Below is an extract of speech made by His Excellency, Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State to journalists and investors at an event tagged “An #EveningWithObiano”
Eyes on the Prize – On the Threshold of Excellence
A Speech Presented by the Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano during an Interactive Evening with the Anambra Community in Abuja on July 22, 2016.
Ndi Anambra, this is a great evening to me. To underscore the importance of this day in the history of my administration, I would like to start my address with a quote from Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. At the dawn of Indian independence, Nehru had declared, (and I quote) A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new; when an age ends; and when the soul of a nation long suppressed finds utterance.
Umu nnem, in the past two years, my Team and I have been very busy with the challenge of moving our beloved state from the old to a whole new Anambra State. We are very resolute in our desire to build a prosperous state and leave a legacy of good governance for our people. It has been a tough challenge but we were prepared for it. And tonight; about two years and three months after, I am proud to stand before you to give account of my stewardship in words and in pictures.
Ndi Anambra, My Team and I started our journey in Anambra State with a clear definition of the REALITY of our people. We asked ourselves questions like; who are we? What is our Story? What are our fears, our Hopes and our Aspirations? The answers to these questions helped us to articulate our Vision and Mission for Anambra State. We therefore declared that our Vision is to make Anambra State the 1st Choice Investment Destination and a hub for industrialization and commercial activities. We also defined our Mission as to make Anambra State a socially stable, business-friendly environment that would attract both indigenes and foreigners to seek wealth-creating opportunities. From these two statements, it is clear that my administration truly wants to build a strong and prosperous state, not from the riches that lie underneath the soil but essentially from the infinite possibilities that lie between our ears. It is clear that we want to challenge our people’s famous enterprising spirit by creating a conducive environment that would enable their diverse talents find expression on home soil. So, to give life to my Vision and Mission Statements, I came up with a concise Economic Blueprint, made up of The Four Pillars of Development; including Agriculture, Industrialization, Trade and Commerce and Oil and Gas. The Four Pillars are supported by Twelve Enablers, made up of; Security, Education, Health, Roads and Social Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, the Environment, Transport, Finance, Electricity, Women’s Welfare, Tourism, and Youth development and Entrepreneurship. The Vision and Mission Statements coalesced into the Four Pillars of Development and their Twelve Enablers. Ndi Anambra, these two components make up my Social Contract with my good people of Anambra State.
Umu nnem, I will proceed to give you my Report Card in the past two years and three months.
For obvious reasons, I will start with – Security
Long before I was sworn in as your Governor, I knew that my administration would not make its mark if we didn’t find a way to tackle Security. So, when I took the oath of office, I assured Ndi Anambra that under my watch, we would “redraft the operational manual of the entire security apparatchik of Anambra State to ensure a lightning-quick response.” And that was exactly what we did. We launched Operation Kpochapu and organised an International Security Summit that attracted a top Israeli security expert, Moshe Keinan as the key facilitator. Then, we launched an all-out war against crime and criminality in the state, pulling down the warehouses where kidnappers kept their human cargoes and running them out of town. We were so clinical that we did not only detect and cut off their weapons supply lines but we also tracked a notorious kidnapper to Lagos and picked him up inside a South African bound aircraft. That sounded a loud warning to the underworld. We turned our efforts into a Regional Campaign when in August last year we successfully hosted a Regional Security Summit for the five South Eastern states and the Delta. We figured that Anambra would be safer if other surrounding states were safe enough. In December last year, we raised the game in our security campaign when we donated 25 Smart Cars to the Nigerian Police. These cars are Command & Control Centres with ultra-modern crime-bursting gadgets. We donated a Gunboat to the Nigerian Navy to ensure a regular patrol across the water channels and seal off all the routes used by criminals. In December last year, we launched an aerial surveillance with a Police Helicopter throughout the Yuletide Season. With this last effort, we made sure that Anambra was effectively covered on the ground, in the waters and in the skies. With that effort too, Anambra became the safest state in Nigeria! Umu nnem, the import of our achievement in security is that we have won the psychological war! The essence of security is to feel SAFE! Our people now feel safe to move around the state at whatever time of day or night.
Ladies and gentlemen, for want of time, the rest of my address shall focus on what we have achieved with the Four Pillars and some Key Enablers.
But first, let me talk about ANSIPPA and Anambra’s Emerging Industrial Map –
One of the great initiatives that have enriched the new narrative in Anambra so far is the formation of the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA). This is the ultimate one-stop investment boutique of Anambra State. On the Board of ANSIPPA are renowned investment bankers, business analysts, the Attorney General and the Commissioner for Lands. ANSIPPA has the mandate of attracting investments and fast-tracking the process of investing in Anambra State. The agency has so far attracted over $4.2bn investments to Anambra State. The last investment was sealed on Tuesday this week with Zolt Energy Limited to build a 40 megawatts Embedded Power Generating Plant in Ogbaru. The beauty of this project is that all the power generated from it will be distributed mainly in Anambra State.
“Our objective is to become one of the top 3 industrialized states in Nigeria. We are pursuing this in four key areas – Creation of modern Industrial Parks and Small-to-medium Enterprise Clusters, Improved Drive for Investment and better Access to Financing and Strategic Capacity Building.
Today, we have so far attracted over $140 million of investment to the manufacturing sector. Ndi be anyi, odi ofele?
Next on my Economic Pillar is Trade & Commerce
Our objective in Trade and Commerce is to move Anambra to the Top-3 states in Trade and Commerce in Nigeria. To achieve this, we are rehabilitating our existing markets and building new ones alongside ultramodern shopping malls across the state.
Here are some of our key achievements in the past two years:
We commissioned the ultramodern Onitsha Shopping Mall in April this year to give our people a taste of a world class shopping experience. The Mall is one of the Continuity Projects I inherited from my predecessor which I have commissioned as I promised during my campaign days. Ana ekwu ekwu, ana eme eme!
Work is progressing smoothly on the two other malls in Nnewi and Awka at the moment. We have flagged off the construction of a $350 million wholesale shopping complex in Ogbunike in Oyi LGA. This commercial and lifestyle complex will be the first of its kind in Africa. The retail outlets will be operated by leading brands from across the world. Similarly, the 1st Phase of the 20,000-unit International Market at Oba in Idemili South Local Government Area valued at $75 million dollars is nearing completion while Expression of Interest has been concluded on the Umunze International Market.
The fourth Economic Pillar is Oil & Gas
Anambra State is blessed with over one billion barrels of oil and 30 trillion cubic feet of gas. Our target is to have a fully developed Oil & Gas sector by 2018. We intend to achieve this through 3 broad areas of intervention – policy formulation & infrastructure development, private sector participation and community re-orientation.
In the area of Policy Formulation, we have crafted far-sighted policies to drive the development of this sector. In fact, my bill proposing the establishment of the Anambra State Oil & Gas Development Agency has already been passed into law.
As a follow up, we have also set up the Oil and Gas Advisory Committee headed by Dr. Emmanuel Egboga, the former Special Adviser to the President on Petroleum Matters. This committee is charged with drafting a comprehensive Blueprint for the Oil & Gas sector and advising the State on the necessary steps that would ensure the recognition of Anambra as the 10th Oil Producing State in Nigeria.
We have opened access to the oil fields by building Anambra’s longest bridge across the Omambala River in Aguleri. The bridge is 280 meter long and the road is 42KM. This bridge has since been completed.
We are also building two other bridges to the oil fields through Umueje in Ayamelum and Umudiora in Anambra West Local Government Areas.
The importance of these roads and bridges can only be understood if we remember that there was no access to the oilfields of Aguleri before now from Anambra State. It could only be accessed through Enugu State.
Similarly, we have concluded plans to pipe ATK (aviation fuel) from the Orient Petroleum Refinery to the proposed cargo Airport in Umueri where a storage facility will be built for it. The idea is for the airport to serve as a major hub for the re-fuelling of international flights in West Africa.
We have since flagged off the construction of three dual-carriage ways that will open up access to the proposed airport from three strategic directions – Umueri, Awkuzu and Nteje axis.” –
H.E. Willie Obiano
Governor of Anambra State
Credit: YES International