Manufacturing and Trade Hub
Anambra state is the most aggressive and enterprising state in the East, even perhaps Nigeria. It owes this to the early exposure of people of Anambra to trade and education.
Anambra boasts of some of the biggest names in Nigeria from trade, manufacturing, education and wealth.The Anambra person is the biggest symbol of Igbo mercantilism and industry, succeeding where only individualism and a can-do spirit is needed.
They also symbolize one of the traits Igbos are accused of today in Nigeria: arrogant display of wealth and vanity. Perhaps in their defense, its mostly wealth that is acquired through hard work and not corruption that is prevalent in Nigeria.
It is this spirit that makes Anambra home to Nnewi, the biggest indigenous manufacturing city in Nigeria. Nnewi is so categorised because her growth as an industrial hub has been community and self driven. Most towns in Anambra to a large extent share the
A lot of what’s required already exist. Anambra is reputed to have the best interconnection of rural roads in Nigeria,making every community in the state accessible.
The state has also invested heavily in education , overcoming the image of the state as the leader in male drop out in schools. Today, the state comes ﬁrst in high school results in Nigeria.
The state is also the most organized in the South East in attracting its citizens to invest in the state. And provides the platform for them to easily get the support of government in investing locally.
What to do?
Institutionalise Reforms: Strenghten The existing structures and make them less political while being self sustaining
Branding: The state should brand itself as a manufacturing hub. It beggars belief why it brands itself as the light of the nation). And focus its energy in selling this idea to ﬁrst its citizens , then the East and Nigeria. I don’t support state governments that start their investment drives in US and Europe. It’s a futile exercise. No one will invest in your state if your state indigenes don’t
Clarity: The state should also deﬁne the incentives that will make an investor come to the state as against any other. Nigeria and most states of Nigeria still don’t understand that an investor coming to their state is not being done a favor. They have options. In most states, investors spend time lobbying to see government oﬃcials who post them around and ask for bribes to enable them invest.
Access to Information: The state must also invest in the facilities that will make it easier for people to invest in the state. Few states who ask for investors make the eﬀort to provide adequate information to potential investors. As an example, if I am based in Europe or Lagos or Abuja and want to invest in any part of Nigeria, how will I get information that will lead me to Anambra state without having to visit the state? A good functional dedicated website can also achieve this.
Political Will and Citizen Buy-in: Let Anambra convince itself that it can become the manufacturing hub of Eastern Nigeria. And then convince the rest of us that they are serious about it. It will be surprised at what response it will get from its citizens, easterners and Nigeria.