CEM INSIGHT | The Economist, Prof Charles Soludo resumed office on his inauguration day, with full exhibition of the tenet of his profession, cutting down fanfare in absolute prudence and presenting a message of efficient use of scarce resources as the Professor of Econometrics has taught over the years
Hope of Ndi Anambra and indeed Nigerians had been truly pepped up with the emergence of Soludo as Governor of Anambra State awaiting his inauguration. I must say, that these hopes are firmly solidified by his inaugural speech presented Thursday 17, 2021 in Awka, the State Capital.
“But today, my first day at work, is not a day for celebration. First, there is no venue that can contain the tens of thousands of Ndi Anambra and friends all over the world who would wish to join us on this historic occasion. Second, the State cannot afford any such expensive ceremonies.
“Third, and as a matter of personal philosophy and as a true progressive, I do not subscribe to using the paltry tax collected from the women selling pepper on the roadside or the okada/keke drivers on a fleeting fanfare and banquet. I insisted that this event must not cost the government of Anambra one kobo”; Soludo said in his inaugural address.
The Governor of Anambra State fully understand the enormity of job on his shoulder going by the myriad of socio-economic plagues enveloping our country Nigerian and Anambra State in particular; from insecurity, to hardship to poor infrastructure, to incessant strikes and so much more. The Governor coming with a sober heart speaks volume of his in-depth understanding of the character a present day Nigerian true leader must possess at this point in our nation’s journey.
“Today, I come with a sober heart, conscious of the enormity of responsibilities on our shoulders and the challenges ahead. Yes, there will be a time to celebrate. We will celebrate when: security of life and property is guaranteed and law and order restored; every child of schooling age is in school; every school child is receiving the 21st century education for the digital age; everyone, especially children and women can access quality healthcare; the cost of doing business is down to near zero; our roads are tarred and we have an efficient transportation system with no one having to wait in traffic for more than a few minutes”; Soludo said.
The Governor is saying that it is not time to celebrate until “we have access to 24 hour electricity; our streets are clean and green; our cities, communities and markets are planned and cleaned; the many millions of Charlie Nwamgbafors and the vulnerable persons are lifted up to realize their God given potential; all our pensioners receive their gratuities;, workers are paid their leave allowances and contractors are paid; our youth can get jobs and business opportunities; the youth in Okpoko ‘Zone 9’ become global serial entrepreneurs; poverty is near zero and income levels rising…etc.
Prof Charles Soludo presented an agenda that rest on five key pillars aimed at transforming Anambra State to industrial, technology, and leisure/entertainment hub of West Africa to fully shift the economy from petroleum base to digital and industrial base.
The five key pillars include law and order, economic transformation, social advancement, governance and rule of law and the environment. With these, the Governor want to create a new society with a new order of which is also a part.
Governor however warned that achieving these milestones will come not without pains as he calls the process ‘massive disruptive change and creative destruction’.
“We aim to transit beyond petroleum into the digital world of the 4th Industrial Revolution, and envision Anambra as an industrial, technology, and leisure/entertainment hub of West Africa.
“Our detailed Plan rests on five key pillars: law and order (homeland peace and security); economic transformation as Nigeria’s next axis of industrial-tech and leisure; competitive and progressive social agenda (education, health, youth, women and vulnerable groups); Governance, rule of law and a rebirth of our value system; and aggressively tackling our existential threat posed by the environment—towards a clean, green, planned and sustainable cities, communities, and markets”; the Governor said.
“For me, this agenda is also personal: I am here to build a society where I would be proud to live in after leaving office. Ndi be anyi, what we propose is that we collectively build a new social and economic order that guarantees and defends economic freedom and reward of private enterprise to secure our future such that any child born in Anambra will have little incentive to rush elsewhere in search of opportunities and anyone persecuted anywhere in the world can return to a happy and prosperous homeland.
“Such a new order will, of necessity, entail a massive disruptive change and creative destruction, with short-term pains but guaranteed long-term benefits”; Soludo said.
Patronage of our locally made products has been on the debate table for more than 2 decades. While the call is tenable in the light of stimulating industrialization, the poor quality of such products hinders the indigenous acceptance and patronage. Governor Soludo has made public promise to patronize made in anambra provided it satisfies specification according to ‘Anambra standard’.
“Our “Made in Anambra” and “Anambra Standards” agenda underpin this strategy. If you can produce it in Anambra, I will be your chief marketing officer, provided that your standard meets the “Anambra standard”—which is excellence.
“The Anambra State Government will only patronize Made in Anambra products and services unless such goods or services are not currently made in Anambra, then made in Nigeria, Africa, etc, in that sequence. When you see me in Innoson vehicles or in my Akwete dress with a pair of shoes made in Ogbunike/Nkwelle Ezunaka and Onitsha, we are making a statement.
“Today, the light refreshment to be served after this brief event is abacha from Umunze, ukwa from Isuofia, Anambra rice with ofe akwu, nkwu enu from Awgbu, ngwo from Awa and Oba, and malt and bottled water from Onitsha.As part of our “made in Anambra”, cultural renaissance and healthy living agenda, when you come to the Governor’s Lodge or attend any state government’s function, be sure to be served only “Made in Anambra”; Said Prof Charles Soludo.