Truth be told, even those in the opposing camp, clamouring to take over from Governor Willie Obiano when he completes his two terms in office on March 17, 2022 can attest that Anambra is now a giant among its contemporaries in almost all aspects of development. Anambra will enter into the Guiness Book of World Records as the only state that started and completed an international cargo and passenger airport in less than two years without borrowing a dime and without owing any of the contractors.
The most fascinating thing about the Anambra airport is not just that it has blazed a new trail in Nigerian aviation but that it is one airport whose viability is guaranteed. There is hardly another state in Nigeria that has Anambra’s large number of restless, always-on-their-feet population. These people love travelling and convenience.
They would rather fly through Umueri than any other airport. Anambra is the leading economic hub in the South East with 63 active markets and the largest retail market in West Africa, located just a few kilometers to the airport. The cargo wing of the airport will meet their needs perfectly. Apart from the centrality of Onitsha in the commercial circles of Nigeria and international trade, Ndi Anambra are major players in global business and having an airport at home is just natural.
Needless to say that most of the cargo and passengers that use other airports are Anambra-bound. So the airport at Umueri would not only reduce cost and time spent commuting to airports in other states but would also facilitate easy passage for young entrepreneurs to travel and process their merchandise.
Being a cargo airport, it means traders in Onitsha and other markets would short-circuit the time and money they spend in clearing and transporting their imports from Lagos. This will also abridge shipping time.
Indeed, Governor Obiano has taken Anambra state to a very high height. The current size of Anambra’s shoes is too large that it would take a seasoned tested and trusted economic mogul to fit in. This is because Ndi Anambra would never want to go back to Egypt from the near Promised Land.
Furthermore, apart from the new Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport, the International Convention Centre and the FIFA-standard Awka Sports stadium, Anambra has also joined the league of oil producing states, the feat that eluded it in the past thirty years; thanks to the proactive and visionary leadership of the Obiano/APGA government in the state.
Governor Willie Obiano is nicknamed the alert Governor by workers for his prompt payment of salaries and pensions. Before APGA government came on board, workers were on strike for about one year, due largely to non-payment of salaries and pensions. Schools were under lock and key.
But today, the difference is clear. Anambra, under Obiano/APGA, is the only state in Nigeria to have yearly given a bag of rice to every worker and pensioner in the state. APGA government handed over schools back to Missions, rehabilitated schools and donated to them modern equipment and vehicles, even to private-owned schools, just as hospitals are refurbished and modernized. Today, drugs are no longer out of stock in public hospitals. The biggest oxygen plant was built in Awka by the Obiano government.
People are still recruited into teaching and public service, while the serving ones are regularly promoted and sent to training. Government is paying special allowances to teachers in hard to reach areas and those teaching special courses. People living with disabilities are not left out.
The state is leading in security, agriculture and education sectors, while industrialization is doing well. Truth be told; APGA has shown a great leadership promise that deserves an applause, encouragement and sustainability. Obiano/APGA government introduced a health insurance scheme called ASHIA to enhance the living standards of the citizenry.
Again, for the first time in the country, APGA government started a people- oriented program known as “Community Choose Your Project Initiative’’, where every community in the state receives twenty million naira to execute any project of its choice. With this development, no community has been denied direct democracy dividends by the government.
The state is still the first in every economic indicator – be it unemployment index, poverty index or cost of doing business in Nigeria. For all these, Ndi Anambra will never forget Obiano in a hurry. These achievements are showcasing APGA as a reliable ally, worthy of sustaining.
Ndi Anambra, a bird at hand is more than one million in the bush. Experience is the best teacher. Only a fool tests the depth of a River with both feet. Once beating, twice shy. Let’s sustain the tempo of development by voting for Professor Chukwuma Soludo of APGA because, “Nkea Bu Nke Anyi”.
WRITTEN BY COMRADE OBI OCHIJE