Chief Willie Maduabuchukwu Obiano was born 59 years ago to the family of late Philip Onuorah Obiano in the historical town of Aguleri in Anambra State. Young Willie showed great promise in his early education. He was particularly remarkable at the Christ the King’s College, CKC, Onitsha, where he won the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Prize for Essay writing in 1974 and subsequently made good grades that earned him a place in the University of Lagos where he studied Accountancy.
He was to bag his two university degrees from the same school graduating with a B.Sc(Second Class Upper Division) in 1979 and MBA in Marketing in 1993. Chief Obiano began his career on an auspicious note at First Bank of Nigeria, but he quickly moved to Texaco Nigeria Plc where he played an important role for years as the Chief Internal Auditor of the company. He eventually joined Fidelity Bank Plc where he brought his enormous capacity to bear on the growth aspirations of the bank, distinguishing himself in various divisions within the firm.
However, what endeared him to Vanguard editors were not his achievements in the banking industry or his plethora of awards but his dedicated service to the people of Anambra State.
As a governor, Chief Obiano has done remarkably well. His promise in his campaign mantra that Willie will work appears to have become a joyful reality to Ndi Anambra. First, he created what he tagged the Anambra brand collaterals comprising the state anthem, emblem, crest, flag and shared values. Today, these corporate manifestations have not only given Anambra State a new face in the comity of states but have also marked it out as truly the light of the nation.
More unique was his four point agenda of development anchored on mechanised agriculture, oil and gas, trade and commerce and industrialisation. These four pillars have received varying degrees of attention that has made the average Anambra indigene proud to identify with the state and its government.
The target of the Obiano administration in agriculture is to be among the top three agricultural states in Nigeria. With $2.6 billion investment in this sector, what can be described as an agric revolution is today taking place in the state.
Under Governor Obiano, Anambra State now exports Ugu and Onugbu vegetables even as it would soon join the league of states that will start exportation of rice.
The rehabilitation of existing markets, building ultra modern markets, shopping malls and the introduction of e-commerce platform have further elevated the competence of Ndi Anambra in the area of trade and commerce as well as placing the state among the top three states in trade and commerce.
With the efforts of the State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA), Anambra State has become investors’ destination. With billions of dollars attracted from over 25 investors in the past two and a half years, Anambra under Chief Willie Obiano is fast achieving its economic mission.
In fact, barley three months after the inception of his administration as the governor of Anambra State, Chief Obiano’s high achievements in office earned him the “People’s Choice Award” from ASA Worldwide, the umbrella body of all the indigenes of Anambra State in the Diaspora.
Key to all these achievements is the giant strides the state has made in the area of security. Anambra State today is unarguably one of the safest states in Nigeria. For a state previously wracked by violence, kidnapping and armed robbery, Obiano’s all out war against crime and criminality has been widely described as clinical and largely acclaimed even by the security agencies.
Governor Willie Obiano has also demonstrated specific actions and commitment in bringing other enablers of his administration to life. These include education, health, environment, transportation, youth entrepreneurship and sports development, women and children affairs, information and communication technology, development and promotion of tourism and most importantly, roads infrastructure. The three iconic flyovers in Awka have not only changed the landscape of the once glorified village into a modern city capital.
There is no doubt that Obiano had opened up a new vista and era that demonstrate a robust and dynamic leadership in Anambra state of Nigeria.
Sworn-in on March 17, 2014, as governor of the state, and an alumnus of Harvard and Stanford, Governor Obiano has been variously recognised for his giant strides in governance.
This is why he was voted as one of Vanguard’s Governor of The Year, 2016