Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 9 March 2014 | 5,056 times
Anambra State yesterday witnessed an unprecedented outpour of encomiums at the Women Development Centre in Awka, the state capital. The event was a forum put together by the Anambra Elders’ Forum for out-going Governor Peter Obi give account of his stewardship since assumption of office on March 17, 2006.
Governor Obi while presenting his End of Tenure Report at the occasion disclosed that his administration has N75 billion in savings for Anambra. He said the money included N25 billion investment for the state.
In a further brake-down of the savings, Obi said that expected bank balances as at March 14, 2014 would be N11.5 billion; Federal Government of Nigeria approved refund of N10 billion; and Foreign Currency Investment of US$155m (N26 billion).
The governor also gave account of the investment the state made in some projects being executed, some of which are N3.5 billion in INTAFACT; N9B in Nigeria Independent Power Project; N4B in Orient Petroleum Resources PLC; N1B in Onitsha Hotel; N1B in Agulu Lake Hotel; N0.9B in Awka Shopping Mall; N350M in Quoted Investment Portfolio, among others.
Mr. Obi explained that his administration received about N620B and N20B from Federal Allocation and interventions from donor agencies and development partners. He noted that in spite the state’s low revenue profile, his government completed over 801km of roads that gave access to all parts of the state and opened up rural areas. He said that collaboration with the Church transformed and repositioned the education and health sectors to meet the needs of the people.
According to the governor, through strategic planning, prudent and transparent management of resources, as well as reduction in the cost of governance, his administration achieved integrated and comprehensive development in all sectors without borrowing or owing anybody. He expressed satisfaction that his government had rescued the state and laid a solid foundation for sustainable development, stressing that the state was not cursed, rather the people were the cause of its previous challenges.
After his presentation, Governor Obi harvested enormous for taking the crisis-riddled state from near collapse to a state of envy both at home and abroad.
The first encomium came from former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, who chaired the ceremony. According to him, “There is no doubt that any non-partisan person will say that the tenure of Mr. Obi has brought huge transformation in Anambra State. One of the ways of assessing governments all over the world is by evaluating what the government has done with collective resources.
“Apart from the success that I have seen in this state under Governor Obi, I have also been able to see development in all sectors. There has been great transformation in education, health, road infrastructure, the judiciary, the civil service and in human development.
“The most impressive legacy Obi is leaving is making the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) the focus of his administration and I am sure that when the history of this state is written, it must be stated that God used Obi to make a difference.”
In her speech, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, said that the governor has a quintessential quality that is unparalleled. She recalled that unlike other politicians, Governor Obi completed projects initiated by his predecessors, attracted viable foreign direct investments, encouraged and empowered indigenous investors and industrialists to grow and expand. While commending his remarkable contributions at the Federal level, she noted that his development-orientated administration attracted commendation of the World Bank and other donor agencies.
Said the minister in her speech entitled ‘He Came, He Saw and Conquered’:
“I am proud of the governor’s contributions to the nation’s Economic Management Team of which he is a member. Obi conquers people with love. Anambra State has the tightest envelope but despite that, he achieved a lot.
“He calls himself a trader but he is one the brightest governors Nigeria has produced, served the people with humility, hard work and transparency such that today, Anambra has become a good reference point in the country.
“Most of the things Obi did in Anambra State were the kind of things we should be doing at the federal level, especially in the management of finance but because of our system, we are hampered. It was his courage, prudence and humility that made him to succeed. He is one of the governors who encourage savings at the federal level, unlike many people who want us to spend everything we have and that is why we always call on him for genuine advice.
“As he completes his tenure, we will not let him go. We will find something that will keep him busy all the time and I am sorry to disappoint his wife Margaret if she is planning a long holiday with her husband.”
On his part, Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said the private sector where Obi came from is very proud of him and urged the incoming governor, Chief Willie Obiano, to tow his footsteps.
He pointed out that Obi was able to achieve so much because he was determined to make a difference, adding that no other state has been able to achieve the feat Obi achieved in savings for his state as well provision of buses to schools in Anambra State.
Governor-elect Obiano in his speech assured that his administration would build on the foundation laid by Obi and sustain his interventions in schools and hospitals as well as attract people in Diaspora and other investors to set up businesses in the state.
Other notable Anambra people such as the Obi of Onitsha, Alfred Achebe, and former Ohanaeze President General, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, in their speeches acknowledged said that Governor Obi has indeed rescued the state and put it on the path of progress.
Earlier, during an Inter-denomination service, Prof. Ben Osisioma described Governor Obi as a blessing to the state who made indelible mark in the state and country.
Some of the other dignitaries who graced the event include Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Mr. Iyke Aigbode, Ikem Odumodu, Emma Bishop Okonkwo, Aruma Otteh, Justice Peter Umeadi, Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu, Prof. ABC Nwosu, as well as Bishops Valerian Okeke, Hilary Okeke and Alexander Ibeziem, among many others.
•Photo (L-R) shows Gov. Obi’s wife, Margaret, Gov. Peter Obi, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Chief Emeka Anyaoku during the presentation of the Governor’s “End of Tenure Report” . . . yesterday at the Women Development Centre, Awka.
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