By Olalekan W. Adigun
Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, stands out as a dynamic force committed to advancing the objectives of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda in Nigeria’s political and economic climate. Uzoka-Anite, who was named Minister a few months ago, has consistently demonstrated her dedication to improving Nigeria’s economic outlook and encouraging sustainable growth by cultivating international partnerships and seeking foreign investments to move Nigeria into a brighter economic future.
Her mission extends beyond mere attraction of investors; it is a resolute commitment to promote the export of more “Made in Nigeria” goods, a strategy aimed at benefiting Nigerian farmers, industrialists, and business owners.
From the outset of her tenure, Uzoka-Anite has been a vocal proponent of economic reform and diversification. She envisions an Nigeria that is less reliant on oil exports and more diversified, resilient, and inclusive. Under her leadership, the Ministry of Industry has launched a series of initiatives aimed at achieving these goals.
One of the pillars of Uzoka-Anite’s approach is to attract foreign investments and establish international alliances, as she demonstrated recently as a major member of Tinubu’s entourage to the United Nations General Assembly. She is convinced that international cooperation can unlock Nigeria’s immense potential in a variety of industries, including agriculture, technology, and industry. The minister has been aggressively meeting with global investors, business leaders, and government representatives to promote Nigeria as an appealing investment location.
Uzoka-Anite wants to harness foreign knowledge in areas like as technology transfer, skill development, and infrastructure in addition to capital. Her objective is to strengthen Nigeria’s industrial capabilities while also creating an ecosystem that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship.
Her proactive approach includes participation in high-level forums, trade exhibitions, and business meetings to showcase Nigeria’s potential and foster collaborations. Her efforts aim to not only attract investments but also create job opportunities and enhance the country’s global competitiveness.
Nigeria’s attractiveness to investors has historically been marred by challenges like infrastructure deficits, bureaucratic obstacles, and security concerns. Uzoka-Anite confronts these challenges head-on, offering a clear roadmap for potential investors and demonstrating the government’s commitment to implementing essential reforms.
Minister Uzoka-Anite’s dedication to achieving Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda is evident in her tireless efforts to transform Nigeria’s economy. Her leadership and vision have already led to increased interest from multinational corporations looking to expand in Nigeria. As the minister continues her mission, Nigeria finds itself on the cusp of significant economic transformation, ready to embrace a diversified, inclusive, and prosperous future.
Adigun, a public affairs analyst writes from Abuja, Nigeria
Residents in Enugu Lament Soaring Transportation Costs, Urge Government Intervention
Enugu residents are grappling with the escalating transportation expenses within the metropolis, leading to widespread hardship and a surge in pedestrian commuters. The removal of fuel subsidies and the absence of palliative measures in the past five months have compounded the challenges faced by the people.
A recent observation by a correspondent from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) revealed that many residents are now resorting to daily treks covering considerable distances due to the prohibitive cost of transportation. The removal of fuel subsidies and a recent slight increase in petrol prices have exacerbated the already burdensome situation.
Commuters voiced their concerns about the hardship brought about by the surging transportation costs. They noted that the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) commonly known as petrol has risen from the official price of N650 per litre to N665 and N670 in most fuel stations across Enugu. In the Nsukka and Oji River areas, petrol prices range from N670 to N680 per litre.
Transporters like Mr. Obinna Ezinwa, who plies the Gariki–Holy Ghost axis of Enugu, expressed sympathy for the people but cited the high cost of fuel and daily government levies, which have reached N400 per day, as reasons for the elevated transport charges. He emphasized the inability of transporters to influence the situation due to the prevailing high fuel costs.
Tricycle operators, including Mr. Jude Okoli, highlighted that the cost of transportation had surged by over 100 percent, leading to a shift in fare rates. Commercial tricycles, which previously charged N50 for even short distances, now demand a minimum of N100 per passenger.
The dire situation extends to school children, with pupils trekking several kilometers to and from school due to the inability to afford transportation costs. Residents criticized the lack of government intervention, especially considering the removal of fuel subsidies five months ago. They called for transport palliatives, especially for civil servants, who are among the least paid in the country.
Despite the approval of palliatives by the federal government for all states, Enugu residents claim they are yet to experience the positive impact of these measures. The prevailing difficulties underscore the urgency for the state government to address the transportation challenges and explore avenues for attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to alleviate the burden on its citizens.
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Public Distrust in Abuja Elected Officials: A Deep-Seated Problem
The Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, continues to grapple with a major issue that has long contributed to public skepticism – a profound lack of trust in elected officials. This sentiment has persisted over time, further eroding public confidence.
When people are asked to pinpoint the most significant problem with the government today, the House of Assembly, Executives, Judiciary, politics, corruption, and undue external influence frequently top the list. A prevailing perception among the public is that elected officials are out of touch, self-serving, dishonest, and driven by personal interests, casting doubt on their commitment to prioritize the city’s well-being over their own agendas. While some officials do prioritize their Area Councils’ interests, many others do not.
These negative traits are not unfounded, particularly in the context of FCT-Abuja. Area Council Chairmen are often seen as “Emperors,” unattainable to the very constituents who put them in office. It is indeed baffling to consider an Area Council Chairman who scarcely visits their office as a guest and rarely spends more than two hours in their elected capacity. It’s a matter of great shame.
The most glaring issue with elected officials in Abuja, in the eyes of many residents, pertains to their integrity, ego, and honesty, as well as concerns about how they truly represent their constituents. The influence of special interest money and the self-aggrandizing attitudes of these officials rank at the top of the list of named problems. Some perceive them as dishonest or untruthful. These concerns are echoed by a significant portion of the public.
The public’s consensus is that most elected officials in Abuja are out of touch with the population and are primarily concerned with their political careers. They carry themselves with an air of superiority, only seeming to humble themselves during campaign seasons. While they may be seen as ‘intelligent,’ the public opinion is that they lack ‘honesty.’
In the eyes of the general public, elected officials in Abuja aren’t significantly different from the average person when it comes to intelligence or work ethic. However, they are viewed as considerably less honest, egotistical, somewhat less patriotic, and somewhat more selfish. Assessments of their honesty, in particular, are significantly more negative.
The unapproachable demeanor of these “dictators” in chairman’s clothing cannot be overstated. Even prominent figures like President Bola Ahmed Tinubu have not created such an inaccessible space for themselves. The welfare of the masses is often low on their list of priorities. They show little interest in addressing pressing issues affecting their localities, choosing instead to sit comfortably and allocate contracts to themselves and their associates. Even when presented with the pressing concerns of their communities, they often dismiss them as unimportant if they do not align with their personal interests.
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