April 1, 2023

How we’ll transform Enugu economy – Mba

US-based Igbo group AVID, WIC warn Mbah of establishing cattle ranch in Enugu

Enugu State Governor, Peter Mbah

The Governor-elect of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mba says his incoming administration is ready to disrupt the present revenue model to be able to build to transform the state’s economy from the present $4.4bn Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to $30bn GDP in eight years.

Mbah stated this while fielding questions during a media chat on Arise News on Friday, admitting that it would have been unrealistic to hope to grow the economy seven folds relying on the current model, which he said had outlived its usefulness.

Mbah was reacting to doubts raised by his campaign promises to grow Enugu’s economy to $30bn GDP, build 10,000km of road, ensure zero poverty headcount all in eight years, as well as restore water supply to Enugu metropolis in 180 days (six months), given the paucity of federal allocation and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) as well as the state’s high debt profile.

But responding, Mbah, who is the Founder/CEO of Pinnacle Oil and Gas and the leader in the downstream subsector of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry stated: “The truth is that we acknowledge that going by our current revenue model, there is just no way on earth that those campaign promises can be met, which is why we said from the onset that we are going to disrupt the current revenue models, positively.

“If we were to do a trend analysis of our growth pattern over the years, we cannot be talking about a seven-fold growth for the economy because that has not been the pattern of growth.

“But recognize these current revenue models that focus on a rent-seeking approach where we have to rely on revenues from the Federation Account, come back here and spend it. And of course, the money we collect and the fraction of it that we get from the IGR is hardly enough to optimally intervene across all the critical sectors of our economy; hence we said that we will have to tweak our revenue model and unlock our rural economy, for example, and explore the resources we have in the state, which we haven’t done in the past. 

“And there are a number of things we have to do in our revenue part of things. We didn’t just come out and make those promises or pick them from the blues. They are numbers that we have carefully reviewed and numbers that we know that based on the disruptions that we are going to witness in our revenue model, we are able to basically grow our economy, not just by the government activities, but also making sure that we provide both the policy and the physical environment to attract private sector investment. So, that growth side we talked about in our GDP, you are going to see that coming from both the public and the private sector”.

Mbah observed that agriculture alone could engender a quantum leap in Enugu’s economy if well harnessed.

“Again, if you look at what we have done, we have not quite optimally addressed our rural economy like agriculture, which only contributes a fraction to our GDP. But that fraction again we believe is suboptimal. So, what we need to do is to essentially look at ways to scale up our activities in the agricultural sector.

“But beyond just the production, we are going to process, package, market, and export. There are a lot of value chain we want to tap into  in the agriculture sector. For us, the agriculture will be migrated from just being a sector to agriculture and agro-allied industrial sector because there are a whole lot of economic activities that we have not tapped into in that sector and we are going to be looking to do that.

“We also have the energy and the mineral resources sector, which is something new. We have not explored all the mineral resources we have in the state and also the energy resources.

“But above all, we believe that we want to make Enugu State the preferred destination for investment, business, for living. As I have always said to people, businesses are not father Christmas. They are obviously interested in returns on investment. So, they want the environment, both the policy and the physical environment to be friendly; and because of my background as a private sector person, I know how to work with investors and prospective investors and businesses and attract them here because we know how to help them de-risk the investment flow”, he added.