By Christian ABURIME

Recently, the Executive and Legislative branches of Anambra State government held a retreat to exchange insights on gains and the complex challenges in the state.

The retreat which was held at Golden Tulip Hotel, Agulu was designed to provide a transformative platform for public officials to jointly reflect, learn and compare notes on effective leadership and challenges.

The two-day retreat had the theme: “Strengthening Leadership Collaboration for Effective Governance and Delivery of the Anambra Agenda”.

It was designed to ensure that participants were equipped with enhanced knowledge and mindset, necessary to cultivate and make more gains, pursuing the “Anambra Agenda”.

Discussions were mostly centered on strengthening working relationships and a joint vision on how to promote and project Anambra to become a liveable, prosperous and smart mega-state.

Welcoming guests, Secretary to the State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu set the tone and outlined the objectives of the retreat to include; shared understanding of the purpose and roles of the Executive and Legislative arms of Anambra State Government, discussions on how to strengthen leadership ability and governance to enable appropriate response in a disruptive era.

Others are; analysing the legislative preparedness of the State with regards to the existing laws to underpin the “5 Solution Agenda” of the executive arm, as well as reach consensus on required actions to ensure that the delivery of the 5-solution agenda is always valueadding to the State.

Presentations were made on “Disruptive Change and Transformational Leadership”, delivered by Tony Blair Institute, TBI.

And eye-opening revelations were made on how to lead in the era of disruption, embracing and focusing on change to prepare for the future today.

TBI equally led discussions on planning and operation for business as disrupted rather than business as usual.

They called on participants to embrace disruptive change, prioritize use of resources, drive innovation, consensus and collaboration.

Summary was later made with questions of how participants want to be perceived by Ndị Anambra, after leading them through this season of great challenges.

Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Somtochukwu Udeze who spoke on the topic, “Understanding Separation of Powers – The Challenges and Tensions and the Legislative Agenda for the 8th Anambra State House of Assembly”, outlined the responsibilities of the legislature and some of the challenges they face.

The Speaker also highlighted the challenges to include the invalidation of legislation of the assembly by courts, legislature being propelled by the executive and the welfare of legislators, stating however that strict adherence to separation of power may slow down governance.

As a way forward, Rt. Hon. Udeze opined that there must be a mutual understanding and effective communication between the house and the executive.

He expressed gratitude for the training provided by the Governor and believes that more training is required for members to adapt to changes.

He enumerated the legislative agenda for the eighth assembly and noted that going forward, new laws will focus on the delivery of the five-point agenda of the present administration.

While speaking on “the ball: The Executive/Legislative/Judiciary Team”, the Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo emphasized that the essence of the retreat was to forge and strengthen the partnership for development, for the transformation of the State.Professor Soludo revealed that “the solution” is a huge tripartite agenda with a tight deadline because Ndi Anambra cannot wait for the transformation. He outlined key achievements of his administration to include strides in road construction, education and power generation with a focus on solar, among others.

The Governor who asked the vital question of how impact can be made with very limited resources, stressed that it is achievable by prioritizing IGR as well as economical usage of resources.

He tasked participants with the need to develop regulatory frameworks and laws that will support effective delivery of the state’s agenda, saying that their short-spanned time in office drove the decision to prioritize strictly before receiving loans from the federal government or other sources, because value for every penny must be shown to ndị Anambra who gave those resources.

Concluding, the Governor said that the mantra of the present government is one state, one people, one agenda, urging participants to take ownership of the government.

Speaking on the “5 Solution Agenda and the Existing Laws of the State” the Commissioner for Justice and State Attorney General, Prof. Chika Ifemeje, gave an overview of the current two hundred and sixty one laws in the state, categorized under Security, Law and Order – 48 laws, Economic Transformation – 81 laws, Human Capital & Social Agenda – 74 laws, Governance, Rule of Law and Value System – 36 laws, Environment – 22 laws, adding that also, there are 8 proposed bills in the works.

The meeting equally featured breakout sessions at the end of which questions were raised as to whether there are gaps in the existing laws which needs to be addressed to support effective delivery of the priority area in the state agenda, the disruptive changes that affect the people and government of the State that should be responded to, as Transformational leaders.Other questions which were also raised include; the specific things that should be done to adapt to the disruptive changes, whether there are changes that require enabling laws or policies and how to generate additional resources to fund the changes if they so required.

After devoting additional time on discussions on the five pillars of the Soludo’s administration, participants left the venue better energized and equipped with the gains.

Participants also agreed that retreat meetings, such as this, should be held periodically because it provides the opportunity to pause, reflect, unlearn, learn and re-ignite the bi-govermental arms’ collective purpose to finish the job they started in their journey of helping to enthrone a liveable and prosperous smart-mega Anambra.

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