Enugu Governor-elect, Mbah inaugurates transition committee, wants implementable action plan
Ahead of the May 29 take-off of his administration, the governor-elect of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah has inaugurated a 64-man Transition Committee, charging them to produce an implementable action plan in line with his manifesto for the transformation of the state.
This was even as the foremost political economist and management expert, Prof. Pat Utomi lauded the vision and imagination of the governor-elect, saying they were capable of powering a new Enugu State to fruition.
Speaking at the ceremony, which took place at the Old Government Lodge, Enugu, on Thursday, Mbah said: “The people of Enugu State chose us, believing that we are going to take them through a consequential journey of growth, development, and greatness. We also chose you because we believe that with your expertise, we are able to reduce this journey to an empirical and verifiable roadmap.
“So, we have taken the view of what Enugu can achieve in the next four to eight years. As you also know, Enugu has always played a consequential role in the developmental trajectory of this country. And it is our hope that with the vision and dreams that we have, Enugu State can take back that preeminent position that she has always played in the development of this country.
“We have conceived a growth plan that is ambitious both in the economic and social indicators. Therefore, we talked about growing the economy from the current level of $4.4 billion to $30 billion. We talked about making sure that we achieve a zero percent rate in our poverty headcount index. We talked about making Enugu State the preferred destination for investment, business, tourism, and living.
“We talked about unpacking the skills of the youths in digital technology so that the administration is able to equip a minimum of 40,000 youths in digital technology and a minimum of 10,000 youths in practical skills yearly.
“We also know that the growth level we are talking about cannot come from the public sector alone. This growth will happen through constructive investment; and that will come largely from the private sector.
“But we also believe that with the vision and dream we have expressed, with the work you are going to do in this Committee, they are achievable despite being ambitious because they are measurable.
“Of course, when we unveiled this plan, we had the naysayers and the critics. And it was not difficult to see why because if you do the trend analysis, you will of course be doubtful.
“But we are going to provide the key enablers to attract businesses because businesses are not Father Christmas. They are interested in returns on investment.
“So, we believe that you can craft a document that can give us that implementable action plan”.
On his part, Prof. Utomi, who spoke vide a video link, emphasised the power of imagination, saying the major difference between leaders of the First Republic and those that came after them remained the power of imagination and commitment to human development.
While extolling the former Premier of the defunct Eastern Region, the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, for seeing education policy as part of the power of imagination to change the development trajectory of the people, he commended Mbah, who he said had shown the capacity to dream dreams, espouse vision, and think outside the box.
“Imagination is important to human development. This should be imbued in public finances, budgetary allocation and ensure discipline and the rule of law in governance”, he stated.
While bemoaning government as the biggest obstacle to the ease of doing business in Nigeria due to undue regulations, policy summersaults, multiple taxation, among others, Prof. Utomi advised the incoming administration led by Dr. Mbah that the first business of any government desirous of transforming a country or state was to ensure strict observance of the rule of law, transparency, accountability, and building trust in the system.
Utomi, who commended the quality of people in the Enugu State Transition Committee further challenged them to look at the success story of Singapore from Third World to First World in a generation, insisting that “with passion, imagination, and commitment by the government, a new Enugu State is possible”.
In his speech, an engineer, renowned investment banker, Group Managing Director of Afrinvest (West Africa), and Chairman of the Transition Committee, Ike Chioke, said he and members of the Committee felt honoured to be called upon to help to distill and transform Dr. Mbah’s ambitious vision to implementable plans.
“I looked through the 62 pages of your manifesto, which I consider to be an audacious plan. I am privileged to know you for over 15 years and with what you have done at Pinnacle Oil and Gas and the effect you made by taking the number one position in the downstream oil and gas sector, I believe that you’re able and capable for this task.
“I believe that we, the members of the Transition Committee, are honoured and grateful that you have chosen us. And I believe we have a task by transforming your manifesto into tangible, actionable and measurable indicators and policies that will enable you achieve those audacious plans”, Chioke stated.
The Co-Chairman of the Transition Committee and Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Simon Ortuanya, pledged the total support of the Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi administration to the Committee.
“On this ground many years ago, our forebears, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Micheal Okpara, Akanu Ibiam and the rest of them sat. They dreamt dreams about Igbo land. Today, you have been called upon again to dream dreams about our people.
“I want to thank and commend the Governor-Elect for choosing this team of dynamic people that are all accomplished in their various areas of endeavour.
“As a government, I want to assure the Transition team of the support of government. We will assist; we will provide every information; and we will provide every assistance and our doors are wide open. I will assure that this Transition process will be seamless. After all, we are partners in this business of bringing greater development to Enugu State”, he stated.