By Izunna Okafor, Awka
Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has expressed his interest to spend the rest of his life in Anambra State, building the State to be such that the citizens should be proud of, and his children can come home and live.
Governor Soludo stated while signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Enugu Electricity Distribution Commission (EEDC) at the State Government House in Awka, the State capital.
According to the Governor, the aim of the signing of the MOU was to resolve the challenges of inconsistent power supply in the state, as part of his government’s journey towards making Anambra a liveable and prosperous homeland, which, he said, cannot be achieved without regular power supply.
Soludo, who revealed that Enugu State had been his primary residence in Nigeria, said he would now spend the rest of his life in Anambra, building the state so that his children can come home, walk the streets, and live.
He said, “Today is a historic day for the people and the state. The signing of this MOU with EEDC will completely translate into positive changes, which is critical for the journey towards a liveable and prosperous homeland, that cannot be achieved without continuous supply of power.
“Long before I was sworn in as Governor of Anambra State, I recognized the importance of power and deeply considered how it could be achieved in the shortest period of time for at least three to four major cities in the state.
“What we did today was to consummate that marriage. The courtship began over a year ago, and I’m overjoyed that the marriage has finally been consummated today.
“Anambra is a state in which more than 60% of the people’s non-land assets are domiciled outside of the state. If 20% of the proceeds are returned to Anambra, the state can become what we envision it to be.
“I see the strategic partnership with EEDC and the magnitude of the investment. My message to the rest of Anambra’s billionaires and millionaires is that acquiring wealth and networth alone are insufficient. The question is, how much of your wealth and assets are domiciled in the state for Anambra to be the number one choice for living, working, investing, relaxing, and enjoying?
“The Anambra of our dreams will not happen by wishful thinking, but each of us must contribute our fair share.
“Of course, it’s business, and I see the problems and challenges listed here by the EEDC, such as asset vandalism, the legal framework, and so on.
“You can’t continue if you make an investment and people consume power but don’t pay; if you can’t recover and recoup, you can’t continue.
“On behalf of the Government of Anambra State, I assure you that I am firmly convinced that this is the right path to take. This is not a political statement to appease the masses. People will raise concerns if they do not see results within three months of signing this MOU.
“I vowed to make Anambra a state in which I would be proud to live. My primary residence in Nigeria has been Enugu, but I will now spend the rest of my life in Anambra, building this state so that my children can come home, walk the streets, and live.
“The commitment to this partnership is a matter of life and death. We have to make it work. What else will work if there is no electricity? We are attempting to transit from a largely informal commerce and trading state to an industrialized state.
“Without power, we cannot have sustainable industrialization. We are dealing with insecurity and basic infrastructure, including power.
“We have already acquired some land for our industrial cities in Akwaihedi, Uga, and other places.
“We have acquired 200 hectares for the Ogboji Pharmaceutical Industrial Park and are nearing the completion of a 4000 hectare industrial city and an export emporium.
“While attempting to transform the industrial sector, we must not lose sight of the state’s initial industrial clusters in order for them to function effectively.
“I expect all parties involved to work quickly to complete this project properly. We will have an execution committee with whom we will interact on a daily basis. We also require a legal framework to address issues of asset theft and vandalism; an enabling law must be drafted within the next four weeks.
“People have testified that the state’s power supply has improved, but we want it to get to the point where the next generation of people in the state will take it for granted and accept it as a natural thing
“We are looking forward to the metering company, which will create jobs and generate tax revenue for the state.”