Towards the next Industrial, entertainment/leisure and creative industry, and technology hubs.
We aim to transform Anambra State from a dominantly informal commercial state to a formal, productive, and competitive economy underpinned by rapid industrialization, agriculture, commerce, entertainment/leisure and the creative industry, technology and innovation, solid minerals, and oil and gas
Leapfrogging Anambra as an Industrial Hub
Anambra has the second highest population density after Lagos and is nearly fully urbanized. Jobs for the urban population will come mostly from industries and the service sector, including borderless ICT-enabled jobs. Our number one priority is job creation. With a depreciating naira against major currencies, there are opportunities for exports and hence export-oriented industrialization. Anambra State will be positioned to attract industries to take the first mover advantages while also exploiting the scale economies of a relatively big domestic market (over 210 million people and $400 billion economy). Anambra should be the base to serve Africa and the world.
We will leverage the entrepreneurial and community spirit of Ndi Anambra to create a more industrialized economy. This will be enabled by constant power supply, guaranteed security, efficient transport infrastructure, aggressive investment drive, technology, and funded through innovative partnerships.
We plan to attract 2,000 small, medium and large industries across the various industrial parks/clusters we will set up in the state. Medium and small businesses typically employ up to 80% of Nigeria's workforce and account for 50% of national GDP. Our economic plan for Anambra specifically targets growing these companies to accelerate job creation, including mobilizing public and private capital to develop Industrial Parks catering to various categories of industries. The specifics of the plan are as follows:
State Industrial Parks and Clusters
The Anambra Industrial clusters and parks will serve as "Centres of Excellence", resulting in a clustering of shared ideas, modern infrastructure (roads, uninterrupted power supply, water, etc), services, personnel, etc., to expedite our economic growth. Our vision is that over time, such parks will ensure that more than 80% of value added occurs within the borders of Anambra State (i.e. our “Made in Anambra” initiative).
We will designate new locations as Industrial / Technology Parks (Akwaihedi, Awka environs including parts of Orumba, Ozubulu, Anaku, Awka, etc), in addition to the existing clusters in Nnewi, Onitsha/Ogbaru; etc. The Government will set aside at least 2,000 hectares of land for said parks in the first instance, and provide key infrastructure (roads, water, electricity, etc.), or facilitate the provision of such infrastructure via Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), where applicable.
We will actively seek out and encourage innovative companies to make our Industrial Clusters their home while bringing down their production costs and measurably improving on the ease of doing business (EoDB).
We estimate over 2,000 new medium to large businesses will be incubated within these Industrial Areas within the lifetime of the administration
We will continue to harmonise tax and levy demands, and seek tax-free/export free zone status for our designated industrial clusters, and reduce any red tape that hampers business efficiency.
We will also deepen our engagement with enterprises within our industrial clusters to expedite production of export goods and services, and pioneer new trade routes and trade partners.
Facilitate Public-private partnerships for large and strategic industries such as textile, iron and steel, aluminium, etc, for investment in the State.
ANSIPPA will have a specially designated unit that will focus on the development of the industrial parks with the mandate to drive the development and marketing of the zones within three years of resumption in office.
Technology and Creative Economy
The goal is to make Anambra the digital and creative capital of Nigeria. This will be achieved by investing in relevant infrastructure, facilitating programmes for digital skill development to boost innovation, create jobs, encourage entrepreneurship, enhance social development, and achieve economic transformation by fostering growth in the technology and creative ecosystem.
The digital skills development will harness the pool of talent of Anambra’s youth and equip them with technology and creative skills to increase their employability, foster innovation in both ecosystems, and support the emergence of more entrepreneurs.
Our major goal here is to redefine youth empowerment and philanthropy beyond immediate consumption to a more productive and impactful programme. The focus is multi-varied skill acquisition (especially digital), investments and grants to start-ups focused on disruptive new business models. In the multi-tasking world, our target is one youth to 2-3 scalable skills.
Government, working with the private sector and development partners, will invest mainly in digital, entrepreneurship, vocational, and management training programs and innovative tech-enabled ideas in the “new economy” with a view to providing wealth creating opportunities for youths and boosting economic activity in the State.
1. Embark on an ambitious digital skills acquisition and empowerment program that will train and support up to 10,000 youths annually. With high intensive short term training, thousands of Ndi Anambra youths can start working and earning income across borders from the comfort of their homes in Anambra.
2. Establish a business incubation hub and a N5 billion Venture Capital Fund to incubate and provide additional growth capital for the most promising start-ups and ventures, either by way of grants or direct investments.
3. Funding shall be focused (mainly but not exclusively) on youths with technology and innovation-driven enterprises, mentoring and coaching. The target is to create a DIGITAL TRIBE of Problem Solvers, Innovators, Inventors and Job creators whilst facilitating early-stage entrepreneurship.
Access to infrastructure plays a crucial part in providing youths with digital learning - both online and onsite learning. As a result, we will:
Work with telecommunication companies and internet service providers to ensure total last-mile connectivity to enable digital learning in Anambra State, and to provide cheap (and ultimately free) Wi-Fi hotspots in public places for the takeoff of the State emersion into the digital age.
The Creative Industry
The creative industry will play a major role in mediating the digital transformation planned for the State. Anambra has a pool of creative thinkers, innovators and problem-solvers but scattered all over the world. Government will take deliberate steps to encourage a critical mass development of this sector within the state especially in the areas of fashion, film and video, design, music, visual and performing arts, crafts, etc. Government will resuscitate and empower the Creative Economy Council to drive innovation and partnerships to grow the industry in the state. In addition, government will:
Partner with private sector cinema and multi-use facility developers to develop entertainment centres in key cities in the state to drive the creative economy.
Drive partnerships and access to DFIs and intervention programs such as the Nigeria Innovation Program (NIP) to drive skills development in the creative economy and ensure an even development of creative talent in the state
Train at least 3,000 youths yearly under a skills development program in the creative industry value chain to give them exportable skills that can be harnessed for their personal development in the state.
Entertainment and Leisure
Our goal is to develop Africa’s largest, safe and accessible entertainment-leisure resort—the African equivalent of the Disney World. We envision a 1,000- 2000 hectares world that will showcase a blend of rich Anambra- Nigerian- African and international culture, entertainment, and leisure. This is expected to attract millions of visitors per annum to Anambra, with the huge linkages to the local economy as well as government revenue.
In addition, our administration will give considerable emphasis to culture as Anambra has a rich cultural heritage. We will work with our traditional rulers to come up with a schedule of events of major cultural and tourist events at various periods in the year. We will identify and promote major heritage sites across the state. We will also:
Reactivate all inactive tourist sites and work with other independent travel tours to ensure they meet the international standards for travel destinations. For example, tourist attractions such as the Ogbunike Cave, Odinani Museum at Nri, Ogba Ukwu Cave and Waterfall, Owerre Ezukala and other similar sites will be fully developed in collaboration with the private sector to serve the business and leisure needs of our people and national and international tourists.
Organize special Cultural/Historical Festivals/Canivals to bring the world to Anambra, and which could also motivate the Diaspora community to visit home on such occasions.
Trade and Commerce
Anambra’s economy is dominated by trade and commerce especially informal trading activities. Indeed, Onitsha was once reputed as the largest market in West Africa. Times have changed. The future of trade and commerce will be largely driven by aggregation, warehousing, and e-commerce (Internet of things). We won’t let our people be left behind, and therefore must proactively prepare them for that future. We will partner with reputable business schools and consultants to develop structured training/mentorship programmes on the business models/opportunities of the future, and deploy multi-media, including mobile ICT, to give our traders (especially the apprentices—“Umuboy”) scalable skills and keep them ahead of the changing times.
In addition, our government will:
Actively and continuously engage with the Federal Agencies (security and customs) to end the extortion and harassment of our traders as they transport their goods along the roads, especially between Lagos and Anambra. Customs and security agencies should do their job at the ports and not along the highways.
Work with the Federal Government to find alternative and faster mechanisms to complete critical federal highways that currently impede inter-state commerce with Anambra. For example, urgently complete the rehabilitation of Onitsha-Enugu road; dualize the Anambra West- Kogi road; build and dualize the Ogbaru- Rivers state road; rehabilitate the Onitsha –Owerri road, etc. These will re-establish easy access to Anambra as a trading hub.
A new department of ANSIPPA (Import –to- Export Department) will specifically assist our traders to forge durable and profitable partnerships with their overseas partners. For example, ANSIPPA will assist with legal services, advice, structuring of deals, and facilitating partnership with their foreign partners to come and set up local manufacturing plants with government support. Our job is to help our traders especially the importers to grow big and ultimately transit into manufacturing and exporting.
Complete the Awka and Nnewi shopping malls.
• Upgrade and modernize existing markets for the future by ensuring minimum standards such as parking spaces, conveniences, firefighting facilities, waste disposal and hygiene, access to Wi-Fi (internet), health centres, etc.
• Re-invent and strengthen the Igbo apprentice system, consistent with the evolving business models of the future by offering mobile education system on business management skills and global business opportunities and models to the traders. Furthermore, we will work with the legislature and key stakeholders to provide a legal framework for the system in order to safeguard the rights and obligations of both the apprentice (“nwaboy”) and the boss (“oga”);
• Standardize and control the quality of made in Anambra State products (Best-in-class) through extra product certification. In addition to certification by the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), Anambra will give extra quality assurance such that any product with the signature of “Made in Anambra” will carry the imprimatur of best-in- its class;
• Facilitate investment in warehousing and logistics to enable trade and commerce in the State; and
• Encourage and support the private sector to develop and implement online trading and one-stop-shop e-commerce and shopping sites to complement and enhance the operations of the traditional brick and mortar markets.
Ban the illegal collection of taxes and levies in the markets
Agriculture and Agro-processing
The agriculture sector will continue to be a major growth sector for the economy of Anambra state. Thus, if elected to office, we will:
Continue to support cluster farming operations across the three senatorial zones on a comparative crop advantage basis, through the empowerment of women and youth under the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS) and Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS) programmes;
Sustain the collaboration with development partners (Central Bank of Nigeria, the World Bank, the European Union, NAIRSAL, etc.) to support increased farming activities, land development, and improved access to financing;
Continue the out-grower arrangements to support smallholder farmers through the supply of subsidized inputs; and
Continue to provide support to farmers in terms of educating them on improved production techniques, the use of technology, and general business knowledge and advisory to help them grow their farming businesses.
In addition, there will be a disruptive change which will engineer a return to the glorious past through a revolution in palm produce. Palm produce and the associated agro processing industries will create jobs and prosperity for hundreds of thousands of farmers/households. The government will procure and distribute one million high yielding palm seedlings to 100,000 farmers/households per annum (10 seedlings each per annum), and over a four-year period, each will have at least 40 seedlings of high-yielding varieties which start fruiting in 2-4 years. It is estimated that a poor household with 30-40 seedlings of such high-yielding palm trees will escape poverty. This will be a major empowerment program for at least 100,000 farmers/households, plus the thousands of jobs in the palm processing industries that will emerge as at least 10 million new palm trees are added to the wealth stock over a 10-year period.
• Investments will be made in research to invent improved varieties and accelerate the mass production of endangered Igbo -specific products such as ukwa, efi Igbo, okuko Igbo, okpa, ogili, uda, uziza, utazi, etc.
• In addition to rice, yam, cassava, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, etc, the Government will encourage the cultivation and consumption of fruits and vegetables to support healthy lifestyle change as well as for exports.
• The Government will also strongly support agro-processing in Anambra State.
The solid minerals sector is both an opportunity and a threat in Anambra State. Anambra State has large deposits of bauxite, ceramic, kaoline, clay, bentoline, white sharp sand, etc. Properly harnessed, these minerals can create jobs, earn revenues for individuals and organizations as well as for both the State Government and the Federal Government, apart from fetching foreign exchange for the nation. But the indiscriminate illegal and artisanal mining activities around the state, as in other parts of Nigeria, have all along created massive erosion and other serious environmental threats.
The Nigerian Minerals Mining Act provides for partnership between the Federal Government and state governments for the exploration and development of solid minerals. Our government will actively work with the Federal Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Mines and Steels Development to bring order to the sector in Anambra State. The target is to structure and formalize mining activities in the State to maximize job creation, revenues to the FGN and the State Government as well as preserve the environment. In addition, the Government will:
Deploy a Centralized e-GIS Web portal with supporting ICT Infrastructure, a portal for real-time information on mining activities, and electronic submission of licenses, permits, and certificates; and.
Actively promote value-adding, mineral processing industries in the state for job creation.
The petroleum industry estimates, currently puts the hydrocarbon potential of the Anambra basin at 1 billion barrels of crude oil and 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. While it is true that crude oil is declining as a strategic resource to the world economy due to the increasing availability of alternative sources of clean energy, gas is regarded as a source of clean energy. Government will:
Continue to work with Federal agencies and private investors to rapidly develop the oil and gas resources of the State, especially now that Anambra has been officially listed as an oil-producing state. We expect considerable business and employment opportunities from this development.
Our administration will work closely with our people to harness the opportunities under the Petroleum Industry Act that has created a frontier and host communities’ fund.
Key Enablers for Economic Transformation
There are several critical enablers to power the economic transformation agenda, including: healthy and competitive human resources, technology, a developmental-entrepreneurial state, rule of law and property rights as well as timely dispensation of justice, a clean, liveable and sustainable environment, effective development partnerships, etc. We will touch on these issues in other Sections. Meanwhile, let us briefly elaborate on three critical enablers: security of life and property, efficient transportation system, and delivery of affordable and reliable electricity.
The security of life and property will continue to be the number one priority of our government. Therefore, we will:
Continue and strengthen the current security architecture of the State and deepen dialogue and collaborate with critical stakeholders in the security space to ensure that Anambra continues to remain the safest state in Nigeria
Have a zero-tolerance for cultism, harassment, and extortion of citizens in the market and on the roads of Anambra State;
Work with the Federal Government on state security and provision of adequate logistics and material support to security agencies in the state;
Amend and implement the Anambra State Security Trust Fund Law, 2010, as amended in 2018, to mobilize and deploy funds towards the procurement of necessary equipment and training of security personnel;
Support law enforcement agencies in the state with infrastructure, surveillance, and communications tools to enhance their capacity to safeguard life and property;
Build on and expand the efforts of the ‘Light Up Anambra’ program through solar power, gas to power, and other environment-friendly sources;
Formulate and implement policies to promote harmonious coexistence to ensure that residents are free to live and work as they wish in any part of the state irrespective of state of origin or religion;
Partner with security agencies towards the eradication of violence, crime, drug abuse, fraud, and all deviant behaviours;
Reinforce the capability of the existing security system through employment and equipment of more personnel, training and retraining of vigilante officers to improve their effectiveness; and
Provide support to traditional rulers and presidents-general to give them enhanced roles in maintaining peace and security in their communities
Road and Transportation
Anambra state has made commendable progress in road development from about 375 tarred roads in 2006 to about 3,360 tarred roads by 2017, for which we commend past administrations. We will expand upon these efforts by modernizing/maintaining existing roads, connecting more communities with new roads, flyovers and spurs, and bridges. In particular, we will insist on very durable roads and explore alternative business models, including concessioning, to deliver more and better roads. Road congestion and long hours in traffic jams are debilitating and a huge cost on productivity. Our target is to ultimately reduce the maximum waiting time at any of the terrible locations from hours to a maximum of 20 minutes.
Thus, if elected to office, we will
Deploy alternative models/technology of building durable roads in collaboration with the Private Sector;
Have zero tolerance for waste and poor quality in infrastructure delivery. Consequently, where any road/ infrastructure fails before the expected lifespan as designed, both the contractor and the public official that certified the project will be held accountable and sanctioned;
Construct overhead bridges (flyovers) in strategic locations such as Onitsha, Nnewi, Awka, Ekwulobia, Nkpor, Nnobi, Ihiala, etc. that will decongest traffic and provide a better transport experience; and
Explore options of a light rail and cable transport system taking into consideration the transport master plan to be developed by the state.
Partner with companies under the Road Infrastructure tax credit to build roads in Anambra under a PPP arrangement;
Invest in social transport schemes for urban mass transport for the poor and vulnerable/subsidized transport;
Invest in transportation targeting those living in the riverine areas;
Improve the inter and intra community road networks; and
Carry out enlightenment campaigns for drivers and certify them periodically as well as strictly enforce the road usage regulations.
We will crack the nuts on power to achieve a 20-24 hour uninterrupted power supply in Anambra State. Thus, if elected to office, we will:
Constantly work with the relevant agencies of government and the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to improve electricity supply through increased investment in electricity infrastructure in the state. A few billions of Naira investment to modernize a few strategic transmission lines, realign connections and transformers, etc will give fast quick wins to provide up to 18 hours of electricity in key locations.
Work with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and private sector investors to provide electricity generation through a combination of captive, embedded, and off-grid generation for the use of businesses in Anambra state;
Encourage private investors to explore renewable energy sources such as solar in expanding our energy mix; and
Invest in gas infrastructure such as piping to designated locations to provide power to the state.
Gas is critical to industrial development.
Most industries in the Southeast, however, are not supplied with natural gas from government-owned natural gas pipelines. They are supplied with gas via compressed gas trucks from western Nigeria, while we have abundant gas deposits in the Southeast. This is not a sustainable way of supplying energy for industrial development. Therefore, we will:
Collaborate with other governours of the Southeast to ensure that the Federal Government extends natural gas pipeline to the area.
Support the gas to power plants such as the Ibeto and Nestoil plants to provide gas powered electricity.