IN PROPERLY organised nations of the world, well articulated and all encompassing development planning is a categorical imperative and never subjected in whatever circumstances to prevarications as regularly observed in the emerging economies or developing countries like Nigeria and other countries in Africa. In other words, development planning consequent upon diligently collected data by the central and sub national entities lead to methodical execution of policies, programmes and projects that cater for parallel development trajectory without bitter complaints from any segment of the society.
It is therefore expedient that the Anambra State governor-elect, Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, going by his exceptional and outstanding pedigree and antecedent as an accomplished and internationally acclaimed economist and development planner, should consider factoring what this writer can describe as “parallel development trajectory” which will stop the common complain of marginalisation by segments of the state. This complain of marginalisation was one of the factors that led to agitation for rotation of governors among the three senatorial districts of the state.
Given the fact that in economics, resources are scarce relative to demands, such a creative approach to development could make segments of the society to be captured in the budget in all the fiscal years no matter the quantity of capital projects in each community or local government collectively to assuage the deep yearnings and aspirations for socio-economic growth and development of the entire landscape of the state.
Borrowing from the slang of the governor-elect to “hit the ground running”, he should consider reaching out to the traditional rulers and presidents general of the communities to hold meetings in their respective local government headquarters monthly or bi-monthly to articulate the developmental needs of the respective communities for onward transmission to him. This is without prejudice to the elaborate election campaign manifesto of the governor-elect as the recommendations of each local government council areas will be encapsulated in all the fiscal years to embrace all-round or parallel development trajectory.
The reasonableness of this paradigm shift in socio-economic growth and development of all the communities simultaneously lies on the necessity to encapsulate a modicum of percentage of the basic developmental needs of each community within the availability of resources in each of the fiscal year. Former Governor Peter Obi had a variant of this paradigm shift in development when he propounded “developing all sectors simultaneously” but it failed because of lack of discrete planning.
Previous style of segregated provision of amenities in the rural communities and urban towns has not assuaged the deep developmental yearnings and aspirations of the people which led to perennial bitter recriminations and adverse comments against every past chief executives of the state. Naturally, every community which had collectively given support to the governor passionately expects ocular proof of appreciation of the support by the respective community. Failure to observe an immediate execution of projects within the respective community had occasioned bitter recriminations and real or imagined accusation of favoritism to the governor’s community and local government council areas.
It is apposite to state that all the communities look forward to see one form of capital project or the other, especially intra and inter community roads which have become very essential to business activities. Many communities who have uncompleted road projects are suffering the implication of the flood menace on the remaining portions of the roads, even as many people can no longer access their compounds due to massive flood water, erosion and land slide.
In other words, Professor Soludo, in as much as he would be passionate to commence immediate implementation of his election campaign manifesto should concentrate on completing the ongoing road projects to reassure the people of their abiding faith in APGA administration since government is a continuum. To underscore the absolute necessity for diligent planning, the new government should place top priority to roads in the semi urban and urban communities like Awka capital territory, comprising Amawbia, Nibo, Nise, Nawfia, Enugwu-Ukwu, Enugwu-Agidi, Amansea, Nkpor, Obosi, Oba, Ogbunike, Ihiala, Ekwulobia, Oko, Nnewi, Nnobi, Otuocha, Nsugbe, Onitsha and where businesses are sprouting with great potential for quantum leap in internally generated revenues [IGR].
Anambra State being noted for trading and international businesses has the exceptional potential to generate massive funds far in excess to the monthly statutory allocations to fund the monumental developmental needs and turning the state into Dubai of Africa. The imperative of quantum leap on IGR cannot be over emphasised because of the dwindling statutory revenue receipts consequent upon the crude oil price due to vulnerability to external shocks in the international oil market. The consequence has resulted to unstable macro-economic parameters and inflationary trends in the country.
Professor Soludo, with consummate knowledge of economic planning, should reckon with the dreary consequences of faulty and lackadaisical planning and misapplication of scarce resources in the country’s challenging economy. Having strenuously and persistently sought the collective electoral mandate of the people, he has to demonstrate his great vision of turning Anambra State to the enviable pedestal of Dubai, Singapore and other Asian tiger nations who were on the same developmental level with Nigeria in the 1960s.
Soludo’s pragmatic vision of an exceptional state which will unarguably become the envy of other states of the federation is in tandem with the Bible admonition in Proverb 29; 18 which states that “Where there is no vision, the people perish”.
A cerebral commentator on Anambra issues contended that “Soludo represents a paradigm shift in our collective quest for leadership that is both inspiring and transcendental, in addition to being a leader who comes fully prepared for leadership”.
Soludo had noted that his “emergence is a divine journey whose time has come”, adding that “our state is one of infinite possibilities and humongous opportunities…As we transit to a post-oil world and into the 4th industrial revolution, let us work together to build upon the foundations of our founding fathers and predecessors to create that live-able and prosperous homeland that is the industrial, technology and leisure hub of West Africa. This is our manifest destiny, and collectively we shall get there.”