A former Special Adviser to the Anambra Governor on Budget, Monitoring and Implementation, Sir Melie Onyejepu has spoken on the state’s Vision 2070 and how it aims to implement it.
According to Sir Melie Onyejepu, “The essence of Vision 2070 is to expand this blueprint, incorporate new things and adjust to the dictates of the dynamics of a global economy.”
He added that, “I see the economy of Anambra growing bigger than that of Lagos. This will be made possible by the coming of Onitsha River Port and the cargo airport. With these on ground, we expect massive economic activities. Another thing that will grow the economy is gas. There is a prediction that oil and gas will fizzle out soon. To me, it won’t be so in most of the third world countries. However, even if oil becomes less relevant, gas will still be a major resource in the economy Igbariam in Anambra State is sitting on trillions of metric tons of gas reserve that can feed the whole of West Africa, and Ibeto petrochemical is already building a gas handling plant. We are also expanding agricultural activities. At the inception of Governor Willie Obiano’s administration, we met 80,000 metric tons of rice production in this state and in less than four years, we have been able to move it to 338,000 metric tons with a projection that, by the end of the year, we will start getting about 480,000 to 500,000 metric tons. It shows you the speed at which we are moving.”
Boasting of Anambra State Agriculture turn around, Onyejepu insisted that the government “have boosted cassava production and by the time we adopt full mechanization, we will be one of the biggest exporters of cassava and rice in this part of the world.
“Another area Anambra is endowed is in that of industries. Nnewi people have a knack for manufacturing products like Taiwan. There was a time Nnewi was the Taiwan of Nigeria but due to power issues, some of those industries closed shop. But that does not mean we cannot repeat that process today. We can use gas to develop an independent power plant that can power factories in Nnewi and Onitsha, so our industrialists can go back to what they know best.” He continued.
“The state is also endowed with the knowledge of trade and commerce and what we need to do is provide enabling environment for our businessmen and women, and you will see them excel. I see an Anambra State where the size of the economy will move from its current GDP of about N4.8 trillion to about N20 trillion.”
When asked if the youths will be part of this growing process (Vision 2070), Sir Melie Onyejepu simply said, “I believe that the older generation have done their bit. They have ruled us from independence till this moment and, like I said earlier, the running of government is changing and the nature of economies are going to change too. Most developed countries are moving into things like e-governance and it is not for the old generation.”