Anambra 2021: You’re In Govt But Nothing Has Changed – Ozigbo Tells Soludo

Ozigbo and Soludo

Former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor and the flag bearer of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, has said that he will ensure that Anambra state produces at least 1,000 millionaires yearly through a N5bn venture capital fund if he is elected governor.

But the former CBN boss was questioned on how he has been able to tackle the state’s economic challenges as an Advisor to the incumbent governor, Willie Obiano.

Valentine Ozigbo who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the forthcoming election posed the question to the former CBN boss during a debate organised by Arise TV on Monday.

Prior to Ozigbo’s comment, Soludo who was asked what he would do to attract Anambra billionaires who are investing their wealth outside the state, said that he will make the state the number one place for ease of doing business.

Soludo explained that he is planning to build industrial parks that will be gas-powered as well as provide security through partnerships with the Federal Government and the communities.

He said, ” Once you fix security, human capital is very key. And then our industrial parks, we are going to deploy captive power and in partnership, of course, with Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), there is the gas plant already at Omasi that is ready to go.

“All these we are going to deploy to the people, industrialists in the industrial clusters to have access to cheap power. Of course, fixing the road infrastructure is one. And then we have the big elephant in the room, which is our big venture capital fund, where we are warehousing about N5bn every year to help with the start ups.

“If you come to Anambra for it, we are targeting about a 1,000 youth millionaires every year. If you can do it in Anambra, we’ll give you that (venture capital). We will have from importation, to manufacturing to exportation program; we will structure a deal between you and your foreign partners to come and manufacture it here in Anambra.

“There is a rising cost of manufacturing in India and China today, and they are looking for cheaper cost production areas. Our agenda is to make Anambra the number one in terms of ease of doing business.

“My whole agenda to make Anambra, an industrial technology leisure hub of West Africa is a huge thing.”

But in response, Ozigbo said the economic concepts of the ruling party was a failure and that Soludo has no practical solutions to the Anambra problem.

He said, “I’m sorry to go back to my elder brother [Soludo] here, he is part of this government in many ways. And yet we are one of the worst places to do business, how come nothing has been achieved? And do you reward impunity? No, please.

“But the question here is how do we get Anambra people to be able to deploy our resources to make these resources work for them? And I have a few things to say.

Number one. Money goes to where money is comfortable. The whole concept of this administration is a failure. I’ve seen people who leave their businesses from Lagos down to Anambra and become broke because we have a terrain that is uncompetitive.”

He said one of the factors that will woo investors to the South Eastern state is when the level of competitiveness of the state improves.

Ozigbo said, “And this is why I evoked a five cluster approach to dealing with this issue. First Class cluster I keep emphasizing, is Onitsha. What should happen in Onitsha is for it to be more functional, more business friendly.

” You don’t solve this problem by just thinking from your home, you’re going to be profitable and far from there. What is your problem? How can we help you to do better? And this is why we have to deal with the issue of discipline.

“The touts everywhere we need to curb. The traffic situation, the road network, the other infrastructure, leveraging the gas infrastructure.

“Why can’t we, you know, create a new energy city to put the chemicals and get up there working? How do we deal with the port issue moving out to the industrial hub? What do we need to do there?

Also, the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, Andy Ubah, on his economic strategy to attract investors in the state, said he is prepared to make sure that the state is secure for investors.

Ubah said, “Most of all, you have to make sure that the security situation is calm. Make sure they are secured when they come, but we have to give them some tax incentives whereby when they come, you give them some years of taxes and you have to make them bring their investments into Anambra state.

“They have to invest in housing, petroleum oil and gas and different sectors. You have to give them incentives that will make them come back.

“There is no such incentive as this. I have to give them tax incentives that would allow them to invest their funds in the state, because they would be investing in many places in Lagos, Kano and different places.

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