SOLUDO SET TO RULE ANAMBRA STATE : The Agenda: My Vision and Programmes for Anambra State

Our Agenda for a New Beginning builds upon the potentials and capabilities of the State (human and material resources) and hopes to minimize its weaknesses in order to create wealth, create jobs, reduce poverty, and re-orient the values of the people. We hope to achieve these by investing in, and empowering our people; creating an enabling environment for, and actively promoting the private sector as the engine of growth and job creation; rescuing our cities from decay and hence salvaging the wasting assets in these cities to lay a foundation for a fresh start; envision a new, befitting capital city for Anambra State; and finally lay the foundation for sustainable prosperity by jump-starting the emergence of a modern city in Anambra that will attract world talent and capital to Anambra State.

Ours is a grand vision and a plan for sustainable prosperity. Within the first 90 days of assumption of office, our Administration will organize development study tours of Dubai, Taiwan, and Singapore for selected Government officials, State Assembly, Judiciary, organized private sector, labour, media, clergy, traditional rulers, and academia. The goal is to understand what it takes to build and manage modern, prosperous cities. Within the same period, we would organize the “Anambra 2020 Summit” to harness the contributions of all Anambra people, other knowledgeable Nigerians and our international partners towards the “Anambra Solution 2020”.

For the avoidance of doubt, I wish to acknowledge the good works of the previous governments (especially since the current democratic dispensation started in 1999). In particular, Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju, Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige, OON, and Mr. Peter Obi have each served the state to the best of their ability. Each of the administrations has done its best, especially in terms of roads and sundry projects. Since development is cumulative, we intend to build upon their works and I commend and congratulate them.

Ours is a vision to take Anambra to the next level. Our vision is that Anambra, bounded by six states – Kogi in the North; Delta in the West; Rivers and Imo in the South; Abia in the East, and Enugu in the East/North; should be an excellent commercial- industrial hub that can combine the best of Dubai and Taiwan. It is a vision that hopes to exploit the geographical advantage and the unique entrepreneurial capabilities of the people of Anambra state. With the dredging of the River Niger and its potential navigability, together with the proposed international airport, I see the skyline along the banks of River Niger signaling the new international city. Anambra State, with the second highest population density (second to Lagos State) in Nigeria, can be one large free trade/export processing zone.

The African Dubai – Taiwan (ADT) is my dream for my people. Say ‘we can’ and great powers will come to our aid! Oliver Wendell Holmes once said that “Once a mind has been stretched by a new idea, it never returns to its original shape”. It is in the same vain that the English publisher, Lady Catherine argued that “Nothing ever built rose to touch the sky unless some men dreamt that it should; some men believed that it would, and some men willed that it must”. I am convinced that God has willed that this dream is one whose time has come: there is no going back!

Building the new Anambra State will challenge all of us to give our best to the State. I have volunteered myself. I call on you to also volunteer to serve the State because it is not an accident that God decided that you should come from the State. The hour has come: what contribution do you want our people to remember you for? Everyone’s contribution is welcome. There will be a special office to coordinate the contributions of Ndi Anambra in the Diaspora. We cannot do it alone. We will need the collaboration and cooperation of other states in Nigeria, especially our neighboring states (Kogi, Delta, Rivers, Imo, Abia, and Enugu) as well as the strong support of the Federal Government, and the international development partners. Anambra State has huge oil and gas deposits in commercial quantities around Ogbaru, and the Federal Government/NNPC and joint partners could commence the exploration of these so that Anambra will become an oil and gas producing state with the attendant increased revenues to the state. We will exploit our contacts and networks within the Federal Government and among the international development partners to the advantage of the State.

In pursuit of the agenda, we understand that we have lost decades and need to catch up and excel in a very short time. Speed is critical and we will need to accomplish 72 hour tasks in every 24 hours. Our children cannot wait, and Anambra state can no longer wait!

What we sketch below is an outline of some of the initiatives that will drive the transformation agenda. The full details (incorporating the inputs from Ndi Anambra) will be contained in the “Anambra Solution 2020” document, to be launched mid 2010.

A New Governance Model

The Goal is to mainstream ‘servant leadership’ and to bring back the time-tested models of governance in Igboland anchored on popular participation, accountability, community development, and values based upon hard work, integrity and private enterprise.

“Ohazulume” leadership—mass participation

Open Government and New accountability standards

Local Government Elections as soon as possible in 2010. The last Local Government elections in Anambra were conducted in 1998. This is unacceptable. Effective and accountable local government administration will be central to my administration’s service delivery to the poor and communities.

Active participation of traditional rulers and council of elders in state governance

A new framework for Local Government – Community partnerships in service delivery. Every town union will be required to prepare annual budgets and Government will provide matching grants to fund part of the town’s budget to execute major development projects/social services and ensure security). Government presence must be felt in every community and town unions will play active roles in governance and service delivery.
Community Development Centres and cooperatives

A Standing High level Commission on Community Peace and Harmony (made up of the clergy, traditional rulers, elder statesmen, civil society, distinguished women, judges, and Government officials) for speedy resolution of intra and inter community crisis. In particular, the Commission will be given two years to resolve the crises leading to the emergence of new autonomous communities and where possible, reconcile the warring groups, and also advise Government on how to prevent the occurrence of such crisis in the future.

Value reorientation: mainstreaming of values of honesty, integrity, and hardwork (with new citizenship civics/ethics).

Effective Representation of Women in all Government appointments and activities. Our administration shall strive to meet the 30 percent minimum representation of women as recommended by the Beijing Declaration. The hand that cradles the child rules the world. Our women have held the fort so far and need to be recognized and encouraged to maximize their potentials and contributions to society.

Considerations of Need, Fairness, and Equity in the Distribution of Government Appointments and infrastructural development across the state. We believe in one Anambra State but also recognize the diversities in terms of need. Our Government will display a sense of balance and fairness in the distribution of government programmes and projects.

Effective consultations of major stakeholder groups in policymaking (such as the churches, Moslem community, town unions, market associations, civil society organizations, transport unions, and labour unions) especially on issues that affect them.

Security of Life and Property

The Goal is to effectively address the menace of armed crimes and kidnapping. Without this, sustainable investment and development cannot take place.

Creation of job opportunities for the youth.
New models of community policing
Adequate equipment for the police and security agencies.
Informal policing schemes and intelligence network.

Urban Renewal Programmes

62 percent of Anambra population live in urban areas, and because of the urban decay and massive slums, the value of the landed properties in these cities have depreciated greatly. Over 50,000 houses in Onitsha have their market value at less than 20% of their book value. Thus, they cannot translate their assets as collaterals for bank loans. Consequently, Anambra borrows barely 20% of what it saves in the banks. By quadrupling the market value of the landed properties in our cities, we would unleash a growth engine. Furthermore, we need to stem the exodus from Onitsha to Asaba, and create conducive environment for investors.
In the first phase, focus on Onitsha mega city; Awka; Nnewi; and Ekwulobia urban. In the next phase, focus on Otuocha, and Ihiala.

Development and implementation of master plans
Massive urban road rehabilitation
Public parks and recreational grounds
Water and sewage systems
Urban mass transit systems
New Face of Markets (recreation centres, schools, parking facilities)
Sanitation and environmental beautification (Anambra must wear a new look!)
Work with the manufacturers in Onitsha and Nnewi industrial clusters to remove the bottlenecks to their ability to compete and create more jobs.

New Awka Capital City and GRA

The current state of Awka is unbefitting as the capital of Anambra State. The Goal is to strive to rescue the existing town by implementing a masterplan, while gradually developing a new, planned capital city.

Greenfield development of new, planned Awka City
Development of recreational centres

New Anambra City (African Dubai – Taiwan)

(The first model, international city in Nigeria after Abuja)

Sir Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu International Airport (a public-private partnership with Anambra Airline taking Anambra to the world, and bringing the world to Anambra)
Anambra Shopping World (biggest shopping mall in Africa)
Anambra Wonder Gardens (tourism and entertainment)
The Nollywood Studios
Emeagwali Information Communication Technology (ICT) Village.
Industrial layout for 3,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to create at least 300,000 jobs (with electricity initially provided by the state Government) and ultimately linked to the electricity grid.
Independent Power Plant for Anambra State in partnership with the private sector
New City layout: residence; schools, entertainment, etc

Human and Youth Development

The Goal is to invest in the people as the essence of development, and the children and youths as the bridge to the future.

Education (centres of excellence; construction of new classroom blocks and refurbishment of existing schools employing public-private partnership approaches in community primary and secondary schools; promotion of world class private schools; restructure and strengthen the State University and higher institutions)

Our teachers deserve special attention as our future depends on their effectiveness. Continuous training schemes for teachers; rewarding teachers for excellence.

Health
Building and equipping at least 2 international hospitals (in partnership with Anambra in the Diaspora)
Equipment and upgrading of existing hospitals and health centres
Innovative primary health care delivery system
Enforcement of health care delivery standards
Youth Employment and Empowerment
Recreational Centres and mainstreaming of competitive sporting
Mass employment schemes (public works schemes)
Entrepreneurship Training Centres in all Local Governments
Support Agency for Advisory Services to Young Entrepreneurs
Micro credit schemes for new business start-ups for youth self-employment
Creation of at least 200,000 new job opportunities for the youths

Erosion Control

Erosion is a fundamental threat to the sustainability of the Anambra environment. There are about 500 erosion sites in Anambra State. Several villages have been wiped away and many more are at risk. We shall work actively with the Federal Government in the development and implementation of proactive measures to control erosion in Anambra State.

Agriculture and poverty reduction

Massive large scale agricultural transformation (promotion of large scale agricultural farms to employ thousands of workers directly and create tens of thousands of jobs indirectly).
Agricultural credit support schemes to farmers as well as provision of farm tools, fertilizers, and improved seedlings.

Public Sector Reforms

Our goal is to make Government work effectively and efficiently for the people.

Establishment of Anambra State Statistical Agency (ASSA) to provide continuous robust and timely statistics for Government and private sector plans and actions. In the past, our governments have planned without facts or simply groped in the dark. As at today, no one knows for sure the size of Anambra’s economy; the rate or level of unemployment; the level of poverty; school performance; health status and life expectancy; etc. How do we know if we are making progress without reliable data on these variables? As the saying goes, if you cannot measure it, you cannot control it.

Welfare of the Workers: our Government will dialogue with the workers and come up with an effective public sector reform that ensures productivity, professionalism, goal-orientation, effectiveness, efficiency, skill development, and enhanced welfare.

Procurement reforms to ensure greater transparency

Fiscal Responsibility and Medium-Term public expenditure management

Public works programme (Anambra rapid response team for road repairs and infrastructure rehabilitation)

Computerization and modernization of government recording system

Mainstream public-private partnership in public service delivery (sanitation, education, health, infrastructure)

Reforms and strengthening of Board of Internal Revenue and enhancing the internal revenue generation capacity of the State.

Our Government will subscribe to a public service delivery charter. The public is entitled to know the level of efficiency expected of our government. For example:

72 Hours for transfer of land title (to process Certificate of Occupancy on land)
Applications to Government to be answered within 72 hours.

Mechanisms for receiving feedback on how well government works from the citizens such as public complaints box; town hall meetings; phone-in programmes; etc

This was his manifesto in 2010 when he contested which is still valid if he becomes a contestant again

 

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By Breezoom African News

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