By Ibe Shadrach
The recently released figures on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics and the Central Bank of Nigeria shows that Anambra State performed poorly, even among the states in the Southeast Region.
According to the annual report, Lagos emerged as the top FDI destination in Nigeria with $8.3 billion. Other states that ranked high are Abia with $56 million, Niger $16.4 million, and Ogun with $13.4 million respectively.
Sadly, despite its huge investment potential and opportunities, Anambra State with $10.2 million is grouped alongside Kaduna with $4.03 million, Sokoto $2.5 million, and Kano State with $2.4 million.
Doctor Godwin Maduka, in his recent interaction with the media, noted that the figures above do not speak well of Anambra: The Light of the Nation! He wondered why a state synonymous with commerce and industries, with clusters of industrial hubs in places like Nnewi, Onitsha, Awka and others as well as the state with the highest number of millionaires and billionaires in Nigeria is not attracting a commensurate FDI.
While discussing his all-inclusive 10-point agenda for the transformation of the state, the frontline PDP aspirant for the November 6 Anambra governorship election incisively outlined his plans to eliminate the factors driving away local and international investors from the state. His reason being that FDI and economic growth and the general wellbeing of the citizens are positively interdependent.
He also presented his strategies to unlock the untapped huge FDI potential of the state, which includes running a transparent, purposeful and dependable government. Others are provision of enabling environment for both foreign and domestic investors and businesses to thrive in Anambra State.
Investors in the health sector, tourism and entertainment, manufacturing and industrial parks and free trade zone development, power, agriculture and food production, waste management and recycling, water and air transportation amongst others will be provided with world-class infrastructural supports besides tax incentives and adequate security. Also, the overall improvement of the ease of doing business in the state to make it the number one investment destination is included in the economic development blueprint.
Doctor Maduka seeks to lift the state higher and make life better for the citizens by stimulating robust economic development and increased employment and economic prosperity for the citizens through improved and constant capital flow and FDI inflows into the state.
Additionally, huge human resource development and acquisition of new technologies that come with FDI, manufacturing, exports of finished goods from Nnewi, Onitsha and other industrial clusters in the state as well as opening of new economic frontiers in hitherto neglected rural areas are all part of his agenda to make Anambra the new commercial capital of Nigeria.