By Ononye VC
The Anambra State House of Assembly today during plenary confirmed the nomination of Christian Udechukwu as the new Anambra State commissioner for industry.
It would be recalled that last week, a letter from the governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, to the Assembly nominating Mr Udechukwu for the position was read by the speaker, the Rt Hon. Uche Okafor.
Earlier, Christian Udechukwu, a first-rate investment and business consultant of international repute, was screened by the House Committee on Election Matters and Screening, headed by the deputy speaker, the Rt Hon. Pascal Agbodike.
According to the report of the committee read by Honourable Agbodike, the nominee, Mr Udechukwu, provided satisfactory answers to questions he was asked during the screening. Based on his impressive curriculum vitae and detailed grasp of his job description, the report said, the committee therefore recommended that “the nominee is qualified to serve as Commissioner for Industry and that he be confirmed having been found worthy”.
Hon. Pete Ibida during the confirmation exercise asked the commissioner to X-ray how he intends to attract industries and control youth unemployment in the state.
In his comprehensive response thag earned him the admiration of House members and visitors at the gallery, Mr Udechukwu said he would first, in keeping with the vision of the Soludo’s administration on industrialisation, strengthen existing industries through careful and deliberate effort towards energising said industries.
Then, for industries outside Anambra State, he said they would have to give the state reasons to do business with them. Mr Udechukwu also said that more efforts would be geared towards getting Anambra people to invest at home.
“We will encourage our people to diversify and bring a part of their business to Anambra State,” he said.
According to the new commissioner, there are about 161 industries in Anambra State now. Out of that number, about 31 are not in good shape.
“We will see how to revive them. But what I am assuring this House is that there will be more industries in Anambra and those that are in existence already will do well,” he said.
Mr Udechukwu’s response left no one in doubt of his readiness for the task ahead as Anambra’s commissioner for industry, even as he touched on the idea of a regional stock exchange among other practical and innovative thoughts on Anambra’s pathway to industrialisation.
Meanwhile, members of the House commended Mr Udechukwu’s eloquence and proficiency. In his comments, Hon. Nonso Okafor, the member representing the Nnewi North constituency, implored the government to synergise the industry component and the commerce and trade components of the ministry, previously unbundled by the governor, so that there will be organised and synchronised progress, given that trade, commerce and industry are all interwoven.