By Peter Nwasike
A one-time President of America, John Kennedy (1960-1963) once, admonished Americans to “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” But the philosophy of John Kennedy was not limited to public service as a politician, but to also private service as an entrepreneur. While those in public service harmonize amenities for equitable distribution among the people, those in private service organize the four factors of production, which are entrepreneurship, land, Labour and Capital, to create availability of goods and services for advantage of humanity.
This was why the Private sector came in during the Industrial Revolution in Britain, 1800-1900.While manufacturers used their ingenuity to invent and create goods and services, traders took them to other parts of the world, example, West Africa, with Nigeria among them, for sale to actualize the desired wealth, because, in the cycle of production, “Manufacture is not complete until goods get to the consumer.”
So, in the Public Sector, the Government of Britain gave security protection to the traders to come to Nigeria, to sell their goods. The Government therefore opened necessary service providers such as road infrastructures, telecommunications (Post office) etc. for movement of traders and communication with their principals and customers. It was for the protection of the traders that made the British government to take over the administration of the Natives and established their own civilize government and method of administering justice, thereby making the Public and Private Sectors, have symbiotic relationship. So, when those who serve Government directly as Civil Servants and. Soldiers, among them, Sir Frederic Lugard, were honoured by the British Monarch, those who served as Traders among them George Goldie was also honoured by the British Monarch for rendering creditable services to the Crown.
It is the perception of the symbiotic relationship of the Public ‘sector and the Private sector that, in 2014, when Governor Willie Obiano came to office, he formulated his mission as follows:
Mission: To create a socially stable business friendly environment that will attract both indigenes and foreigners to seek wealth creating in Anambra State.
Obiano appreciate the importance of security, and so, on assumption of office in 2014, he quickly organized a high powered Security Summit, made up of experts from Israel internationally, and Senior officers of Police, Army, Navy, Civil Defence, Traditional Rulers, Presidents General of Town Unions, Stakeholders, locally, and implementing their recommendations, equipped the police optimally, and also the Village Vigilante Groups, and so security surveillance permeated all nooks and crannies of the state, and. with’ the Police always combat-ready, the State became the safest for business entrepreneur to operate.
Obiano’s system of facilitating the entrepreneurship from the Public Sector is seen also in his creation of a statutory body from the Legislature, the Anambra State investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA) which harmonizes and fast-tracks investment programmes that attracts multinational entrepreneurs such as Coscharis Rice Mechanized Farmers who are producing rice of international quality, and many others.
Obiano created a conducive environment for Public Private Partnership (PPP), when he established the Anambra Small Business Agency (ASBA), with Two Billion Naira capital investment for non interest loan for artisans, farmers, traders, and the needy have accessed the loans which have resulted to creating employment opportunities through entrepreneurship.
This Public Private Partnership (PPP) as imperative for developmental strides in a capitalist economy like Nigeria, is also appreciated by Government when they recognized those who rendered invaluable services to the Nation, both from the Public and Private-sectors, in 2012, the then President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, granted national honours to eminent Nigerians, with the then Governor of Anambra State, Sir Peter Obi as recipient from the Public Sector with the title of Commander of Order of Nigeria (CON), and also granted the same title to Chief Innocent Chukwuma of Innoson Motor Manufacturing Company from the Private Sector, with the honour of Commander of Order of Niger (CON).
Certain people have understood this symbiotic relationship of the Public and Private Sectors, in service to the Nation, and remain consistent in their noble career, without unnecessarily dabbling into politics to heat up the polity.
This is seen in the eminent entrepreneur, Alhaji Alike Dangote, the President of Dangote Group of Companies, who has developed a business empire that his assets can equal that of a State. The masses are benefitting from his enterprises both as employees and in economic empowerment to the needy. His Aliko Dangote Foundation is co-corporating with the Government in providing infrastructures, such as roads, education, Health, etc. Recently, he donated 150 Patrol Vehicles to the Police for security services. This was reported in the New Telegraph newspaper of Thursday, May 11, 2018, page 1. The Vice President Prof Yemi Osinbajo and the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris took delivery of the vehicles, and in his speech, Prof. Osinbajo eulogized Dangote as the most magnanimous entrepreneur and generous philanthropist, and asserted:”This donation is the single largest ever. He has shown over the years to be an entrepreneur with a difference, a man that gives willingly to the poor.”
In his speech, Dangote said that he spends an average of Ten Billion naira annually, on humanitarian projects in education, health, economic empowerment and Disaster management, and now branched into security, so as to help Government enthrone security of life and property because, without security, development will not be actualized. While dolling out N130 million naira to 13,000 beneficiaries for economic empowerment in Nassarawa State, he said; “I do not only want to be known as Africa’s richest man, but the biggest philanthropist in Africa. I will continue to use my resources and my voice to help shape a better Nigeria and Africa as a whole.”
So, a person who rose to enviable heights in the private sector shall still have his actions and voice felt by others. In these days of political jamboree, some people felt that because they have the money, they cannot be contended in their private sector where they have already made a name. But the irony of it is that they aspire in such vaulting ambition, without regards to orderliness, to ensure equity and justice.
That was why, in Anambra State in 2014, when the then Governor, Peter Obi, suggested for rotation of governorship, to go to the Anambra North Senatorial zone, because Anambra South and Anambra Central Senatorial Zones, have tested the office. Some rich people from South and Central refused. But thanks to Obi’s resilience, the virtues of equity prevailed, and in 2014, the incumbent Governor Willie Obiano emerged from the North Senatorial Zone. In the recent “EKWUEME SQUARE DECLEARATION” by Ohaneze Ndigbo, they have recommended for zoning of the Presidency to the six geo-political zones in Nigeria, and also zoning of the governorship among the three senatorial zone of each state.
But inspite of the salutary lessons learnt from past agitations, some people who felt that they have made enough money in the private sector, still did not want to curb their vaulting ambitions. This was seen, when one young Anambra business mogul Mr. Kingsley Muoghalu, in the interview granted to Mrs. Uche Amunike of Fides Newspaper of May 27 -June 2, 2018, disclosed his intention to contest the election to be President of Nigeria. He said that he has built chains of businesses, and so has enough money to contest for the presidency in 2019. When the interviewer reminded him that the Igbos of the South East, have better chances in 2023, and so he had better- perish his ambition of 2019, he branded those who hold the view as “second class citizens.” He boasted that he had reached out to those in other parts of Nigeria, and they shall support him. This Young man should know that his popularity with the people of the North and West, cannot equal that of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (Zik) from Anambra State and that of Chief. Obafemi Awolowo, from Ogun State, before independence in 1960 and after Independence in 1960-1983, before they retired from politics. Because of the fact that they did not come from the North, all their ambitions to be president were in vain. But if there were political stability which could have allowed zoning to take place, they could have got it. So, inspite of their lofty academic qualifications, better manifesto for developing a nation, they remained “The Best President Nigeria Never had”, till death. So, as po1itical trajectory in Nigeria, has inadvertently produced zoning policy in Nigeria, and now, it is in the North, any reasonable politician in South East, should not interfere with it in 2019, so as to allow the North to complete their two terms of eight years, which started from the incumbent Administration in 2015, to end it in 2023. It is most obvious that as other geo-political zones of the West, through Obasanjo (1999-2007) and the South South, through Jonathan (2010-2015), have got it, the next slot shall come to the South East, in 2023. That is why people like Hon. Orji Uzo Kalu, have been scheming assiduously to support Buhari for the second term in 2019, so that by 2023, he, Kalu, of Abia State could come for the Presidency, with the support of the North, who shall help him to lobby the West.
So, Kingsley Muoghalu from Nnewi Anambra State, should perish his ambition for 2019, and respect the zoning principle, and wait for Buhari of the North to finish in 2023, and then he could come. On the other hand, Kinsley Muoghalu could emulate Aliko Dangote, and sustain his business empire, and from there, like Dengote, “use his resources and voice to shape Nigeria for better.” His services shall also be appreciated by humanity with gratitude.
Peter Nwasike 07037946858