The governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano has declared that his state has put the structure and processes in place that will make the process of investing in Anambra easy and friendly for prospective investors from America and other countries of the world.
Delivering an address titled “Waiting for America” on Monday at the signing of a bilateral agreement between Anambra State and the City of Orange in New Jersey, USA, Governor Obiano declared that Anambra was in her finest moment in history and is therefore seeking to build critical partnerships that would help it leapfrog to a more advanced society.
Outlining the obvious advantages the state has over rival investment destinations in Nigeria, Governor Obiano said “we have one of the highest literacy rates in the country, we offer access to the largest retail market in West Africa and we have the largest crop of experienced middlemen and suppliers with enough expertise to move goods across Africa. We also have easy access to industrial land which we have mapped out in our Land-Bank, we offer a speedy company registration and issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy in record time. And perhaps more importantly, we have been ranked as the most transparent and accountable state in Nigeria for having complied with International Public Sector Accounting System accounting standards.”
Insisting that what Anambra might not yet have in terms of cutting edge technology like the City of Orange, it has in human and material resources, governor Obiano cited that the state is blessed with crude oil, natural gas, bauxite, gypsum, lead, lignite, limestone, iron ore and salt among others has been consistently perceived as Nigeria’s safest state for over four years.
Declaring the readiness of the state to give priority attention to foreign investors, Obiano said “we are looking for partners that will help us exploit our natural resources. We have over 40 trillion standard cubic feet of gas that has not been touched yet. We need partners that will exploit these rich reserves of gas for our mutual benefits. We need partners for the establishment of modular refineries. We also need partners in the power generation, agriculture, agro-allied industries and in the establishment of Industrial Parks. Above all, we are looking for partners in Education, Healthcare Delivery, Mass Transit and in Leisure and Tourism.”
Declaring that his administration had fulfilled its promise to Ndi Anambra in less than five years, he said “five years down the road, I am proud to say that we have walked our talk. We have made Anambra Nigeria’s most peaceful and business-friendly environment and we have attracted a considerable volume of investments over the past five years. We have invested heavily in education and as a result, a group of five school girls from Anambra State shocked the world in August last year when they defeated the United States, China, Spain, Turkey and Uzbekistan to win the Gold Medal at the World Technovation Challenge held at the Silicon Valley, here in the USA. Following the footsteps of our Golden Girls, four boys from St John’s Science and Technical College School, Alor also won the Bronze Medal at the World Festival of Engineering, Science and Technology in Tunisia in March this year. All these give us hope to believe that our future will be brighter than our present.”
Earlier in his welcome address the Mayor of the City of Orange, Mr Dwayne D Warren explained that the bilateral ties between the City of Orange and Anambra State would help both parties “exchange ideas about what the two entities could do culturally, economically, technologically to make their states a little bit better; from youths all the way through to the environment, to exchange how we can come together and collaborate. “
Said he “So today we hear about how we dreams of a global world that has become smaller because we understand that we share some of the same problems, we know that some resources may be imbalanced but it is our desire and our work at this time to try to balance those resources so that people from Anambra State can benefit from every technology and gadgets that we may have here in the city of Orange Township”
Speaking further, Mayor Warren said “we want to cultivate a relationship that will benefit our societies, our children and our families. The city of Orange is happy to build relationships with countries abroad and Anambra State came forward and showed interest in trying to exchange cultural ideas. It became something that we had to do to advance the course of good governance and to advance the course of good society.”
The ceremony came to a close after Mayor Warren had read out a special proclamation outlining the willingness of the City of Orange Township to go into a bilateral agreement with the Government of Anambra State.
The Proclamation was signed by Dwayne D Warren the Mayor on behalf of the City of Orange Township and by His Excellency, Governor Willie Obiano, on behalf of Anambra State.
The Anambra State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr Mrs Uju Nworgu was on hand to study the proclamation and give the all-clear signal before the governor appended his signature to the proclamation.
On the Governor’s entourage were Chief Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano, wife of the governor, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr Mrs Uju Nworgu, the Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon Uche Okafor, the MD/CEO of Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA), Mr Jide Ikeakor, the Special Adviser on Budget and Economic Planning, Chief Melie Onyejepu, the National Chairman of APGA, Ozonkpu Victor Oye and the Majority Leader of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Pharmacist Obinna Okafor.
By James Eze