By Allison Abanum*
A red ball is unmistakable amongst a stack of white balls. Such a theory is universally accepted because of its validity. Its inherent characteristics are a major tool for distinction. From one generation to the other, humanity is graced with the presence of personalities worthy of citing analogies parallel to a distinct red ball amidst white ones. People who stand out amongst a vast majority in character, knowledge, and competence. Step forward Siminialayi Fubara, Former Accountant General of Rivers State.
Worthy of induction into the rare breed of technocrats, Mr. Siminialayi Fubara has indeed paid his dues as an important cog in the mechanics of nation-building. Having studiously applied himself to the pursuit of knowledge and enlightenment, making him a competitive force in finance as a tool for national impact.
Of course like that distinct red ball, his profile has placed him actively in the mix of governance for almost 20 years within the Civil Service Space. Having answered the call to play his part in the development of Rivers state in critical moments, Siminialayi Fubara cemented his place as a renowned technocrat per excellence. Serving as a Cashier, Director of Finance and more recently as Accountant General of Rivers State under the incumbent Governor, Bar Nyesom Wike.
It is safe to assume that someone with such an impressive profile will at some point entertain that urge that all impact makers have. A desire to make an impact on a greater level and at this point, the Governorship of Rivers State is that next platform in view and rightly so.
These exactly aren’t uncharted waters for Siminialayi Fubara, as he has had the Privilege to understudy his Boss, Bar Nyesom Wike over the years and tested his mettle at the last Rivers State PDP Gubernatorial primaries leading to his Emergence as the Party Flag bearer in the 2023 Gubernatorial Election.
Obviously well equipped with expertise and experience, he is indeed one personality that fits the billing come 2023. Like most well-meaning aspirants to leadership positions, Siminialayi Fubara has taken his time to try and enumerate some of the excellent plans he has for the State. Ultimately aiming to transform Rivers State into a national and global developmental beacon through industrialization and economic re-positioning, leveraging on the great work done by previous administrations of which he had been an integral part. From a neutral standpoint, it’s hard not to see the Intelligence, craftsmanship and workability of Siminialayi Fubara’s blueprint for The People of Rivers State.
Siminialayi Fubara Understands that Good governance is essentially the efficient management of resources and accountability for the stewardship of those resources in a people-oriented manner. He equally understands that Development is about the people. So, his essential goal will be to factor the people into every government policy. Siminialayi Fubara Understands that a perfect blending of the past with the realities of today is what Rivers State needs from 2023.
A parallel drawn with countries like Singapore and Indonesia shows someone of immense critical thinking whilst still in touch with reality. His creative idea to lure in foreign investment is eye-catching and is aimed at drawing in funds to tap into the vast human and natural resources available in Rivers state and fund a clearly defined future vision. His experience in finance and economics will be essential in managing this envisaged funding and also useful in handling some of the problems currently faced by key stakeholders in the quest for development.
Managing the affairs of a multi-ethnic state such as Rivers state obviously comes with immense challenges as there will arise a clash of interests amongst parties. But really this arises from the adoption of a less holistic approach to governance in such area.
Siminialayi Fubara indicated a plan to toll the lines of a medium/long term wholistic developmental master plan backed by viable legislation and contributed by everyone across all ethnic divides in the state. This idea is quite appealing as policies arising will be for a collective interest that will go long way to help quench the flames of unrest and dissatisfaction anchored on ethnic lines.
His plans for industrialization, infrastructure, ICT, Education, Housing, Health, public sector reforms and women in government speak of someone with a clear plan that is anchored on fairness and inclusive governance. Expatiating more on the plan to have at least 25% of youth active in his cabinet is an indication of a willingness to tap into largely overlooked reserves of human resources.
For someone who leverages heavily on his immense wealth of knowledge, Siminialayi Fubara is sure to place a high premium on properly educating Rivers to re-position the populace for better personal and collective value. A desire to pay adequate attention to both technical and vocational education has been cited in his Vision.
Although we do not operate an entirely technocratic system of government, it’s expedient to have at the helm, people of expertise in fields of endeavor paramount to societal development. Output from these sorts of people is at a premium because the logic behind such outputs is most times workable and productive.
Siminialayi Fubara has proven to himself to be a productive part of a team that has shown competence in delivering on a good percentage of the original plans laid out at the beginning, therefore a step forward to head that sort of team as Governor should be as seamless as it is a no brainer. Trust is well placed on his inherent ability to deliver on this plan as it is clearly set to place Rivers State on the map as a working democracy for its people and Nigeria as a whole.
- Abanum is Senior Special Assistant on Strategic Communication and Documentation to the Governor of Bayelsa State