By EMMA UJAH
Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has identified four pillars upon which he would prosecute his accelerated development agenda, namely: agriculture, special vocation centres, energy, as well as commerce.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja, he said that he was in a hurry to industrialise the state and would, therefore, not spare any step necessary to achieve his objective.
His words: “For us, industrialisation is key. It will feed directly from the other pillars such as agriculture, oil & gas and electric power, special vocational centres and commerce, upon which our state’s economy will be based. These areas will transform Anambra into an economic giant because it will engage the youths, reduce unemployment in the state and it will also help in solving permanently, the issue of insecurity.
“Among the economic enablers that we have identified, we are going to have immense security because if I can get security fully in my pocket, get electric power supply 24 hours in the industrial clusters, people will begin to believe in what we are saying. They will begin to come back to Anambra for investment purposes. So, we have started the process of checkmating kidnapping, armed robbery and other forms of criminality in Anambra State.
“In this regard, I have inaugurated the Joint Task Force consisting of the Police, the DSS, the Army, the Navy, NDLEA and some other groups. We also started a review of the existing Vigilante Trust that we have, with a view to revamping, retraining and re-equipping this security apparatus. I am on the ground running because I am in a hurry to get some of the things sorted out. That is the thrust, so that the people that are working with me will know where we are heading.”
Giving further details, the governor who has been in office for just 11 days said that oil and gas will play a critical role in the development agenda of the state’s economy, as according to him, his administration would create the enabling environment for investors to massively move into the state to develop its hydrocarbon resources. He said that both upstream and downstream activities in the oil and gas sector would receive attention with a view to significantly changing the economic status of his state.
“The only oil and gas company in Anambra – Orient which is almost 60 per cent completed will be supported by my administration in providing the necessary environment. In less than nine months and one year, I believe that the refinery will be set up. You understand the by-products of refining are many and all these things will attract petrochemical companies to the state and provide job opportunities for the youths in the state through which we will boost our revenue profile.”
On agriculture, the new governor said: “Anambra is blessed with almost 100 per cent arable land. Therefore, to show you what we want to do, if one football field of arable land has been cultivated in the history of Anambra, we will cultivate 100 football fields, just to show what we want to do in mechanized agriculture. “We also want to take advantage of the rain, so that we don’t miss this planting season. We are giving emphasis to mainly, cassava, maize and rice.”