Anambra’s Resources Are Managed Most Prudently

Anambra’s Resources Are Managed Most Prudently

Monday, December 17, 2018 2:30 pm

C. Don Adinuba


By C. Don Adinuba

One of the major lessons of the November 17, 2017, gubernatorial election in Anambra State is that Ndi Anambra cannot watch akimbo as a tiny group of self-serving politicians and their agents set out to wreck the state through the destruction of social harmony which has become the hallmark of the state in the last few years. Ndi Anambra cast protest votes against the social harmony wreckers by ensuring that they got well defeated in their respective constituencies, in some places in their wards and even polling booths. Governor Willie Obiano was thus returned by a wide margin in each of the 21 local government areas in the state, earning him the sobriquet of “21 Over 21 Governor”.

It is regrettable that despite the loud statement of Anambra voters on November 17, 2017, those who are against the prevailing social harmony in the state have returned to their discredited trajectory. For instance, they have been alleging in the social media—of course without any shred of evidence—that Anambra State donated a whopping three billion naira to President Muhammadu Buhari’s reelection campaign. They also allege that Anambra State within the same week gave General John Gbor, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) N500m plus nine brand new very expensive vehicles on December 6, 2018, the day APGA officially launched its 2019 general election campaign. How one person can be working so assiduously for two presidential candidates in the same election is known to only these incompetent blackmailers.

The section of the social media which published these fantastic allegations knew full well that the accusations are fourth rate fake news and still went ahead to turn itself into a vessel of disinformation, falsehood and hate should bear in mind that it has done tremendous violence to both its individual and professional reputations. The fact that it could publish such fabulous stories without bothering to speak to any official of the Anambra State government to get its side of the story—an elementary canon of both journalism and natural justice—betrays a profound commitment to filthy lucre, if not blood money because the purveyors of these falsehoods are purportedly from Anambra State.

Beyond the issues of ethics and morals, there is the question of whether the purveyors of the infantile lies and their collaborators in the social media sometimes wonder how the public would regard them for debasing themselves to an unimaginable level. Is it rational to believe that N4bn would leave the coffers of the Anambra State government within one week for a presidential election that is two months away and the people couldn’t feel it?

How much does Anambra receive monthly from both the federation account and internally generated revenue? Is it not well known that the state receives monthly one of the lowest allocations from the federation account throughout Nigeria?

We are proud that despite our limited financial resources, Anambra has become exemplary in rapid development. Governor Obiano has provided inspiring leadership, demonstrating at every point that he truly earned his qualifications as a professional auditor, a professional banker and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), to say nothing about his university training in accounting and management.

Anambra never went to the Federal Government for a bailout even when leading oil-producing states went twice. It did not receive because it had no need to do so. Anambra is the least indebted state in Nigeria, according to the Debt Management Office of the Federal Government. Anambra has the lowest poverty index of all states in Nigeria, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

At a time when a number of state governments are owing their workers for almost one year, neither workers nor pensioners are owed in Anambra State even for a day. In fact, they received their November salaries on November 24 and 25, that is, a week before the month ended. All workers received their 2018 leave allowances the same month, the only state with this record throughout the federation. Every worker in the state, however lowly his or her designation may be, has since received a bag of the famous Anambra Rice free of charge as a Christmas gift. All this has been possible because the state’s resources are managed most prudently.

There is no way Anambra State could have become a model in governance if its governor were a spendthrift. States like Kogi could not have been sending its delegations to Anambra to understudy its financial management. Nor could states like Ebonyi and Enugu have borrowed from it the highly innovative community development strategy of providing N20m infrastructure to each of the 179 communities in the state, though Ebonyi and Enugu are giving their communities only N10m each.

Things are really looking up in every facet in Anambra. The state has the best network of roads in Nigeria. It remains the safest state in Nigeria, a long leap from when it was the most security challenged only five years ago. Anambra’s education system is the best in the nation, as testified by our performance in each of the examinations conducted by the West African Examinations Council, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board as well as the National Examinations Council. Only last Wednesday, December 12, 2018, Anambra State defeated Benue State by four points to one to win the President’s Cup for School Debate among secondary schools in the country. Needless to add, Anambra records the least number of examination practices in the whole country. As is well known, it has become habitual for the state to represent Nigeria in major academic competitions. On Thursday, August 19, 2018, our students scored the bull’s eye when they won the Golden Prize in the 2018 World Technovation Competition in Silicon Valley, United States, beating challengers from far more technologically advanced countries like the United States and Turkey, among others.

To repeat the obvious, Anambra State has become synonymous with excellence in recent years because of its prudent economic management which has become well acknowledged. Politicians who were roundly defeated in the last election in the state as well as their agents should profit from history in their own interests and stop embarking on the same kind of black and dangerous propaganda which resulted in their being shellacked by Ndi Anambra just a year ago. Madness, according to Albert Einstein, is to keep on repeating the same mistake and expecting a different result.

To end, Anambra State has a well established reputation as the most peaceful and most cohesive state in the federation. This reputation has engendered massive investments in its economy. Ndi Anambra are happy. Our people will no longer tolerate elements without character who want to wreck the state for a mere mess of porridge from their paymasters.

• C. Don Adinuba, Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment, on Allegations of Financial Recklessness

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