That Anambra State has fared better since its creation 30 years ago is not in doubt. Indeed, the various leaders that passed through the state did their best. From military governors to elected Governors, starting in 1992, with Governors Pius Eziefe, Chinwoke Mbadinuju, Chris Ngige, Peter Obi and now Willie Obiano, the administrators deserve a pat on the back.
They all had their eyes on projecting the state forward, which culminated into the excellent performance of the incumbent governor. Performance indicators show that since Governor Willie Obiano came on board, Anambra has fared better and towered higher in the scheme of things among the committee of states.
Sir Willie has obviously done many things positively different from others. This is probably because he underwent special financial management and leadership training before eventually emerging as the helmsman of Anambra state. Apart from his brilliant academic records from primary to tertiary levels, Obiano worked successfully in reputable blue chip companies in the banking and the oil industry, and got to the zenith of his profession as a first class accountant and auditor.
Imbued with the virtues of patriotism, Governor Obiano, in 2014 when he came on board, formulated his Vision and Mission, backed by economic Blue-print, tagged Four Pillars of Development. These were anchored on Twelve Enablers. He realized that the primary objective of Government is safety of lives and property.
Thus, he put security on the priority list, which paved the way for amiable development. Truth be told; Governor Willie Obiano has shown a great leadership promise that deserves an applause. His astuteness in Agriculture has made Anambra self-sufficient in food supply. Never before has the state, in its thirty years history, experienced agricultural revolution as is the case today. The state is now a force to be reckoned with in massive rice and vegetable production and export. Hence, Anambra Rice has decimated foreign rice in our markets. Akpokuedike instituted private sector- driven economy anchored on public, private partnership (PPP).
He established the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA) for accelerated processing of documents for business registration and acquisition of land for investments. Today, there are many local and foreign investors in the state. He also established a system of aiding micro, small medium and large scale entrepreneurs through ASBA.
Governor Obiano’s partnership with Mission Schools, through good financial intervention, has helped to ensure qualitative education in the state. Today, many pupils, students, teachers and schools are winning national competitions, and representing Nigeria in global competitions.
Healthcare delivery is almost free now in Anambra state with Sir Willie’s introduction of Anambra Health Insurance Agency (ASHIA). He equally refurbished many General Hospitals and Primary Health Clinics in the villages, for quality health care delivery to all citizens, both the rich and the poor.
The master stroke of the Obiano’s administration is the introduction of an annual twenty million naira Community Choose Your Project Initiative for all the 181 Communities in the State, when other states are owing salaries, pensions and other debts. With the initiative, the communities choose any development project of their choice. Akpokuedike mandated that the contractors, labourers, service provider etcetera, must come from the towns, so that cash can circulate among the villagers. The program has been copied by other states.
Indeed, with his legacy projects such as the International airport, International Conference Centre, Awka Sports Stadium, flyovers, street lights and now Digital Shoemaking Facility at Ogbunike, Governor Willie Obiano has succeeded in his objective of making Anambra the first choice investment destination and hub for industrial and commercial activities and achieved food sufficiency in the State. Obiano has led Anambra to achieve social upward mobility as a mature man of 30 by being independent in most of her socio-economic needs. Our collective prayer should be that God will give us another seasoned, tested and trusted administrator such as Professor Chukwuma Soludo to sustain the tempo. To God be the glory.
WRITTEN BY COMRADE OBI OCHIJE