Opinion

THE MULTIPLE DREAMS OF A GOVERNOR….By ODEY OTUNU

When Governor Ayade was elected and inaugurated in 2015, little did we know that we were creating a leader with the biggest dreams, dreams that are beyond the imaginations of most African leaders, proposals that are as awesome as what took UAE to where they prestigiously are today. Governor Ayade’s signature project then, was a construction of a super highway that will transverse the entire state, from the North through the Central to Southern Cross River. No doubts, it was a great thought, the people of Cross River cherished this great dream of our Digital Governor, they still do because some are yet to understand that it is becoming impossible, given the magnitude of hope they invested.

Another very interesting feat of his excellency is the proliferation of the offices of commissioners of ministries, the Governor showed to the world that a state can be converted and ran like an independent political system, by officially inaugurating commissioners with portfolios which are supposed to be the exclusive reserves of the central government.

Governor Ayade is only trying to open the eyes of Nigerians to the true practice of fiscal federalism, to a large extent, a regional government is expected to enjoy some substantial degree of independence in a federal system, industrialize the region and create employment opportunities. His drive to create more jobs is the reason he has created more ministries, these ministries have commissioners, permanent secretaries, directors, accountants, clerical staff and many more, they shall receive salaries from the state and sustain their families.

The creativity in Governor Ayade’s many ministries can not be overemphasized, take the Ministry of Aviation for instance, the new appointment shall induce the purchase of some aircrafts and the speedy development of the Obudu International Cargo Airport, this also shall create jobs. It would have more sense if the Governor had separated the ministry of transport into three to include marine to manage our deep seaport which would likely witness huge investment shortly, given the speedy pace of work at the Bakassi Water Ways.

Governor Ayade actually has great dreams, his dreams are willing, the only problem is his spirit, he has difficulties in managing his great dreams, maybe because his dreams are too tall, he dreams like a Governor-General, the dreams that would have been dreamed by the vice president of Nigeria in charge of the South South states if we restructure our federalism and transfer some presidential powers to the regions, where the regions are expected to grow without limits, where the regions can interact favourably with other countries of the world, then the Commissioner for Foreign Affairs and his colleague in the Ministry of International Cooperation shall function at full capacity.

I still think it is possible to make these men and women function, if they don’t function as accounting officers of strange state ministries, they can at least function as political leaders of their council wards during electioneering campaigns, and also when the various MOUs with our foreign partners begin to yield results, someone told me recently that our international commercial partnership may start yielding results in 2030.

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