By Patrick Obia
Ken Asim-Itah, the Executive Secretary, Calabar Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (CALCCIMA) has described money spent by the Cross River State Government in building and running industries as “Diabolical Waste.”
On his part, the Cross River and Akwa Ibom State branch Chairman of Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mr. Giandomenico Massari averred that “Government has no business doing business, they’re just to provide enabling environment.”
Returned Honorable Peter Odey, Leader of the Cross River State 9th House of Assembly representing Ogoja constituency who recently called for privatization of the State industries on the floor of the House said “it’s the only way forward.”
The trio were guests at episode 159 of “The Dialogue With Agba Jalingo” which airs Sundays 6-7pm on Hit FM Calabar.
According to Asim-Itah “This call for privatization of these assets is long over due because the Government has never been able to run business; Government has no business in business. Business is for private sector, business is for businessmen; Government cannot efficiently and effectively allocate resources at the firm level, they can maybe at the micro, at the fiscal level but at the firm level Government cannot allocate resources and this is what these industries need for them to produce and give benefit of what Cross Riverians will take advantage of.
“Government industries can never be competitive because when it is time, the bureaucracies they will be facing, the efficient allocation of resources and moreover, funds that Government will need to apply in other critical sectors; health, education, infrastructure; you are tying it down to business, you are not getting any return in this businesses. It is not efficient, it is not tidy. In fact if you ask me if Government spend all these kind of money, I will say it is not a bad idea, Government should start up industries but running it sustainably over a long period, it is going to be virtually impossible. If Government think they can do this, then believe me, I categorize that as diabolical waste”. He asserted.
On his part, the front runner for the State Government to privatise it’s industries Odey noted that, for industries to survive in the State, there is need for privatization.
“For these industries to survive, it is not just standing up and building industries; for these industries to strive, for these industries to do well, you need to privatise them. There is nothing wrong with Government building industries, nothing absolute wrong with it. We are not against the Government building, what we are saying is that from history, most of these industries that are being run by the Government within the couple of years, the go under. We are saying that if you give it to the private hands, you give it to businessmen who are in here to make profits, they have a way of running it better.” Peter posited.
Mr. Giandomenico said, “Let me say and as a matter of fact that, Government has no business in business because the priority of any Government is just to create an enabling environment and make sure that any industry or any manufacturing company is evaluated. It is not getting a group of people employed but make sure you establish somethings, consolidate the things and grow it.”
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.