by Oge Okonkwo
The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate for the November 16, 2013 gubernatorial election in Anambra, Willie Obiano has unveiled his Blueprint for rapid advancement of Anambra State, aptly called 10-Pillars of Development.
Presenting the document in a brief ceremony with the media in Awka at the weekend, Obiano explained that he felt sufficiently motivated to offer his years of experience in managing human and natural resources for the service of his people by the sterling achievements of the APGA leadership in the state under Governor Peter Obi.
“In the words of Benjamin Disraeli, a former British Prime Minister, ‘the legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.’ After seeing the great work done by my brother, Governor Peter Obi, I realized that unless people like me with sound educational background and years of experience in managing human and natural resources step up to serve, Governor Obi’s great example and legacy will die an abrupt death,” Obiano averred.
Pointing out that only a competent technocrat with a deep knowledge of the intricacies of modern management and a vast external exposure and contacts with donor agencies can sustain Anambra’s present development model, Chief Obiano argued that politics was too serious to be left in the hands of people who are ill-prepared for purposeful leadership.
“I am passionate, committed and driven by a profound desire to serve Ndi Anambra to my utmost ability. My Blueprint which I call the 10-Pillars of Development is a comprehensive master-plan that draws heavily from the current achievements of the party in the state to expand the scope of our development,” he explained while pointing out that a precursor to his Blueprint is the 4Cs paradigm which emphasizes the need to continue the projects of the current administration, complete them, commission them and commence a fresh set of programmes and initiatives that will uplift the state.
The gubernatorial candidate also revealed that at the heart of his blueprint is The Wheel, which revolves around four major areas that will attract the most attention when he assumes office. These areas include industrialization, trade and commerce, agriculture and oil & gas.
“All these are firmly rooted in my vision and mission statements. My Vision is for Anambra State to become the first Choice Investment Destination and a hub for industrialization and commercial activities while My Mission is to create a socially stable, business friendly environment that will attract both indigenes and foreigners to seek wealth creating opportunities in Anambra State,” Obiano further explained.
Casting a beam of light on what he referred to as “the enablers” the renowned technocrat explained that being a headmaster’s son, Education comes naturally to him as a major priority area. “, I will construct the phase 2 of over 1,500 classroom blocks for primary schools including on-going rehabilitation works in schools and deploy more Microsoft Academies. I will also sustain existing relationship with the church to strengthen and return morality to our schools. I will remunerate and attract the best teaching hands and entrench basic ICT training into all programmes at all levels and curricula,” the APGA candidate explained.
Obiano further explained that in the area of health, he would set up free health care policy for children under the age of 10 and underprivileged pregnant women and the elderly above 60 and develop state of the art medical parks to provide a full spectrum of quality specialist medical diagnostic services. “I will set up 3 new general hospitals and 2 specialist hospitals. In addition, I will build 3 maternal and health care centres. Collaborate with donor and international agencies for competency training for health workers,” he said.
In the area of Infrastructure, he assured that he would continue the on-going expansion of the Awka Capital City project and build 2 modern cities to decongest highly populated parts of the state. He also assured of making concerted efforts to ensure that the federal government would expedite action on the building of the second Niger Bridge.
For commerce and industry, Obiano plans to set up Entrepreneurial Schools to train the businessmen and women in the state on current global best practices in business. In Agriculture, the guber candidate assured that he would improve and upgrade the Root Crop Research Centre in Igbariam into a full-fledged institution similar to the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan and mobilize and incentivise foreign and domestic experts to get more actively involved in agricultural production in the state.
In Housing and Urban Development, “I will pursue an aggressive implementation of the master-plan for Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi that has been laid down by the Obi administration and go into a PPP arrangement with reputable developers to build new settlements of 10,000 housing units annually in order to decongest highly populated regions of the state,” he declared.
In Security and Social Welfare, Obiano assured that he would introduce a capacity building programme to re-equip the Community Vigilante Groups to assist the Police in keeping Anambra free of crimes while evolving schemes that would jump-start tourism in the state through public private partnership initiatives.
For Civil Servants in the state, Obiano said he would “revise the compensation and welfare packages of civil servants in the state to ensure optimal service delivery, greater productivity and a better life for our people. In addition, we shall introduce a structured and transparent recruitment process and commence annual retreats for all civil servants (level 15 and up) to evaluate performance and enhance improvement.”