AS THE state is marking her 28th anniversary, I am delighted to be called upon to speak on what I think has been the journey so far and the direction I’d want this same journey to take in the coming years. This is what I think should be my dream for the state –and that of anyone who wishes her well.
First of all, I want to commend the entire people and government of Anambra State for the way things have been going.
I say this because despite limited resources at our disposal, the state is cruising ahead of so many of her contemporaries – and even many older states. I am also happy that for some time now, there has been stability in the polity after initial teething problems.
This is why I strongly believe that the future holds brighter prospects for the state. The only problem I see is that Nigeria is operating a confusing model of federation in which federating units – constituted as 36 states – lack requisite constitutional powers or status of semi-autonomy to enable it grow and develop at its pace, as obtainable in the United States model we’re copying.
My view is that Anambra should hinge any economic development policies on agriculture which is the only area I see comparative advantage. There are more than sufficient arable lands in the state.
In the next 10 years, I want Anambra to have laid basic frameworks for establishment of farm settlement camps in at least two or three areas of the state.
In the next 20 years, I expect these camps to have fully come to light, fitted with basic amenities that will make living in the camps attractive to young ones who I recommend should be targeted in this agricultural revolution.
In the next 50 years, I want Anambra to have at least 10 cottage or agro allied industries that operate at maximum or optimum in food processing and production of other goods that will solely use Anambra grown crops for their agricultural raw materials.
I suggest this investment to be mainly in oil palm, root crops, maize and kola nut production. If we do this, it won’t be long before Anambra begins to radiate higher than it presently does as Light of the Nation! (Justice Ononiba is a former chief judge of Anambra state, member of council of Anambra Elders and Leaders of Thought and present traditional prime minister of Nimo, Njikoka L. G.A.).