Obiano delivering his farewell speech.
‘I fulfilled most of my promises’
By Chukwujekwu Ilozue,
The former Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, in his farewell speech on Wednesday said that he came to the state with a dream most of which he fulfilled.
In a broadcast titled, “I Touched a Dream”, Obiano said that in his inaugural address he shared his vision of a greater Anambra State, which sounded like a dream, but that today, most of those dreams he shared have come true!”
He enumerated among his achievements: security, which he said made Anambra ‘the safest state in Nigeria”.
Also, he said that under his administration, Anambra children soared in international competitions winning prizes.
In rural infrastructure, the N20 million Community Choose Your Project in which the 181 communities benefitted twice was also outstanding.
He said that he attracted Court of Appeal and stopped Anambra people from going to Enugu each time they have a matter in the court.
His words: “We approached education in three broad areas: Students’ Welfare, Teachers’ Welfare and Infrastructure Development. Essentially, my administration set out to maintain the competitive advantage our state has enjoyed in education over other states in the country and took it a notch higher.
“To achieve that, we sent Anambra teachers on off-shore training and exposed them to global best practices. We did that because we knew that the best way to take charge of tomorrow is to inculcate the right character in our teachers today. This is one of the secrets of Anambra’s great performances in education under my watch”.
Besides, he said that his government funded both missionary and public schools in equal measure: donated N2.8 billon to both Mission and Public Schoools, apart from over 300 students it offered scholarships.
In the health sector, he said that his administration introduced Anambra State Health Insurance Agency (ASHIA) which was set up to make quality health delivery services easy and accessible to the greater number of the people; built Oxygen Plant in the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH) which he said is the biggest state-owned oxygen plant in Nigeria, among other things.
“This is in addition to N1.2bn it released to all mission and government owned hospitals in the state to strengthen their capacities to respond to the medical needs of the people.”
On economy, he said that his Economic Blueprint was anchored on Agriculture, Industrialization, Trade and Commerce and Oil and Gas.
“The state approach to agriculture attracted private farms which particularly took interest in rice and maize production and rice production increased from 80,000 metro’s in 2014 to 525,000 metric tons in 2021.
“Maize production also rose from 15,902 metric tons to 74,255 metric tons. Cassava rose from 275,832 metric tons in 2014 to 2,060,687 among other things,” he said.
On industrialization, he said that the state established Anambra Small Business Agency (ASBA) which successfully funded 10,000 cooperatives, micro enterprises and artisans while also providing operating capital to 300 small and medium enterprises.
“The modern Small and Medium Enterprises complex at Nkwelle Ezunaka which houses ultramodern industrial shoe-making hub with cutting edge technology and a capacity to produce shoes that compare with shoes made in Europe is a testament to this.”
The crowning glory of his administration’s efforts in oil and gas, according to him, is the recognition of Anambra State as an oil-producing state by the federal government.
Obiano said: “We have 15 oil wells at the moment. With this achievement, our dear state is now qualified to receive additional revenues from the 13% derivation fund given to oil producing states.
“This will definitely give a big financial elbowroom to my successor and make it easier for the state to undertake more ambitious projects”.
Obiano also listed his achievements in road and bridge construction and said he completed 17 bridges and 113 roads.
Obiano also didn’t lose sight of his legacy projects, namely: Anambra International Passenger and Cargo Airport, Umueri, International Convention Center, Awka and Awka Township stadium.
He said: “The Overall Impact of my blueprint is that under my watch, the economy of Anambra State grew from N3.2trn to N4.4trn.
“That comfortably placed us as Nigeria’s fourth largest economy. Another direct result is that under my watch again, Anambra joined Lagos and Rivers as the only states in Nigeria that could meet their operating obligations with funds from their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and earnings from Value Added Tax (VAT)”.