In line with his economic transformation agenda, Governor Chukwuma Soludo has inaugurated a new board for Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA).
Performing the inauguration, Soludo said ANSIPPA is a very important agency of the government to help in attracting investments and stimulating industrialization in different sectors in the state. “This agency is expected to play a decisive role,” Soludo declared.
The Governor reiterated that these are very unusual and challenging times adding that government revenue is continually depleting, hence the need to engage in innovative and strategic financing options.
“Government revenue is sliding down. We hope that it will improve over time. Debt situation with humongous challenges are all over the place, insecurity, infrastructural challenges, legal issues and all manner issues that can be challenging to investors”.
“However, this is an era you have both opportunities and threats in terms of financing. We know that there could be lots of creative opportunities that could give rise in some other financing options that we need to explore. We believe that ANSIPPA should be able to reform our business environment, to drive the cost of doing business to near zero. It should be that one stop shop for clearance and all kinds of impediments and incentives that should be able to reduce the impediments to the barest minimum and raise the incentives to the maximum possible”.
Chairman of the Board is Mustafa Chike Obi while Chinedu Onyiuke is Secretary. Other members include the MD/CEO, ANSIPPA, Mr. Mark Okoye, Attorney General, Professor Sylvia Ifemeje and Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Chiamaka Nnake.
Others include the Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, Mr. Obinna Ngonadi, Mr Sammy Chidoka, Mr Christian Udechukwu, Dr. Marcel Offormata and Dr. Emeka Okeke respectively
The functions of ANSIPPA, among other things include to handhold and guide all investors in the State to ensure that the process of doing business is streamlined and managed efficiently; identify specific viable infrastructure projects across ministries, Departments and Agencies and invite interested investors to participate via Public Private Partnership (PPP), Concessions, Joint Ventures, etc; strengthen strategic partnerships and enhance the ability of current and future investors to create jobs and expand access to the export market; manage the State’s Investment Portfolio and partner with international development agencies and NGOs to attract their technical support and funding to improve the investment climate in Anambra.
The Governor further stated that members of the board will also be challenged to come up with creative funding mechanisms, not just for the projects but also for the agency itself.
“How do you survive in a time of lean budgetary resources which is the same challenge every government MDAs are facing. So, you are called upon to think out of the box, in a very positively disruptive manner, to create new values for our people”.
Soludo remarked that even though Nigeria is quite in some challenging situation, Anambra can be created and made into an Island of prosperity that is widely sort after.
“We can be whatever we will that Anambra can become. As people have acknowledged, we have the largest concentration of entrepreneurs anywhere in Africa. The missing link is a liveable and prosperous homeland- a people who are itinerant, shinning stars all over the world, but we are literally people in exile and it’s time to build that liveable and prosperous homeland. ANSIPPA can play very major role in driving that process”, the Governor added.
“Our work is cut out for us and looking at the composition of the board, the members were very carefully chosen. You are bringing your skills, knowledge, networks and depth of technical expertise and very importantly, to be able to bring in your networks. There are windows of opportunities that we want to maximize to the fullest, to be able to mobilize inward investment, both domestic capital. Capital by Ndi Anambra could potentially lead the way, though there may be challenges, starting with the kind of pools of skills and talents in ANSIPPA.”
On other hand, the Governor revealed that the government is moving very fast in the area of security, and transport infrastructure.
“Security is number one, we are confronting it head-on. On transport infrastructure, we’ve already approved 120 kilometers of strategic roads and hopefully another one hundred to come in the next few weeks. We are just criss-crossing the state, trying to make sure that those places where you have the greatest impacts are touched and connected and all the Local governments will experience some significant construction works going on”.
He spoke on his administration’s regulatory framework, institutional reforms, technology, human capital and all facets.
“We are firing on all cylinders as well. On this note, I formally inaugurate the board of ANSIPPA. With this team, I believe Anambra will fly”, concluded the Governor.
Speaking earlier, the Secretary to the State government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu stated that the present administration’s
agenda is one with a deadline, recalling that ANSIPPA was set up by law in 2014, which the Governor decided to position as a key development control agent in his administration.
Speaking virtually, Chairman of the Board, Mr. Mustapha Chike Obi thanked the Governor for thinking him fit for the job, assuring of his commitment to make the agency a world class institution.
“You’ll have a hundred percent of my effort, to make this a world class institution. You’ll have wonderful governance. Nothing will happen in ANSIPPA that will not be held up to the highest possible standards of governance. Anybody who is not prepared for high level of governance, will not fit into this board. I think you have chosen carefully.
“I’ve been a beneficiary of some of your big ideas. I know the bank consolidation was your idea. I know that boards of AMCON was your idea and I hope you’ll continue with your big ideas”, Mr. Obi added.
Present at the brief event were Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi, Education and Public Utilities counterpart, Professor Ngozi Chuma-Udeh and Mr. Julius Chukwuemeka, respectively, among others.