…Eyes Labour Party governorship ticket
By Onome Amuge.
Adolphus Aletor, the managing director and chief executive of Rigo Microfinance Bank, has challenged the Edo State government on the need to improve the state’s economy through the establishment of industrial hubs where companies can share common infrastructure like power, water, road, and labour in order to reduce their cost of operation and achieve sustainability.
Aletor, a frontrunner for the governorship ticket of the Labour Party for next year’s Edo State governorship elections, contends that locating industrial hubs in the three senatorial districts of the state is practicable. This, he explained, would not only raise the state’s level of productivity but also enhance evenly distributed wealth and job creation, especially for the unemployed and underemployed youths who are continually drifting towards illicit occupation.
Speaking at a pally held recently in Lagos with Edo corporates, professionals, among others, he lamented that the government easily plays politics with the state’s comparative advantage and does not want to build but lay hold on transient gains.
Commenting on the current situation in the second largest state in the south-south geopolitical zone, Aletor said, “The once beautiful Edo state, the place that is home to many of us from various communities and languages such as the Binis, Esans, and Afemais have become a shadow of itself leaving the people to fight daily for survival.”
“We must beat the storm; we must run roughshod to attain industrialization. Job creation is the end result of a good policy; it is not an act. Our leaders have successively failed us in this regard,” he continued.
Aletor also pointed out the deplorable condition of road infrastructure in the state, noting that many parts of Edo state have remained inaccessible due to poor infrastructure, causing untold hardship to motorists, passengers and business owners.
The transit state which connects the south-west to the south-east, as well as the south to the north, has in recent times gained widespread unpopularity for the bad state of its roads, including the capital, Benin City.
The federal roads linking Edo State directly to Kogi,Anambra,Delta, and Ondo States, have thus become a nightmare to commuters.
Aletor recalled that the state governor and his convoy were on occasions seen on video stuck and not able to get to official destinations, portraying the government’s helplessness in fixing the bad roads.
“Though many argue and make justifications for past and present administrations, that the issues we face are pervasive, permit me to disagree as I perceive that these issues are self-made for the convenience of the elite. In the game of Edo politics, the masses have been excluded and the government detached from reality,” he said.
The Edo-born financial expert with over twenty-four years of banking experience at various levels noted that visible regional collaboration for the purpose of infrastructural development is yet to be seen, while suggesting that the idea of a regional development bank to fund the construction of rail, power, road, mass housing, and integrated agriculture will not only see Edo State blossom but the rest of the south-south region.
Aletor also advocated for the establishment of functioning primary health care centres (dispensaries) in the 192 wards of Edo state to revive the healthcare sector which has received its own fair share of neglect. He added that wards are not meant for political calculations as observed in recent times, but for easy developmental spread and purpose.
In his assessment of the state’s education system following the petrol subsidy removal by the federal government, he said, “Our schools are left in a decrepit, dilapidated, and uninhabitable state. Children now go to school three times a week while the burden of sourcing expensive fuel to power expensive android powered tabs and buy disappearing data has been shifted to the parents who are either with subsistence economic activity or a meager minimum wage.”
He implored the government to partner with transporters to provide either free or subsidised transport for school children and their teachers to ensure the continuity of quality education.
Aletor lamented that Edo State,regarded as the heartbeat of Nigeria and renowned for its distinctive rich cultural heritage, has continued to take the back seat among the comity of states.
“Our people need food, our people need quality healthcare, and our people need good education and good administration. These are grossly in short supply in Edo state,” he said.
He,therefore, advocated for an egalitarian system of leadership in the state where there is no difference between the leader and the followers, where people can unleash their potential and become what they want by dint of their efforts irrespective of tribe, religion, gender, age, or status.