Charles Soludo on Friday inaugurated a committee of 80 “wise men and women” to ensure his smooth transition to Anambra Governor on March 17 which would be a watershed in the life of an academic and technocrat from whom so much is expected.
He acknowledges the task.
And he also recognises his need of competent hands to counsel him and to work with him to lift a state known for intellectuals as well as industry.
For starters, Soludo chose as transition committee chair Oby Ezekwesili, a former World Bank Deputy Governor.
“This is an assemblage of the people I describe as wise men and women who have kindly accepted to pay to serve our homeland, under the leadership of one of Anambra’s finest gift to the world, our own dear Oby Ezekwesili,” he said.
“This committee comprises 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 liveable and prosperous smart city.”
“This is a friendly transition, it is an APGA [All Progressives Grand Alliance] 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.”
Soludo referred to how some commentators said the number of the transition committee members is large, even without seeing the terms of reference, or the task, or that the members are offering their time and talent without remuneration.
“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 advise that you should feel absolutely free to bring anyone else that you feel can bring great value to this work.”
The task would be elaborated, but three stand out, he said.
“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 a 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 seeking help and we will deeply appreciate advice and assistance of everybody to enable us deliver efficient and effective services to millions of our people.”
Vision for Anambra
Soludo promised to continue to be sensitive to politics because that is expected in a democracy and acknowledged that “the teeming millions” just want public service to work and do not care who delivers them.
“There are several members of this committee 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, mobilizing 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, a very illuminating one. I’m looking forward to using the report of this committee as a template to operate from day one.”