The governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, in Imo State, Sir Okey Ezeh has said that by being too fixated with the quick revenues coming from the oil sector, successive governments in the State have neglected human capital development. He regretted that Imo’s human capital development is in tatters, adding that the biggest asset every society has is in the minds of its people.
The astute entrepreneur stated this on Monday while conferring with a team of topnotch American investors who visited his campaign office to discuss ways of increasing the inflows of FDI into some critical sectors of the Imo economy, especially energy and infrastructure.
Ezeh, who also is an accomplished banker and management consultant, further disclosed that in this new age, the surest way to prosperity is not mineral resources but human capital.
His words, “In the Middle East, a country like Saudi Arabia is endowed with enormous oil wealth, yet Saudi Arabia remains a Third World country. On the other hand, Japan is a very small and ecologically unstable country that is prone to tremors, earthquakes and landslides, but the third largest economy in the world is Japan. The biggest businesses are not those with the biggest physical assets but those that are most innovative and creative. Human capital is the future of Imo State, and that is an area my administration will pay priority attention to.
“In Imo State, for instance, education has completely collapsed. In the past decades, Imo occupied top positions in all external examinations, JAMB, WAEC and NECO. But education has taken a nosedive in our state. What Imo now has is free education that is free from knowledge. What we have is mass mediocrity. We cannot allow our young minds to waste. We cannot let Imo perish needlessly.
“Imo State is blessed with human capital. We have unbelievable talents. It’s only governance that is lacking in Imo, and that’s the only key that can unlock Imo’s enormous potentials,” he insisted.
The consummate technocrat flayed the incumbent government in the State for lack of fiscal prudence and development blueprint. According to him, “I learnt they spent Seven Hundred Million Naira last December on Christmas decorations. This happened in a State where most families starved at Christmas.”
He continued, “A few months ago I was at the Owerri Timber Market. There, my attention was drawn to a disagreement between some waste management agents and shop owners over the evacuation of sawdust, which the waste managers often clear off, deposit in a landfill and set ablaze. A thing like this still happens in Imo State when the fastest growing economy in the world, which is China, already has a market that is worth a whopping twelve billion dollars annually for sawdust and wood shavings.
“The particle board for the production of these desks and tables here and over 70% of hotel furnishings come from sawdust. All you need is to apply resin to it and run it through a hotpress, and you have particle board. And the cost of the machine for it is far below what this government spent last Christmas on decorations alone. An initiative like this can create over hundred thousand direct jobs for our people. Yet nobody thinks in that direction. We have come to do things differently.”
Ezeh assured Imo people that getting him elected as governor come 2019 by voting the SDP will provide a great opportunity to reposition the economy of the State through diversification of its income base so as to harness its limitless potentials and deliver prosperity to the people.