Ahead of Anambra State governorship election, one of the aspirants on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ife Okwenna, has said the electorate would not regret electing because of the transformation he intends to bring on board.
Addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja, Okwenna, said his administration would bank on the achievement of Peter Obi, a governor to deliver on the democratic dividends especially in the areas of education, health, insecurity and unemployment.
He said: “Ndi Anambra know that we have great pedigree, character, competence and capacity. They know we are coming with great vision for the state; that we have verse experience and therefore not coming to learn on the job.
“They know we have great knowledge of Anambra environment and her challenges and is therefore better equipped than anyone else to fix them. We know all segments of our people and these segments know and trust us.
“Our mantra for seeking to govern our State is ‘Innovate Anambra’. We have chosen this because our problems are both increasing and becoming more complex.
“Issues like migration, youth unemployment, population explosion, urban poverty and decay, erosion and climate change, security challenges, inadequacy of affordable housing stock, inadequate healthcare planning etc. are posing novel and great challenges which cannot be solved in traditional ways.
“The negative impact of Covid-19 pandemic, the resultant recession and inefficient and recklessness management of the resources of the State have thrown us into debt. We have moved from a State with surplus to a debtor state.
“The revenue from the federation account is continuously declining with the unceasing fall in price of crude oil in international market.
“This means that our State’s own share from the federation account is dwindling incessantly too.
“Our Internally generated revenue (IGR) is not improving at a rate it will take care of our existing and novel challenges, as our revenue collection system is currently bedeviled by corruption, under declaration and non-expansion of our IGR net.
“The way our State public and private sectors are organized and run cannot be attractive to our youths. Therefore, we cannot lure them back and retain them home unless we are innovating and fostering innovative culture in our public and private sector organizations.
“In Anambra, the trust our people expect to have on their Government is not coming to them. The citizens expectation that government will offer answers to their concerns and meet their expectations is lacking.
“Their expectations that their governments will listen and engage with them and to collaborate is therefore not coming.Where do we then go from here?
“It is clear that responses that go beyond incremental improvements are now required. Put simply, innovation in Anambra state and within governmental system is required urgently just to keep up with the pace of change – and specially to stay ahead of it as it provides us a way to be more responsive to change, and to respond to the future rather than the past.
“We must, as a matter of urgency, reform and innovate our Public service organizations including the leaders in government, strengthen our institutions if they are to meet the expectations of our youth whom our current population distribution favours significantly.
“We must work towards reimagining the public’s experience of interacting with government, and ultimately rebuild trust.
“Our innovation and reform project must include equipping our youths to fit in any competitive modern job sector anywhere in the world and to trust and believe in their ability to discover, innovate, incubate and develop for our environment.
“If we fail to do so, we will deny Anambra the wealth of talent who can provide original, inventive solutions and thereby get back to the stage we cannot be able to meet our obligations sustainably.
“We have prepared and released our manifesto which is anchored on five core objectives and 27 thematic innovative plans – which are indeed the enablers.
“These are in different sectors, and are aimed at growing and developing our State. The five core objectives in which my government will be anchored include:To make Anambra State a leading destination for youths in Nigeria.
“To return the State as the leading Centre for Commerce, Trade and Industry. To make Anambra the leading Centre for innovation and entrepreneurship development to create a system where government cares and protects her citizens anywhere, they may be and to recreate and own our narratives, develop Anambra brand and make our people invest in it.”