By Chukwudi Enekwechi
AT a time when many state governors are missing in action in terms of providing developmental projects in their states, Anambra State has a different but pleasant story to tell. It is common knowledge that even at the peak of the economic recession when some state governments were unable to pay workers’ salaries or discharge their obligations, Anambra State under the leadership of Governor Willie Obiano continued to pay worker’s salaries, pensions and still provided basic amenities to the citizens.
Perhaps, the best attestation to the remarkable progress being made by the state government can be seen in the various developmental projects going on across the state. It is pertinent to remark that such projects cut across all sectors and today Anambra State has become an investment destination. Of course, the policy of the state government to provide adequate security of lives and properties has contributed to the new investors’ confidence in the state.
The convivial and serene atmosphere was most visible during the last Christmas celebration as most Anambrabrians returned to a state that has been repositioned in all spheres. For example, it was enthralling to see street lights installed on major roads of the state.
To say that the joy of the Christmas celebration was on a high pitch due to the way most parts of the state were lit up is an understatement. Additionally, Obiano’s love for aesthetics must have justified the need for the three hanging bridges constructed within Awka, the state capital.
With the erection of the hanging bridges, the needed status of a state capital was immediately conferred on Awka.
Before Obiano’s emergence, Awka was more of a glorified village, and many would-be investors hesitated to invest their huge capital in the state. Furthermore, that Obiano was able to calm frayed nerves and restore peace among the feuding parties in Awka has enabled investments to flow into the state.
Obiano’s leadership quality has also manifested in his ability to attract investors from all corners of the world to Anambra State. He has been able to achieve this through the state government’s public-private partnership. This is a policy that encourages investors to partner with the state in setting up industries in the agro-allied and manufacturing sectors.
This imaginative and innovative idea has led to the attraction of over five billion dollars worth of investments into Anambra State. We are familiar with the Coscharis Farms, Lynden Poultry and several other investments that have established multi-billion naira agricultural and poultry farms at Igbariam. Similarly, the long abandoned Ufuma Rice Mill has been renovated by Joseph Agro Industries Limited as a mark of confidence in the state’s economy.
In a bid to boost the image of the state as well as create recreational facilities, the Pinnacle Integrated Expert Solutions has signed a memorandum of understanding with Anambra State government for the construction of Anambra Golf Resort and Estate. Obiano, a trained banker and administrator has demonstrated that government can work for the people, and his programmes and policies have been designed to remain people-friendly and result-oriented
Apart from infrastructural development and attracting huge investments, the governor has placed priority on education, health care, environment, sports and human capital development.
The success story of the Obiano administration did not happen by accident, as he ensured that careful planning is matched with diligent execution of programmes.
This deliberate approach to governance has precluded Anambra state from the recession-afflicted states. Today, salaries, wages and pensions are being paid as due, while new road projects are being executed in the three senatorial zones of the state.
The governor has, in a bid to upgrade the dilapidated federal infrastructure in the state reconstructed federal roads and this amounted to huge debts which the federal government is yet to redeem.
Therefore, it is worthwhile to join millions of Ndi Anambra and other Nigerians to celebrate on the occasion of the conferment of Silverbird Award of “Man of the Year” on Governor Willie Obiano. This is an award that is well deserved and will go a long way to spur the performing governor to redouble his efforts in the arduous task of developing Anambra state.
It is, indeed, remarkable that Silverbird has chosen to give its award to people of substance and reputable Nigerians like Governor Willie Obiano, who understand that occupying a high office should be used to serve the greater good of the people.
Anambrabrians have been beneficiaries of Obiano’s commitment and selflessness in the service of the people. Since his assumption of office, he has not shirked his responsibility of delivering good governance and restoring the glory of the enterprising people of the state.
In fact, it seems the fate of Ndi-Anambra is intertwined with Governor Willie Obiano as he crystalizes the hopes and dreams of the people. In other words, he symbolizes the resilience and strength of the people who, despite all odds, refuse to give up even when faced with daunting challenges.
It is also important to commend the governor for prudent management of scarce resources, and the concomitant effect of this is that resources are deployed towards providing basic amenities that serve the interest of all citizens.
As he begins the journey into seeking a second term mandate, Governor Obiano has an impeccable record of solid and verifiable achievements, and in all fairness posterity will judge him positively. It is, therefore, not misplaced to join Silverbird to eulogise Governor Obiano as he has elevated Anambra state to enviable heights.
Enekwechi writes from Anambra