*INNOVATE ANAMBRA — Why?*
Innovate Anambra, is my mantra for seeking to govern our State. I have chosen this because
- Our problems are both increasing and becoming more complex. Issues like migration, youth unemployment, population explosion, urban poverty and decay, erosion and climate change, security challenges, inadequacy of affordable housing stock, inadequate healthcare planning etc. are posing novel and great challenges which cannot be solved in traditional ways.
- The negative impact of Covid-19 pandemic, the resultant recession and inefficient and recklessness management of the resources of the State have thrown us into debt. We have moved from a State with surplus to a debtor state.
- The revenue from the federation account is continuously declining with the unceasing fall in price of crude oil in international market. This means that our State’s own share from the federation account is dwindling incessantly too.
- Our Internally generated revenue (IGR) is not improving at a rate it will take care of our existing and novel challenges, as our revenue collection system is currently bedeviled by corruption, under declaration and non-expansion of our IGR net.
- The way our State public and private sectors are organized and run cannot be attractive to our youths. Therefore we cannot lure them back and retain them home unless we are innovating and fostering innovative culture in our public and private sector organisations.
- In Anambra, the trust our people expect to have on their Government is not coming to them. The citizens expectation that government will offer answers to their concerns and meet their expectations is lacking. Their expectations that their governments will listen and engage with them and to collaborate is therefore not coming.
Where do we then go from here?
Ndi Anambra, responses that go beyond incremental improvements are now required. Put simply, innovation in Anambra state and within governmental system is required urgently just to keep up with the pace of change – and specially to stay ahead of it as it provides us a way to be more responsive to change, and to respond to the future rather than the past.
We must, as a matter of urgency, reform and innovate our Public service organizations including the leaders in government, strengthen our institutions if they are to meet the expectations of our youth whom our current population distribution favours significantly.
We must work towards reimagining the public’s experience of interacting with government, and ultimately rebuilding trust.
Our innovation and reform project must include equipping our youths to fit in any competitive modern job sector anywhere in the world and to trust and and believe in their ability to discover, innovate, incubate and develop for our environment.
If we fail to do so, we will deny Anambra the wealth of talent who can provide original, inventive solutions and thereby get back to the stage we cannot be able to meet our obligations sustainably.
We must innovate or stop to exist.
Join us to innovate Anambra. It is the only necessary thing to do. This is important for our today and to enable us compete today and for tomorrow.
Let’s go to work, it’s possible.
by Ifedi Okwenna.