The biblical Joseph found himself in the land of Egypt and through his ingenuity saved that nation and other neighboring countries from an impending economic doom by applying the principles of sound economic practices that gave room for savings during the seven years of surplus as a preparation for the subsequent seven years of scarcity.
In the past two years, Nigeria has passed through one of the worst periods in its history. Oil prices have plummeted and the naira has crashed with it. Allocations from the federation account have nosedived and left huge gaps in the revenues of states. The consequences are severe and unpleasant. Many states now find it difficult to pay salaries and meet their obligations.
But the story is different in Anambra State. Like Joseph, Governor Willie Obiano and his team foresaw the impending storm and made adequate preparations for the rainy day. When he assumed the leadership of Anambra State, his first move as a financial expert was to organise a strategic retreat for the state executive council members to prepare them for the tasks ahead.
This prepared them for the tough times and consequently, while other states are grappling with this new reality, Anambra is not only increasing salaries but also embarking on developmental projects.
But how did Governor Obiano achieve this feat? At the onset he pointed out that the strategic thrust of his administration was anchored on what he termed the four pillars of development, namely: agriculture, industrialization, trade & commerce and oil and gas. According him, these were to be firmly supported by 12 enablers without which every effort to develop the pillars would have been in vain.
The enablers included fundamentals such as security, education, healthcare, power generation, environment, finance, social & civil infrastructure, housing and urban development, hospitality & tourism, transportation, water & sanitation as well as youth and sports.
In this regard, the mission is to create a socially stable, business-friendly environment that will attract both indigenes and foreigners to seek wealth, creating opportunities. Two years on, Governor Obiano has not only kept to his promises but also opened a new era that demonstrates a robust and dynamic leadership. No doubt, his experience as an accomplished and outstanding accountant, auditor and banker had equipped him tremendously in the discharge of his duties as governor. The former banker had signaled his intention to turn things around in his somewhat prophetic inaugural address entitled “expanding the frontiers of excellence”.
It was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who said; the heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night. This is today a befitting plank upon which the success story of Governor Obiano of Anambra state is being told.
He donated smart cars to the police, gunboat to the navy and launched police helicopters to watch over the skies. And so, for the first time since the creation of the state, he ensured that Anambra was effectively covered on the land, in the waters and in the sky! With that effort, he achieved 360 degrees security coverage of the state. It is no longer in doubt that the state is today the safest in the country. And for the second time since the creation of the state the people celebrated Christmas last year without a single incident.
Governor Obiano’s vision started to manifest early in the life of his administration. One of the achievements under the Governor is the massive investment inflow that the state has witnessed in the last two years. In recognition of his meritorious services to his people, the Sun Newspaper also awarded him The Governor of the year 2015 among several other national awards and recognitions of excellence.
Two years is hardly enough time in the life of any administration to make a lasting impression on the people. But Governor Obiano and his team have demonstrated a strong ambition for greatness, anchored on political sagacity, business acumen, impeccable integrity, administrative excellence, outstanding managerial capability and competence.
One can only pray that the good people of the state continue to support the Governor’s efforts to build a strong, dynamic, virile, industrialized, economically viable and prosperous Anambra state.
*Prince Okpala, political analyst wrote in from Abuja