FeaturesTiming, Major Problem Facing Implementation Of Govt Policies In Nigeria - Hon...

Timing, Major Problem Facing Implementation Of Govt Policies In Nigeria – Hon Kama

June 03, (THEWILL) – In this interview with Hon. Kama Nkemkanma with THEWILL Reporter, Sunday Ogbu, the federal lawmaker representing Ohaozara/Onicha/Ivo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives says the major problem militating against the implementation of government policies in Nigeria is its timing. He explained while Nigerians were still grappling with the effects of subsidy removal came the increase in electricity tariff. Excerpt:

You have been in the green chamber for one year. What have you so far achieved?

Thank you for having me. I don’t even know where to start. The most important thing is that I have to thank God that I have been there for a year. What have we achieved so far? Honestly, I wouldn’t say that much has been achieved, but we know that a whole lot will be achieved going forward. We have done the ones within our control, I know we’ve done boreholes within the communities that make up Ohaozara, Onicha and Ivo federal constituency. We had a healthcare program that affected 16,500 people, our Christmas palliative was out of town because we did a lot for the communities across the board, we had a stipend for indigent people we tried to help, school fees, medicals apart from the one I mentioned earlier which was the general one. There are a whole lot of them that we did individually, we have given farm inputs to 400 women. So, we have done much, it’s just that our expectations for our people have not been met but we hope that by God’s grace, a whole lot will be done as we go forward.

You have always talked about the HIPE agenda. Can you shed more light on it?

As I have always said, very soon, Ohaozara, Onicha and Ivo federal constituency will be a construction site based on the HIPE agenda that we are working with; Health, Infrastructure, Poverty Alleviation and Education. In all these things, we are trying to make sure that our people are happy even as scholarship is going on. So, we have done a whole lot for our people and we will continue to do our best.

How do you feel being in the opposition Labour Party?

Honestly, I am not an orphan, I have somebody that I call native intelligence. I call him native intelligence because he has done extremely well and that’s my Governor, His Excellency Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru who doesn’t discriminate, he backs me in everything I do. He never treated me differently as somebody from another party which never existed. In the whole of Ebonyi State, the Governor has brought everybody together and nobody is talking about the party. So, please, we don’t discuss parties, the Governor has broken that jinx. He sees me as Kama, he just wants me to perform. So, I am not a political orphan, I have a father, and I have powers. Everybody is in tune with what is going on in the state; there is no division, there is no discrimination, there is no crisis. The Governor made it so and we are all happy for it.

Do you think your party members are satisfied with your romance with the All Progressives Congress (APC)?

People have been talking about my closeness with the APC and everything, it’s interesting actually. I want to give you a little background so that it will guide you. First and foremost, I am an APC person in the first instance. I want us to understand that I came from APC. I was in APC, there was no division between me and APC and I never quarrelled with APC, I never had an issue with APC, I had no issues with the APC whatsoever in the first instance. So, there is no way when there is nothing broken to be parting. I just woke up one day and decided to run an election on a different platform, it doesn’t affect my relationship with where I am coming from and it shouldn’t affect my relationship with where I am coming from. So my closeness to APC, to me, is a great advantage for us. The most important thing it has done is that you have never heard of any clashes in Ohaozara, Onicha and Ivo federal constituency because of party differences and everything. During our Christmas palliative, we called everybody as long as you are from Ohaozara, Onicha and Ivo federal constituency, you took part. So, there was no division to say you are from PDP, APC and all that. So, as I said, it doesn’t matter whether you are APC or whatever, I am in tandem with my own unity in my constituency to make sure that everything goes well. People talking about APC this, APC that, it doesn’t come up.

What is your view about describing one as a political boy?

When you say your boy, is a term that doesn’t exist because nobody is anybody’s boy. Everybody is a full-blown man who takes the responsibility to do whatever he wants to do. Yes, Ifeanyi Ogba is now in APC, that is a path he has chosen to toe and he has his reasons. I believe that whatever we do, we have our reasons for doing so. So, he has his reasons for doing what he did but for me Kama, I am not moving anywhere and it is obvious to everybody. I have no reason to move. There is no division like I said, the Governor is not striving for anybody. If you like you are in ANPP, he doesn’t care, all he does is to bring people together and merge everybody to become one. The Governor is more interested in your performance than wherever you are coming from, he just wants you to perform. As long as you are performing, it also helps him to take away pressure from him. All he expects everybody to do is to work and perform and he is okay with it. So, he is not talking about the party.

How do you cope as an opposition member in the House of Representatives?

I have realised something concerning opposition. Sometimes, people want you to be in opposition for being in opposition’s sake, they don’t want you to look beyond being in a different party. They just want you to be doing what I am in opposition to, whatever comes out I will oppose whether it is good or bad. Now, do you have a number to oppose a legislature you don’t feel comfortable about? One thing I discovered in the legislature is the lobby, it exists even in America. Lobbying can get anything done in this world and that is one thing that people fail to realize. Even as an opposition, when the lobbies come, they come up to you, it’s about who is running it, who is in executive, what he wants, and how he wants to go about it. This is why it seems there is not much in-fighting not really because there is no opposition but because there is people who do soft landing and we have challenged them. Like the tariff thing, I stood up and talked about it and the House is looking at it, a whole lot is going on actually. When I raised the motion on the electricity Tariff, the Orasonya report, the committee looked at it and advised the government and told the government look, this is not the will of the people, it doesn’t augur well. Remember, when they brought up the security levy thing, nobody knew how it died, nobody knew how the President woke up and said stop it. The country is going through so much right now, so taxing the people more is probably not the right way. Rather, they should try and see a way to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal, we have not recovered from the subsidy removal and then the floating of the naira somehow. All these are part of the things that have almost affected everything that we are doing. But you know sometimes it gets worse before it gets better. If the policies being implemented are followed to the letter without sabotage, and if the intentions are genuine for the people, I believe things will change.

What is your general appraisal of the fuel subsidy removal and its consequences?

Like I said, one of the greatest things the government did was the removal of the subsidy because it’s a monster actually but I have a problem with the implementation of the removal. One, I was taught that there should be a sensitisation, the procedure to me is just where I have a problem. I am an advocate of the removal of the fuel subsidy. I thought Buhari would have done that in his regime, we thought that this would have been done a long time ago. By now, this whole thing would have died down, and the effect of it would have gone but unfortunately, he didn’t do it. The President should have planned for the removal, the effects but we did that we removed before we started planning for the effects of it. This created a vacuum because it’s a big vacuum, we started from Z instead of A and there are other policies being implemented, my problem with some of these things as I have always said is sometimes timing. For instance, we have not finished the effects of the removal of the fuel subsidy and your electricity is a no-go area for anybody now and you are adding a tariff thing. It might be a proper thing to do but timing again is very important. This is a major problem with some of the policies being implemented but these are the things we need to do for the country to move forward you should also take cognisance of the feelings of the people of the society from there, step 1, stabilise it, step 2, stabilise it, then you move to step 3 gradually. There should be a stabilisation, you can’t add fuel to a burning fire.

About the Author

Sunday Ogbu is a professional journalist with eight - twelve years experience that had worked with various print and online media. Sunday specializes in news reporting with the aim of educating his readers on current social, political and economic occurences within his area of coverage. Sunday is a strong force to work with in the media industry and uses his positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others to work hard and succeed. Sunday is inspired daily by his wife and their four children. In his free time, Sunday likes sight-seeing, reading and discussing issues of societal interest.

 
Sunday Ogbuhttps://thewillnews.com
Sunday Ogbu is a professional journalist with eight - twelve years experience that had worked with various print and online media. Sunday specializes in news reporting with the aim of educating his readers on current social, political and economic occurences within his area of coverage. Sunday is a strong force to work with in the media industry and uses his positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others to work hard and succeed. Sunday is inspired daily by his wife and their four children. In his free time, Sunday likes sight-seeing, reading and discussing issues of societal interest.

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