The attention of Rivers people has been drawn by the All Progressive Congress (APC), the opposition party in Rivers State, to the major issue of the moment, alleging an increasing disconnect between the people and the government of the state.

According to the APC, this can be seen from the weakness of government policies and the loud silence of the state government in tackling increasing poverty in the land despite the resources available to the state government.

“The Rivers State APC members wish to remind Rivers people that the colour of poverty walking on four legs on the streets of Port Harcourt and indeed all 23 local government areas of the state, knows no tribal or party affiliation.

“We demand that the state government wakes up from slumber by working with the resources of Rivers people for the benefit of Rivers people. Rivers people cannot accept the excuse of political distractions for failing to work assiduously to reduce insecurity, unemployment, improved access to education, provision of access to clean drinking water and electricity, reduction pf poverty by encouraging entrepreneurship, and to achieve lower cost of living in Rivers State by investing massively in housing, transportation, and agriculture.

“As a responsible opposition political party, we offer the following pro bono practical policy advisories to Governor Siminalayi Fubara on how to tackle unemployment and allied matters:

(i) Initiate reforms aimed at simplifying tax payments for the self-employed in Rivers State to stimulate business investments and encourage our young people to venture into entrepreneurship. By this, Rivers State government will be offering support to small businesses.

(ii) Small business owners in our hostile environment take so much risks to make investments to build their businesses, therefore, Rivers State government must not destroy the confidence of these small investors. The system must encourage them by discarding policies that will damage their businesses. Doing otherwise will be morally and economically wrong.

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(iii) No government in the world can go far without deliberately investing in the potentials of its people. Government in Rivers State must invest in its own people going forward (e.g. innovations in arts/culture, information technology, agropreneurship etc).

(iv) Government must also go forward think outside the box by looking out for mandatory work placements for unemployed graduates to improve their skills and increase their employability.

(v) We need to cut DOWN taxes for those who work hard to keep our economy moving. It’s a way to incentivize this class of people, increase the population of those captured in the tax net and improve our internally generated revenue (IGR).

(vi) We can also do more by capturing self-employed people in the state government’s pension scheme as part of the state’s welfare policy.

We urge the sitting governor to wake up and take the development bull of the state in his hands. The shenanigans of political crisis cannot be enough reason to abandon our people in the dungeon of poverty and cannot be an excuse. The governor must come up with clear development agenda and an actionable plan of execution that can justify the hundreds of billions of naira the state gets in one year.

On this note, we urge you to get up, sit up, and get cracking, according to a press statement.