Igwe Amb. Jerome Ezeneche is a Thailand based businessman, philanthropist and the leader of Ndi Igbo in China, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. In this Exclusive Interview, he bared his mind on Soludo’s 100 days in office, development in Anambra State and sundry issues. Excerpts:
SOLUDO HAS SPENT 100 DAYS IN OFFICE, WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON HIS PERFORMANCE SO FAR?
100 days is a short period of time to rate the performance of any administration. If you want to rate an administration properly, you must give them up to a year. In the case of Soludo, he has been able to show direction in leadership and clarity of vision and that is the most important thing about governance. From the regular reports I get concerning the state of things in the state, there are noticeable improvement in the area of security. Also, waste management has equally witnessed a significant attention but there is need for more effort. For me, governance is a process, things will begin to take shape gradually. The good thing about this administration so far is their willingness to carry Ndi Anambra along in all their programmes and that is commendable.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE HIM TO FOCUS MORE GOING FORWARD?
This administration should focus on infrastructural development and job creation. The main cause of crime in any society is the non-existence of jobs for young people and school leavers. Soludo should make infrastructural development a priority particularly roads. He should also improve on security of lives and properties since no investor will like to put his money in a state or city in chaos. Again, Soludo needs to reach out to Ndi Anambra in diaspora and sell his programmes to them and I can tell you, once they are able to buy into his plans, it would be a project galore for the state.
HOW DO YOU THINK NDI ANAMBRA IN THE DIASPORA CAN ASSIST SOLUDO’S ADMINISTRATION TO SUCCEED?
My appeal to Ndi Anambra wherever they are in the world is to see how they can come together and take up projects that can bring development to our state because this is the only state we have. It could be model schools, hospitals, tech hub, real estate and so on. The government alone cannot execute all these developmental projects because resources are scarce. So we need to see where we can come in to partner with this administration in making Anambra state a livable and prosperous state that we can all be proud of. The government has shown its readiness to work and take our state to a greater height. I, personally will galvanize Ndi Anambra in these six nations (Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and China) where I lead our people so we can take up some projects in the state.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO NDI ANAMBRA PARTICULARLY AT THIS TRYING TIME IN THE HISTORY OF THE STATE?
My advice to Ndi Anambra at this moment is to be patient and co-operate with this administration. The governor cannot take up all projects at the same time. They should endeavor to be law abiding and think of ways they can contribute their own quota towards the overall development of the state. I think we should stop seeing governance as a one man activity but rather see it as a collective effort where everyone has input to make like what is obtainable in the developed world.
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ABOUT IGBO PRESIDENCY?
I strongly believe that Igbos should be given the opportunity to pilot the affairs of this country for the sake of equity. If we take into consideration the enterprising spirit of Ndi Igbo and how they were able to quickly bounce back from the aftermath of the civil war then you can equally agree with me that Igbos will take this country to a greater height when in charge. Also, the Igbos need to come together and speak with one voice because the Igbo presidency can only feasible when we are able to unite and forge a common front in pursuing this course.