…Says Huge Challenges Before His Administration …Adopts Open Governance Model Anchored on Transparency, Accountability …Declares No Time for Funfair Incoming Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo, says he would source for competent hands that would help to develop the state irrespective of where they come from. “If a Pakistani will give us 24
…Says Huge Challenges Before His Administration
…Adopts Open Governance Model Anchored on Transparency, Accountability
…Declares No Time for Funfair
Incoming Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo, says he would source for competent hands that would help to develop the state irrespective of where they come from.
“If a Pakistani will give us 24 hours of electricity, I will bring him and make him commissioner for utilities. What the people care about is the services they get and not necessarily who did it. We want to get good results here. What matters is the result. Accountability is a must here”, Soludo declared.
He promised to finish the works started by the outgoing Governor Willie Obiano and then initiate new ones adding that
there’s so much work to be done in confronting the challenges facing the state and therefore no time for him and his administration for funfair.
Soludo stated this on Thursday at the inauguration of the 80-person transition committee set up to ensure smooth takeoff of his administration. He will take over from Governor Willie Obiano on March 17.
According to the former academic, he has adopted an open governance model that would guarantee transparency and accountability to Ndi Anambra; insisting that his administration would not waste the state’s resources on jamborees.
Soludo, a Professor of Economics and former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said that he would move from the inauguration venue to his office and from there to the slums in Onitsha and environs particularly Okpoko community where he plans to clean up.
He said that those who would be appointed into the government must be ready to work as “there is no time to waste”, saying that he was determined to revamp Anambra’s economy and place the state on the global map.
“I’ll be heading to Okpoko immediately after the inauguration. I’ll put in eight hours of work immediately after the inauguration. Don’t expect funfair because it won’t take place”, he stated.
Giving some foretaste of the direction of his administration, Soludo said: “I was called His Excellency a while ago, but may I plead that that Excellency tag should please wait for now.
“That is part of what we will discuss in this committee. You may just need to learn how to call me by my name, but if that isn’t good for you, then, may I request that you simply call me ‘Charlie Nwangbafor’ (Charles, son of Mgbafor). If that one is so difficult for you that you must be formal in addressing me, then you can address me as Mr Governor.”
The Anambra governor-elect, while inaugurating the committee, said: “This is an assemblage of the people I describe as wise men and women who have kindly accepted to pay to serve our homeland, under the leadership of one of Anambra’s finest gift to the world, our own dear Oby Ezekwesili. This committee comprises some of Nigeria’s best, and Anambra is deeply grateful that you are sacrificing your time and talent pro bono, to help our journey to a liveable and prosperous smart city.
“This is a friendly transition, it is an APGA government to APGA government, and we expect nothing except the level of cooperation expected among members of a family. And that we are having this at this transition committee jointly, being inaugurated, speaks eloquently. It is almost like a combined transition committee and it is a testimony that this is a family affair.
“Some commentators have observed that the number of the transition committee is large in their estimation, even without seeing the terms of reference, or the task, or that the members are offering their time and talent without remuneration as it were.
“Some were already computing the amount of money that each of you would be paid. If Anambra accepts to pay or remunerate the calibre of people here, I’m sure even a World Bank facility would not help us. Despite those observations, I must advise that you should feel absolutely free to bring anyone else that you feel can bring great value to this work.”
Speaking on security, Soludo said he has great plans for security, adding that it was intentional that he left out security experts in his committee, as security is a great challenge in Nigeria today, and would not be discussed in the open.
“We deliberately left out some experts in security from the transition committee. We prefer to deal with this subject matter separately. I’m not sure that would fit into this kind of place. What we will say in public is not what we will say in private, because things are no longer the same any longer in security.”
On the terms of reference, Soludo said: “The global objective of the transition committee is to help the government and the governor-elect to achieve a seamless transition and we are ready to hit the ground running from day one. The task would be elaborated, but three stand out.
“First is to ascertain, certify the state of affairs, the short to medium term deliverables of the vision 2070. To propose actionable agenda for the next administration, three to assist with talent hunt to populate the Anambra change data bank.
“To achieve this, we will soon advertise for expression of interest, whereby we call on all problem solvers with integrity, competence and passion to indicate which problem or problems they can solve for Ndi Anambra, whether in full time, part time or pro bono services. Together with the talent hunt from the committee, we will then have a robust pool to ensure we continuously fit round pegs in round holes.
“We are open to seek help and we will deeply appreciate advice and assistance of everybody to enable us deliver efficient and effective services to millions of our people.
“While we will continue to be sensitive to politics, in a democracy, that is expected, we also know that the teeming millions just want public service to work and do not care who delivers them.
“There are several members of this committees who I have never met, but your worth and reputation found you. We are deeply grateful to all of you who have accepted to actually pay to serve. Some are even in opposition parties, but let me say that sound ideas and implementation have no political party badge or state of origin.
“We envision an Anambra that will be the preferred destination in West Africa to live, learn, work, relax and enjoy, and we will welcome any and every contribution to make this work. Of course, Anambra is a state in the South-east, and is not an island unto itself, so we will seek the cooperation and collaboration of other states, especially South-east and South-south states, this will be critical for creating this prosperous homeland.
“The times are hard and the immediate future will be challenging. Despite this, Ndi Anambra expect extraordinary outcomes, and literarily expect miracles, and we can’t let them down and no excuses will do.
“We are determined to give it our all, mobilizing the creative resources of our people all over the world to create a befitting homeland. It is our collective dreams and assignment. Given the pool of human resources in this transition committee, Anambra people will expect an exemplary report, very illuminating one. I’m looking forward to using the report of this committee as a template to operate from day one.”
The 80-person transition team led by Dr Oby Ezekwesili, a former Vice President of the World Bank and two portfolio former Minister, is largely composed of technocrats drawn from within and outside Anambra State, a signpost that Soludo will lean towards the best hands from anywhere to carry out the task of governance.
Dr Ezekwesili, says her committee will provide the template for the achievement of Soludo’s manifesto.
She said members would bring ideas that had worked on other places that were relevant to the people of the state.
The former Education Minister said the transition team was all about making sure that the rich diversity and knowledge of the people of Anambra were optimized.
“We are bringing a sense of what it takes to build a coherent and cohesive voice of people with ideas and solutions.
“We want to make sure that the people of Anambra have a sense that this is a government where everybody will take responsibility and make sure we achieve prosperity and convert to a mega city that the governor-elect has espoused in his manifesto,” she said.
The 80-man committee include technocrats and experts in different including renowned Political Economist, Prof. Pat Utomi, former Aviation Minister, Chief Osita Chidoka, prominent Banker, Dr Alex Otti, former Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, and Mr Harry Udu, immediate past Head of Services in Anambra state.
Others were Prof. Osita Ogbu, Dr Emeka Okeke, Chief Chikwe Udensi, Prof. Uche Amazigo, Mr Pat. Ikwueto, (SAN), former NBA President, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, (SAN), Dr Akachukwu Nwankpo, Dr. Polycarp Emenike, Prof. Au Nnonyelu among others.
Soludo, candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), won the majority votes during the last governorship election in early November 2021, clinching victories in 19 Local Government Areas (LGAs), leaving his closest rivals, candidates of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Young People’s Party (YPP) to struggle for one LG apiece.