Abia Global Economic Council: Another Otti’s Strategic Leadership Vision

By Chinedu Opara 

Gov Alex Otti graced the Imo Labour Party 2023 Governorship Campaign flag off in Owerri, on August 22, 2023.

At that event he alluded to his lofty vision to build a new state, with the beans and akara (bean cake) metaphor.

“Akwo Bela Beans Akwo, Akara Aneshi- the beans is not grinded yet, but akara is smelling all over.” That  was a bold statement of intent and desire. And i believe he was so bold and authoritative because he has a roadmap in his hand and equally the passion to implement it in his heart.

That  roadmap was distilled by the Mr Victor Onyenkpa, Chief Operating Officer, of KPMG led 100 man inauguration committee,set up by the then governor elect. He handed them a one agenda job of giving him a policy focus, from his manifesto and campaign promises, and that was just what the team did.

His measured. assured, visible and largely fruitful steps in the past six months, remain strong proof that the governor is really running with that blueprint.

For those who are objective what we are seeing and hearing from the state presently is dramatically and positively different from the narrative of the past twenty three years.

Recently, i watched an  online video in which Aba residents were jubilating  and lauding the governor for returning night life to the city, after decades of neglect, with sustained infrastructure provision. My friends in the state employment have also in different conversations testified that their welfare is getting better under him.

Beyond those, i have personally seen what is happening at Aba/ Port Harcourt Expressway and what happened at MCC by Old Express Road,Umuimo Road and Udeagbala Road, to cite few instances. And as  he’s working in Aba, so is he simultaneously doing the same in Umuahia and other parts of the state.

Good soup they say is money. The transformation taking place in Abia today is being made possible by funds Gov Otti’s was able to hedge through prudence, accountability and innovative style of governance.

It’s an open secret that he inherited a depressed economy. Prior to his election the state had endured the reign of  “lootocracy” in place of democracy.  One of the consequences of that pillaging era  is the alarming N190b debt overhang on the neck of the state, as well as the N50b salary and pension arrears Gov Otti inherited. Matters were not helped  by the poor  allocation to the state in 2nd quarter of 2023, which didn’t cross the 3b threshold.

As an astute technocrat and professional who understands what exactly should be done to put Abia on the path of sustainable socioeconomic development and growth, Gov Otti has used the past six months to, put both the physical and institutional structures needed to do that in place.

However, it’s very obvious that the state resources as meagre as it is can’t make him achieve his transformative vision for the God’s Own State satisfactorily, thus the birthing of Abia Global Economic Council.

Primarily set up to muster global economic support for the state development, the constitution of the body is not only very laudable and strategic, it’s timing is even more strategic, as it  came at a time the governor has convinced both domestic and global watchers that,Abia is ready for business.

Undoubtedly, that must have been why after almost ten years of zero Foreign Direct Investment, FDI  inflow, the state bounced back strongly to finish behind Lagos and Abuja in third quarter 2023 FDI inflow. Since 2015 the only time   the state received FDI was in  Q2 of 2018 when it received $1.27m.

Therefore, with the narrative already starting to change the expectation is that the council headed by global economic icons, Dr Lamido Sanusi Lamido, Dr Arumah Otteh and Dr Bolaji Balogun, is going to do everything humanly possible to make the vision of a new Abia possible.

And with the world class  men and women in the team, it’s certain they will bring in the needed foreign capital, and build critical technical partnerships and linkages, that will be pivotal in the making of a new Abia.

Truth be told Gov Otti is laying the foundation for the building of a state that, could not only become potential local and foreign investors haven, but also run neck to neck with Lagos in the race for the economic hub of the nation.What is left is for global economic council and all other stakeholders to support in finishing the new edifice.


Related posts