Anambra Gov. Obiano’s 10 successes, failures: Pay rise, ‘squandered’ resources, others

Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra state being interviewed after a courtesy visit to  President-elect General Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja
Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra state being interviewed after a courtesy visit to President-elect General Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja

Successes

Security: Gov. Willy Obiano has done relatively well in trying to change Anambra’s notorious tag as the theatre of crime and criminality in Nigeria’s south-east. He launched an all-out war against kidnappers, armed robbers, drug-dealers and child-traffickers. The governor donated cars to the police, a gunboat to the Navy and a helicopter to police.

Road construction: Mr. Obiano has built and maintained many roads and bridges in this state.  Three flyovers have been built in Awka. He has also built two bridges and a five-Cell culvert in Awgbu-Ndiukwuenu-Awa-Ufuma axis. The administration says it asphalted over 102 roads.

Health: Mr. Obiano has added new units to the Onitsha General Hospital and has built a helipad for air ambulances for emergency cases. He has also built several blocks of houses that will serve as Isolation Units in cases of epidemics. The complex has been designated as the Centre for Tropical Disease Control.

In addition, the government is in partnership with the Rise Health Incorporation of America to strengthen rural health delivery in the state. The partnership gave birth to a specialist outfit known as the Anambra Business Coalition (ABC) through which the Orumba General Hospital has been refurbished and equipped to deliver world class medical services to the people of Orumba North and South. The ABC has also set up an ultramodern Rise Clinic in Adazi Ani and Onitsha respectively to offer quality healthcare to the people. The government is also working to provide a comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme for the state.

Workers’ welfare: Anambra under Mr. Obiano increased the salary of workers by 15 per cent in 2015 at a time when many states were looking for bailouts. He has since cleared the N1.9 billion arrears of salaries owed the State Water Corporation staff as well as the approximately N1 billion pension owed Local Government retirees inherited by his administration.

Transportation: Gov. Willie Obiano’s administration in the last two years has made attempts at changing urban transportation in Anambra State by initiating the modern mass transit scheme that covers the three major cities in the state with 200 brand new taxis and 40 luxurious buses. This was followed up by the construction of modern bus stops and bus terminals in strategic parts of the state. This initiative was recently expanded to include marine transport with 24 Speedboats and Water Ambulances and one Gunboat for the Nigerian Navy. The idea is to open access to the riverine communities in the state and ensure that no part of the state is cut off.

Criticisms

Poor financial management: Mr. Obiano is accused of poor financial management. His predecessor, Peter Obi, allegedly left over N75 billion for him in the state coffers, but he allegedly “squandered” the funds and now is seeking to borrow money from banks and the bond market.

Lopsided appointment: Most of the appointment in his government are tilted towards his Aguleri constituency. The same applies to projects. Some projects started by his predecessor have also been abandoned, and example is the Agulu Lake hotel.

Education: The state used to come first in SSCE examinations under the Peter Obi administration but is now taking seventh to ninth position since Mr. Obiano came on board.

Agriculture: There is little or any known agriculture policy started by his administration that has worked. In fact, some projects like the Coscharis Farms projects and some others started in partnership with some private firms, have collapsed or are on the verge of collapse.

Oil and gas: Mr. Obi attracted Orientoil and worked for the inclusion of Anambra as one of the oil producing states, but the governor have failed to build on this. The state has not been able to start enjoying the 13 percent derivation fund for oil producing states years after ex-President Jonathan approved the state’s inclusion as an oil producing state due to what sources termed inability of the present government to lobby the federal government properly for inclusion.


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  • imagine_2012

    What of Buhari’s scorecard?

    • James Eze

      This is not a fair assessment of Governor Obiano. This piece was written without facts and without fidelity to truth. It is embarrassing that a Premium Times reporter can sit back in his room and rehash dated speculative comments from online sources and publish it as absolute facts.

      The contentious N75bn legacy of the previous administration has been thoroughly discussed in the public domain. What was left was not entirely in liquid cash but mostly in investments. Again, the previous administration left a huge contractual debt behind. Where there are assets, there should be liabilities. This should have been clear to Premium Times.

      The statement that the governor appointed only his people into government is fraught with mischief. Yes, there are people from his constituency in government. But there are even many more from the three senatorial zones. And guess what, there are many others who are not even from Anambra State. The governor has an expansive view that accommodates only excellence.

      The pronouncement on Education is empty and sensational. The Obiano administration has improved on existing records in education and ensured that Anambra remains Top-3 in the entire country in the past four years. Not only that, under him, Anambra children have represented Nigeria at the World Schools Debate Championship twice and came home with a bronze. Anambra has produced the Best Teacher and stayed on top of the statistical ladder. All these are verifiable.

      Premium Times must have been operating in the outer space not to have heard about Anambra’s exploits in Agriculture. Pray, are you not aware of the the famous Anambra Rice brand? Are you not aware of the export of veggies to the UK? Come to Anaku in Ayamelum LGA and see one of Nigeria’s most modern rice farms. Come to Ufuma and see, Nigeria’s best integrated rice farm project, complete with farms, mills and irrigation. Better still, ask your sources in the Ministry of Agric, IFAD and CBN about what Anambra has achieved in Agriculture under Governor Obiano.

      On Oil And Gas, Obiano has built three bridges leading to the oil fields which hitherto have to be accessed from the neighbouring Enugu. He has inspired the establishment of important legislation and enduring policies that will protect the oil bearing communities from the vagaries of oil exploration in order to forestall the likelihood of the occurrence of the Niger Delta scenario in Anambra State.

      Premium Times should at least have the decency to send James Eze, who shares the same name with me, to Anambra State for a proper investigation before producing his pathetic story. That is the only way to maintain your reputation in investigative journalism.

      Thank you
      James Eze
      SSA, Media to the governor

      • AlBsure23

        You are guilty of what you accused Premium Times.

        • stlords

          Don’t leave on propaganda, simple visit an confirm

      • stlords

        We’re happy with his work upon all the recession, workers are being paid , jobs are being created

  • maxist

    The reporter needs to visit the General Hospital Onitsha to see the renovation for himself. The renovation is incomplete. Yes, a helipad was built in a hospital where toilets do not have regular water supply. To get to the helipad you pass by uncompleted/abandoned wards and a thick bush that harbours snakes and dangerous animals.
    The state owned hospitals are understaffed no thanks to the low wage structure inherited from Mr Peter Obi , A consultant in Anambra service earns less than a house-officer in NAUTH Nnewi. For other categories of professionals the disparity is equally abysmal.
    Mr Obiano inherited a structure where hospitals retained some of their earnings to carry out basic functions. He canceled this and said hospitals should send all earnings to the coffers. No hospital has received money for running cost since June 2015. The hospitals are slowly crumbling.
    Only 4 out of 30 state owned general hospitals can admit patients. No thanks to understaffing and underfunding.

    The reporter needs to visit General Hospitals in Ogidi, Onitsha, Ekwulobia, Enugwu-Ukwu, Nawfia, Ossomala, Ifitedunu, Ukpo to see the rot for himself.

  • FrNinja

    A fair assessment. On campaigning as governor Obiano emphasized continuity. Unfortunately, the minute he got there the debilitating parochialism and sychophancy of official office threw him into confusion. For example, while agriculture is good, for a state with only 4,000 square kilometers of land and one where 70% live in urban areas the focus should be on industry to upgrade their livelihoods. Also the focus on limited oil reserves which started under Obi is another wild goose chase for a poor state. The focus should have been on gas-to-power to empower the large number of indigenous industries and attract more to the state.

    In seeking a second term, Obiano has to go back to fundamentals and re-adopt the smart development vision of the UN MDG framework with an emphasis on education, health, nutrition, access to clean water and housing. The state should partner with international agencies to augment its limited budget in these fields. The state should also continue its slow push to engage its wealthy diaspora to invest in the state to grow its industrial and services profile. Made in Anambra should be the battlecry.