One cannot precisely say how the “Stomach-Infrastructure” Lexicon stealthily entered the Nigerian lingual sphere as a coinage. Available study shows that Nigerians may smade out the altruistic word by themselves to probably illustrate and refer to welfare scheme of sorts that guarantees food on their tables. The terminology from all indications posited a great deal of intellectual exercise to writers as they try to define, analyze and clarify its meaning to our teeming readers.
As important as providing food and shelter is to man, paying adequate attention to these important need should be given priority by our state government. Improving the lives of our people through the provision of “Stomach infrastructure” (phrase) means to enable our people provide their needs and that of their immediate families. This of course will ginger and promote prosperity, peace and tranquility in the state.
In doing this government must understand the workability of this all important and essential service to its citizen by applying workable techniques and measures in the discharge of such policies because anything short of these may be outlived or likened to sheer waste of time and energy like a waste entering a strainer. This also is the beginning of most failures in government. If concerted efforts must be made in the regulation of such programmes to enhance the citizen’s welfare, the government will become very popular and loved by the people at the end of the day.
Imo state having lingered at a cross road for a long time with political insolvents at the helm of affairs will continue to run round in circle in the midst of plenty. Not much have been seen by the electorate who are overwhelmingly dazed by the rhetoric of their elected leaders, who made quantum of electoral promises all to cajole them to vote, and nothing much seem to be said about democracy dividend. Promises of unfathomable “Job! Job’ ‘Factory! Factory’, industry! Industry” is no where at sight, one ordinarily would assume that by now some of the promises may have been made manifest in actions or plan. What we now hear is stories of empty treasuries and inability to pay workers, contractors, fund education, healthcare etc., hence an appeal for bailout was made to President Muhammadu Buhari. It is sad that after misappropriating our monthly allocations for four years with reckless abandon no clear cut programme can be pinpointed for the huge allocations wastage not even paying 30% wages bill out our huge monthly statutory allocation. Good number of Imo people expected to see dividend of democracy to justified their votes or be presented with a clearer policy statement of how government tends to prosecute these all-important tasks which will set the ball rolling for economic prosperity of our dear state, but reverse is the case.
Not minding that a lot has been written on the matter already I can only try to make additional impression in my own opinion and probably stimulate someone consciously at the end of the day. Please don’t mind me for doing this if you are offended. In our society where ostentatious lifestyle of our leaders has warranted some pundits to negatively observe that to request for “stomach infrastructure” may be limited only to food items given to the poor in our society like the ones our political actors give out during electioneering campaigns and other times. As poorly conceived as this practice, I do not want to submit or
be misquoted that the act of benevolence is bad or should be discouraged. What I want to explain here is that there is no nobility in this kind of giving as being displayed by own politicians, because it is done in bad faith. This unwholesome act has it negative implication that is synonymous to moral debasing and degrading of human lives by the way our politicians have carried out the act. It is the height of insult ever visited on our people, a complete erosion of our value system on anything considered noble and dignified.
When an entire government structure are used for distribution of food items to small fraction of people in order to win cheap popularity while in power is a complete disservice to the society and should be discourage with disdain. I may not want to pre-empt our politicians now on the implications of not honoring their electoral promise. They should know that it is unpatriotic, evil, abomination for one not to keep to his promises to a state like Imo in dear need of change, what could be the best way to be happy as a leader other than when people you govern are happy? Now that the elections are over Imo electorates are itching to see the obvious made manifest in practical terms, the provision of real “STOMACH INFRASTRUCTURE” to me is a matter of urgent national importance. It is the only way to achieve industrial emancipation of the state.
It is a critical success factor in the efforts at salvaging our moribund industries saddled by the necessary worsening invasion of our market by imported cheap goods as well as the necessary path to employment generation, wealth creation and poverty reduction. Any support to the growth of this all important sector should go beyond business interest and party affiliation.
What “stomach-infrastructure” will be greater than due process and compliance with the rule of law such that when right of the poor is trampled upon they have courts that can sit without fear of molestation and intimidations? What stomach infrastructure is bigger than encourage agricultural revolution, provide farm implements for mechanized agriculture, boost food production and provide jobs to thousands, of youths rather than become touts at road junctions and become cannon fodders for unconscionable politicians? What stomach infrastructure is better than opening up the rural areas with good road network such that can discourage urban drift by our youths who seem to flood our cities?
What stomach infrastructure can be better than the provisions of transformer across the length and breath of the state to energize power supply and the businesses of designs like battery chargers, barbers, hair dresser, video club owners, business centre, auto electricians, welders, market men and women, tailors and others whose commercial activities were hitherto paralyzed by lack of electric power? What “stomach infrastructure” is greater than giving children of the poor free qualitative education, so that parents do not worry about school fees, as educational materials and good leaving environment in the schools? When are we going to see the “Job! Job’ ‘Factory! Factory’, industry! Industry” promises fulfilled? Maybe we will continue to gaze and be hopeful that the inevitable change may come as promised in no distant time. We will not lose sight of the ability of God Almighty this time as we continue to pray for him to make our politicians to have a change of heart and attitude towards our welfare and to concentrate on the challenges that steer in their face as public servants with divine mandate to better our society.
By Cyril Aririguzo, 08144444680