Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo CFR, Governor of Anambra State, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) today to ensure the power supply in the state is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The function took place at the Anambra State Executive Council Chambers, Government House, Awka.
Soludo acknowledged during the function that today is a historic day for the people and the state. He stated that the signing will completely translate into positive changes, which is critical for the journey towards a liveable and prosperous homeland, that cannot be achieved without continuous supply of power.
"Long before I was sworn in as Governor of Anambra, I recognized the importance of power and deeply considered how it could be achieved in the shortest period of time for at least three to four major cities in the state," he said.
"What we did today was to consummate that marriage." The courtship began over a year ago, and I'm overjoyed that the marriage has finally been consummated today.
"Anambra is a state in which more than 60% of the people's non-land assets are domiciled outside of the state." If 20% of the proceeds are returned to Anambra, the state can become what we envision it to be.
"I see the strategic partnership with EEDC and the magnitude of the investment." My message to the rest of Anambra's billionaires and millionaires is that wealth and networth alone are insufficient. The question is, how much of your wealth and assets are domiciled in the state for Anambra to be the number one choice for living, working, investing, relaxing, and enjoyment" Soludo maintained.
"It will not happen by wishful thinking, but each of us must contribute our fair share."
"Of course, it's business, and I see the problems and challenges listed here, such as asset vandalism, the legal framework, and so on."
"You can't continue if you make an investment and people consume power but don't pay; if you can't recover and recoup, you can't continue." Soludo noted.
"On behalf of the Government of Anambra State, I assure you that I am firmly convinced that this is the right path to take." This is not a political statement to appease the masses. People will raise concerns if they do not see results within three months of signing this MOU.
"I vowed to make Anambra a state in which I would be proud to live. My primary residence in Nigeria has been Enugu, but I will now spend the rest of my life in Anambra, building this state so that my children can come home, walk the streets, and live.
"The commitment to this partnership is a matter of life and death. We have to make it work. What else will work if there is no electricity? We are attempting to transition from a mostly informal commerce and trading state to an industrialized state," Soludo said.
"Without power, we cannot have sustainable industrialization." We are dealing with insecurity and basic infrastructure, including power.
"We have already acquired some land for our industrial cities in Akwihedi, Uga, and other places."
"We have acquired 200 hectares for the Ogboji Pharmaceutical Industrial Park and are nearing the completion of a 4000 hectare industrial city and an export emporium," Soludo explained.
"While attempting to transform the industrial sector, we must not lose sight of the state's initial industrial clusters in order for them to function effectively.
"I expect all parties involved to work quickly to complete this project properly. We will have an execution committee with whom we will interact on a daily basis. We also require a legal framework to address issues of asset theft and vandalism; an enabling law must be drafted within the next four weeks.
"People have testified that the state's power supply has improved, but we want it to get to the point where the next generation of people in the state will accept it as natural."
"We are looking forward to the metering company, which will create jobs and generate tax revenue for the state," Soludo concluded.
Earlier, the Chairman Anambra State Power Committee, Mr. Chike Okonkwo in his opening remarks said that today marks the implementation of the visionary policy Governor Soludo initiated, to build a system that will provide 24/7 power supply for ndi Anambra and recognizing the strategic partnership of EEDC.
On his part, Sir Dr. Emeka Offor, Chairman of the EEDC opined that as a son of the soil, today is a special day. He expressed happiness that such a historic event was taking place during his time and he could contribute his own quota towards 24/7 power supply in Anambra.
He praised Governor Soludo's zeal and support for him and his team, but emphasized that more support is still needed, particularly from the legislative arm, to adjust and accommodate laws that would empower EEDC and Anambra State Government function effectively towards the journey of providing constant supply to the people.
The Deputy Speaker Anambra House of Assemby, Rt Hon. Pascal Agbodike, Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, Chief of Staff, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi, Commissioner for Power and Water Resources, Engr. Julius Chukwuemeka, , Attorney General Anambra State, Prof Sylvia Ifemeje, Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Foster Ihejiofor, Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Ms Chiamaka Nnake, Senator Dr. Ken Nnamani, Members of Anambra State Power Committee, Members of EEDC team amongst others attended the event.