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Ever focused on chances for Anambra’s economic advantage

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ONE aspect of Gov. Willie Obiano’s success story is accelerating the economic drive of Anambra State. The state has many things going for her: the cradle of Igbo civilisation, the most populous, the most enterprising and economic hub of the Southeast region. In strong affirmation of its economic strength, the National Bureau of Statistics report of 2020 posted Anambra State as the least with poverty rate in Southeast and the lowest with unemployment rate among the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.

  On assumption of office in March 2014, Gov. Obiano promised to drive the state’s economic agenda on a higher pedestal given the expectations of making the state more economically viable. Before Nigeria’s independence, the area covering present day Anambra State has portrayed strong economic activities in the old Eastern Region. Every successive administration employed resources to build on that. Gov. Obiano was more detailed with the creation of Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA) and other relevant agencies and equipping existing ones as a strategic and key component of the State’s economic development.

  Gov. Obiano in his statement was aware that meaningful economic growth and development was more of the mind than mineral resources given the small landmass and little lean nature of mineral resources deposit in the state. In creating ANSIPPA in May 2014, just about one month after assuming office. Gov. Obiano aimed to ensure better coordination and service delivery to investors (local and foreign) by various government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) by making Anambra State the first choice investment destination in the country,

  “I came prepared. I assumed office with a clearly defined vision and mission. I said that my vision is to make Anambra State the first choice investment destination and a hub for industrialization and commercial activities. Similarly, I also declared that my mission is to make Anambra State a socially stable, business friendly environment that would attract both indigenes and foreigners to seek wealth-creating opportunities.’’

  Before the setting up of ANSIPPA, the World Bank survey report of Doing Business in Nigeria of 2014, Anambra State was ranked among the least improved states on their business regulatory environment position. The Emergence of ANSIPPA in Anambra changed her Poor Performance in Comparative Business Rankings.

  One major idea behind ANSIPPA was to make a model out of countries like Singapore, Taiwan, Israel, among others, who with little landmass and virtually no mineral resources has shown the countries transformed to global economic force. Anambra State has the smallest landmass in Nigeria, yet with rich human and capital resources. Since its creation ANSSIPA has attracted many direct local and foreign investment into the state.

  A product of the local investment was think home policy, called the ‘Aku Lue Uno’ initiative of Gov. Obiano, calling on ndi Anambra in diaspora with huge investment outside the state to invest in the state.  So far, the initiative has yielded positive results with illustrious Anambarians like Cosmas Maduka of Coscharis Group, Stanley Uzochukwu of Stanel Group, among others investing in the state. The success of the Aku Lue Uno philosophy has made other eastern states adopt the initiative. Over the past five years ANSIPPA has attracted billions of dollars’ worth of investment.

  Gov. Obiano set up the Anambra Small Business Agency, (ASBA) to spur the entrepreneurial spirit of ndi Anambra. The Anambra Small Business Agency, ASBA was established on 8th December 2014 with the mission to establish a structured and efficient hub for the micro, small and medium enterprises sector that will enhance sustainable economic development in the State. The agency has grown the state economy by supporting business and small industries in the state. 

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