No doubt, the current economic recession has affected the performance of many state governments in Nigeria. Their Internally Generated Revenues have dropped, making most of them to depend on the statutory allocation from federating account.
In spite of this shortcomings, the Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano has been able to find a way out of recession.
It took a man of vision to foresee an impending doom and when Obiano saw the present economic crisis two years ago, he assembled technocrats in a retreat to arrest the impending situation.
Through the retreat, issues of how to generate revenue without necessarily waiting for federal government was discussed and solution provided. Issues of how to pay workers’ salaries were discussed without dependence on oil wealth, which of course had since thrown many state government into huge debts.
In his resolve to make Anambra investor destination and commercial hub in the Southeastern part of the country, Obiano came up with a blue print tagged, “the Four Pillars of Development which revolves around Agriculture, Industrialization, Trade and Commerce and Oil & Gas.
With the blueprint in place Anambra State was opened to investors by the creation of the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA).
With the mandate of attracting investments and fast-tracking the process of investment in Anambra state, the Agency has attracted investments in Agriculture, Trade & Commerce, Manufacturing, Hospitality, Housing, Electricity generation, Waste management, Health, and Oil and Gas to the tune of $3.2billion to the state and more investments are coming.
Today, over 500 youths have been effectively trained in diverse skills and crafts at the Technology Incubation Centre in Nnewi while 500 other youths have been trained at the Agricultural Training Institute in Mgbakwu. With lots of great plans for the Anambra youths and the unemployed in Anambra State, the future can only get better.
In Agriculture, he launched the Agricultural Revolution in Nteje, Oyi Local Government Area. Two years after that action, Anambra State has almost realized the objective of becoming one of the Top-Three agricultural states in Nigeria. Anambra State has become an exporter of farm produce to Europe.
The state has also flooded the market with a wholly indigenous brand of rice known as Anambra Rice which is competing favourably with other brands in the market. Gov. Willie Obiano has so far attracted $150m from Coscharis Farms Project in Anaku, $50m from NOVTEC Farms Ltd in Ndikelionwu, $160m from Joseph Agro Ltd rice project in Omor, $220m from Ekcel Farms tomato production farm in Omasi and $50m from the Songhai/Delfarms integrated organic farm project in Igbariam. There are also Grains & Silos with $40m investment in storage facilities, Lynden Farms with the $61m poultry farm in Igbariam and Tricity Integrated Farms with $11.4m ultra-modern abattoir in Awka. Indeed, the fire of agricultural revolution is raging in Anambra State. A visit to Igbariam or Anaku will validate this fact.
At present, the state government under the supervision of Obiano has Asphalted Over 102 Roads; these include the three flyovers in Awka, which speak eloquently of his ambition to transform Anambra with world class infrastructure.
The nearly completed Arroma Bridge is not only a beauty to behold but a monument to the pride of our people. The two in Amawbia and Kwata are fast nearing completion. He has also built two bridges and a 5-Cell Culvert in Awgbu-Ndiukwuenu-Awa-Ufuma axis.
And in just two years, Gov. Willie Obiano’s achievements in the Education Sector has remained impressive in the past two years. This is so because Gov. Willie Obiano approached education in three broad areas – infrastructural development, pupils/students development, and teachers’ welfare. Under Gov. Willie Obiano’s watch, Anambra State has maintained her enviable position in NECO and WAEC examinations. Anambra’s brilliant school children took the Third position at the World Schools Debate Championship in Singapore last year and are the current champions in the national Pre-basic Debate Competition. The same debate team defeated the debate team from 80-year old Katung Secondary School in Singapore in January this year. To crown Gov. Willie Obiano’ efforts, our own Rose Nkemdilim Obi won last year’s national Teacher of the Year Award to underscore the silent revolution that is going on in the education sector. In terms of funding for schools, Gov. Willie Obiano’s administration has disbursed the sum of N733 million to mission schools, renovated 1000 units of 10-classroom blocks and awarded scholarships estimated at N30 million to over 200 students. More would have been done by his administration but for the bleak state of the economy.
Health Sector Has Greatly Improved Under Gov. Willie Obiano:
Gov. Willie Obiano has made progress in the Health Sector. Health being one of the Enablers is basic in Gov. Willie Obiano’s Four Pillars of Development. He has added new units to the Onitsha General Hospital and built a helipad for air ambulances for emergency cases. He has also built several blocks of houses that will serve as Isolation Units in cases of epidemics. The complex has been designated as the Centre for Tropical Disease Control. In addition, he is in partnership with the Rise Health Incorporation of America to strengthen rural health delivery in the state.
The partnership gave birth to a specialist outfit known as the Anambra Business Coalition (ABC) through which the Orumba General Hospital has been refurbished and re-equipped to deliver a world class medical service to the people of Orumba North and South. The ABC has also set up an ultramodern Rise Clinic in Adazi Ani and Onitsha respectively to offer quality healthcare to the people. Ossamola General Hospital Ogbaru will be given a similar attention this year. Meanwhile, Gov. Willie Obiano has set machinery in motion to ensure the provision of a comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme for Ndi Anambra.