By Tony Okafor, Awka
The Anambra State governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, is planning a steady power supply in the state as part of his administration’s awowed commitment towards achieving a liveable and prosperous homeland.
As a consequence, he has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) on behalf of the state government.
The MOU signing ceremony which took place at Government House, Awka, would gear towards ensuring that power supply in the state would be made available on a steady basis.
Signing the Mo at the weekend, Soludo expressed optimism that the signing and execution would translate into positive changes, which he said would be critical in his administration’s journey towards a liveable and prosperous homeland.
He said,”Long before I was sworn in as governor, I recognised the importance of power and deeply considered how it could be achieved in the shortest period of time, in at least three to four major cities in the state.
“What we did today was to consummate that marriage. The courtship began over a year ago, and I’m overjoyed that the marriage has finally been consummated today.
“Anambra is a state of which more than 60% of its non-land assets are domiciled outside of the state. If at least 25% of the proceeds are returned to Anambra, the state can become what we envision it to be.
“I can see the strategic partnership with EEDC and the magnitude of the investment.
“My message to the rest of Anambra’s billionaires and millionaires is that wealth and net worth alone are insufficient. The question is, how much of your wealth and assets are domiciled in the state for Anambra to be the choice of destination to live, working, invest, relax and enjoy.”
The governor revealed that such would not happen by wishful thinking, but would only materialize when everyone contribute their fair share.
He added, “Of course, it’s business, and I see the problems and challenges listed here, such as asset vandalism, the legal framework, and so on.”
“You can’t continue if you make an investment and people consume power but don’t pay; if you can’t recover and recoup, you can’t continue
“On behalf of the Government of Anambra State, I assure you that I am firmly convinced that this is the right path to take.
“This is not a political statement to appease the masses. People will raise concerns if they do not see results within three months of signing this MOU.
“I vowed to make Anambra a state in which I would be proud to live. The commitment to this partnership is a matter of life and death. We have to make it work. What else will work if there is no electricity?, the Governor queried.
“We are attempting to transit from a largely informal commerce and trading state to an industrialized state. Without power, we cannot have sustainable industrialization.
“We have already acquired some lands for our industrial cities in Akwihedi, Uga, and other places.”
“We have acquired 200 hectares for the Ogboji Pharmaceutical Industrial Park and we are nearing the completion of a 4000 hectare industrial city and an export emporium,” Governor Soludo explained.
“I expect all parties involved to work quickly to complete this project properly. We will have an execution committee with whom we will interact on a daily basis. We also require a legal framework to address issues of asset theft and vandalism; an enabling law must be drafted within the next four weeks.
“People have testified that the state’s power supply has improved, but we want it to get to the point where the next generation of people in the state will see constant power supply as natural.”
“We are looking forward to the metering company, which will create jobs and generate tax revenue for the state,” Governor Soludo concluded.
In his speech earlier, the Chairman, Anambra State Power Committee, Mr. Chike Okonkwo hinted that the partnership signaled the implementation of the visionary policy which was initiated by the Governor, to build a system that will provide 24/7 power supply for ndi Anambra.
He explained that it was on this premise that the state government recognized the strategic importance of EEDC in the agenda.
Sir Dr. Emeka Offor who is the Chairman of the EEDC expressed happiness that such a historic event was taking place during his time and he could contribute his own quota towards 24/7 power supply in Anambra.
He praised Governor Soludo’s zeal and support for him and his team, but emphasized that more support is still needed, particularly from the legislative arm, to adjust and accommodate laws that would empower EEDC and Anambra State Government function effectively towards the journey of providing constant power supply to the people.
The Deputy Speaker Anambra State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Pascal Agbodike, Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi, Commissioner for Power and Water Resources, Engr. Julius Chukwuemeka, Senator Dr. Ken Nnamani, Members of Anambra State Power Committee, Members of EEDC team among others were present at the event.