News

January 19, 2024

FG’s lack of sensible policies affecting states – Sanusi

FG’s lack of sensible policies affecting states – Sanusi

…co-chairs Abia economic advisory council

By Steve Oko, Umuahia

Former Emir of Kano and ex-Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, His Highness Muhammad Sanusi II, has been appointed by Gov. Alex Otti to co-chair the Abia State Global Economic Advisory Council.

Other co-chairs of the 19-member council include former Director General of the Nigeria Exchange Commission, Ms Arunma Oteh, and an investment expert, Bolaji Balogun.

Speaking during the formal inauguration of the council Thursday at the Banquet Hall of the Government House Umuahia, Sanusi predicted a very bright future for Abia State, saying that one of the state’s advantages ” is having a Governor with intellectual capacity”.

The former CBN boss blamed lack of intellectual capacity among those in leadership positions for abysmal performance of many of them.

Sanusi recalled Otti’s exploits in the banking sector, and said that with him behind the saddle of leadership, Abia was in for greatness.

The former CBN boss, however, sympathised with states as their efforts to attract foreign investors are being frustrated by the absence of focused economic policies of the federal government.

He urged Gov Otti and other Governors, as members of the National Economic Council, to advise the Government at the centre “to pursue sensible policies” that would make the macro economy attractive to investors.

He regretted that states had always bore the brunt of the Federal Government’s poor economic policies which scare away foreign investors notwithstanding some laudable efforts by some states to attract investors.

” Sub- nationals are having difficulties because of what is happening at the Centre. Investors look at the macro economy and they turn away”.

Sanusi, expressed faith that considering Gov. Otti’s pedigree and track records of achievements, Abia would witness tremendous transformation and economic boom in the years ahead.

He, however, tasked the Governor to be ready to heed and implement the advice by the Council, noting that the challenge of leadership in Nigeria has been poor implementation of policies.

Speaking also, Ms Oteh said the caliber of members of the Council was an indication that the Governor assembled them not just to advise him but to hold him accountable for the people.

She promised to bring to bare, her wealth of experience and global contacts to help move the state forward, while commending the Governor for his achievements so far.

In his remarks, Balogun said that Abia is blessed with abundant human and material resources, which if properly harnessed, would place the state on the path of greatness.

” Abia has valuable minerals needed in the world. Abia is blessed with talent economy. It has digital and creative economy plus sports stars.”

Speaking at the event, former Minister for Finance and an elder statesman, Kalu Idika Kalu, stressed the need to rebuild the infrastructure and manpower of the state for the emergence of a new Abia.

He expressed delight over the wisdom of the Governor to assemble the team, saying that Otti had started what they had wanted to do in the Old Imo State.

The elder statesman who also commended Otti for his strides so far, pledged to render any assistance to move the state to a new height.

Similarly, former Military Governor of the Old Imo State, General Ike Nwachukwu (retd.), expressed joy that the New Abia they had dreamed of, and worked for, had finally begun.

The elder statesman said that Otti had started on the right path towards the development of the state.

Gen. Nwachukwu noted that “Otti took over a state that was virtually dead”, but expressed satisfaction with the steps so far taken by the Governor to re-invent and re-calibrate the state.

The former Senator who represented Abia North in the fifth Senate, also tasked the Governor on the implementation of advice from the Council.

” One thing is to advise, another is to implement. So, you must give us your words today to consciously make good use of the counsels of the Council”, he said.

In his speech entitled:”A New Frontier of Excellence from Vision to Execution”, Gov. Otti said he decided to assemble the team of credible and accomplished personalities of high repute to help him chart a new cause for the state.

He said the Council would serve as a key advisory body, offering strategic insights and recommendations to guide the state’s economic and investment policies.

Otti said the Council “will collaborate closely with the relevant State Commissioners to address the unique challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, ensuring that Abia State remains at the forefront of innovation and economic development within the region and globally.”

He further said”Our programmes are already re-positioning and rebuilding Abia State as the economic pride of Nigeria. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that its economic development strategy is founded not only on a thorough understanding of the local economic environment but also on the dynamics of the emerging forces now shaping the future of the global economy.

“The newly appointed members bring a wealth of experience and expertise in various sectors, enhancing the diversity and dynamism of the Abia State Global Economic Advisory Council. Their collective knowledge will play a pivotal role in shaping policies that drive innovation, attract investments, form solid partnerships, and ensure the overall economic resilience of our great state,” the statement declared. “

He committed to implement the advice of the Council for the good of the state, and thanked the members for obliging to serve the state.

Some of the members of the Council include: Director General of the World Trade Organization, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; and the President and Chairman of Board of Directors of Afrexim Bank Dr. Benedict Oramah , both of who are to serve as Honourary Advisers.

The ceremony attracted the presence of Abia leaders and members of the State Executive Council.