FEATURED: Peter Mbah 2023 — Time To Shift The Paradigm Of Development

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By Prince Ejeh Josh, Esq

In the history of every nation or state with developed economy and sustainable growth, development and good governance are never achieved as a result of luck or trial-and-error approach. Development is a conscious product of design and deliberate framework set out by policy makers to alter the trajectory of existing establishment. Growth and development are products of quality leadership. In the graphic and vivid employment of terms associated with development economics by the Enugu State Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship flagbearer, Barr. Peter Mbah, for there to be a meaningful development or an extrication from an old economic structure to a new economic pathway, there must be a structural re-engineering in the societal strata or a planned disruption in the status quo. It’s a matter-of-factly that disruption that would overhaul the existing state of affairs must occur for any state’s or nation’s transformation.

While I had taken my time to understudy the indices of development and why some countries have remained stubbornly trapped in underdevelopment or the euphemistic status of “developing”, it became clearer that these countries dwell more on principles and theories of development than the realities of development and the peculiarities of each country. Each nation has its own peculiar demands that entail the knowledge of the key factors of the local economy blend with innovative style of harnessing the challenges and opportunities within. Being a global citizen with astute understanding and clear-cut appreciation of both international and local economies, Barr. Mbah unquestionably has the grits to turn the Enugu economy around when elected as governor in 2023.

With his recent explanations on how he intended to drive the state economy and forge an articulated partnership with other Southeast states for a stronger regional economy, his blueprint would begin to point towards the re-emergence of a greater regional economic, security and socio-political integrations reminiscence of the old Eastern Nigeria in the First Republic post-colonial Nigeria and the sound economic diversification ushered in by the then Premier of the region, Dr. Michael Okpara. Under Okpara, the old Eastern Nigeria was rated by a research carried out by the Michigan State University, US, as the fastest growing and industrializing economy in the world ahead of Malaysia, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, etcetera. When a comparative study is undertaken between the time Okpara was mobilizing to move the Eastern Region to escape from the cobweb of underdevelopment and the history of the European integration (for a clearer understanding, see Integration Theory by Haas Ernst), the picture that would come to mind is the formation and consolidation of the European Union and how it has faired over the years. Today, we have had a man with a credible prospect of turning things around from a much dynamic perspective and in-depth representations of how to go about it.

It’s beyond hesitancy or doubt by anyone who has trailed Mbah’s journey to economic and corporate establishments to see a man with the statistics, secret and knowledge of how to navigate the rough terrain of our economy and build a envious status. His story from the scratch, and how he was able to build amid challenges, frustration, boom and opportunities is a reassurance that the people of Enugu state and by extension, Southeast zone, have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. Barr. Mbah will be capitalizing on his experiences in global entrepreneurship, versatility in different sectors of the economy and the public service to alter a paradigm shift in the state. Unveiling his manifesto, which he tagged “short term plan” and his blueprint with a forecast “long term” plan for the state depict a man that’s set to come out of his comfort zone for the purpose of liberating his people. Leaving his comfort zone shows that he has the interest of the people at heart and there’s hope of making the difference in the socio-political and economic landscape of the state. Projecting to move Enugu state economy from a N4.4 billion to N30 billion isn’t an easy task. However, such task is achievable for someone with his pedigrees in managing conglomerates without derailing.

Of interest is Mbah’s intellectual capacity to drive through the structure of the state with technology and technocrats especially the young, energetic and responsible citizens to achieve a new Enugu state of the people’s dream. Barr. Mbah is often celebrated for his brilliance in different fields ranging from law, finance, science and economics. In all this, his ability to harness what he has got to become one of the major players in entrepreneurship in Africa is a credence that Enugu state’s tomorrow is here. The people of Enugu state could only be imagining what it means to recreate the state, isolate it from its heavy dependence status on federal allocations, recalibrate its internal economy to look inward, get the youth engaged and productive, and improve on the education and healthcare system. What’s more of a global citizen with a local, innovative orientation to effect the change within.

Under Mbah, the state has a compelling agenda to activate a new mechanism of economic evolution radically distinct from the hanger of the national economy. Mbah is going to be driven by principle, ideology, and people-centric economic orientation. As a man who is versed in development economics, he understands how to change the structure of the state economy to enable a better standard of living, industrialization, human capital development, political stability, greater political participation, and freedom.

In today’s Enugu state has our tomorrow arrived. The astute manager of the economy is needed to inspire a shift in the paradigm of governance of the state. His election will certainly eradicate poverty, waste, and enthrone merit by building institutions and systems that will lead to a new history in the state. It’s going to be a history of an industrialized and strong economy. The only obligation the people are encouraged to do is to register and obtained their voter’s cards for those that have not, get their existing voter’s cards dusted and begin to preach the gospel according to Peter Mbah. A new Enugu state is possible. The tomorrow is here. All thanks to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; a man of ideas and vision for seeing beyond today to a new tomorrow in the state.

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