The Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law of the Rivers State University and Professor of Energy and Comparative Environmental Law, Prof Samuel Chisa Dike, has expressed delight over the successful election of Sir Siminialayi Fubara as the Governor-Elect of Rivers State.
He, however, outlined the fundamental areas which the incoming administration should give priority attention to when sworn into office on May 29, 2023, to enable it succeed and even surpass the excellent achievements of the Governor Nyesom Wike administration.
Dike, who spoke in an interview in Port Harcourt said it was good to set agenda for the incoming Governor so that he would have a full grasp of what the people expect from his administration, stressing that the outgoing administration has performed creditably, particularly in the area of infrastructural development, among others.
He noted that he was particularly elated over the emergence of Sir Fubara at the governorship poll, because, as he put it, the agitation and demand by Rivers people for power shift, from the upland to the riverine, have been met, to actually guarantee justice, equity and fairness in power sharing in the State.
With this development, Dike said the next administration would be able to take development activities to the riverine areas of the State, and expressed joy that the Governor-Elect, who hails from Opobo Town, was a core civil servant and technocrat before dabbling into the murky waters of politics.
The university teacher equally said this is a welcome development as he would be able to prudently manage the resources of the State as well as address the welfare needs of both civil and public servants in the State.
The lecturer admonished the incoming administration to shift and improve on other areas the outgoing administration could not handle since, according to him, governance is a continuum, and identified the first area the incoming administration should focus on as human capital development.
He said this area is key and pivotal in the overall development of the State since it could affect development in several other sectors like information, health, agriculture and commerce, among others, and advised the Governor-Elect to begin to galvanise his capacity towards this direction.
Dike noted that the administration could record monumental milestones in this area through aggressive scholarship policies and programmes, stressing that local and overseas undergraduate and graduate scholarships could go a long way to bolster the human capital needs of the State, describing himself as a product of scholarship.
To this end, he said giving a target response to human capital development is much expected of the new administration.
Side by side this, Dike noted is the empowerment of Rivers people, adding that the new government’s aggressive policy on empowerment would also go a long way to remove loafers and miscreants on the streets, thereby reducing criminality in the State.
According to him, there should be a conscious effort by the incoming administration to decongest Port Harcourt, as doing so would provide a whole lot of benefits to the people.
The university teacher also stressed the need for the administration to improve the state government’s relationship with multinational and other companies operating in the State, and cited Siat Nigeria Limited where the state government has a stake as an example, saying, doing this would enable the State to create a thriving industrial hub for the State.
In the area of environment, Dike suggested that the Garden City status of Port Harcourt can be restored by the new administration by embracing a deliberate policy of planting of trees and flowers on major roads.
He also advocated a re-introduction of the school- to- land policy of the Fidelis Oyakilome administration to boost agriculture in the State since, according to him, all life is tied to the soil, saying, activating a robust policy on agriculture would assist the State.
Dike, therefore, urged all political parties in the State to bury the hatchet and rally round the Governor-Elect, saying, “let the existing peace in the State continues. Acrimony does not pay”.
He, however, advised the incoming administration to run an inclusive government by carrying all Rivers people along irrespective of party affiliation.
He described the Governor-Elect and his Deputy, Prof. Ngozi Odu as an amazing and wonderful combination that would take the State to glorious heights in the next four years.