There will be an election in 2023 as Enugu residents decides who will lead them in the next four years after Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi leaves office on 29 May, 2023. Campaign has kicked off, and different candidates have declared their manifesto. Recently, Peter Mbah, the Governorship Candidate under PDP, declared his manifesto. This manifesto has generated lots of feedback, from criticism to praise to indifference. In this article, we’ll be analyzing the manifesto and how it will shape the economy of Enugu State in the next four to eight years.
Before we go into the discussion of the manifesto and what it holds. It is pertinent we discuss the present economic woes of Enugu State. What work needs to be done, and how should it be done?
The Present Enugu Economic Woes
Enugu State has gone down or back, whichever one you want to use, in its economic development and prosperity. At least, the state’s economic data has reduced from what it used to be from around 2015 to 2017.
For the last 5 years, little industries have been established in the state. The unemployment rate has been on the increase. For the little industries that have come in, they are mostly small enterprises with little addition to the state’s economy.
What could be the reason?
With the release of 2022 BugdIT data, Enugu is lagging behind in the factor of ease of doing business. There is a high rate of delapidated infrastructure to aid smooth running of business. The state is also failing in embarking on series of capital projects.
Aside from all that have been mentioned, the state has been unable to tap into its extensive natural and human resources. There’s a continuous focus of a majority of the state’s educated class on job searching rather than improving the industry of the state.
Then, the perennial issue of lack of water is also a serious case. Water, a basic amenity, needed for conducting business and making life bearable, is hard to find around the main cities of the state. Land is also not cheap to get. In addition, recently, majority of the important roads have gone terribly bad.
All these make doing business in Enugu a herculean task for investors nowithstanding that the state is relatively safe.
Biography of Peter Mbah
Peter Mbah was born in Owoh in the present-day Nkanu East local government area of Enugu State. He is a bright man, who has a medium enterprise business in the oil and gas sector. His company has handled projects and done business with big organizations such as Lagos State Government.
He studied Law in UK before proceeding to the Nigerian Law School. He further got a Master’s degree in Maritime Law in Lagos State University. He has an MBA from Barcelona Business School. He has other business certificates from reputable business schools including the Lagos Business School.
He believes Enugu State has the economic potentials to reach $30 billion GDP mark. He is bringing in his industrial experience and connection to make it work.
His company’s name is Pinnacle Oil and Gas with its headquarters in Lagos. Peter Mbah net worth is around $50 million. He is married, and has four children. He has other businesses aside from the oil and gas company, like school and farm.
Summary of Peter Mbah’s Manifesto
Peter Mbah has promised to build on the successes of the past administration to turn around the fortunes of Enugu. He states that Enugu would be rid of poverty and unemployment. The teeming creative youth population would be utilized to the advantage of the state.
This is a summary and breakdown of his Manifesto:
Increasing Enugu’s GDP from $4 billion to $30 billion.
Prioritizing rural and urban development with construction of 10,000 kilometers length of road. Then building a link road connecting all the LGA offices in the state.
Focus on improving the economy by working on improving the agriculture, technology, commerce, mining and natural resources sectors. His main interest clearly is on developing the mining and natural resources sectors.
Reforming governmental institutions for better governance and service delivery like the Judiciary and Legislation.
Creating a faster, effective, and tech-savvy civil service. Focus is on digitization of the modalities of Enugu State Civil Service, and encouraging better transparency in the Civil Service and among political leaders.
Developing and beautifying Enugu State major cities by building more roads and encouraging green life.
Building on what has been done in the health sector by procuring more health equipments for Enugu’s major and tertiary hospitals like Igbo-ano and Park Lane.
There are other promises in his manifesto that can not all be stated here. The issue of whether a majority of these promises is achievable is not our concern. We’re taking some of the plausible ones to note how they can affect the state’s economy.
Enugu State’s Economy from 2023 – 2031 judging by Peter Mbah’s Manifesto
If he achieves about 30% of what he promising Ndi Enugu, you are to expect:
Increase in capital projects that would add to the fortunes of the state, increase the spending rate of the government, improve standard if living, and increase Enugu’s ease of doing business. This is especially if he focuses on road construction and beautification of the main cities as he promised.
Increase in the exploration of Enugu’s mineral resources to create employment for the people and enrich host communities with these resources. Since the major presidential candidates promised to restructure the political economy of the country by giving states more autonomy, Enugu is set to enjoy from its rich resources of coal, oil and gas, sand, iron, and so on.
Increase and improvement of the tech economy of the state. Enugu’s main asset is its intelligent and creative population. If he truly focuses on building Enugu’s tech economy, it will blossom beyond its capacity now and triple in size. With the state’s frequent power supply, a considerable fast internet, and security, it is bound to do well. He should work on roads for easy access, beautify the main cities, improve power supply the more, and lobby for fast installation of 5G in the state and the state is good to go. If he does this many businesses would come into Enugu, especially tech companies, since it is already a top destination for tech in the South East.
Better civil service and political delivery. With the digitization of the civil service and political power, the procedure of the government will be closer to the people on the internet. Citizens can follow the process on their phones. This calls for better representation and more effective work rate.
For agriculture, we don’t foresee much growth in the sector in Enugu State. The level of his input will determine the growth of the sector but the problem of land, water, and lack of willingness of the local population to embrace industrial agriculture would still be a huge problem.
In addiction, he didn’t write much on education, so we don’t see much of his input here except improving past governments’ input. On security, he’ll work on broadening community policing.
Mbah’s focus is on really improving the state’s economy. If he focuses on minerals mining, tech, health, tertiary education improvement, building the basic infrastructure to spur trade and investment, Enugu’s GDP will surely increase to around $7 billion at most. If he is able to increase the state’s economy to $7 billion, Enugu will be among top 7 largest economies in Nigeria and it will be a good thing.
Depending on how serious and pragmatic Mbah is, and how he delivers. The level of delivery will determine Enugu’s future among the states of the federation. Coming at a time when restructuring the country is at the forefront of all presidential candidates’ manifesto, Enugu getting it right in its economy is a step in the right direction.
About the Writer
Bolekaja Alika is a full-blooded Nigerian. Writing what you don’t like is his hob