Our reporters, Winifred Bosa, Kosi Chukwuagolum, Stella Obi, Chika Nnadozie, Maureen Ikpeama, Blessing Nnabuife, Chike Ifedi, Uchechi Okani and Juliet Nnoruka went into town to seek the views of Nigerian elites on 31 years of Anambra State. Excerpts:
Anambra, setting pace for others – Samson Olalere
WITH the development strides of the immediate past government, led by the former governor, Chief Willie Obiano, and the readiness of the current government to continue to build on the already solid foundations laid for higher strides in both infrastructural, sociopolitical and economic development, there is no doubt that at 31, Anambra State is sure setting the pace for other states in Nigeria to emulate.
With the world class international cargo and passenger airport (constructed without borrowing), Anambra State has opened up the land locked South Eastern States to business expansion.
The commercial advantages of Onitsha and the Nnewi industrial hubs will now be opened to maximum advantages. With the removal of the Lagos port constraints and the hazards of road transportation, Anambra State is set for greater strides in terms of both industrial, commercial and infrastructural development. In the next four -eight years, we will be seeing an Anambra State that is the envy of all other states put together. Olalere is a cleric in Ibadan
Anambra, pacesetter of Nigeria – Goddy Uwazuruike
ANAMBRA State is so noted for setting the standard in education, in business, in prudence in government, in personal drive an
d outreach. In terms of personal drive, we know Sir Louis Ojukwu, the first certified African millionaire. The first Governor General of Nigeria, the first Senate President, the father of African freedom remains Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe. The first graduate cadet trainee is Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu.The Chinua Achebes, the Cyprian Ekwensis, etc are all from Anambra. The first and respected motor assembly plant, the massive industrial plants and outreach companies are all here.
For this, I doff my hat. I’m particularly happy that Anambra State is the home state of Dr Chris Ngige and Peter Obi and today, has the eminently qualified Prof C. Soludo. Peter Obi remains the reference point for good governance in Africa. Today, many people are expecting many great things to come from Anambra. The number of well-wishers has increased in leaps and bounds.
Anambra @ 31 is a reason to celebrate the giant strides of the people and the government.
(Chief Goddy Uwazurikeis the President of Credibility Group and former President of Aka Ikenga)
Anambra has very good governors – Jude Emecheta
IF you can compare Anambra State with other states that were created alongside it, Anambra is doing well. We’ve been lucky to have very good governors who have been trying as much as possible to make Anambra to be the Light of the Nation. So we’ve done very well and we’ve been lucky also to have governors who come in, do their own thing, bringing Anambra State up. We’re lucky to havde Soludo now who’s bringing in a lot of changes in Anambra State, and i believe in him to transform Anambra the more.
If we see the vision of the current governor, I think in the next four years, there will be a different Anambra State and a livable and prosperous state because first of all is to have a background where you’re going to before you know where you’re going to. Chief Emecheta is former Managing Director, Anambra Signage and Advertisement Agency (ANSAA)
Anambra… doing well – Nnonyelu Okoye
AS a matter of fact, it was not until the inception of the government led by Dr. Chris Ngige, though short lived, that the state started to witness some level of infrastructural development, in terms of construction of good road network making the people of the state to start feeling the impact of good governance.
When the government of Mr. Peter Obi, his predecessor came on board and followed the footstep of Ngige, as a lot of roads and bridges were constructed. Attention was also paid to security in the state. Education and health development were not left out.
It was during his period that secondary school students who sat for their West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASCE) excelled, as Anambra came first in overall performance in WAEC examinations in Nigeria for about three consecutive years, by the assessment of the examination body. Peter Obi’s administration exhibited high level of humility in governance.
He saved a lot of funds for the state as he did not believe in extravagant or wasteful spending.
The administration of Chief Willie Obiano initially performed very well on security issues in the state in its first tenure but the security situation seriously deteriorated in the second tenure. The state of roads generally deteriorated as attention was not focused on maintenance of roads in the state. Obiano’s administration performed very well in the area of community infrastructural development, when he introduced the “#20million Choose Your Community Project” programme, as all the communities in the state benefited from the developmental initiative.
His government also paid serious attention to the payment of public servants salaries, pension/gratuity and that earned him the popular name “The Alert Governor.” Labour unrest was brought to the minimal level during the period. He went further to achieve a feat, by constructing an International Cargo/ Passengers Airport, which has placed the state on world transport map.
It is important to mention that no administration has given serious attention to the development of Awka Capital Territory, uplifting it to the status of a state capital. A lot of developmental needs including roads and provision of water and essential facilities are lacking in the state capital.
The newly incumbent administration of Prof. Charles Soludo, has made the people of Anambra State to have high hopes as he promised among others, to make the state another Dubai of Africa, in terms of business development. He also promised to end the security challenges which, though a national issue, has further deteriorated in the state. He assured the people of the state that the laudable programme “Choose Your Community Project” which the past administration introduced will be continued.
The governor has also promised to do away with the undue interference in the government of town unions, which no doubt, are partners in progress in the running of the state government, which in the previous administration witnessed frequent installation of caretaker committee at the slightest excuse.
On the whole, Anambra is doing considerably well in comparison with other states of the federation. However, much is desired to lift the state to an enviable position. (ComrNnonyeluOkoye, KSC, is the former President-General, Nawfia Community/2ND National Vice-President, Anambra State Association Of Town Unions (ASATU).