“When I am President, I will turn Aba and Port Harcourt into one ‘state,’ they will still be different states, but they will be one.” These were the words of Mr. Peter Obi, the Presidential Candidate of the #LabourParty in Nigeria’s 2023 election, during a recent TV interview.
#PeterObi’s model is simple: connect Aba (a Pan-African business and manufacturing hub with the well-deserved moniker, #JapanofNigeria) and Port Harcourt (a city with a suboptimal seaport) by ONE ROAD, such that while Aba, with her resilient, skilled and highly creative workforce, will be the production zone for clothing, footwear etc., the Port Harcourt seaport will be dredged and engineered to become a major export zone.
With a mere 37.5 km distance between the two cities, Mr. Obi believes it is inexcusable for the only connecting road to be unmotorable.
In today’s #SupplyChainSpotlight, I’d like to note that this elevated thinking is rare in Nigeria.
I’d liken it to a form of complementarity model which occurs when the value of one state increases in the presence of or in combination with other related resources from another State.
If done deliberately, the total value of each state would exceed the value that would have been generated by using the factors of production separately.
For most people who have visited Nigeria, one of the subliminal nuances is the deep divide that exist along ethnic and religious lines. Of course, these are exacerbated at the national level, leading to lopsided policies. They also result in State Governments working in silos, instead of forming Joint Ventures (JVs) that address common issues and yield exponential results.
Aba and Port Harcourt will not be the only beneficiaries of this elevated and unifying program, which is truly a metaphor, akin to the Chinese Silk Road. If intelligently designed as expected.
Kano-Kaduna Processing Zones will be activated for leather, textile, rice & production of other finished goods.
Taraba-Plateau will produce exotic flowers, #tea, #coffee, #cotton etc.
Niger will go big on mechanised farming. Peter Obi fondly says Niger can feed the entire Nigeria with its 76,000 km² of land (Netherlands $1 trillion economy is ½ in size).
Anambra-Delta-Edo Export Corridor will intensify productions of #cocoa, #oilpalm and other #CashCrops that the region is blessed with.
Ondo-Ogun-Oyo-Ekiti and many of the South West states will form the hub for #tobacco, #timbre, #cotton, #rubber, #kolanuts etc. for large-scale production, value-addition and exports via the Apapa ports.
None of these, is rocket science. Nigerian leaders know but years of divisive politics and mutual suspicions have made successive govts to deflect, cripple and ill-manage resources across the 36 states and capital city.
To my Nigerian readers: we’ve never had a candidate with half the passion, competence and clarity that Peter Obi brings on this campaign trail. Let’s vote wisely.
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