Having given an excellent account of himself through his revolutionary initiatives which has reformed the Nigerian Film Industry since his appointment in 2017, Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, the Abia Born Managing Director of Nigerian Film Corporation, has once again hearkened to the voice of the people to take on the higher task of taking on the mantle of leadership on his home state Abia.
Without wasting time, the native of Ohafiia is expected to usher in to Abia his wealth of expertise most of which he used in reviving and placing a Government parastatal which was once considered moribund to the world stage.
Recently Dr. Chida Maduekwe, known as “Good governance” like a leader who knows his onions rolled out his reformation agenda for Abia state during a world press conference during which he declared his ambition to contest the Abia State governorship election under the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023.
With a firm resolve to replicate to Abia state his outstanding achievements in his capacity as the Nation’s Film Corp boss, Dr . Chidia cited the need to enthrone good governance, improve education, ensure energy sufficiency, improve the economy and develop infrastructure as motivation for his ambition.
A unique aspect of his plan which drew the attention of the media centres on harnessing the state’s natural resources through the construction of cottage industries in each local government area to manufacture raw materials according to the comparative natural and human resources advantages.
According to Chidia the industries are expected to be powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) which Abia state is abundantly blessed with Natural Gas , ironically a resource the present and immediate past governments have failed to look at not to talk of harnessing.
During the interactive session, where he received the backing of President Muhammadu Buhari’s official Support Group known as the Buhari Media Organization (BMO), Dr. Chidia vowed to devote a huge chunk of his security votes to actualize this plan.
In his words ” So Every month if they are taking seven hundred million naira now as a security vote and I will make the state assembly to pass that law, two hundred million that is going to be kept for security vote then five hundred million must be sent to each local government. So if it’s local government A, that got the five hundred million for this month, next mont local government B will get another five hundred million and those five hundred million are gonna go into seventeen cottage local industry, within eighteen months in office and I will use that security votes to produce seventeen local cottage industries.
On how he intends to power these industries he said ;
“Each of this local industry will be powered by compressed natural gas(CNG), we will use CNG which we have in abundance to power it as renewable energy. Take for example, simple things like building a warehouse in a particular local government.
“Why allow them to go to Aba? Why not build a warehouse with five hundred million Naira you can build a big warehouse that can go to Vietnam, Bangladesh that is known world over to be good in sewing and get five thousand machines and put in that warehouse and if there’s light, it means the factory will be running two shift both in night and day, it means we are going to employ ten thousand people into work.
“By doing that in that particular local government and repeating the same in other local governments, in eighteen months you will have over one hundred and seventy thousand people employed. what I mean by getting the individual who is open and allowing the spirit of openness by using the security vote to develop our local government.
Cottage industries powered by CNG?
For those who have monitored Dr. Chidia’s track record at helms of leadership affairs he’s known for his signature of bringing possibilities to where there seemed to be impossibilities.
When Dr. Chidia proposed the thought of conceiving a film school on wheels to provide training to students anywhere in Nigeria many thought it was fluke. However today, a 40 feet articulated and expandable audio-visual mobile classroom has since been commissioned, deployed and fully functional . The classroom can effectively train 30 participants at a time in the art of filmmaking.
Dr. Chidia and his team conceived and developed the Mobile Audio Visual platform – MAV 1. The aim is to roll out the mobile film school in remote areas where ordinarily it won’t be easy for students and intending students to come to Jos for training.
Back to the idea of cottage industries powered by compressed natural gas .
The initiative of Cottage industries can be traced to home businesses of 200 years ago or Scottish knitters crafting unusual and expensive sweaters. It’s true that cottage industries have existed for centuries but increasingly, most governments are establishing cottage industries and for good reasons. The benefits of establishing small industries in each local government area to produce certain goods combined with newer, less restrictive laws, have made cottage industries more attractive than ever
The benefits cannot be overemphasized; they include but are not restricted to; Rural development to discourage Rural Urban migration: The rural areas constitutes an important sector in any nation’s economy and their rapid development and modernization have gained the attention of policy makers and governments globally.The biggest benefit of having a cottage industry is probably the ability to work from home. This means that people who had difficulty working at a job in Urban areas can as well make a good living by working in these cottage industries close to their homes; Lower Costs, Fewer Regulations;
Economic Opportunity:Cottage industries bring increased economic opportunities to individuals and communities. In some areas of Abia. and the world, cottage industries make the difference between poverty and stability. When given the opportunity to produce items for sale on a manageable scale, many types of creative producers can earn money from work they enjoy doing; employment generation just to name a few.
What is compressed natural gas?
Compressed natural gas (CNG) is a natural gas under pressure that remains clear, odorless and non-corrosive. Although vehicles can use natural gas as either a liquid or a gas, most vehicles use the gaseous form, compressed to about 218 kg/cm2. CNG can be used as an alternative to conventional petrol and diesel fuels.
In December 2020, the Federal Government rolled out its National Gas Expansion Program (NGEP), which involves the conversion of fuel-powered cars and generators from petrol to gas. The program which is expected to deliver at least one million vehicle conversions by the end of 2021 aligns with the Federal Government’s plan to make gas the first-choice source for cheaper and cleaner energy.
Dr. Chidia’s initiative to take advantage of CNG is no doubt a realistic venture and should be commended by all. As the Abia state governorship elections draw closer there is indeed no doubt that Dr. Chidia is way far ahead of others in all ramifications.
The Friday’s signing of the long-awaited Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2022 into law by President Muhammadu Buhari has once again availed Abians to the golden opportunity to make the right decision to change the state’s pitiable situation by voting for Dr. Chidia Maduekwe as they head to the polls.
Comrade Frank Maxwell writes from Umuahia.