HOW WILL ENUGU BE IN FOUR YEARS?

By Emmanuel Onwubiko

General election in the whole of Nigeria is 72 days away. Campaigns are going on and voters are about now monitoring proceedings of the public campaigns of the different aspirants to the diverse political offices available to be filled up by the votes of Nigerians.

The most pertinent agenda of the founding fathers of Enugu State was how to liberate the people and bequeath them a state they could boldly call their own, make exploits and live in peace. Indeed, there is a big and urgent task to be accomplished for the realization of the Enugu dream.

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in more ways than one, has taken a bold step in defining the developmental roadmap in championing this dream through the support of the good people of Enugu state anchored on the pillars of peace, security, rural and urban development, quality education and healthcare, women and youth empowerment, equality, equity, justice and fairness.

His succession calls for a prudent manager of resources, an administrator of proven track record and a level headed politician.

Therefore, the focus at this critical juncture should be on how the 2023 electoral process can throw up the best kind of leader for the task of putting the people first in the resource mobilization and allocation for enhanced development of the state.

This is where Dr. Peter Mbah comes in with a progressive ideology and agenda.

His ambitious plan and dream as showed in his manifesto is to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) from the present $4.4 Billion to $30 Billion, which is hoped to propel Enugu state to one of the top three states in the country, and a preferred destination for business, living, tourism and leisure.

This is because, it will only take a bridge builder like Dr. Mbah to navigate through our experience to offer a viable promise. It is here experience counts – A blend of the public, cum private matrix is enough experiment to provide the proper and fit dose for our ailment.

Dr. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah; the international maritime lawyer, business mogul and key player in the energy sector, financial analyst, astute public administrator and philanthropist of note is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate for Enugu State in the 2023 general election.

Born in the early 70s, Peter Mbah is a top of the range fine craft, rendered in observable finesse of the best of specifications. He got education, the best of it at all levels, especially at the post graduate, management category, where the best of theories meet the boldest of practicalities.

Out of hard work, the undying and unconquering spirit of the Nigerian child and above all, through the unmerited Grace and unlimited Favor of God, he has proven to be tested trailblazer with vision, knowledge and courage that can provide the imperative cutting-edge leadership to ensure both stability and progression for the good people of Enugu state.

Besides founding Pinnacle Oil and Gas Ltd., from an almost zero base-worth reckoning in the corporate world, he sits atop the board and management of Pinnacle Pointers; a real estate and hospitality company.

His business and professional interests traverse import trade, oil and gas sales and distributions, maritime logistics and public service.

A Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of numerous successful companies, he also sits on the boards of several establishments. Before Pinnacle Oil and Gas Ltd., he had earlier founded the Peter Mbah Investment Limited; a trading firm that served as the sole Nigerian representative to International Oil Corporation (IOC) based in Fresno, California, USA.

Dr. Peter Mbah’s desire and quest to see a developed Enugu State in particular, and Nigeria in general, has seen him in most times volunteer his knowledge, wealth and everything in him for the betterment of the society. He is versatile with huge coverage, exposure and experience in corporate governance.

As have been noticed about him in several fora, he believes that until Enugu State is administered like a business where the CEO of the business understands the pains in loosing and the gains in winning, the State may not succeed in transforming and aligning with the human development imperatives of the 21st Century certainly, which requires an organisational cultural transformation, especially in a milieu that has long been driven by traditional metrics.

As a game-changing leader, who is riding on the crest of the desire of the people for quality governance, which beyond building on the achievements of the current administration, will deploy the latest ideas and methods, research and data driven, to get Enugu to its deserved place, in prosperity and good governance.

Hence, Dr. Mbah is well aware of the need to search for Enugu people with technical minds wherever they may be to see how together they can divest the state’s interest as new political and economic models challenge traditional templates.

Also, he is focused on ensuring the activation of dormant oil fields in the state to boost the economy of the state.

While noting and commending the official designation of Enugu State as an oil producing given the oil wells co-owned by Enugu, Kogi and Anambra States in the Anambra River Basin, as a good development, he promised to bring in foreign investors to fast-track the exploitation of other oil and gas fields solely owned by the state.

Again, Mbah has faith in collaborative development of Enugu State where everyone and idea matters. He trusts that job employment, sound education through the provision of basic and improved teaching tools in schools, a systematic shift to mechanized agriculture for improved food production, urgent basic infrastructural development, and optimising other mineral resources such as limestone, and coal, among others is what Enugu needs to reduce crime and insecurity in the State.

At the heart of his strategy for development in Enugu state is wealth creation. He contemplates that government if handled with the right attitude and purposeful leadership will perform optimally.

Thus, his development narratives is premised on the tenets that an efficient government is possible and can provide an industrialized economy with full employment, price stability, high output and net export.

It cannot be gainsaid nor overemphasized that industrialization is fundamental to the quest of devising a means to supporting small scale businesses in Enugu State owned by natives and the thrive to reduce youths dependability on white Collar jobs alone, which has created the impression that Enugu State is a civil service State.

This approach, according to Mbah’s plans, will enable the setting up of Cottage Industries in all the L.G.As in the State, leading to job creations for the youths and women via skills acquisition and empowerment, thereby making them self-reliant and employers of labour. This could be captured with a greater framework that is inclusive and comprehensive.

More so, Dr. Mbah relies on the deployment of agricultural revolution, the creation and merger of an industrial base to serve as catalyst for an African economic hub in Enugu State; an entity whose governance trajectory will indisputably impact the old Eastern Nigeria.

Hence, Mbah’s inclusive economic development model is a platform that seeks to reinvent government as critical site and realm in production, distribution, exchange and consumption in the economic sphere.

Undoubtedly, his governance developmentalism strategy for Enugu is positioned to make government as fountain of mobilizing resource towards effective competition and building of a comparative advantage economy.

Broadly, the thrust of his developmental and infrastructural model is anchored on the principle of Public – Private Partnership (PPP), with a vision to create a deliberate distribution and redistribution of projects that is inclusive, comprehensive and entrenches its core foundation on mass participation, grass-root involvement and passionate commitment.

On the one hand, his economic model is built as a bottom-up approach from the grass-root to get communities economically viable to increase Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and stimulate the economy.

This is a hybrid cluster of home grown community economic model that will mobilize equal opportunity for all to create an import substitution framework in conserving and generating wealth.

In doing this, as he has pointed out, the community will own the process and gains of the model with the State acting as facilitator.

This brand of development will only focus on developing and articulating all sectors of the economy, in order to harmonize and promote circular flow of income to significantly multiply within the economy, leaving little or no opportunity for wastages.

According to his futuristic milestones for Enugu State, technology incubation centres will be created along each sector of the economy to allow for the growth and development of the human capability to contribute enormously to their wellbeing. The financial and stabilizing fund for each sector development will be created to provide for a robust and unhindered participation of all. Mentorship programme shall be created for all incubation centres and follow up with entrepreneur build-up agenda.

2023 therefore should be another defining historical moment of political realism, of realignments and bridge building to secure a greater Enugu State for the coming generation. Today’s decisions have got far reaching implications for the future both as a people and as a state.

*EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO is head of the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA and was NATIONAL COMMISSIONER OF THE NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF NIGERIA.

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