On the Soludo manifesto | The cable

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If the elections for governor of Anambra take place today, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), would likely win more than 60% of the votes cast, while the other 17 candidates of other political parties would share the 40 others. %.

This distribution of votes was reflected in an online survey conducted by The 247Ureporters – a popular online news media in Anambra. So far, 1,132 people have voted in this online poll. In another poll conducted a few weeks ago by BVI Channel 1 Media in collaboration with the Ministry of Good Governance (GGM), Soludo obtained 53.36% of the votes cast to defeat his closest rival, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who won 30.60% voices.

These results are not surprising. Candidates from other political parties have been plagued by so many problems. For example, Governor Nyesom Wike – one of the most robust mobilisers in the PDP – has said he will not participate in the Anambra elections. Wike was instrumental in mobilizing support for Governor Obaseki when he fell out with his former party, the All Progressive Congress (APC). On the other hand, the APC candidate for the Anambra election has problems with the forgery of alleged certificates, accusations of money laundering and disagreements within his party over the process that led to his emergence.

Clearly, Soludo is the best prepared candidate for this election. This view was echoed last week by one of Anambra’s most respected statesmen and former governor, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife. To this end, Soludo’s value proposition for the Anambra must be x-rayed.

Unlike many bogus manifestos we have seen in Nigeria – which made Nigerians lose faith in manifestos and political promises – Soludo presents a cost to his plan and a realistic argument for how he intends to carry out his plan. He estimates that the government’s direct investment in this plan is in the range of 200-250 billion naira per year. If we compare this estimate with Anambra’s proposed budget of N141.9 billion for 2022, it becomes clear that the new APGA government needs innovative ways to consolidate its revenues. In addition to making revenue collection more efficient and ICT-driven, Soludo offers other sources of funding for projects – namely public-private partnership (PPP) models and development finance institutions (DFIs).

Globally, it has become clear that governments cannot fund infrastructure projects on their own. Thus, Soludo proposes the creation of the Anambra State Development Fund (ANSDF) – a $ 200 million fund that will be increased to $ 1 billion in order to catalyze bankable infrastructure projects with high growth potential. and economic return. The professor seems to want to replicate what he did as the founding president and vision bearer of the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) when he was governor of the central bank of Nigeria. (Between 2013 and 2017, AFC’s annual infrastructure spending across the continent averaged an all-time high of US $ 77.2 billion – transforming communities and economies. Today, AFC is one of the most profitable and respected funds in Africa).

Soludo also plans to deploy alternative models and technologies – in collaboration with the private sector – to build roads. Partnering with businesses under the road infrastructure tax credit seems to be one of these options. Currently, the federal government has entered into some of these road infrastructure tax credit agreements with the Dangote Group and MTN. One wonders why many state governments have not domesticated this model.

Anambra needs economic development, but there can be no economic development without massive industrialization. Gas and energy are the basis of any industrialization project. Unfortunately, most industries in the South East are not supplied with natural gas through government-owned pipelines. The highly inefficient gas supply by tanker trucks cannot make a leap forward from industrialization in the South East. In this regard, Soludo offers public and private sector-led collaboration to ensure that pipelines are extended to Anambra State. Obviously, the wide range of manufacturing plants in Onitsha and Nnewi could be ready gas buyers and they can be used to justify this investment in Anambra.

For people looking to invest in Anambra state, Soludo says he will be their marketing director. It promises to create an environment conducive to businesses ready to come to Anambra. The APGA manifesto plans to attract 2,000 small, medium and large industries to the various industrial parks / clusters it intends to set up.

In addition to creating jobs for young people, Soludo evokes the idea of ​​creating thousands of millionaire entrepreneurs. It plans to establish a business incubation center and a N5 billion venture capital fund to incubate and provide additional growth capital to the most promising start-ups and companies, whether in the form of grants. or direct investment, in Anambra. The reshaping of the Igbo learning system – which has been studied extensively by academics at Harvard University – presents another avenue for making millionaires and creating jobs, according to his plan.

His plan does not exclude the large number of Anambra traders, who need to be integrated into the global business and e-commerce world. The government of Soludo intends to partner with reputable business schools to develop and help these traders improve their game.

On agriculture, he promises to revalue the production of palm oil in Anambra. (Today palm oil as a commodity trades at an average price of $ 752 per tonne). The plan proposes the distribution of millions of high-yielding palm seedlings to farmers. Thanks to this, farmers will be able to escape poverty and provide the raw materials needed for agribusiness industries in Nigeria.

The plan appears to want to domesticate Executive Decree 5 of the federal government by encouraging the “Buy Anambra” and “Made in Anambra” projects. Government procurement will prioritize goods and services produced in Anambra and seek tax-free / export processing zone status for designated industrial hubs in Anambra State. Obviously, this would effectively increase the dollar earning capacity of businesses within Anambra. It is believed that the new cargo airport and the Anambra conference center will be the catalysts for this development.

Soludo offers new ideas for public service, solid minerals, petroleum, education, women’s empowerment, health, tourism and the entertainment industry in her state. He intends to make Anambra State the one-stop destination for investment, tourism, leisure and study in Nigeria.

On the controversial issue of security, aside from other soft proposals required to engage all state stakeholders, Soludo highlights a very important aspect that many commentators have missed in debates on the edge of security. . Soludo intends to amend and implement the Anambra State Security Trust Fund Law of 2010 and the Amendment Law of 2018 in order to mobilize and deploy funds for the purchase of the necessary equipment and the training of personnel involved in state security. This makes a lot of sense because the countries we admire as the most secure in the world devote a large portion of their resources to security. The thousands of cameras on the streets of London cost money to buy.

These are noble plans. But the professor is known to implement noble ideas. These plans were posted online at https://thesoludosolution.info/. Soludo calls this publication its social contract with the inhabitants of Anambra. On one occasion, the economics professor told his audience to dishonor him if he did not implement this social contract when he took office. We see a bright future for Anambra with Soludo!

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