Willie Obiano’s Account of Stewardship in the past three years.

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This is essentially made up of excerpts from his special Broadcast to Ndi Anambra on March 17 to commemorate his 3rd Anniversary. This method of presentation offers the advantage of following the narrative directly from the broadcast script.

The excerpt below situates the account of stewardship within the framework of his Economic Blueprint for ease of understanding.

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“Umu nnem, I am often happy to hear people talk about this administration as if we have been in office for more than three years. It re-affirms my belief that our programmes have not only had an impact, but they have also been well received by the people. Dalunu!
Looking back to when we started this journey, I declared that our Vision was to make our dear state a 1st Choice Investment Destination and hub for industrialization and commercial activities. I also announced that our Mission was to make Anambra State a socially stable, business-friendly environment that would attract both indigenes and foreigners to seek wealth creating opportunities.
Ndi Anambra, I am immensely happy to note that our Vision and Mission Statements are almost fulfilled because in less than three years, we have attracted 40 investors with a collective investment inflow of $5.5bn US Dollars into Anambra State.

These investments confirm to me that our dream belongs to the people and they have taken total ownership of it! They also re-confirm to me that this administration is on the right track!

Ndi Anambra we have also done well in all the key indices of performance. A look at my Economic Blueprint known as the Four Pillars of Development and its twelve Enablers confirms this. Now, I will start with

AGRICULTURE –
Agriculture is the number one Pillar of my Blueprint. Our Mission in Agriculture is to become a Top-3 state in Agricultural production in Nigeria. I am delighted to announce that we have placed Anambra on the Agricultural map of Africa within a short period of 3 years. So far, we have attracted investments valued at $1.2bn US dollars into the Agricultural sector alone. Thankfully, our decision to place Agriculture as a top priority has yielded great results. Slowly but steadily, my campaign promise of jobs! Jobs!! Jobs!!! is becoming fulfilled. In the past three years, the Agricultural sector alone has given us 725 direct jobs and 5200 indirect jobs. The big investors in the Agricultural Sector are Coscharis Farms Anaku, JOSAN Integrated Rice Farm and Mills Ufuma, Lynden Integrated Farms, Igbariam and Delfarm/Songhai Farms, Igbariam.

It is important to note that when we took over the leadership of this great state, Anambra was producing only 80,000 metric tonnes of rice per annum. Today, we produce an impressive 240,000 metric tonnes of rice. JOSAN Integrated Rice Farm and Mills has a capacity to produce 90,000,00 metric tonnes of rice. With the inauguration of JOSAN Farms last week, Anambra now has the capacity to produce over and above the 320,000 metric tonnes of rice that the state consumes per annum. It is instructive to note that we have surpassed our rice target in three years and at a time of economic hardship. JOSAN Rice Farms and Mills is the largest integrated rice farm in South Eastern Nigeria with a capacity to engage in 3-season planting cycle in a year. At the moment, Coscharis Farms in Anaku conducts two-season planting but arrangements have been perfected to ensure that Coscharis makes a smooth transition to 3-season planting in December 2016.

Indeed, what gives me immense joy is the fact that all the equipment installed at the JOSAN Integrated Rice Farm and Mills were all made in Ufuma. That is a brilliant use of local talent and resources. Another brilliant idea of this kind is the synergy between Delfarms and SABMiller Breweries. An agreement has been reached for Delfarms to supply SABMiller the sorghum it needs to power its 2.7 hectolitres capacity brewery. This will lead to more jobs in Delfarms which will obviously need more hands to produce the quantity of sorghum needed to feed the brewery. Again, we see jobs! jobs!! jobs!!! Again, a promise fulfilled!

Indeed, our achievements in Agriculture have made international headlines. We first announced our presence on the continent with Anambra Rice which won the Best Rice Brand in Africa at an Agricultural fair in Lagos, two years ago. We also opened a historic window to Europe when we exported the first consignment of vegetables from Onono, Ogbaru and Oraukwu to the United Kingdom a little over a year ago. At the moment, we have opened yet another window for the export of 5 million tubers yam to the US in June this year. On the policy and technical end, we set up a committee of renowned agronomists that produced a blueprint that serves as a guide to agricultural investments in Anambra State and a committee on land acquisition that has negotiated out a land-bank of about 67,000 hectares for agricultural and industrial businesses. We have since organised our farmers into 2000 cooperatives and established an Electronic Control-room from where we can monitor all our 97,487 farmers scattered across the state from the Ministry of Agriculture here in Awka.

Ndi Anambra, I felt fulfilled when the federal Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe and the Governor of the Central Bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele visited our dear state last year to see a mechanized rice farm in full operation at the Coscharis Farms in Anaku. Once again, that visit has re-confirmed that our choice of Agriculture as one of the pillars of our economic agenda is wise!”

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