Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Government should invest Paris Club Refund in the people - Prof King

Government should invest Paris Club Refund in the people - Prof King

As growing debate over the Paris club refund to states keeps engaging the public attention, Akwa Ibom State All Progressives Congress (APC) Chieftain, Prof. Richard King, has advised the government to consider the judicious application of the fund to leverage the plight of the common man in the society.

Prof. King Spoke in Uyo, the State Capital, during a Media chat with our correspondent. 

Arguing that the state government should not plough all of the fund into infrastructure development, he said it would amount to a clear misplacement of economic scale of priorities, if as variously reported in the media, the governments’ position on the 10bn naira refund is to settle outstanding liabilities to contractors amidst outstanding socio – economic challenges currently confronting the state. 

Warning that the Paris Club refund should never be frittered through self serving political misadventure, the Professor of Fisheries and Aquaculture has however, added that it would serve the best interest of advancing the state and her indigenes, if the governor would conscientiously resist pressure from some selfish and unprincipled politicians that the fund be mindlessly shared among the elite political class at the dire expense of growing the state economy as well as bring succor to her suffering masses.

Noting that infrastructure development is of significant importance to realizing the needed socio – economic dynamics in the state, Prof. King has maintained that primary considerations should of course, be given to the welfare of citizens, including the building of economic capacity, human capital development and the care for the elderly, especially pensioners, whose outstanding arrears of emoluments and pensions should be considerably met to ameliorate their worsening living conditions.

On fighting the rising levels of unemployment among youths of the state, the APC stalwart has suggested for the government to invest a substantial part of the fund by positively engaging the youths through major skills acquisition and entrepreneurial development; adding that aside from reducing high unemployment rate among youths, the active engagement of this segment of citizens in sustainable and lucrative ventures, will go along way in lessening crime and the use of unengaged youths as political thugs in the society.

 Prof. King therefore called on the government to meaningfully use the Paris Club refund and achieve more, by providing critical solutions to the state’s present challenges and thereby, give impetus to federal government’s recurrent effort at making the state economically viable through a guaranteed policy of fiscal support that would add increased value to the local economy.

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