Sunday, 27 September 2015

Obiano gives Account of Stewardship, Wows Stakeholders with Sterling Performance

Anambra’s most illustrious sons and daughters were held spell bound at the weekend by governor Willie Obiano’s rendition of his account of stewardship to the state in the past one and a half years.

The governor who paid glowing tributes to his predecessor, former governor Peter Obi for laying a good foundation for purposeful governance in the statealso used the opportunity distance his team from the bitter mudslinging that has been splattered on the social media recently, saying that his team was firmly focused on promoting the programmes and policies of his administration as expressly directed.

Launching into a highly persuasive speech, Governor Obiano explained “I have always believed that democracy and accountability are like Siamese twins – you cannot have one and leave out the other.

 I have always believed that accountability is the essence of democracy; it provides democracy the moral weight to exist as the best model of governance known to mankind,” pointing out that it was for the sake of accountability and transparency that he had summoned the people to present his scorecard.

The governor also took the hordes of critics who hound him on social media by surprise, praising them for providing the sharp edges that had helped him maintain focus on his goals.

Said he: I must also thank the critics of my administration for providing the sharp edges that have helped us to keep our eyes on the ball; reminding us that governance is a social contract between the state and its citizens and that the power we exercise truly belongs to the people.

Narrating the situation of the state when he assumed office, Governor Obianodisplayed his trademark magnanimity, lauding his predecessor for laying down the foundation for growth and implored the audience to give former governor Obi and his team a round of applause.

He further noted however that no human society was perfect and there wouldalways be room for improvement even in the most advanced civilizations. 

So,it was no surprise to realize that we inherited a state that was unsure of itself…a state that lived in fear – fear of kidnappers, violent armed robbers, brutal drug dealers and several child-trafficking syndicates. 

The dread of kidnappers chased many illustrious citizens away and forced most families to conduct traditional marriages away from their ancestral homes. We inherited a state that had yet to plan its future along the lines of its natural endowments and the talents and abilities of its human capital. We inherited a proud people who had no proud capital city that would reflect their sense of worth as great pioneers and merchants of light in the whole of West Africa, he recalled.

Pointing out that since assuming office, he had made bold efforts to define the challenges of the state and proffer solutions to them, Governor Obiano argued that any objective assessment of his administration must be based on his clearly stated Vision and Mission Statements.

Recalling that his Vision for the state was to make Anambra State the 1st Choice Investment Destination and a hub for industrialization and commercial activities while his Mission was to make Anambra State a socially stable, business-friendly environment that would attract both indigenes and foreigners to seek wealth-creating opportunities, governor Obiano affirmed that he had kept faith with his promise to Ndi Anambra.

He argued that his administration had cleansed the state of violent crimes that had blighted it for decades and opened the floodgates of opportunities to prospective investors thereby attracting an impressive volume of investments to the tune of $2.4bn in one year.

It is essentially to the glory of Almighty God and the audacity of our collective hopes that our waves of successful attacks on the men of the underworld were enough to sweep out crime and criminality from Anambra State,” he observed, pointing out that his economic blueprint would have suffered a stillbirth if he had not taken care of the insecurity in the state.

Recalling the magnitude of the security challenges he had to overcome, Governor Obiano observed that “the turning point in our heavy-handed assault on the underworld was the arrest of Alphonsus Ngwu; the notorious illegal arms dealer who supplied most of the weapons used by violent criminals in this state and beyond. 

There was also the arrest of Okechukwu Nnaegbo, a kidnap kingpin, in an aircraft in Lagos when he was about to escape from the country.  With those two arrests, we won both psychological and moral victory over criminals in Anambra State and swiftly put the remnants of the bandits to flight.”

Giving an update on his economic blueprint, he revealed that Agriculture had attracted investments valued at over $660m, Industrialization $140m and Trade and Commerce $350m among numerous other investments covering hospitality, oil and gas, power generation,  meat processing etc.

The governor also used to opportunity to address all speculations surrounding the ability of his administration to pay and increase workers’ salaries at a time when other states in the federation are begging for bailouts.

Said he: “Ndi be anyi, there have been speculations on why Anambra State has been able to pay and increase the salaries of workers at a time when other states are looking for bailouts. There is no magic to it. Our ability to forecasteconomic trends is the answer,” he maintained.

Offering further insights, governor Obiano said, “As some of you are aware, long before I took the oath of office, I had organized a strategic retreat to prepare for the challenge of leading Anambra State. It was at this retreat that we realized that oil prices would soon crash in the international market and that for states to remain solvent, something dramatic would have to be done. 

Armed with this knowledge, we swiftly swung into action and in less than one year, we were able to increase our IGR from the N500m we inherited from my predecessor to N1.3bn. Our target is to hit the N3bn threshold and we won’t relent until we have achieved that. 

We have continued to tinker with our revenue structures to plug all the loopholes and enhance efficiency and transparency.”

The hugely successful event was attended by the who-is-who in Anambra State including the former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Senator Chris Ngige, Senator Annie Okonkwo, Chief Mrs Josephine Aneni, PDP Women Leader, Senator Ben Obi, former Presidential Adviser on Inter-party Affairs, Prince Engineer Arthur Eze, billionaire businessman and PDP stalwart, Chief CletusIbetoDr. Tim Menakaya, Chief Victor Umeh, former National Chairman of APGA, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former governor of Anambra State, PeteEdochieNollywood icon, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, Chief Mbazuluike AmaechiDr.Innocent Chukwuma, CEO of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Ltd, Engr. EmekaOkwuosaIgwe Nnaemeka Achebe, Obi of Onitsha, Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike,Dr. Nkem Okeke, Deputy Governor, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, SSG and many others.

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