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Anambra @30: Need to keep on growth path



IN AUGUST 2019, Anambra State won an award as the best Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs) in Nigeria. After the award, the federal government requested the state government to choose any project of choice to be equipped as the presidents’ support for entrepreneurs in the state. Anambra, through the Anambra Small Business Agency (ASBA) chose a digital leather/shoe manufacturing one-stop hub that will house equipment meant for the production of shoes by similar imported ones from Spain and Italy.

THREE days ago, Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, commissioned the Digital Leather Industrial Hub at Osile Village, Ogbunike, by Nkwelle Ezunaka Junction, in Oyi LGA of the state.

THE industrial complex also houses nine agencies that play critical roles in industrial sector of the country, such as the Bank of Industry, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Small and Medium Enterprise Agency (SMEDAN), Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Industrial Training Fund(ITF), National Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise Clinic and Anambra State Small Business Agency (ASBA).

SPEAKING at the occasion, Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State described the complex as a perfect interchange between dream and opportunity since anyone interested in entreprenuership can easily at the complex, seek quality advice from the NMSE, register the company at CAC, apply for funds from ASBA or Bank of Industry, register with SMEDAN and start on a sound footing.

ACCORDING to the governor,  the opening of the facility is very notable. “Today is a historic day in Anambra State. It is the day when the industrialisation pillar of my economic blueprint finally takes firm roots. And the good thing is; Anambra State has one of the most fertile soils for industrialisation. And that is a metaphor!” said the governor.

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  THE event established that even before today, August 30, 2021, that Anambra State is marking her 30 years anniversary, it has  been   a top investment destination and hub of indsutrialisation and commercial activities in Nigeria.  The state is also proudly  the most secure state with the most friendly environment which has been attracting both indigenes and non-indigenes seeking opportunities to create wealth.

  WHEN created  along with Abia, Adamawa, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Jigawa, Kebbi and Yobe States, by the then Nigeria’s military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, Anambra had no city to serve as a major urban  centre with insufficient network of trunk A and B roads. It is on record that apart from Enugu-Onitsha Express and Old Roads, Onitsha-Owerri Rd and the rickety Uga-Okigwe Road, there was not much  to fall back on as a road network in the new  state. Yet, expectations were high that the new state would hit the ground running because the people are well reputed for their entrepreneurial spirit.

  OF COURSE, like every new born, the state battled with a lot of teething problems including political turbulence of the highest order which at a time resulted to abduction of a sitting governor and destruction of public facilities, including the State House, among others.

  TODAY, Anambra is referred to as the state with the best network of roads in the country, even as it is gradually turning into a city-state with infrastructural development being witnessed in all parts of the state.

  WITH the construction of the Anambra Cargo and Passenger Airport at Umueri, International  Conference Centre, Awka City Stadium, among other outstanding projects and the numerous successes already recorded in such areas as education, national and international exams, competitions, agriculture, health, trade and commerce among others, it is clear that Anambra is far ahead other states including those created many decades before it.

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  AT THIS juncture, it is pertinent to note that the achievements so far recorded in the state wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions of leaders that governed the state among whom are Navy Captain Joseph Abulu, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Police Commissioner Dabo Aliyu, Col Mike Attah, Wing Cmdr Emmanuel Ukaegbu, Dr Chinwoke Mbadinuju, Dr Chris Ngige, Dame Virgy Etiaba, Chief  Peter Obi  and the incumbent Chief Willie Obiano.

  WHILE thanking them for their various contributions to Anambra’s growth, it is worthy of note that apart from the military men , the elected leaders of the state were people of notable professional records and personal achievements from Dr Ezeife to Chief Obiano. They were persons who rose to the peak of their careers, and  that no meaningful development was actually recorded during the military era.

  FOR avoidance of doubt, Ezeife was a former director in civil service, a Ph.D holder, university don and a scholar of repute. Mbadinuju was a PhD holder, a lawyer, seasoned journalist and media administrator. Ngige was a physician of repute and former director in the federal civil service. Obi was a successful businessman and chairman of the board of a frontline bank in the country while Governor Obiano was the executive director of a frontline bank and  a Central Bank auditor.

  WHAT this implies is that leadership recruitment equally helped Anambra to be where it is today and as the state  will have a gubernatorial election in this year of her 30th anniversary to usher in a new government to replace the incumbent Governor Obiano, this is a good time for ndi Anambra to choose whether to resist brigandage in politics that has resulted in churning out self-centred godfathers, politics of war and fury and  insanity in politics that has rocked the state at various times particularly before the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) took over the state’s leadership 16 years ago or not.

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  SINCE there is enough proof that sanity in governance has  visibly advanced Anambra, National Light calls for maintenance of sanity and other values that encourage free, fair and credible election in the forthcoming election and  enthrone a leader that will move Anambra higher for the interest of all amid peace and unity.

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