Develop your homeland, Soludo challenges Anambra people

An ex-governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),
Professor Charles Soludo, has challenged Anambra State’s indigenes to always think
of investing in their home state, even as he saw that it is impossible for every
one of them to coming back to their state and live permanently.
Tellforceblog: Develop your hoomeland, Soludo challenges Anambra people
Prof. Charles Soludo

While delivering a lecture as part of agenda to celebrate the
3rd anniversary of Governor Willie Obiano’s government in Awka, Professor
Charles Soludo, who is an indigene of the state, noted that the state has a
enough human and natural resources coupled with a strong economic and assets to
speed up the drive of transformation.
According to Soludo, Anambra State has the capacity and
potential to become an industrial/commercial centre and a real 21st century
economic phenomenon, further saying that as a developing global tribe, Ndigbo
and Anambra must think global, but also act indigenous.
He said: “A noteworthy
feature of Anambra State at the moment is that it is a net exporter of capital.
A large proportion of its most talented/skilled indigenes live outside of the
state, while a larger proportion of investible capital is deployed outside of
the state.

“Poverty incidence in
Anambra used to be the lowest mainly because of remittances by its Diaspora.
The skyline of Anambra is adorned with thousands of four-storey buildings whose
collateral value is insignificant (largely dead or dormant assets).

“Access to bank credit
is relatively low. For example, Anambra has the fourth largest bank deposit
(after Lagos, Abuja, and Rivers) but the size of bank loans granted to
businesses in Anambra is a very small proportion of the deposits. This trend
needs to change.

“As a global tribe, we
cannot be insular in orientation nor withdraw from the world. Igbo cannot all
come home; it is neither wise nor feasible. Like the Jews, Anambra will
probably continue to have more than 50 per cent of its indigenes outside of the
homeland.” “Given our entrepreneurial drive and high population density, our
people will continue to need Nigeria, ECOWAS, Africa and the rest of the world
to maximize our prosperity.

“But while we must feel
at home everywhere, there is only one home that will never change—the homeland!
Having an identity is not inconsistent with a global or national outlook.”
Referring to an example with the ex-President Olusegun
Obasanjo, Soludo said there were probably few who would query Obasanjo’s
patriotism as a Nigerian, “but that has
not made him to wear Igbo dress or our red cap to prove that he is
He added: “Both Ota
Farm and the Presidential Library and Home are all in his home state—Ogun. 
He did
not settle in Lagos or Abuja to prove that he loves Nigeria. Of course, by our
Constitution, you are first identified by your ‘state of origin’ before
anything else. We must not feel shy to campaign for and mobilize a new
consciousness towards an “Anambra My Only Permanent Home” philosophy. God did
not make a mistake to make us Ndi Anambra!”
He also recollected that while expressing regret for the expatriation
of some Anambra indigenes from Lagos State, former Governor Fashola challenged
Igbo by asking why they left their own state, arguing that Igbo should use such
provocation and turn it into a positive resentment and a challenge to shape out
a thriving homeland.

While speaking further, the ex-CBN governor asked Anambra
indigenes staying outside of the state: “how
much tax or financial contributions do you make to your state in a year— the
state/government that preserves and improves your permanent home address?”
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