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Monday , 20 November 2017
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Can Delta State Be the Dubai of Nigeria?

By Tolu Abodurin

CaptureThe greatest gift of a nation is not what lies underneath its soil, but the talent and creativity of its people. One state that has a large number of talented and creative people is Delta State; with the right leadership, the state will become the cynosure of Nigeria. For the 16 years of People Democratic Party (PDP) rule in the state, the state has become an economic wasteland.

We have witnessed blundering of our collective wealth, laundering of money and unchecked corruption on an epic scale. Truth is this pathetic narrative is not exclusive to Delta State, it resonates throughout the entire landscape of Nigeria. In the 2015 election, providence offers us an opportunity to take our collective destiny into our hands and salvage what is left of our broken and battered state. The APC offers us a clean break in the arduous task of redeeming our nation. In most of the AP- led states, we see a sense of development non-existent in their counterpart, the PDP.

Delta State stands a chance to join her peers with a bourgeoning economic profile and right leadership. The question is; will Deltans recognize this rare opportunity and free themselves from the bondage of the umbrella? Will the people of Delta State look through the charade of Labour Party, which is nothing but an appendage of PDP? Will they see that amongst all contenders in the gubernatorial race, the only one who stands eligible and proven in all capacitiesis Olorogun Otega Emerhor?

If you have never met Olorogun, permit me to do a quick introduction to one man who is a gift to Delta State and one of the finest national treasures. Olorogun O’tega Emerhor (OON) has served as Chief Executive Officer of SA Insurance Plc, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Crystal Bank Limited, Standard Trust Bank Limited, (now UBA Plc), Chairman of VitamaltPlc and Heroes Group of Companies, Executive Vice Chairman of the Standard Alliance Group, Chairman of Transcorp Hotels Plc, Chairman of the Board of First Atlantic Bank Plc, ViceChairman of SA Insurance Plc, Vice Chairman of FinBank Plc., (formerly, First Inland Bank Plc), Non-Executive Director of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, and Non-Executive Director of Nigerian Telecommunications among others.

He is also an Alumnus of the Institute of Management Development (IMD), Lausanne, Switzerland and a recipient of the Midwest Person of the Year 2002 Award.

Not only a boardroom general, he is also an academic par excellence. He holds a First Class Hons. Bachelors of Science degree in Accountancy from the University of Nigeria. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria; he trained and worked with Price Waterhouse (now Price Waterhouse Coopers).

What makes Emerhor the man for the job, is not just his pedigree, but his programs and policies. Delta State has never been known for issue based politics, but his entrance into the race is changing this perception. Here has proposed to make the local governments the focal point for development by creating a vibrant and viable micro-economy through a N10 billion small and medium scale enterprise development fund. This will definitely have a huge impact in job creation of the state. He is also looking of creating an entertainment hub in Delta State, a state which has driven the comedy industry in Nigeria and contributed immensely to the national cultural export.

Also, he has vowed to put together a welfare policy by providing of social benefit for older citizens above 70years, strategies to upgrade the dilapidated infrastructure, establish and Industrial energy city that will provide steady power supply for factories and manufacturing firms and to serve as an incentive for businesses to invest in the state, with the ripple effect of creating jobs.

Olorogun comes to the race with sterling credentials. He is known by the moniker “turnaround boss”. His career is replete with stories of huge successes recorded in companies, agencies and organization that he injected his passion, skills and creativity in. Delta State more than ever needs his proven skills and abilities to turn around the dwindling fortune of the state. As the former PDP chieftain, Chief Ojo Maduekwe puts it “Successful businessmen with an interest in politics are better managers of a country’s wealth than career politicians.” We must look beyond tribalism and ethnicity and ensure that we vote the right man for the job, who will deliver democratic dividends to the state and ensure there is sustainable future for our unborn children.

With his high degree of achievement in business and entrepreneurial pursuits, one would expect an air of elitism to surround such a person. But this is far from the truth. Olorogun is a grassroots person. He truly understands the plight of the common man in Nigeria’s Big Heart. He has the ability to communicate with people of all classes and displays a humility and simplicity that is uncommon among men of his stature.

Olorogun O’tega Emerhor and the APC offer a chance for Delta state to make a clean break from the shackles of its past. Deltans ought to take this opportunity to finally set the state on the right path to greatness and avert the unrestricted looting of state funds that the PDP will orchestrate if it gets into power again.

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