Good people are known throughout history by the good works they do, and by extention, to humanity and posterity. Men and women of conscience have come and gone, but their good deeds have continued to live after them.
His Excellency, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, Nigeria’s transportation minister is unarguably one man who has continued to touch the lives of the downtrodden, lifting up the poor from despair and generally seeking ways to improve the standard of living of the people.
My first recollection of this man of destiny was in 2005, shortly after my National Youth Service (NYSC) in Port Harcourt, where Rotimi Amaechi held sway as Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly.
As a young man in his early 30’s, I was usually fascinated, while watching him on television in my uncle’s home, with the bold, frank and courageous way he usually addressed the State Assembly in a manner that portrayed him as gentle, yet focused as well as principled.
It has been stated often time, that a principled and strong willed man is usually known for where he stands not during moments of comfort, but during turbulent times.
In this regard, Rotimi Amaechi can be described as a man who has been tested, especially in the murky waters of politics and have come clean, inspite of plans by detractors to cast him in bad light.
As a politician, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi can be said to have paid his dues.
He served as the 5th governor of Rivers State from 2007 to 2015 and was re-elected for a second term on April 26th, 2011. He began his political career as secretary of the now defunct National Republican Convention in Ikwerre, Rivers State between 1992 and 1994, later serving as Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor of Rivers State. He also served as Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly from 1999 to 2007. During his ministerial screening at the Senate, he dared senators when he said; he had never taken a bribe in his life.
He was a prominent member of the opposition PDP before joining the APC in 2013 where he is currently serving as Nigeria’s Minster of Transportation.
Recently, during the Economic Recovering and Growth Plan (ERGP) Focus Labs opening day ceremony in Lagos, Rotimi Amaechi called on Nigerians to commend President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic agenda for changing the economy from which he described as that of a ‘rent culture’ to a productive economy. According to him, the rates of importation in the country have been reduced drastically, encouraging more production of farm products.
He said, “The ERGP was an eye opener on what drives the economy; when we talk about ERGP, It is not only about economic growth, but substance of the economic growth.
“And when people say there is no money in circulation; investors have ran away, I tell them, they are not correct, I tell them the president is changing the economy from a rent culture to a productive economy”.
Chibuike Rotimi Amaech has often argued that government was encouraging Nigerians to produce more and export rather than depending on importation, which would not help the economy.
The transportation minister also stated recently that, the narrow gauge interim phase will enable initial rehabilitation of the rail lines before the commencement of commercial activities.
He said that Nigeria’s transportation industry alone would contribute a total of 3.52 billion dollars, which in turn would create 18,366 jobs in the staple and cash sub-sectors towards the overall ERGP investment.
–Itodo, a public affairs analyst can be reached via [email protected]
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