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Obi urges Bayelsa govt to support small businesses

Vice Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in 2019 elections, Mr Peter Obi, has encouraged the Bayelsa State Government to remain focused to ensure continued delivery of good governance to the people.

Obi advised while speaking on Budgeting and Economic Planning at the Bayelsa State Government Cabinet Retreat held at Ibom Resort Centre, Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State.

He urged the Bayelsa Government to prioritize support for small businesses as a way of poverty eradication, stressing that a booming private sector would ensure a reduction in unemployment and crime.

To improve the local economy, Obi advised the government to always patronise local manufacturers. He recalled how he, as Anambra governor, bought over 1,000 vehicles from Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing paying about N5 billion. He expressed joy that Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing had grown to contribute not just to the state’s but to the national economy, with a staff strength of over 7,000.

He explained how important it was for every individual, organisation and government to work with clearly defined goals. He said that with a clear vision, the state and its stakeholders would be able to work together to achieve their common goals.

The former vice-presidential candidate further stated that a clear vision would bring about good planning and budgeting which, he said, were very critical in governance, especially in the management of scarce economic resources.

Obi noted that no government, no matter how prosperous, had enough economic resources to achieve its goals, contending that with good economic planning, one could prioritize and maximize the scarce resources.

On the inevitability of borrowing, he advised: “You do not borrow to support a budget, but you borrow to support a project. Many nations across the world borrow to make their economy better. Singapore’s debt to GDP ratio today is 120%. Japan has a debt to GDP ratio of 200%, while the United States of America have 100%. These are all prosperous nations with obvious debts. Investing in productive ventures is what differentiates their debts from ours that are consumed rather than invested.”

He encouraged the State Executive members to continue to work together as a team for the good of the people of Bayelsa.

“Every plan, budget and policy must be geared towards improving the life of every Bayelsa indigene. You are not in the entertainment business so don’t expect to make everyone happy, but deliver good governance to the people. That is what they truly need from you”.

Bayelsa State Governor, Sen Duoye Diri; Deputy Governor, Sen Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo; commissioners and heads of service and agencies attended the event.