Wednesday, 13 July 2016

I Recommend Anambra as a Model for Northern Nigeria – Labaran Maku


By James Eze

Former Minister of Information, Labran Maku bares his mind on the state of insecurity in Nigeria and what the governors must do to attract development to their respective domains. Maku recommends the Obiano Formula to the governors of the Northern parts of Nigeria and other states that are facing security challenges. Read all this in the excerpts of an interview he granted at the ceremony marking the 2015 Zik Prize for Leadership in Lagos at the weekend. Excerpts -

“We know that Governor Obiano has been one of the most impactful governors in this dispensation. He is a very serious man and since his assumption of leadership in Anambra State, we have seen changes in the direction of governance, we have seen seriousness and focus in the development of infrastructure, we have seen prudence in the management of scarce resources of Anambra State to the extent that in spite of the current economic challenges across the nation he remains one of the very few governors that have been able to carry on the project of modernization of Anambra State, industrialization, without hampering the welfare of his workforce.

Today Anambra remains very regular in the payment of salaries which cannot be taken for granted anymore in Nigeria if you consider the fact that 27 states have declared that they can no longer pay salaries. He has continued to pay salaries. And we are also aware that since assuming office, he has not taken a single kobo from the bank. Not a dime, in loan! This is really exemplary. It shows prudence, it shows discipline in the management of men and resources. But over and above that, Awka is wearing a new look. We are beginning to see flyovers that we used to see only in Lagos and Abuja and Akwa Ibom. It is now creeping into Anambra State. And Awka which was sleepy and provincial is now assuming the position of the commercial headquarters of not only Anambra State but the South East. We are very happy with the performance of Governor Obiano. But there is something that I want to mention. I am personally impressed by his programme on peace and security. We know that before this dispensation, Anambra used to be a place where people were afraid to visit. But presently I am happy to say that suddenly, Anambra State has become the center of peace and tranquility. Today, Onitsha that used to be very tough for visitors now has a 24 hour life. Kidnapping is gone. Robbery is gone. Peace has returned to the extent that Anambra is now the highest receiver of foreign direct investment in the south East and maybe one of the highest in Nigeria. So if he continues like this, and he maintains his programme on peace and security, infrastructure, focused governance, transformation of rural areas through focus on agriculture and his new programme of partnering with communities on development, setting up special funds and partnering with communities to identify projects that will impact on their lives, I believe that he is going to leave a testimony, not only for Anambra but for Nigeria.

Presently, his programme on security is the best in the country. I have not seen any state that has transformed from such difficulties to such glory in terms of peace and without peace you can’t develop. And I recommend Anambra as a model for Northern Nigeria. Because you know I come from that part of the country and as a Minister of Information before now, I used to say that governors are the only people that can maintain peace and security in their states. When I was saying that, people thought it was politics. Today, the governor of Anambra State has shown that any governor that is serious about security can have it. Nigeria is a federation. States have the capacity to maintain their own security. You have the police available to you, you have the army, the Airforce, all the security apparatchik is available. But a governor must mix them and take personal leadership to ensure that all these agencies perform and give their states security.

So, I am proud of Anambra State. And I am ashamed to say that in many parts of the states in the North today, we have insecurity and there is no development, because nobody is going to take money and invest in a state where people are running, where you have internally displaced people and they are running. Nobody is going to invest there. And so, they must come to Anambra State; each of the states in the north and other parts of the country that have security challenges, they need to come and study the Obiano formula; a leader that is serious and will not tolerate malfeasance - will not tolerate indiscipline and insecurity in his state because he knows that once that creeps in, you can say bye bye to development. So, I am very happy with governor Obiano.”

1 comment:

millstone said...

I'm from Anambra state, I wish to ask Maku just a few questions. What is the land mass of Anambra state, what is the population of civil servants in Anambra state, what is the revenue base for Anambra state.