Dr. Harry, who listed some effort by the present administration to create jobs for the people, said that so far, not less than 35,000 persons have been engaged by the administration through the process.
GOV AMAECHI AND HIS VISION FOR THE UNEMPLOYED IN RIVERS STATE
The Rivers State Governor Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi says the state government will encourage creative youths as he asked job seekers on the need to explore their talents instead of waiting for government. Speaking at the flag-off ceremony of the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA) Job Fair 2013 in conjunction with the Ministry of Employment Generation and Empowerment in Port Harcourt, Amaechi advised prospective job seekers to be more entrepreneurial in their pursuits as a way of checking unemployment. Amaechi said, “You hear about militancy, Boko Haram, it is about poverty and unemployment, and until government deals with the twin issues of unemployment and poverty, we will continue to have insecurity. When we came to power in 2007, the monthly wage bill was N2.5 billion, and as we are talking now, the wage bill has increased to 8.9 billion. When we came, the state government had only 200 doctors to give treatment to over 5.1 million people. We went ahead to improve the employment of additional 200 doctors, and few months ago, I also called for the employment of another 200 doctors totally 600 doctors.
“We lack surveyors and technicians, and other professionals in the Ministry of Land and Housing. I have equally approved the need for government to hire some principal officer to fill the vacuum. We also took over the payment of teachers at the local government level in primary education which is suppose to be the responsibility of the local government councils.
“Now, we have approved the employment of 13,000 teachers. The consultant handling the ICT part of the primary education is employing one ICT teacher per school, and if you multiply it by 100, that is 200, and if you multiply it by 500 schools that we are completing, that will be 1000 ICT teachers.
“So, you look at doctors, engineers and all that, and they have been training them. Two weeks ago, 32 trained doctors returned from Russia, and I hope they have been engaged at the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital. I have partnered to create this opportunity, government cannot employ all of you, it is impossible. Government can only create the conducive environment and favourable business atmosphere that would create employment”, he said.
Amaechi also promised to release 5 billion to provide financial support to people who are ready to be self-reliant and innovative to borrow at subsidized low cost to set up their own business.
“This year, we will open the vocational training centre, and only those with the West Africa Certificate will be admitted in that school to train our youths on different skills, so they can set up their own business. This will make you to be self-employed. The government is willing to support you”, Amaechi said.
Amaechi said, his administration has created employment opportunities through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the state.
“When we came in 2007, Risonpalm was dead, completely dead. We have to lease Risonpalm out, and as am talking to you now, Risonpalm has hired 5,000 workers. We want to revive Delta Rubber Company, and lease to private company I don’t know how many workers they would hire if we conclude discussions. We are currently engaged in working out modalities to set up a new hotel where you have the former Hotel Olympia. They too will engage persons when they finish the construction of the new hotel.
And if you also go to the front of Government House, you used to have SUPABOD there. Before I became governor, they never planned to rebuild that place, a private company is rebuilding it into a mall and will employ minimum work force of 600 persons at the beginning. We are doing so much to see how we can create employment opportunities for the youths so that you can be engaged, and I hope you are employable or go in for any training to get yourself engaged”, Amaechi said.
OTHER AREAS OF INTERVENTION
Thousands of Rivers people are employed through the following Agencies established by the Rivers State Government –The Sanitation Environment Authority, Greater Port Harcourt Authority, Sports; jobs are created through turning Rivers State into a massive construction site involving construction of unaccountable roads, health and educational facilities
According to the Gospel of Saint John, chapter 2 verse 17, Jesus said the zeal of my father’s house hath eaten me up but to Gov Amaechi a devout Christian, “the zeal and commitment to alleviate the suffering of my people in Rivers State is eaten me up on daily basis”. I can now understand why the great Prof Tam David-West said, “orchestrated travails of Gov Amaechi though unfortunate is “Nigerian paradox “where excellence is relegated and mediocrity is elevated”.
Therefore “If governance is provision of dividends of democracy and caring for her citizenry then we must give it to Gov Amaechi for demonstrating and exhibiting what true leadership is all about as we plead with those fighting an unwarranted fight against the Governor to stop distracting the Governor in his zeal to provide for the people of Rivers State that elected him.