Anambra State governor-elect, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo has inaugurated members of his 80-man transition committee ahead of his March 17, 2022 swearing-in date.
The former Central Bank Governor said he was optimistic that he would hit the ground running, while stating that he would stop at nothing to ensure that Anambra people who overwhelming voted him were not disappointed.
He also said that part of the task of the transition committee would be to draw a pool of resource persons, from where the government would pick capable hands to help it drive its policies.
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony in Awka yesterday, Soludo said: “I was called His Excellency a while ago, but may I plead that that ‘Excellency’ tag should please wait for now. That is part of what we will discuss in this committee.
“You may just need to learn how to call me by my name, but if that isn’t good for you, then, may I request that you simply call me ‘Charlie Nwangbafor’ (Charles, some of Mgbafor). If that one is so difficult for you that you must be formal in addressing me, then you can address me as Mr. Governor,” Soludo told his audience.
The former member of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Economic Advisory Council, while inaugurating the committee said: “This is an assemblage of the people I describe as wise men and women who have kindly accepted to serve our homeland, under the leadership of one of Anambra’s finest gift to the world, our own dear Oby Ezekwesili.
“This committee comprises of some of Nigeria’s best, and Anambra is deeply grateful that you are sacrificing your time and talent pro bono, to help our journey to a livable and prosperous smart city.
“This is a friendly transition, it is an APGA government to APGA government, and we expect nothing except the level of cooperation expected among members of a family. And that we are having this at this transition committee jointly, being inaugurated, speaks eloquently. It is almost like a combined transition committee and it is a testimony that this is a family affair.”
Speaking further, he said: “Some commentators have observed that the number of the transition committee is large in their estimation, even without seeing the terms of reference, or the task, or that the members are offering their time and talent without remuneration as it were.
“Some were already computing the amount of money that each of you would be paid. If Anambra accepts to pay or remunerate the calibre of people here, I’m sure even a World Bank facility would not help us. Despite those observations, I must advice that you should feel absolutely free to bring anyone else that you feel can bring great value to this work.”
Speaking on security, Soludo said he has great plans for the state, adding that it was intentional that he left out security experts in his committee. He stressed that security was a great challenge in Nigeria today, and would not be discussed in the open.
“We deliberately left out some experts in security from the transition committee. We prefer to deal with this subject matter separately. I’m not sure that would fit into this kind of place. What we will say in public is not what we will say in private, because things are no longer the same any longer in Security.”
On the terms of reference for the committee, Soludo said: “The global objective of the transition committee is to help the government and the governor-elect to achieve a seamless transition and we are ready to hit the ground running from day one. The task would be elaborated, but three stand out.
“First is to ascertain, certify the state of affairs, the short to medium term deliverables of the vision 2070. To propose actionable agenda for the next administration, three to assist with talent hunt to populate the Anambra change data bank.
“To achieve this, we will soon advertise for expression of interest, whereby we call on all problem solvers with integrity, competence and passion to indicate which problem or problems they can solve for Ndi Anambra, whether in full time, part time or pro bono services.
“Together with the talent hunt from the committee, we will then have a robust pool to ensure we continuously fit round pegs in round holes.
“We are open to seek help and we will deeply appreciate advice and assistance of everybody to enable us deliver efficient and effective services to millions of our people.
“While we will continue to be sensitive to politics, in a democracy, that is expected, we also know that the teeming millions just want public service to work and do not care who delivers them.
“There are several members of this committees who I have never met, but your worth and reputation found you. We are deeply grateful to all of you who have accepted to actually pay to serve.
“Some are even in opposition parties, but let me say that sound ideas and implementation have no political party badge or state of origin.
“We envision an Anambra that will be the preferred destination in West Africa to live, learn, work, relax and enjoy, and we will welcome any and every contribution to make this work. Of course, Anambra is a state in the south-east, and is not an island unto itself, so we will seek the cooperation and collaboration of other states, especially south-east and south-south states, this will be critical for creating this prosperous homeland.
“The times are hard and the immediate future will be challenging. Despite this, Ndi Anambra expect extraordinary outcomes, and literarily expect miracles, and we can’t let them down and no excuses will do.
“We are determined to give it our all, mobilising the creative resources of our people all over the world to create a befitting homeland. It is our collective dreams and assignment. Given the pool of human resources in this transition committee, Anambra people will expect an exemplary report, very illuminating one. I’m looking forward to using the report of this committee as a template to operate from day one,” Soludo said.