By Christian ABURIME
Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR has inaugurated a new board for Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency, ANSIPPA.
While Mustafa Chike Obi is Chairman of the Board, Chinedu Onyiuke is Secretary of the Board.
Other members include the MD/CEO, ANSIPPA, Mr. Mark Okoye, Attorney General, Professor Sylvia Ifemeje, Commissioner for Finance Mr Ifeatu Onejeme, Commissioner for Lands, Prof Offornze Amucheazi, SAN, and Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Chiamaka Nnake.
Others include the Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, Mr. Obinna Ngonadi, Mr Sammy Chidoka, Mr Christian Udechukwu, Dr. Marcel Offormata and Dr. Emeka Okeke respectively.
The functions of ANSIPPA, among other things include to, handhold and guide all investors in the State to ensure that the process of doing business is streamlined and managed efficiently, identify specific viable infrastructure projects across ministries, Departments and Agencies and invite interested investors to participate via PPP, Concessions, JVs, etc, strengthen strategic partnerships and enhance the ability of current and future investors to create jobs and expand access to the export market, manage the State’s Investment Portfolio and partner with international development agencies and NGOs to attract their technical support and funding to improve investment climate in Anambra.
Speaking about the mandate of the Agency, Governor Soludo said
“This is a very important agency of government and one that we expect to play a very critical role in the industrialization of Anambra; in creating that Anambra of our vision, to be the industrial, leisure, entertainment and technology hub within Nigeria and Africa. To get that done, this agency is expected to play a decisive role”.
The Governor, again, reiterated that these are very unusual and challenging times saying government revenue is continually on the downward trend
“Government revenue is sliding down. We hope that it will improve over time. Debt situation with humongous challenges are all over the place, insecurity, infrastructural challenges, legal issues and all manner issues that can be challenging to investors”.
“However, this is an era you have both opportunities and threats in terms of financing. We know that there could be lots of creative opportunities that could give rise in some other financing options that we need to explore. We believe that ANSIPPA should be able to reform our business environment, to drive the cost of doing business to near zero. It should be that one stop shop for clearance and all kinds of impediments and incentives, that should be able to reduce the impediments to the barest minimum and raise the incentives to the maximum possible”.
The Governor continued, “you’ll also be challenged to come up with creative funding mechanisms, not just for the projects but also even for the agency itself. How do you survive in a time of lean budgetary resources which is the same challenge every government MDAs are facing. So, you are called upon to think out of the box, in a very positively disruptive manner, to create new values for our people”.
The Governor further said that even though Nigeria is in quite some challenging situation, Anambra can be created and made into an Island of prosperity that is widely sort after.
“We can be whatever we will that Anambra can become. As people have acknowledged, we have the largest concentration of entrepreneurs anywhere in Africa. The missing link is a liveable and prosperous homeland- a people who are itinerant, shinning stars all over the world, but we are literally people in exile and it’s time to build that liveable and prosperous homeland. ANSIPPA can play very major role in driving that process”, said the Governor.
“Our work is cut out for us and looking at the composition of the board, the members were very carefully chosen. You are bringing your skills, knowledge, networks and depth of technical expertise and very importantly, to be able to bring in your networks. There are windows of opportunities that we want to maximize to the fullest, to be able to mobilize inward investment, both domestic capital. Capital by Ndi Anambra could potentially lead the way, though there may be challenges, starting with the kind of pools of skills and talents in ANSIPPA”.
On other hand, the Governor revealed that government is moving very fast in the area of security, transport infrastructure.
“Security is number one, we are confronting it head-on. On transport infrastructure, we’ve already approved 120 kilometers of strategic roads and hopefully another one hundred to come in the next few weeks. We are just criss-
crossing the state, trying to make sure that those places where you have the greatest impacts are touched and connected and all the Local governments will experience some significant construction works going on”.
He spoke on his administration’s regulatory framework, institutional reforms, technology, human capital and all facets.
“We are firing on all cylinders as well. On this note, I formally inaugurate the board of ANSIPPA. With this team, I believe Anambra will fly”, concluded the Governor.
Speaking earlier, the Secretary to the State government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu stated that the present administration’s
agenda is one with a deadline, recalling that ANSIPPA was set up by law in 2014, which the Governor decided to position as a key development control agent in his administration.
Speaking virtually, Chairman of the Board, Mr. Mustapha Chike Obi thanked the Governor for thinking him fit for the job, assuring of his commitment to make the agency a world class institution.
“You’ll have a hundred percent of my effort, to make this a world class institution. You’ll have wonderful governance. Nothing will happen in ANSIPPA that will not be held up to the highest possible standards of governance. Anybody who is not prepared for high level of governance, will not fit into this board. I think you have chosen carefully.
“I’ve been a beneficiary of some of your big ideas. I know the bank consolidation was your idea. I know that boards of AMCON was your idea and I hope you’ll continue with your big ideas”, Mr. Obi added.
Present at the brief event were Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi, Education, Public Utilizes, Special Duties counterpart, Professor Ngozi Chuma-Udeh, Mr. Julius Chukwuemeka and Barrister Sly Ezeokenwa respectively, among others.