Ahead of Governor Obiano’s five years in office, various clubs, organizations, associations and individuals have been speaking on the governor’s good leadership qualities, his good governance and his administration’s commitment to the welfare and security of the state citizenry. In this interview with RAY UDEAGBARA, the President of Emirate Kings Club, Chief Chidiebele Sam Ugochukwu, chronicles those extra ordinary qualities of the governor and his unprecedented developments that stand him out among his contemporaries. Excerpts:
SIR, you always talk good of Governor Obiano, what unique features of the governor and his administration do your club, Emirate Kings Club sees as exemplary, unprecedented and as a model?
In fact, the Emirates Kings Club holds our governor, Chief Dr Willie Obiano, Akpokuedike Global at a very high esteem. His pragmatism, political sagacity and doggedness, as well as his human approach to governance endear him to many. His unique features are many and I must begin with his good governance which has brought unprecedented development in all sectors of the economy, sent criminals on the run and kidnappers packing; thereby creating a conductive atmosphere for business to thrive.
His administration has successfully re-defined governance, launched a new corporate governance index and set out meaningful goals. Since five years, starting from March 17, 2014, it has been achieving these goals, protecting the peoples’ lives and property and ensuring their welfare with his disciplined and hardworking team.
The efficiency of the state security initiative is a reference point. Kidnappers have fled the state. Thieves, armed robbers, pick pockets and even 419ners are all on the run. Anambra is relatively quiet, peaceful, calm and stable.
The clement and secured atmosphere here has created favorable business environment with ANSIPPA at work, attracting foreign and local investors; Anambra Small Business Agency (ASBA) working assiduously, providing funds for Small and Medium Enterprises and the Anambra State Capital Territory Development Authority (ACTDA), taking necessary measures to ensure the capital city, Awka and its environs are not defaced.
In fact, since March, 2014 to date, Anambra State has witnessed the culture of good governance at work. Obiano’s administration has exhibited focus, selflessness and total commitment to leadership. Development is being carried out in all sectors and in all communities.
The governor’s four pillars – Agriculture, Industrialization, Trade and Commerce and Oil and Gas, of course, hold the key to the future of the state. As we talk of his good governance, we speak of those unique features of the Obiano administration that stand it out among other state governments in the country.
It is characterized by high degree of transparency and forthrightness and development-oriented programmes and policies. Since its inception, it has embarked on massive human development programmes and capacity building. It has remained committed to the core values of discipline, dedication, integrity and responsibility. Obiano’s unique and visionary leadership is value-driven, re-directing scarce resources to priority areas and placing premium on quality of the workforce. Salaries, allowances and pensions are paid as and when due. Workers are happy for this and give him maximum support.
Note that there are over 20 state governors in the country who can’t play salaries and owe seven or eight months’ arrears. In these states, workers’ demonstration and strikes are the order of the day. For our state, our governor fully understands that good governance is linked to socio-economic growth that workers are vital and that commitment, dedication and passion are necessary for efficiency in governance.
He approaches the issue of governance with the decency of statesmanship, and ab initio, his administration, in conjunction with ANSIPPA, had embarked on strategic plans for rapid industrialization to provide the much needed jobs and reduce unemployment. You now see foreign investors flooding the state and establishing multinational firms both agricultural and industrial firms with the support of Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA).
His programmes and policies and their implementation have given the assurance that Anambra State is on the right path for rapid socio-economic development. You will agree with me that this administration has broken the gender barrier with the appointment of women in many key positions of authority. His is a gender friendly administration.
And at this juncture, please permit me to state that this second tenure of our governor calls for celebration and as we do, we celebrate good governance; we celebrate the welfare of the masses, including workers, teachers; we celebrate unprecedented Joint security outfit that has freed the state citizenry from the grips of hoodlums and created an enabling environment for business activities to flourish.
As we celebrate, we celebrate the peace and tranquility in the state, within the public sector, the private sector, the civil service where the state workforce is performing its duty with joy and satisfaction,
where men and women, wheel barrow and truck pushers and commercial motor cycle and keke operators are performing their duties unhindered, and free from extortion from any person or group under the guise of revenue collectors, and where in the midst of recession, the Obiano administration has put in measures to cushion the biting effect of this recession.
As we celebrate this one year, we celebrate excellence in governance and the plethora of awards this has brought to our governor and of course, to our state and to ourselves.
And we celebrate here unique and visionary leadership and development–oriented administration. We also celebrate an administration that has brought a new dawn, restored the core values of our people and rekindled the indomitable spirit of Ndigbo.
Indeed, the Obiano administration is governance of the people by the people and for the people exemplified and it has taken the lead in grassroots governance. You remember the programme, ‘Community Choose Your Project Initiative’. Whooping N20million has been doled out to each of the now 182 communities in the first Phase.
Now the Third phase is on. In addition, another N10million is given to very community to develop one of their markets. This is unprecedented in the history of Anambra State. These projects will bring about some positive changes in the lives of the community dwellers since they participated fully in the identification of the projects. In fact, this is grassroot development per excellence.
You spoke of the governor’s exploits in all sectors, can you expatiate more on these exploits?
Thank you. Well his achievements are so many. Do we talk of the agric sector, which is the number one pillar of his administration’s economic blueprint where a lot of revolution is going on? The sector is refocusing towards commercialization and has now attracted foreign and local investors and their big farms like Coscharis Group, Lynden, Josan, E-Force-Agro, Mavec, Redemption Agro and Delfarm.
These farms have in their employ over 8000 youths. Do I talk of industrialization? In this sector, a lot has been achieved with many industries both foreign and local now operating in the state. What of Tourism? I think the government realizes it is a great revenue earner and it is undergoing great transformation. Agulu Lake will be a great tourist centre now that the Golden Tulip Hotel is commissioned.
The same progress is witnessed in other areas like in environment, infrastructure, housing (many estates are being developed). Even Public Utilities, Youth Entrepreneurship and Sports Development Ministries are not left out. And when we come to the education sector, we see uncommon transformation unprecedented development.
This administration has achieved significant success in its pursuit of quality education. It has made huge success in this very sector, having renovated over 1500 classroom blocks, upgraded over 70 science laboratories. Prompt payment of teachers’ salaries and additional incentives to teachers posted to hard-to- reach areas and those handling core subjects, as well as support to mission schools are additional achievements.
We will not forget fencing of girls schools for security. All these enhance quality service delivery. Even in capacity building, teachers have gained a lot. Some were sent to Singapore for training. This administration believes that capacity building, training and retraining of workers is the catalyst for quality service delivery and since its inception, four years ago, it has maintained this policy.
The exceptional performance of our students in national and international examinations – GCE, NECO, NEBTEB, WAEC and in international debates in Indonesia and Singapore are cases in point. In all these debates, Anambra States students came tops.
Education is vital, critical to human existence and crucial to the socio-economic development of any nation. It is the key to sustainable growth. And the present administration has gone further in this sector by paying great attention to technical and vocational education.
It has also established skill acquisition centres in all LGAs of the state to train and churn out self-reliant graduates, who will set up their own businesses, employ others, and contribute their quota to nation building
How far has the governor faired in this second tenure? From your own perspective, do you see hope of continuity of good governance?
Sure! From what is on ground in terms of development, I can vouch for him. The governor has not relaxed. I would even say he’s undaunted in his effort, remained committed in his quest for even development of the state. I recall that a day after his second inauguration, he went on inspection of 45 projects scattered across the state. Remember his administration’s Community Choose your Project initiation is in its third phase.
His quest for youth empowerment is on with renewed vigour, and with more skill acquisition centers springing up here and there and more youths acquiring various skills, becoming self reliant and setting up their own businesses.
All in all, Governor Obiano and his administration have embarked on massive multi-sectoral development with assiduity, fulfilling all their financial obligations to workers and boosting the state security architecture and I must chip in here that his wife, Chief Dr. Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano is contributing immensely through her pet project, Caring Family Enhancement Project Initiative (CAFÉ), supporting government’s efforts in youth empowerment and providing for the needy, the less privileged and the vulnerable in the society.
A cursory look at the state of affairs in the state today vividly shows there is no lull in development as all machineries of government are busy, working. Three qualities – courage, innovation and excellence define the essence of his administration and it’s building a peaceful and enduring democratic legacy.
Many thought this government will stop prompt payment of salaries but the status quo is maintained.
As the President of Emirate Kings Club and Anambra Citizen, what messages have you for Ndi Anambra?
They should embrace peace and unity, mutual Co-existence and love. These are the cardinal factors that make for the progress of any nation. They should support our governor who has worked hard and brought great developments to our dear state, Anambra, Light of the Nation.
I also urge all Nigerians to be peaceful and law abiding. At this time of global economic meltdown with its mass unemployment, inflation, chronic liquidity shortages, and white collar jobs in extinction, youths must brace up for hard work.
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