at the federal level, are there any signs of mismanagement on the part of the CPA-led federal government calling Okowa’s attention to reposition the nation on the path to peace, unity and economic prosperity?

Again, on May 29, 2015, amid the cheers and jubilation of the groundhog crowd who attended his swearing-in ceremony at the cenotaph in Asaba, Okowa, according to media reports, told his audience: “As a government, we are committed to building and consolidating a state in which there will be more employment opportunities, a thriving agriculture and agri-food sector, effective health and education systems. , renewed urban infrastructure, and enhanced security and peace to support economic growth and development.

Now, looking at the last six years of his administration, it will raise the question of how well has the governor delivered on those promises? Also, at the national level, how relevant is Governor Okowa when it comes to matters of pressing national importance? As the current Governor of Delta State, what details can the Okowa-led government reveal to convince Nigerians that it can effectively administer the federation?

In providing answers to these nagging questions starting with the last question, it must be fundamentally emphasized that regardless of the fact that Delta State, to use Governor Okowa’s words, is a microcosm of Nigeria because it is populated of different ethnic nationalities and has had inter-ethnic conflicts / clashes, deadly border disputes, especially over oil lands, and political tensions, a case which in my opinion qualifies a governor of such a state to effectively lead the federation, Governor Okowa, as the next paragraph will show, since taking office on May 29, 2015, has demonstrated that for the leader to stand out he must be a shining light and as such he must be able to to break the retrograde tendencies that remain by doing what one does not wish to be done.

To fully capture this claim, this piece will do an x-ray / classification of the accomplishments of Governor Okowa’s administration in two.

First, the achievements at the state level which have to do with the implementation of policy objectives / programs aimed at creating jobs and wealth (wealth creation and job creation), economic diversification, democratization education sector, infrastructure development, reconfiguration / provision of state security architecture in state, engagement of young people in productive enterprise, training of entrepreneurs and leaders, promoting community peace and developing a database on employment and unemployed youth for planning purposes. The second focuses on his relentless nation-building efforts at the federal level.

Evidence abounds that the Governor, in pursuit of these goals, has compressed his programs into a five point program which is summarized in the acronym SMART.

The SMART agenda means strategic wealth creation and job creation projects for all Deltans; Significant peacebuilding platforms aimed at political and social harmony; Agricultural reforms and accelerated industrialization; Relevant health and education policies and; Environment transformed by urban renewal.

Take wealth creation and job generation, for illustration, the Governor himself has recently but succulently captured his accomplishments in this way; “We have a deliberate policy to tackle youth unemployment through vocational training and entrepreneurship development programs. I believe that the way out of the quagmire of unemployment is to equip young people with the technical know-how, professional skills, values ​​and resources to become independent, as opposed to one-off empowerment. This is what my administration has done by instituting various vocational training and entrepreneurship development programs, including: the vocational training and entrepreneurship program (STEP); Young Agricultural Entrepreneurs Program (YAGEP); Graduate Employment Improvement Program (GEEP); Rural Youth Skills Acquisition Program (RYSA); Girls’ Entrepreneurship Skills Training (GEST); and the Women’s Entrepreneurship Skills Acquisition Program (WESAP).

These programs, he said, are trainee-centered and service-oriented. Sectors and activities covered include agriculture, agricultural value chain services, skills-based microenterprises and family businesses.

In addition, the training and mentoring processes aim beyond the education of entrepreneurs to produce leaders and managers with a high level of personal responsibility and effectiveness. I am pleased to announce that after six years of faithfully implementing these programs, we have trained and provided business support packages to several thousand young people.

Following the success of these interventions and other efforts to promote technical education, Delta State was ranked as the best state in human capital development in the 2017 State Peer Review by the Council. Nigeria’s National Competitiveness Council.

Also in 2020, Delta was named the second least poor state, after Lagos, Nigeria’s business hub, according to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

From the above observations, it is evident that he (Okowa) is in my opinion presidential material that the nation needs to emerge from the unemployment crisis and economic backwardness. However, in order not to be accused of reaching hasty conclusions, this article will go beyond the governor’s prowess in wealth creation and job creation, to x-ray his efforts in other sectors.

To be continued.

Jerome-Mario Utomi is the Program Coordinator (Media and Public Policy), Advocacy for Social and Economic Justice (SEJA), Lagos. He could be contacted via [email protected]/08032725374.


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