Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
World famous Economist and Nigeria’s two-time Minister for Finance, Kalu Idika Kalu, will be the Guest Speaker at this month’s Ikengaonline town hall scheduled for Thursday, March 30.
The former presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, will speak on the topic, “Nigeria’s incoming Government: Prospects & Challenges.”
According to a release by the Editor-in-Chief of the online platform, Uche Ugboajah, the virtual town hall meeting will start by 7: 00 pm West African time and end by 9:00 pm.
Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu, 84, was also Minister for Budget and National Planning.
The Ohafia, Abia State-born Economist and elder statesman is an alumnus of the prestigious Kings College Lagos, and University of Wisconsin, USA.
He is a household name in the Nigeria’s political and economic circles with indelible imprints in many other sectors.
Easily, Kalu Idika Kalu passes as one of the most impactful and innovative finance ministers Nigeria has ever produced. He is reputed for the Imo Formula, a strict financial policy defined by fiscal discipline, which he introduced in Imo State as Commissioner for Finance under General Ike Nwachukwu as military administrator. He also introduced the Value-Added-Tax (VAT) in the country.
Kalu Idika Kalu worked with the World Bank in the East Asia Pacific Programmes Department. “According to reports, Kalu contributed to the re-engineering of the economies of Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong (Asian Tigers). Scholars of history have opined that Kalu was one of the best minds that built the Asian Tigers’ economies when he acted in the capacity of the Country Economist, World Bank Projects in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong between 1972 and 1980. Dr. Kalu conducted detailed studies on the industrial structure and tariff protection of Korean export industries. His work was instrumental in shaping the policies of Korea, which helped its economy move from labor-intensive manufacturing to the thriving capital goods and technology-intensive economy that exists today.”
The February edition featured former Education Minister, and the current Chairman, Board of Women Political Leaders (WPL), Mrs Oby Ezekwesili.
She spoke on “Women in Politics, East of the Niger.”
Other eminent Igbo personalities have featured on the monthly event since its debut in 2022.
The maiden edition of Ikengaonline town hall featured the immediate-past Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, in July 2022; while the second edition featured a renowned Political Economist, Professor Pat Okedinachi Utomi, in August.
Former President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo; US-based academic, Professor Okey Ndibe; West African Regional Director, Ford Foundation, Dr Chichi Aniagolu-Okoye; as well as multi-award-winning actress and Director of Communications, Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Monalisa Chinda Coker, had all featured at different editions of the explosive 90 minutes show.
Ikengaonline is a South-East-focused online media outfit which aims at giving voice to citizens of the South-East, parts of Rivers and Delta states, and highlights the challenges facing the region.
The monthly meetings are meant to discuss topical issues affecting the South-East zone of Nigeria in particular, and the Nigeria state in general.
According to the statement, the Town Hall will hold via Zoom, while participants are to join through:
The statement gave the Meeting ID as: 817 8971 7095 and the Passcode: 047576.
Guests from across the globe are expected to join the virtual meeting that will be jointly anchored by Dr. Osmund Agbo and Dr Chido Onumah.
It will also be transmitted live via Ikengaonline Facebook page and Twitter handle.
Ikengaonline is a publication of Ikenga Media and Cultural Awareness Initiative (IMCAI), a non-profit entity that seeks to promote positive socio-cultural values, accountability and good governance through media and public education.
It is part of the Collaborative Media Engagement for Development Inclusivity and Accountability Project, a multi-level intervention for media independence and government accountability, managed by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) and supported by MacArthur Foundation.