#Opinion: Peter Mbah and the Promise of Disruptive Innovation in Enugu State | CABLE REPORTERS

Ability Chukwuemeka Mbah

_There are always slogans and rallying cries for different groups. Sometimes the cry is “Constitution”, others want “Representation”; still some others cry for “Reform”. But everywhere, it means change and trouble. Society can no longer be saved unless governments deal with such dangerous ideas strongly._ – Prince Klemens von Metternich.

_At the end of the day, I am not going to be remembered by the size of wealth that I have created. It will be about the impact, the number of people that were touched by the decisions I made._ – Peter Ndubuisi Mbah.

In the opening chapter of his book “The Trouble With Nigeria”, Chinua Achebe asserted that the trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership. He said it is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility and challenge of personal sacrifice. Achebe added in Chapter five of the book that Nigerians are not particularly wicked or evil, because the lack of patriotism among them is as a result of the State always reneging on agreement with her citizens. When pushed to the wall, the people will have no option than to make a bold and fierce turnaround to confront the monster. The evidence was visible in the actions of Nigerians during the 2023 polls.

In Enugu State, the people stood their ground as they choose personality over political party affiliation; culminating in the victory of Barr Dr Peter Ndubuisi Mbah of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) as the Governor of the State. His campaign messages resonated with the people, with each community and Local Government believing the time is ripe to entrench inclusive economic growth and development. He promised the people a government that will disrupt the status quo in policy thinking, policy drafting/formulation and policy implementation. He assured the people of Enugu State that the long awaited tomorrow, is here with us.

His mission – to deliver quality, people-focused governance by making Enugu the preferred destination for investment, business, tourism and living; and vision – to make Enugu one of the top three States in Nigeria in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and achieve a zero percent rate in the poverty headcount index – statements, well captured in his manifesto justified his sincerity and will to change the growth and developmental trajectory of the State. He promised to move the State’s GDP from its current 4.4 billion dollars to at least 30 billion dollars in the next eight years. To the naysayers and the opposition, it’s an impossible tall dream. That is where the political will and personal ingenuity of the leader comes in.

His manifesto clearly spelt out integrated sector-based productivity growth in Agriculture and Agro-Allied Industrialisation, Energy and Mineral Resources, Commerce and Industry, Rural and Urban Infrastructure, Creative Industries, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and Tourism Development. His key institutions of focus to enhance inclusive and transparent governance are Judiciary, where he will digitalize trials and records management, establish specialize court system, upgrade and expand the Magistrate courts, amongst others; Public Service, where he promised to champion the transition from a paper-based record keeping system to digitalization; Security, where his focus will be on prevention of crimes instead of chasing criminals; and Community leadership, where Traditional Rulers and Town Union leaderships will be empowered for local administration.

He also took time to highlight cross-cutting programmes and social services of his administration, ranging: Healthcare Services that will transform the State into a hub for medical tourism in Nigeria; Qualitative Education through curriculum reform and shifting attention to STEM subjects that will lay the foundation for future industrialization; affordable and clean Water for residents in the State within 180 days of his administration; total overhaul of Environmental management and sanitation sector to ensure cleanliness within our cities and Waste to Wealth recycling business; and revitalization of sports through encouragement of academies and intensive youth development through job creation.

He has severally assured the youth of the State that their tomorrow is here with him on the saddle. There will be massive infrastructural development in ICT that will get a minimum of 40,000 young people every year actively and productively engaged in ICT skills. His government will match-make these young people with out-sourcing agents immediately they’re done with the programme for employment in the digital world of artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality, and augmented reality. This plans and programmes will jump start the State’s march towards the fifth industrial revolution and cement our place in the fourth industrial revolution. We have the youthful population to do it.

He has promised to disrupt the State revenue structure and pattern. It is very clear to all that the monthly federal allocation is nothing to write home about for the actualization of these lofty dreams. Hence, he promised to make Enugu State the most attractive State for investment by removing all bottlenecks and encumbrances encountered in the establishment of private businesses. He outlined further financing models as: cost-efficiency gains and savings from smart government; innovative partnership, co-financing and syndication; securitization of Diaspora remittances and Diaspora investment bonds. He already has precedence when he grew an obscure Pinnacle Oil and Gas Ltd from a room apartment in 2008 to the biggest private Oil and Gas firm, downstream sector in Nigeria in 2023. I believe he will replicate that pinnacle miracle in Enugu State.

What is required of the people of Enugu State at this point in time is to rally round the new Governor and give him the necessary support. Our patriotism is highly required of us as we chant the songs of change and reform. This is a time to experiment the injunction of former United States President, J. F. Kennedy who admonished us to ask for what we will do for our State, not what our State will do for us. Barr Mbah has the sincerity of purpose and is kind-hearted to fulfill his promises. Because following the words of George Lichtenberg, “I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is that they must change if they are to get better”.


_Ability Chukwuemeka Mbah writes from Onukwachi Village, Ogere Owo, Nkanu East LGA._

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