By Uzo Ugwunze,
Anambra, Nigeria —Rector of Federal Polytechnic Oko, Engr Dr. Francisca Nwafulugo has called on sons and daughters of Anambra State at home and in diaspora and other stakeholders to invest their wealth and resources in the spirit of think-home philosophy towards building and development of their State.
Nwafulugo popularly called ‘Nne Obioma’ by her people and who also has won many awards for infrastructural and human capital development made the call during the 3rd edition of the Anambra Man Of The Year (AMTY) awards, an annual event that celebrates excellence, industry, courage, achievements and impacts of Anambra people in the state and country at large.
The event was themed: “Gbakotanu Ka Anyi Dozie Obodo Dike (Come Together Let Us Develop The Land of the Great)” and was held in Awka, the state capital on Friday.
Delivering a keynote address at the event,
Nwafulugo implored people of the state to take part in the development of their state by investing in the critical sectors of its economy.
Nwafulugo said the growth and development of the state is the project for all and not restricted to government alone, hence the need for eminent sons and daughters to contribute their quota towards making the state the industrial hub of the country.
According to her: “We have the human capital and capacity that is needed to turn Anambra into one big industrial and economically viable zone that could be likened to Dubai.
“Attaining this is not only the responsibility of the government as the government does not have the magic wand capable of achieving eldorado. It is necessary to remind us that the growth and development of a state is a collective effort of both the government and the citizens.
“We must therefore forge partnerships- government, private sector, and civil society working hand in hand. Collaboration is the catalyst for transformative change and by harnessing the collective strength of our diverse talents and resources, we can overcome challenges that may seem insurmountable when faced alone.
“We need to always seek measures on how we can contribute and make ourselves relevant to the development of Anambra state.
“One of these measures is for Ndi Anambra in diaspora and those in other p arts of the country to consciously and intentionally repatriate their investments and wealth to Anambra. This is how to take collective responsibility for the growth and development of our dear state.
“Our people need to start thinking home. We can’t afford to develop other places to the detriment of our home. It is an irony for our people to invest in and develop other places leaving out their home and then complain that home is not developed like other places. Charity begins at home. Home is home and no matter where one travels to one will still come back home.
“Anambra is our collective patrimony and it can only be developed by us, Anambrarians. Political affiliations shouldn’t be a barrier. We must lay aside political differences and join hands together to lift our state.
“Anambra has what it takes to be a leading economy in Nigeria. We need to synergize and galvanize manpower and resources to achieve this. A boisterous economy is key to growth and development. So we need to strengthen the economy of the state.”
The Rector who spoke extensively on the importance of developing the home economy said special emphasis should be placed on the development of youth, economic empowerment, and ease of doing business within the state.
She emphasized the need for government to harmonize taxes paid by business operators and the relevance of providing tax holidays for emerging businesses, noting that such moves will not only save businesses from being stifled but serves as an incentive for gain and stability.
While she commended the state government on the free education policy, she insists that emphasis still needs to be placed on embracing the digital age and leveraging technology to address societal challenges, improve efficiency, and open new avenues for growth.
She maintained that nurturing a tech-savvy environment will position the state as a hub of innovation and attract investments and talents that will propel it into a prosperous future.
She also mentioned the provision of infrastructural facilities at rural levels, investing in education, improving security, and building accessible healthcare as key elements in securing a bright and prosperous future for the state.
Earlier, Prof. Emeka Ezeonu, a Harvard-trained Professor of Biochemistry and former Imo State Resident Electoral Commissioner who chaired the event said Anambra is known for setting the pace in Igboland and Nigeria at large, a reason he said it is imperative to join hands to keep moving the state forward.
He also said the event is not just the celebration of great achievers in the state but a rallying cry for collaboration, innovation, and the pursuit of excellence for the state.
Ikengaonline reports that no fewer than forty-two (42) personalities, brands, institutions were conferred with awards for their innovation and impacts in diverse areas as well as contributions to the betterment of the society.