The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has charged the Abia Governor-elect, Dr Alex Otti, to run a clean, transparent governance.
Okonjo-Iweala said that the incoming government should focus on “disruptive strategies rather than traditional operational systems”.
She gave the charge in a speech she presented virtually at the inauguration of the 100-member 2023 Abia Transition Council held in Aba, Abia’s economic hub.
She said: “I told the governor-elect that everything we’ll do will depend on this governance.
“Nigerians, especially from that side of the South-East, have lost faith in governance.
“They no longer believe the government can provide anything for them.
“They provide for themselves boreholes, electricity and every other thing for themselves.
“Although that is entrepreneurial but on the other hand, that is not how to run the place,” the Nigeria-born economic expert said.
She urged Otti to run a “better and cleaner governance” and transparent governance that should be exemplary.
She also urged Abia citizens abroad, who have the capacity to assist recover the state and upgrade development, to return and help out.
Okonjo-Iweala expressed the hope that through Otti, “there is a unique chance to set Abia on the right side of development and modernisation through digital disruptive technology”.
She advised the governor-elect to think of how to make Abia function in line with the modern world and join the train into the future of humanity.
The Chairman of the transition council, Mr Vincent Onyenkpa, said that Otti’s journey began in 2015.
He said that Abia people at home and outside rejoiced when Otti was announced the winner of the governorship poll because they saw in him a saviour.
He said that Otti’s election transcended Abia state “because he is expected to work a miracle”.
Onyenkpa described the council’s task as very daunting but meant to help Otti achieve the miracle he was expected to perform in the state.
He said that they were to provide the roadmap for Otti by putting flesh to his manifesto.
“I accept the challenge you have given us,” he said.
The Co-Chairman of the council, Mrs Ifueko Okauru, said the work of the council, “which is to make Otti’s mandate worth it is not simple because the people’s expectations are very high”.
She urged the members to understand that their work would affect the lives and livelihood of Abia people and Nigerians.
She said that the council would seek the input of all Abia people everywhere to make the council’s work successful.
In a remark, Otti thanked everyone, who honoured the invitation to be part of the council, for joining him to “create a new Abia”.
He said he was a bit surprised by the jubilation that followed his announcement as the governor-elect.
Otti said that Okonjo-Iweala had been congratulating him but always telling him that she does not envy him.
He said that his 42-page manifesto that is online had his plans for the state and would be a guide to the council to do its assignment.
He said that although the size of the council was large, he would need more experts to produce a working document that could be “flawlessly executed for the progress of Abia people”.
The governor-elect said he chose some people in other political parties for the reason of what they could offer the state.
Otti promised to run a lean government for the progress and well-being of Abia people.
He said that Abia’s finances were in terrible shape with the debt profile of about N190 billion and poor Internally-Generated Revenue.
“But the good news is that we are prepared to do that work and I get a lot of hope that I can draw from your expertise.
“By the middle of next month, the work will be completed and the report presented,” he said.
He said that he chose the inauguration in Aba because he had plans “to attack the deterioration in Aba headlong”. (NAN)
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