FOCUS ON ENUGU STATE GOVERNANCE: Entrepreneurship Ecosystem: Towards Making Enugu State The Economic Hub of the East & Technopreneur of West Africa!
Contemporary socio-political and economic conditions engendered by poor governance and the contradictions of decadent capitalism have led the youth into unemployment, underemployment, idleness, and unproductive and criminal activities for survival” ,.. Adelaja Odutola Odukoya, in his writing titled ‘Nigeria: Multiple Modes of livelihood and survival strategies of the Nigeria Youth.’
In 1990s, two wonderful men, Christopher Freeman and Bengt-Åke Lundvall engaged in extensive research. While Freeman’s research drew heavily on political economy of Georg Friedrich List and his historical account of the rise of Japan as an economic superpower, Lundvall’s work explored the important of social interactions between suppliers and customers and their role in encouraging innovation in Denmark. It was the study of these two genius that lead to what we know today as National Innovation Systems beginning in 1980s.
In 2010, Professor Daniel Isenberg from Babson College published an article in the Harvard Business Review that helped to boost the awareness of the concept. Isenberg outlined several “prescriptions” for the creation of an entrepreneurial ecosystem. The first prescription was to stop emulating Silicon Valley.
If any single person is responsible for Silicon Valley, it is the electrical engineer and administrator Frederick E. Terman. While a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Terman saw how the faculty at Cambridge actively pursued research as well as contact with industry through consulting and the placement of students in corporations.
Despite its success the Valley was formed by a unique set of circumstances and any attempt to replicate it in other places were unlikely to succeed. The culture of men here in Enugu is quiet different from the men in Silicon Valley, California. Our setting and theirs are not also the same, so ours be developed according to our own system and culture.
The first led to a second prescription, which was to build the ecosystem on local conditions. Grow existing industries and build on their foundations, skills and capabilities rather than attempting to launch high-tech industries from scratch. Let’s first open the door for the growth of massive start-up in the state, on their own, they will launch high-tech industries and is going to be a boom for the state because there are tens of thousands of untapped talents here in the Enugu state which are just wasting.
The third prescription was the importance of engaging the private sector from the start. Here the role of government is indirect and one of a facilitator not a manager. In trying to shape the growth and innovations of such ecosystems, attention should be given to the support of existing firms and innovations in the state with high growth potential that can help to generate a “big win” early on. This is the opportunity for local success stories to become role models for others. Enugu state is such a unique state with unique people and places. Putting right infrastructures at the right place will do justice to this.
1. On the 22nd february, 2016, the state government revealed plans to commercialise 17 moribund industries in the state which include:
Niger Steel Company, Adarice Company, United Palm Produce, Sunrise Flour Mill, Hotel Presidential, Premier Cashew industries,Aluminum Factory, Enugu Vegetable Oil Limited and others. But it is a regrettable that after more than 3 years that no one is talking about it again. We advise that the government should quickly swim into action and see to the reality of this resolve. His Excellency Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is a man of action. We suggest sir, you look into the activities of the handlers of this wonderful initiative so at to ease what ever that may be the hurdle towards realising this goal.
2. Building a world class Tech-Hub with free Wi-Fi and steady light [preferably renewal energy like solar] in the three senatorial zones in the state and one in the state capital, will be a good place to start. These project won’t scratch the pulse of the state government but it will transform the state into start-up destination point for tech gurus, where the finest brain in Nigeria tech world will migrate to. Admision into this hubs should be devoid of ethnic sentiment or state of origin with mentorship programs and strict supervision of their activities. A flat rate of affordable fee which will be in form of registration, will help keep the hub running with less subvention from the state.
When we say tech-hub, we mean putting up world class hub, that provide opportunities for startups to meet potential investors and funders while providing platform for business networking. According to Joe Svetlik, this is done by encouraging experimentation, not demonising failure, and helping firms and individuals network with other like-minded individuals and enterprises. It will provide individuals or firm the opportunity to rent a space within the hub to unleash their genius. Those talented guys at Railway line, Main Market and Otigba junction in New Heaven will make a good start.
3. Technology/Craft Village: Those guys at Camp here in Enugu can power the state economically if provided with the right atmosphere. It will shock you to know the technological & craft activities going on in that Camp-Enugu and untapped potentials begging for assistance. Harnessing and developing this abundant human and natural resources for a technology-driven Enugu state is possible. It has become necessary to tap this Creative ingenuity of budding the people of Enugu talented technicians, crafts-men, trades-men and the typical Nigerian engineers, from all nooks and crannies of the nation, to train and
harness their potentials for the
technological advancement of the nation. As a result, we suggests a well established, and managed all-in machine production and fabrication technology villages in various parts of the state.
4. A look at various local government areas in the state will reveal to you many untapped commercial agricultural potentials. We appeal that, is time to begin to think on that direction. Hundreds of thousands of jobs can be created if tapped. Agriculture accounted for major income to so many nations. Enugu state won’t be exceptional. We have the land, so we believe that, with right policy and implementation, it will be done. And history will have your name redefined in such a special way. Please make it difficult for anyone to fit in into the shoe which you will be leaving behind.
As responsible Party Leaders, we deem it necessary and timely to offer our advise and support to the government in any way we can so that the administration can flow with less hitches to deliver democratic dividends to the people of the state. We promise to continue to support the administration unreservedly in all areas especially in harnessing the potentials of these great fellows. We have written to so many development partners and agreed with so some investors both at local and international scene on how to industrialize this state if given the right hand of fellowship and good environment.
We are also concerned about the security challenges in the state. We thank and appreciate the governor for the effort already in place to restore normalcy to the state and we are happy that is yielding good result. We have sensitized our teaming members and supporters across the state to report any suspicious movement across the state as security is everybody’s business. Ride on Sir, your work so far is good and encouraging. We want to use this medium to tell the good people of Enugu state to support this administration.
For us at Concerned Party Leaders, the governor have our unfettered support and we will continue to do so as long as the governor continues on his people oriented projects..
Apostle Newman Chukwuaja
Fellow Martins Chiedozie Ugwu
Director: Media & Strategy
For: Concerned Party Leaders