At a recent stakeholders’ meeting, Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State announced that the state has garnered over $2.4 billion foreign investment within the past 18 months he has been in office, just as he outlined his lofty dreams for the progress of the state, writes Emeka Osondu
Every form of democratic governance entails popular participation of the people so as to ensure prudence and accountability. That is why every viable leadership seeks for ways to interact with its stakeholders, to reflect on how it has used its mandate to generate more impetus from the people in order to sustain social and economic growth.
This is what took place at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, Awka South Council area of the state on September 26, 2015 where Governor Obiano announced before a teaming crowd of personalities that Anambra has raked in over $2.4 billion within the past 18 months he has been in office as governor.
Obiano further used the occasion restate his desire to build a socially stable, business- friendly environment that would attract both indigenes and foreigners to seek wealth- creating opportunities. He noted that he “inherited a state which was unsure of itself and lived in fear of kidnappers, violent crimes and child-trafficking,” which he said ordinarily chased away foreign investors and hindered economic growth.
Prior to Obiano’s assumption of office, the crime wave in the state was high and unmanageable, especially in the commercial centres. But Obiano, realising the importance of security in the growth of every economy, came all out in challenge of the onslaught by fortifying the security agencies to meet with the challenges.
Today, the case is different as the crime wave in the state has been drastically reduced and brought under control. No wonder the confidence so far expressed by both foreign and local investors in the state by their massive investments because of the enabling environment created by the government.
Obiano said the feat was attributed to the glory of Almighty God and the audacity of our collective hopes that our waves of collective attacks on the men of the underworld were enough to sweep out crime and criminality from Anambra State.
Obiano stated that over the period in review, agriculture sector in the state has netted investments worth over $660 million; while trade and commerce attracted $350 million, even as the state industrial sector boots of over $140 million.
He further said that the oil sector boosts of over 1billion barrels and 30 million cubic feet of oil and gas, which will be fully developed by 2018.
He equally hinted that the state targets the top-three position nationwide with sustained push to become a major hub of industrial activities with the wholesale shopping complex in Ogbunike in Oyi Local Government Area of the state, as well as the on-going shopping mall construction in the state capital, Awka.
The governor, who decried the precarious economic situation in the country due to the dwindled oil revenue, said the state has instilled measures to improve its internally generated revenue to reduce over-dependence on the Federation Account as a major source of income.
He explained that the reason for Anambra state being able to pay as well as increase the salaries of workers at a time when many other state are looking for bailouts was the ability of his government to forecast economic trends and embark on an aggressive revenue drive through a robust development of new technology and information, whereby the new mantra of his administration ever since has been “doing much with less.” (Thisday)