A gubernatorial aspirant in Imo State, Mr. Jeff Uzor has said he would get the legislature to enact a law to criminalize delayed payment of salaries and pensions by governments and private entrepreneurs if elected in 2019.
Uzor, who spoke in Owerri, the state capital on Wednesday said it is unbelievable that salaries are delayed for months and in some cases for a year, yet people walk around as if nothing is amiss in the polity.
He lamented the harsh conditions under which Nigerians were living, saying if such horrible conditions obtain abroad, their citizens would daily commit suicide.
Uzor, bemoaned the unavailability of electricity, poor management of wastes, collapsed education and health systems in the country.
The United States-based technocrat insisted that Nigeria would soon collapse except something is urgently done to stem the tide.
“There is no basis to compare Nigeria and United States. The space is so wide. Can you even compare Nigeria with countries that have crude oil like us? Those countries have gone far. Nigeria has potentials to be one of the greatest countries on earth. There are no catastrophic events in the country. Nigeria does not have earthquakes. Our lands are arable but are not harnessed. Other countries that have oil can’t be compared with Nigeria”, Uzor submitted.
The aspirant stated that 2019 presents Nigerians with the opportunity to tell themselves the home-truth that things are not working and devise avenues of getting out of the rot.
“We are in a very big hole. Our waste management system is poor, what if epidemic breaks out from these dirt we dump here and there. Ebola could be as a result of germs breeding in these dirt. But they said it was from animals”.
He canvassed retooling virtually all sectors of the economy to get the country out of the quagmire.
“To get out of the quagmire, we don’t even have an education system, we don’t have a good healthcare system. We only have schools and teachers, we are deceiving ourselves. When you see good hospitals and schools, you will know we are deceiving ourselves”.
Uzor regretted that even facilities that worked during the colonial and post-colonial periods have all decayed.
He said; “I was born in the early 70s. Though I didn’t witness the colonial era, shortly after they left, we still had pipe-borne water, working fire stations. I could recall if a market in Umuahia caught fire, you see fire engines coming from Aba, Okigwe and Umuahia to fight fire. NIPOST was working, though there are electronic mails now. We should have improved on these things. Nigeria has backslidden. We are still writing with chalk nowadays. What a shame”.
Instead of establishing a pencil-manufacturing plant as proposed by Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, Uzor suggested that the country mass-produces those goods of high demand outside.
“I can’t comprehend why the minister wants to manufacture pencil. It has nothing to grow economy. Identify things other countries need which we could mass produce and sell to them. You can’t sell palm oil or fufu to a white man, so develop olive oil and sell to them” he advised.