Commentary: Sustaining The Good Governance In Anambra State

Commentary: Sustaining The Good Governance In Anambra State

Before the All Progressives Grand Alliance government took over the reins of power, prominent citizens of the state such as a former deputy governor, serving commissioners, traditional rulers, academics, entrepreneurs and topflight movie stars were being kidnapped with impunity, while armed robbers were on rampage, killing and maiming people and stealing their money and property.

Consequently, many people and businesses relocated elsewhere in the country and even abroad. Ndi Anambra living in the Diaspora were scared of coming home for political, socio-cultural and business activities because of threat of being abducted or murdered in cold blood. Many conducted activities such as traditional marriages and burials at their places of abode like Lagos and Abuja.

Happily, this is no longer the case. Today, in spite of the national security calamity, Anambra has become the safest state, as confirmed by security agencies in Nigeria.

Secondly, before Governor Obiano came on board, no government in Nigeria contemplated a policy that would take democracy dividends down to the grassroots. Obiano broke the jinx by introducing the “Community Choose Your Projects Initiative”, whereby the state government has, since 2017, consistently been giving twenty million naira grant every year to the 181 communities in the state to execute any project of their choice.

Again, the aesthetic beauty of Awka has been enhanced with the construction of the International Conference Centre at Agu Awka, the Awka City Stadium as well as three magnificent and flood light adorned flyovers with traffic lights. Recreation parks for relaxation have been created at strategic points in the capital, Onitsha and other parts of the state. The International Cargo and Passenger Airport, Umueri is over ninety percent completed.

The Awka Capital Territory Development Authority, ACTDA, created by the Obiano government is also doing a lot to fast track the transformation of Awka and its environs into an ideal administrative headquarters of a modern state. Today, Anambra is one of the foremost rice producers and millers in Nigeria. Anambra Rice dwarfs others in the markets. Vegetables, cassava and rice productions have improved astronomically and for export to Europe and United States of America. The state is equally doing well in Ugbo Azu Uno as well as livestock production of chickens, eggs, fish and Efi Igbo.

It is also a thing of joy that Anambra has the biggest and most modern oxygen production plant in the Southeast, situated at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku, Awka. Anambra is also the first state in the country to initiate and implement a health insurance scheme, popularly known as ASHIA, which has made access to medical treatment, including surgery and lab, very cheap for families who subscribe to it.

Another people-oriented programme of the present state government is facilitation of soft loans for micro, small and medium scale enterprises by ASBA from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. The Anambra Small Business Agency, ASBA, did not exist in the state before the emergence of Governor Obiano. On the first of August last year, the Presidency gave an award to the Anambra state government as the Most Supportive State Government in Nigeria for Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the country.

None of the previous administrations in the state ever thought of providing street lights in major roads and streets across the state until Obiano began to do it successfully. Notwithstanding paucity of funds, the state government has demonstrated its responsiveness in governance. Salaries and pensions are paid as and when due.

A wise saying goes thus: we never know the worth of water till the well is dry. Succession is an important obligation of leadership and that part of a leader’s silent mission should be to find someone with the right orientation and temperament to succeed him. Not only has Governor Obiano found a pair of competent hands to build a super structure atop the structure he has erected; he has also found someone who would preserve his own legacy.

With a good successor, the future of Anambra State would have been secured with a bold and wise succession plan. Anambra must continue to shine as the light of the nation after Obiano, if we all do the needful.