Dr. Peter Mbah, the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in Enugu state is rallying investors and international governments toward the multi-billion economy of the state in growth. He is pursuing the potential influencers in the direction of the eight-year-long economic progress of the state from $4.4 billion to $30 billion.
Mbah propagates that his administration would make vocational education and skills mandatory for all natives and residents of the State of Enugu. This would be implemented at an early age of 12 to address the challenges posed by unemployment efficiently and to service the charted economic growth.
His declaration came during the official opening of the Geoffrey Okoye University–European Business Park and Centre for Practical Skills (CPS) at Ugwuomu, Nike, Enugu.
He spoke out in the event that this initiative was in sync with his plans to catalyze skill and vocational education and de-risk investment inflow and make Enugu State a preferred destination for investment, business, and living.
The event had the presence of Mr. Thomas Schlesinger, the Ambassador of Hungary to Nigeria; Mr. Martin Huth, Minister Counsellor of Germany in Nigeria; Mr. Markus Margner, the Country Director of the German Agency for International Cooperation; Prof. Abubakar Rasheed who is the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission; and Most Rev. Callistus Onaga, the Catholic Diocese of Enugu’s Bishop.
Speaking out at the event, Mbah said that his joy in being there stems largely from the fact that what they are doing there today would be everything they had proposed in their manifesto to the people of Enugu. And that one of the ways to de-risk investment flows to Enugu would be to work with centers like this because, in their development plan, it would be well captured that they are going to have a lot of skill acquisition, technical, and vocational education across many locations in the state.
He continued that one of the strategic plans would be the transition of Enugu State from a public sector based to a private sector-based fiscal growth. He considers their goal to be hosting the present CPS and European Business Park and to mold many hubs in the state enabling the emergence of small and medium-scale businesses.
Therefore Mbah proposed to the people of Enugu State, massive growth of the economy from $4.4 billion to $30 billion. When it was made the proposal was supposed to be a crazy one due to the fact that the economy only had marginal growth in the past 21 years.
He further said that he and his party want to create an environment for the private sector to thrive, so their proposed mission would make Enugu State the preferable destination for living, for business, and for investment. As a government, they are keeping in mind that they have to eliminate the risks involved with investment flow by the private sector.
He believes that “Made In Enugu” products would appear in both domestic and foreign markets, resolve the unemployment crisis, eradicate poverty, and create opportunities for investors to explore other scopes in the new energy and mineral resources sectors.
Mbah commented in detail that they are going to have compulsory technical and vocational education for their young people, they are actually going to work with the House of Assembly to create a legislative framework so that it would be mandatory for every citizen of Enugu, and for every resident of Enugu, who is within the age of 12 to start to have access to technical and vocational education. And that their objective is to make sure that at some point, they would not have an 18-year-old who would tell them he or she doesn’t have a job.
He said that they believe that with the establishment of a skills center like this, the unemployment rate will drop. It must be ensured that this Center is singled out for recognition because this is what they hope to replicate as a government across different locations in the state.
This Center would bring the State’s tomorrow closer to today, which is in sync with the tagline, tomorrow is here; and indeed the tomorrow is here because there is no longer room for procrastination; they could no longer wait and they have to hit the ground running.
He appreciated the management of the university under the leadership of the Vice Chancellor, for the “doggedness and excellence” in managing the laudable projects and assured that his administration would continue to partner with institutions to produce responsible, wealthy young men and women that will be useful to the world.
Mr. Jens–Christian Moller, an European and international energy investor, expressed his confidence in Mbah’s ability to achieve the proposed multi-billion economy adding that his company would be willing to invest in the state after he gets elected.
He conveyed the interest of the European contingent to train Enugu people in Europe and to bring back them so that they could replicate the technical know-how and other skills in their native state.
Mr. Moller said that what Mbah is intending to achieve in the state was ambitious, even though it is accomplishable, noting that it would take extra effort to reach seven times the current gross domestic product (GDP) in the state.
He was impressed listening to him explaining his blueprint, assuring him that he would be partnering with the state under Mbah’s leadership after the formation of the foundation.
Mr. Moller further expressed his readiness to create thousands of jobs by engaging the youth in vocational training, to become world-class engineers, and to assist them in working internationally, especially in the electricity generation area in which they could live in Africa, pay their taxes in Africa, and generate income.
Per Christensen, the Danish Consulate General in Nigeria said that they had their corporate investments and activities in Lagos state and one in Northern Nigeria, and stressed that with appropriate policies, they were willing to have one in Enugu State to serve Eastern Nigeria, also to establish their first corporate investment in that region.
Christensen continued that he would gladly return to Enugu if Mbah is elected and would resume the discussion of investments.
Dr. Michael Spindelegger, the Director-General of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), appreciated the opening of the CPS and Business Park in the university and characterized it as a unique collaboration between a local university and the private sector that would bring migration expertise together.
He viewed it would also aid in opening new opportunities for the local population, companies, and business location which would in turn attract small and medium-sized enterprises to Nigeria with a growing market of more than 220 million people.
Prof. Obiora Ike of Monsignor, also a scholar in Ethics and Intercultural Studies at Godfrey Okoye University observed that Mbah was sent by god. He remarked that Dr. Mbah is not a politician and he is a technocrat and he has come to salvage society.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, spoke earlier that the program was made possible by their innovation and commitment that transformed a jungle into a Catholic University, a Center of Practical Skills, and a Uni–European Business Park.