Eminent businessman and former governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu has appealed to Nigerians to give President Muhammadu Buhari more time to deliver on his campaign promises, saying that one year was insufficient to judge an administration that has a four-year life span.
Kalu, who spoke on Tuesday night, when he hosted Catholic Bishops and the diplomatic community at his Abuja home, also revealed Orji Uzor Kalu Foundation was already discussing with credible international organisations and governments on how to end human trafficking and come to the aid of Nigerians languishing in foreign prisons over drug-related offences.
While acknowledging the current economic downturn and its effects on Nigerians, Kalu, however, absorbed President Buhari and recalled that the country entered recession in 2014.
He said:”Im calling on Nigerian youths to be of good use to themselves. Let me be honest with you, I cannot judge Buhari. He has a four-year mandate to turn things around. He still has time and I expect that he will do something.
“Young people might be feeling frustrated. Government must not do everything. The only thing is that government is not paying enough attention to the manufacturing sector. If I am government, I will pay attention to manufacturing and agriculture.
“You pay attention through the entrepreneurs by giving them single digit loans and opportunities. All the enterprise done by government will not work until they see us as partners. When Dangote was starting his cement factory, he was encouraged by the government. Today, he is all over Nigeria.
“The problem is people are envious and jealous; they see Orji Kalu who is rich, but they do not know what I have gone through to get to this level. They want to be like me, and that is not possible.
“Government should grant more incentives to the entrepreneurs. In June 1999, I told President Olusegun Obasanjo how to solve the power sector by doing something differently. We brought people and they promised to fix the power problem up to 75 percent. But Obasanjo refused. The amount needed was N14 billion. If Nigeria can fix power and insecurity, the country will move forward”.
On his effort to come to the aid of Nigerians in foreign prisons, Kalu said: “I’m concerned about human trafficking. That is why my foundation is working with Caritas to ensure that we are able to put in more efforts. I have already discussed with the Secretary-General of Caritas worldwide.
“I’ve been working with Ford and Clinton Foundation on the logistics. You see need to how our young girls in Italy and Spain are being maltreated.
“There are many Nigerians in jail in foreign countries as a result of drug trafficking. Orji Uzor Kalu Foundation has visited seven countries, namely, the United Kingdom, Italy, Portugal, Spain, France, Turkey and Indonesia.
“We pleaded with the President of Indonesia on behalf of those Nigerians that were killed as a result of drug trafficking. This is the first time I am saying this. I was in China few days ago and I spoke with Chinese authorities over the plight of Nigerians in their prisons.
“Many Nigerians have taken to drugs. This gives me concern as a Nigerian. They are not driven like I was when I was a young man. The youths are withdrawn these days. They are not doing enough to help themselves.”