By Ifedi Okwenna
Anambra state under Peter Obi, had its development plan anchored under the very successful, Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS). The Strategy which was developed and guided by the principles of the now rested United Nations, Millennium Development Goals (MDG), enabled that Government, which I was part of, to bring growth and development in all sectors and in all parts of the State simultaneously. But this has been abandoned without any visible replacement, making the state not to be guided in any known strategic direction.
Going forward, Government activities in the State shall be subjected to sound and effective economic principles which will guide our planning and allocation of resources to areas of need. Our government will be private sector driven with strong government regulation, monitoring and control.
While implementing a private sector driven free market economy, government will, where necessary, institute a targeted state-owned enterprise for a given period of time before divesting her own interest. This measure may be applied to bring sanity in the system and to fast forward growth and development.
- Economic Development Objectives:
Our development objective is for the state to attain economic prosperity through our planned comprehensive and integrated development of all sectors and all parts of the State. Our Strategic plan shall therefore be known as, Comprehensive and Integrated Development of Anambra State (CIDAS). We shall anchor CIDAS on the principle of Sustainable Development Goals, Agenda 2030 of the United Nations. CIDAS shall be a successor to the now rested Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS), of former Governor Peter Obi, and will drive inspiration from ANIDS. It will be a super participatory strategic planning that involves the citizens and gives an overall framework for development of all sectors and all parts of Anambra State at same time.
CIDAS targets will be centred on:
a. Wealth Creation: Every Anambra man or woman shall have the opportunity to create wealth by the opportunities CIDAS shall provide for him/her. Through this, our per capita income as a State shall be improved within a short period of time.
b. Employment generation: We will target to attain zero unemployment for every Anambra person including those who are physically challenged. There shall be better utilization of manpower resources and increasing employment opportunities. The measures CIDAS will put in place shall open opportunities for those who would normally seek employment to become themselves employers of labour and creators of employment opportunities. This they can do through innovation, entrepreneurship development, cooperative schemes and peer review mechanism.
c. Economic Stability: Stability is as important as growth. We shall try to remove uncertainties that affect stability. We shall ensure policy stability through consistency, price stability through production and demand control etc. This will help remove structural instability in the system.
d. Social Welfare: We shall promote citizen welfare, economic empowerment of rural people etc. The system to be adopted in our health plan, education policy, Agricultural Policy, Transport policy, Rural Development Plan etc are people friendly and will improve the social welfare of the poor.
e. Innovation and Entrepreneurship: We shall support the implementation of creative ideas in order to generate value, usually through increased revenues, reduced costs or both, guiding our youths to innovate and apply to create wealth for themselves.
f. Development and self-sufficiency. We shall be committed to self-sufficiency of the state in food, grains, livestock, shelter, clothing, industrial raw material and in developing internal resources thereby reducing our dependence on external grants and aids. We shall explore investment in other states and regions and also make provisions for future growth.
g. Increase in standard of living: Our target is to improve the standard of living of our people, through the food they eat, the type of houses they live in, our mode of transportation, the standard of education and health facilities we will put at their disposal.
h. Fiscal Discipline: We shall be guided by technology and political will, to develop the culture of fiscal discipline in the entire system. Our successful attainment of economic development and advancement shall be dependent on our prudence, transparency and application of necessary checks and controls.
h. Culture of saving through investment: We shall apply maximally the culture of saving for the rainy day. Government shall invest in many medium- and long-term instruments to be able to remain afloat at all times.
We shall create the following structures to act as checks in assisting us to achieving the above targets. The structures are:
a. Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning:
The Objectives of the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning shall be to:
• Prepare Annual State Budget principles and provide leadership in general Budget preparation and implementation.
• Relate and Engage with the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning in her implementation of National plans and in developmental and other technical assistance.
• Formulate and prepare long term, medium term and short-term economic development plans for the State.
• Manage Bilateral and Multilateral economic cooperation and ensure the state is up to date in their engagement with development partners and other Institutions including the World Bank, the United Nations, European Union etc.
• Provide policy advice to the Governor and the State Government
• Prepare periodic review and appraisal of human and material resources capabilities of the State with a view to make healthy projections for the State.
• Monitor Projects implementation in line with projected plans and advice on changes and adjustments where necessary for the realization of governmental objectives.
• Conduct Research on public policy issues and State Interests and based on findings advise government on economic and social policy issues.
b. Anambra Public Transparency Commission
As part of attainment of CIDAS, my Government shall establish by law the Anambra State Public Transparency Commission. The Commission shall promote the principle of transparency and accountability in the State.
Its functions shall include:
• Prevention of corruption through system study and review of governmental processes and activities,
• Investigation and prosecution of corrupt practices, financial crimes and lack of due process
• Promotion of ethics and ensuring compliance with ethical codes
• Monitoring of Budget Implementation, Education and enlightenment of public servants on issues of corruption and public accountability.
c. Anambra State Bureau on Public Procurement.
The State Bureau on Public Procurement shall be reinvigorated to monitor and oversight public procurement in Anambra State. The activities of the Bureau shall be:
• Setting procedures and frameworks and professional capacity for Public procurement in Anambra State.
• Ensure the application of fair, competitive, transparent, standards and practices for the procurement and disposal of public assets.
• Attainment of transparency, competitiveness, cost effectiveness and professionalism in the public sector procurement system.
• Ensure Anambra State gets full value for every money spent on all procurements.
Join us, let’s go to work.