Agenda for Ugwuanyi's economic advisory team
ENUGU State appears to be at the threshold of its development trajectory. Shortly on assumption of office, the governor of the state, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi set up a 15- man economic advisory team with Prof. Obiora Ike, a monsignor and the vicar- general of the Catholic Diocese, Enugu, as chairman and the economic adviser to the governor as secretary.
Members of the multi- disciplinary team of professionals include: former Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, former Economic Adviser to the President, now Director of Institute of Development Studies University of Nigeria, Prof. Osita Ogbu, Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, chairman of Innoson Group of Companies, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, former Aviation Minister, Ambassador Fidelia Njeze and Chief Chilo Offiah. Others are: Chief Loretta Aniagolu, Dr. Chikelu Mba, Princess Ngozi Nnadozie, Messrs Kelvin Emeka Onah, John Okoye, Emeka Odo and Ikechukwu Chioke.
The team is coming at a most auspicious time, considering that at present the national economy could be said to be in the labour ward, grappling with sharp fall in the price of oil, which the nation depends much on for its earnings and the states for their allocation from the Federation Account.
More important, it seeks to address the bigger challenges of unlocking the immense potential of the state, opening up opportunities for growth, getting the state's economic engine to work, as well as reducing the level of poverty amongst the population.
It is equally significant that the governor has a full appreciation of what needs to be done to fast-track the economic growth and development of the state.
This is evident in the agenda he set for the team which is: “to promote balanced sustainable economic growth, to promote and engender adequate employment for the people of Enugu State and to promote a system of fair income distribution among the various income groups in the state”.
Given that members of the team possess enviable antecedents and career and service credentials, it promises that their deliberation will not be another talk-shop or a forum for championing parochial causes.
They have the capacity to dip into their rich bags of local and international experience in the private and public sectors to bear on the growth initiatives of the state. It is expected, therefore, that the Ugwuanyi administration should be well equipped with a complete dossier of these socio-economic issues to aid their policies and actions.
To that end, the blueprint put together by the team should capture the status of each sector of the state's economy as at 2015 when the Ugwuanyi administration came into being.
It may as well state in detail where the state hopes to be by the end of the governor's first term in 2019 and how the overall objectives contained therein will be pursued and achieved.
It would also be germane to add yearly targets including anticipated revenue and expenditure in a scenario projection. These point to a need for careful and deliberate formulation of coordinated and integrated government policies which can and should be implemented, and which actualization should thrust Enugu State into an era of productive self-sufficiency.
The major areas and thrust for such policies should include: Revenue generation, basic needs satisfaction for Ndi-Enugu, skills development in available manpower, employment generation, self-reliant attitudes and production as against consumption-oriented life-styles.
Others are: Human resources development, Agro-based industrial development, Rural and Infrastructural Development, Ideological development and Project development.
It will be to the glory of the team's brilliant efforts and ideas if it ventures into many more areas than what was originally assigned to it and advise on policy options aimed at better governance of the state; in a very simple everyday language.
The governor would want to drink from the cup of the team's deliberations and recommendations charged with energy and inspired by their out-of-the box ideas that could spur desired actions.
The team, therefore, should be driven by the passion to make the difference in whatever they do in this regard. Their vision for our state should be truly inspirational.
They should always see the big economic and social picture and think of the fulfillment that comes from sharing one's time, energy, resources and resourcefulness for larger causes.
Challenges facing the state could be surmounted if pursued with common purpose, common resolve and common will. Part of our duty as committed citizens of the state is to create the good ideas that our leaders will use to complement theirs for transformative actions.
Ndi Enugu should therefore channel ideas to this important economic advisory team to enable it achieve the noble purpose for which it was set up. • Anekwe wrote from Odenigbo, Nsukka
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