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

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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