Mr. Ufuoma Ubiebor, an ex-banker is currently a management consultant acquiring skills in strategy development/management, people relationship, performance and wealth management. In this interview with Omamuzo Efidhere and Choice Grandball, he spoke on security challenges in Delta State, its attendant adverse socio-economic consequences and proffered solutions going forward.
Can we meet you?
I am a situational and transformational leader with diverse work experience; my work experience spans a period of over 15years with several organization in the United kingdom and Nigeria; my 15years cognate work experience, 10 of it were senior management capacity; naming a few organization I served, I worked with the Next Group PLC Enderby Leicetershire United kingdom, a British Multinational Company, Fidelity Bank PLC Nigeria, FMG Platform Empowerment Company Ltd, Nigeria. A Wealth Consulting Company with responsibilities Group General Manager leading the firm’s focus on the future of Team agility, Customer-centric culture and Sustainability; my wealth of experience spans across Banking, Insurance, Training, Retail, Real Estate and Consulting. An alumnus of the university of Benin, Benin-city Edo state Nigeria and the prestigious Essex Business School of Entrepreneurship and management where I did my post graduate studies in Management. I also attended the advanced management programme at the Warwick Business School United Kingdom; an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management Nigeria.
Elections are around the corner and with the recent clashes between supporters of APC/ PDP in Abraka and Effurun that led to the death of 2, leaving scores injured, what security measures can be put in place?
Security challenges in Delta State has become a fundamental issue that requires urgent solution. Firstly, we as individuals need to understand that humans are the most predominant resource in every economy and when undermined, achieving a thriving and sustainable economy is difficult. Today Delta State is suffering a lot of setback due to insecurity challenges. Government has intervened on several occasions to curb it, but all efforts made have been abortive.
Are you saying that the intervention of the government has not done much?
Yes! An intervention should be result oriented, impactful, holistic and far reaching. Government has not been able to achieve that due to non-usage of a long lens, government needs a short and a long lens to look at the situation critically to enable it proffer lasting solution. However, there are several issues that causes insecurity in a society, one of the most critical is unemployment for youths which is interwoven with poor living condition, high power distance and idleness.
How does this lead to insecurity?
The aforesaid leads to insecurity because someone who is idle, lives in a poor condition and experiences high power distance on a daily basis in a society would never be happy with himself and this could stir up anger, jealousy, hatred over time and when all these are accumulated, it could lead to abnormal desperation in making monies, hence we hear issues of theft, robbery, kidnap and so on.
What can the government put in place to curb insecurity in the state?
Firstly, it is to engage the youths by creating more jobs that would absorb a reasonable number of them, exposing them to basic wealth education which would open their minds and also put them in a position on how to start a business with little or nothing an entrepreneurial development programme, build vocational centres that would be dignified where the teeming unemployed can go to learn skills in their areas of interest and become professionals in their domain, build entrepreneurial centres where creative minds would be developed and groomed to become real and successful entrepreneurs. Secondly, it is for the government to set up a robust security management framework that would enhance manpower operations using cutting-edge technology. Thirdly it is to create continuous awareness and proper orientation to citizens of the state on security consciousness within their environment via media platforms.
You just said the government should build vocational centres, but the state government currently have set up skill acquisition centre like YAGEP and STEPP, but in most case, you find out that those who have done training, graduated, and have been given starters packs, end up selling those starter packs and go back to the street.
Do you know why? Because there is a gap between them and degree holders which government has not been able to close and also no dignity, therefore people look down on them hence the negative feedback. What the government needs to do is to standardize the vocational centres by setting them up like higher institutions, allowing people who attend go through a similar process of higher institution i.e matriculation and convocation, thereafter they are issued a standard certificate that would be accepted by employers of labour, by that the gap would be closed and it would be established that the person that is got vocational skill set and the person that is gone to university are equal because both have something to offer, and it would give recognition and therefore put confidence in them.
Building vocational and entrepreneurial centres that involves a lot of money?
Yes, I know, the government can do it by creating an independent structure for that sole purpose that is dependent on internally generated revenues( IGR) .
As a management consultant, can you tell us more about what you are into and how it can help to reduce insecurity in the society?
As a management consultant, I manage human and material resources, also develop and manage strategy using it to proffer solutions to key problems in public and private sector; when we talk about insecurity in the society, it is a serious issue and there is no one definite approach in reducing it but as a management consultant, with the design of a framework, putting systems, processes, and procedures in place would help in reducing it.
What is your advice to the youths who are mostly used to cause violence during elections?
My advice to the youths is for them to stay calm, watchful and be focus, they should vote rightly by carrying out thorough background checks on candidate’s educational background, leadership style and life style over time and only when they are convinced in the spirit mind then they should cast their vote.
But how can those in office in the executive or legislative arm of the government who want to return unopposed advice the youths to shun election violence?
Those in office that wants to return unopposed can advise the youths to shun election violence by doing what they know is right to be done that would put the state in an excellent position.
Delta State have sea ports, a tourist centre by the bank of river Ethiope and other moribund industries, what is your advice to government to make sure that these places are put to good use, so as reduce unemployment and insecurity?
What you have just said now is focus on Job creation and internal generated revenues which is fundamental to every economy. Government has not utilized its enormous powers the way they are supposed to; for the seaports, it is understood that it is owned by the federal government but same the state can come out with sound justifications why federal government should get them back to work fully and put continuous pressure and dialogue with the federal government. For industries owned by government that are not functional, government should adopt a partnership strategy (PS) or do a lease operation(LO) to private investors who they know can run them so as to create more jobs and get revenues for the state; then for industries owned by individuals government can also assist by giving long term loans to private owners so as to get them working with a focus to create jobs and generate income for the state.
Government alone cannot create Jobs, what would be your advice to Deltans who have thriving businesses in the Diaspora or in other state in the country to come and invest in the state?
Yes, I agree, but government can create the enabling environment that would enable businesses thrive, my advice to Deltans who have businesses in other parts of the country is to bring a segment of it to Delta state to create jobs for citizens of the state, increase internal generated revenues (IGR) and grow its GDP.