Chairman of Delta State Economic Advisory Management Team, Mr. Bismarck Rewane
By Obinna Chima
In a rare move aimed at transforming its economy and enthroning accountability, the Delta State government, led by Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Thursday announced the commencement of a self-evaluation process to be undertaken by a renowned international strategy consulting firm – Roland Berger.
The state also unfolded plans to carry out an inventory of all moribund companies in the state within 90 days, with a view to reactivating them.
Chairman of Delta State Economic Advisory Management Team, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, said at a press briefing in Lagos, after the meeting of the team that the engagement of Roland Berger and plans to revamp the companies were part of the government’s efforts at repositioning the economy of the state.
“Delta State is being repositioned. This is to let you know that what we have embarked upon is a process which is unique to Delta State and Nigeria, in the sense that it is a self-evaluation process, not dictated by anybody, but by ourselves because at this point in time, there is shortage or inadequate accountability in the Nigerian governance.
“So as private sector operatives, we suggested to the governor that we must embark on the concept of ‘what gets measured gets done.’ We agreed at the initial meeting of the Economic Management Team to set up a dashboard and today we are launching that economic dashboard.
“The dashboard is like a traffic-like methodology where we look at all the sectors, the ministries, departments and agencies and subject them to a rigorous level of scrutiny and come out with a result on their viability,” Rewane said.
Rewane, who is the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, also revealed that the dashboard has four pillars: revenue and planning, development, infrastructure and productivity.
This, according to him, is to ensure the diversification of the state economy, such that it will no longer be wholly dependent on oil revenue.
“We are going into a much more granular analysis of what is happening in the state, such that the internal management capacity of the state is being developed and institutionalised.
“This economic dashboard is something that is used in many European and other emerging economies so that the governor, stakeholders, bondholders, members of Nigeria investors and international investors that invested in Delta State bonds, will know exactly what is happening within the state.
“This was not imposed from outside, but it is in furtherance of corporate governance within the public sector which though is extremely needed, is in very short supply in this country,” he added.
Rewane pointed out that a major challenge presently confronting Delta and many other states is the issue of moribund companies and corporate institutions that had been left dormant for a long time.
He said: “All you need is a little push, turnaround and reactivation of these firms. So, we resolved that within 90 days, we would have an inventory of all dormant companies in the state, package them for reactivation and injection of equity or possible sale to active investors.
“We are engaging banks, institutional investors and pension funds to take a hard look at these companies. Those that are retrievable will be retrieved, those that are dying will be killed and some would be given rebirth.
“We are also looking at the fact that we want to engage in investments that will have a multiplier effect and linkages and will employ people. We looked at agriculture and decided that three major crops will be invested in, using the strategy of improved seedlings, improved fertilisers. We have engaged Notore Chemical Industries on this. The three crops are –cassava, maize and rice.”
Earlier, Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Chike Ogeah, said a meeting of the entire members of the Economic Management Team, attended by Uduaghan, was held in Lagos on Wednesday.
Reading the communiqué issued after the meeting, Ogeah said the team resolved that it was imperative for the state government to invest more in technical education.
“Government’s plan to set up 10 industries was commended by the committee. It urged government to establish more factories and intensify incentives for individuals to establish small and medium scale enterprise under its micro credit scheme,” he said.
Some notable members of the Delta Economic Management Committee are the Chairman of THISDAY Newspapers and President, Newspapers Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Mr. Nduka Obaigbena; Managing Director of Bank of Industry, Ms. Evelyn Oputu; a Lagos-based insurance magnate, Dere Otubu; and Managing Director of BGL Limited, Mr. Albert Okumagba.