A renowned university lecturer, Professor Des Wilson has described as unfair, the proposed plan by the Niger Delta Development Commission,NDDC to embark on more roads in some parts of the state without due consultations with the state executive council.
While speaking to Global Pilot news in his ooffice, the professor expressed displeasure at the manner with which the NDDC has pursued its development agenda calling it a selfish move to score points against 2019, and undermine the current government.
The ethno-communicologist who was very vocal in his opinion asked the MD of the NDDC to venture into channeling resources for industrialization of the state.
“The state government knows that it needs the development of roads, the NDDC is trying to build roads so as to make a point for 2019, to say that they have done this and done that in the state. But the issue really is, was the NDDC set up to build roads alone? The law setting up the NDDc didn’t say that they must only build roads.
There are industries to be built. All these monies that they have been playing around with can’t they use such monies to organise industries with the active participation of the people of the area where the industry is allocated, rather than think of roads alone?”
He explained further, “I have seen industries in Anambra, in Imo, in Abia, small industries, N50 million, N30 million, set up by individuals and these industries are producing.”
In his words, “If you say okay, you are going to do an industry of a 100 million naira, per local government area of Akwa Ibom State, multiply that by 31, it will give you something in billions (3,100,000,000 ) it will be less than the amount we spend on roads.”
He commended the industrialisation programme of the current administration, noting that despite the challenges prevalent in the current Nigerian State, the industrialisation programme is good empowerment for the people.
He lauded Governor Emmanuel’s investments in industrialization saying, “I like this young man (Gov Emmanuel), he is trying, there are mistakes, and there is no one that is perfect. That is why when I criticise I have my limits I look back at Human frailties.”
Banking his support on physical accomplishments, the former Communication Arts lecturer said, “This man has started doing small industries, if we had as much money as we had during Akpabio’s time then maybe I would have come at him more; I would have hit him. He is from my area, but I don’t do those things on grounds of sentiments. When he was campaigning and he came to the area, I told him I didn’t support him.”
“The point is that I like what he is doing and I want to support him, he is doing something positive because if the industries work, there will be employment for the young people and the society will be better off.”
He was optimistic that businesses can thrive and succeed in Akwa Ibom State if the enabling industries are put in place and admonished the NDDC to seek public interest before they embark on any project in the state.
“There is nothing wrong with making roads, but let those roads even be the roads that the people have decided are of great importance to them, “because some of these roads are done for friends of those who work, or have connection with the NDDC.”
“But as the state government has said, if you want to build roads in my backyard without informing me, without looking at the plans that I have. We have a development plan, we probably need some other things, why can’t they provide water, there are some communities that still don’t have portable water,” he added.