Culture shock and inertia to change will expectedly be a challenge to transforming Anambra to a smart Megacity that will make her a healthier and happier place to be. Fortunately, Governor Elect Cee Cee Soludo has been diligently preparing Ndi Anambra mentally for the beneficial change. He carries a huge cross as the expectations from his government are oversized.
Yes, he overwhelmingly won the election . He came out of it with an unprecedented goodwill because he is the People’s Choice. Everywhere two or more Igbos are gathered, the discussions invariably centre on the possibilities of the new Anambra Soludo has promised to birth. Outgoing Governor Willie Obiano further heightens expectations by gleefully telling his audiences constantly that Soludo will outperform him. Obiano will be judged kindly for bestowing Anambra a worthy successor.
Now what is it that Soludo has marketed or sold to Ndi Anambra that has created so much expectations and excitement?
First, he figures that soon, Anambra’s population will be more than ten million with our towns almost seamlessly linked together. That qualifies it to be a Megacity, and arising from the small landmass of the state (coming in second to Lagos State) and other ecological challenges, the state would be developed holistically as a one city Megacity where 4th industrial revolution technologies will be deployed to make it a place to live happily, learn happily, work happily, invest happily and enjoy happily.
Dr Oby Ezekwesili, Chairperson of the Transition Committee and former World Bank top Executive, elucidated further on the subject during the inaurguration of her Committee. In her words, “The concept of the Megacity as a nation state is also a concept of modernisation in cities around the world”; meaning that the entire city is an economic magnet. Soludo envisions an Anambra that will be liveable and prosperous. He is coming to town with a new development idea or model which needs to go through the process of diffusion or simply acceptance. He is aware that culture shock is an impediment to adoption and ownership of new ideas especially by the late majority adopters and laggards. Now he will not only be The Chief Marketing Officer of the made-in-Anambra goods but also that of his smart Megacity concept.
He has been doing this excellently by getting the people “mentally ready”, in the words of my brother Dr Ik. Muo, for the change that will ensure that Anambra becomes an economic magnet with all the concomitant benefits. Soludo is in a familiar turf having been a tested and trusted merchant of hope in transforming our banking system through his banking Consolidation Initiative, reforming our security printing to handle the production of our currency locally, revamping the federal office of statistics to be more responsive to the country’s information needs, and setting up the African Finance Corporation that is massively funding infrastructure in Africa to mention a few.
Obviously, the prospect of a Liveable and prosperous homeland that every Onye Anambra can return to when persecuted anywhere in the world far outweighs the temporary pains of building a smart Megacity that will be an economic magnet to the world. Let us not forget that in the new Anambra, our children will have no attraction to seek greener pastures elsewhere while those outside will have massive incentives to return home. It is a new dawn and everyone is invited to join the gritty but fruitful journey.
Be of good cheer!
Joe C Anatune
Writes from Awa.