ANAMBRA State governor, Chief Willie Obiano, has said that governance is not rocket science, declaring that he knew the height he wanted to take the state to before he was elected in 2014 as the state’s helmsman.
Obiano said this on Wednesday night shortly after he was honoured with the New Telegraph Award for Outstanding Governor of the Year 2016 in Lagos, maintaining that he was not an accidental governor.
This was just as the former Minister of Finance, Kalu Idika Kalu, who was chairman of the occasion, said that Obiano, had, since he came into office, exhibited serious commitment to the development of infrastructure, agricultural production based on the state’s rich endowment for grains and other staples.
Obiano, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Nkem Okeke, at the event, said that he came to power with an idea of what he wanted to do, contending that a good leader must be transparent, accountable, sit down and analyse the state he wanted to govern in terms of its comparative advantage.
“Being a leader is not rocket science, but simple commitment; commitment to do what is right. The governor is committed and dedicated to the development and progress of the state.
“The resources for him to work are not there. When we came on board, the internally generated revenue (IGR) of the state was about N500 million, we have raised it to N1.2 billion and we are working towards raising it to the level of N2.2 billion monthly.
“I thank the management and the Board of Directors of New Telegraph for the Award of an Outstanding Performance and I believe that it will spur him to do more for the state,” the deputy governor said.
“We have four or eight years to leave a legacy, but Governor Obiano has left a legacy in three years in office and I believe he will make Anambra a better state by the time he finishes his first term and, maybe, God willing, he will do a second term,” he added.
The former minister, Kalu, while lauding Obiano for his stride since he came into office, urged him to get the attention of his colleagues in the South-East states and press further for closer political association between governors and the people of the entire region.
“Governor Obiano should strive even further to get the attention of his colleagues within the South-East to work even closer together within development policy areas and in providing infrastructure cost effectively beyond their respective borders to the entire states linking South-East and South-South to other contiguous zones for development of the entire South and Middle Belt regions of Nigeria and in extending linkages to the northern zones of the nation.
“I also use this opportunity to call for a more conscious and active involvement of the people of the South-East and South-South in the major parties of the nation as a conscious and deliberate prelude towards the evolution as a modern viable two alternative party structure that will serve the purpose of strengthening peace and stability of the Nigerian political space,” the former minister said.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of New Telegraph, Alhaji Idi Farouk, in his remark, commended Obiano for his investment in the youth and for fighting crimes and insecurity in the state.
He said the choice of Governor Obiano for the award was not an accident, pointing out that the decision was aimed at rewarding excellence in service, particularly at a time when service to humanity was rare to come by among the nation’s leaders.
Also speaking, the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the New Telegraph newspaper, Mrs Funke Egbemode, said the choice of the governor was a product of intensive debate among members of the company’s board and management, adding that the decision was never taken on the spur of the moment.
She said the newspaper was impressed by the efforts of the governor to rewrite the history of the state, especially in the areas of security, infrastructure and business innovations.
According to her, unlike other states where governors are considering hiking taxes and just mulling diversification, Governor Obiano has approved rebate on taxes to small businesses and artisans, while export of vegetables has commenced in earnest.