Last Thursday, March 17, Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano, clocked two years in office. A retrospective appraisal of those two years shows that he has not done badly, given the economic realities of the day.
In two years, he has largely kept faith with his campaign promises to Anambra people. He has done this by not losing focus of his blueprint encapsulated in his four pillars of development. Those pillars are agriculture, oil and gas, industrialisation and trade and commerce.
He had also promised to continue with the projects of his predecessor while pursuing those four pillars. This, he captured in his continuation, completion, commissioning and commencing mantra.
Even though a lot needs to be done to fully realize those goals, we are satisfied with the efforts so far put in.
Infrastructurally, the Obiano administration has given the capital city of Awka the much needed facelift that is fast transforming it into a befitting capital.
This has been achieved by the three flyovers at Aroma Junction, Kwata Junction and Amawbia/Express Junction.
While addressing the traffic situation in those areas of the capital city, the flyovers have added to the aesthetics of that stretch of road.
The government has also been embarking on some rural roads in the Anambra North area of the state where the state's food basket is located.
In the area of security the Obiano-led administration has been able to purge the state of criminal elements such that the citizens enjoy peace to a large extent.
The government has equally been able to sustain the payment of workers' salaries. Although the payment of salaries is not an achievement per se, the fact that many states are owing salaries owing to the economic crunch makes the Anambra situation commendable.
But we will like to draw the state government’s attention to the trend whereby the salaries of some teachers are withheld even when they are not ghost workers. If this is a mistake, it should be quickly corrected; but if not, those behind it should be fished out for punishment.
It is this economic crunch that has made the state government to be unable to fulfil all its promises. Indeed, the government has always said it is being hampered by finances, hence its efforts towards generating more revenue by embarking on massive tax drive, a development that has drawn the ire of the paying public.
However, the state government can avoid this by looking more in the way of donor agencies to assist in the funding of its projects the way the past administration did. This way, the burden of the populace will be lessened and the government will also have some breathing space too.
Indeed, the importance of donor agencies can never be under-estimated, especially in this harsh economic climate. With their help, some of the projects started by the previous regime which the current government is finding difficult to continue with will be done and more new ones can be funded.
We however advise that the completion of ongoing projects should be made a priority before new ones are started so that the dreaded issue of abandoned projects will not materialize. Finishing ongoing projects first has the advantage of making it easier for government to plan new ones, as well as saving money for them.
Such important projects like the Agulu Lake Hotel Resort, Awka Shopping Mall (Shoprite), the Amansea/Amawbia stretch of the Enugu/Osha Express Way, as well as the Onitsha Shopping Mall, among others should be tackled as soon as possible as they are dear to the people.
The completion of these projects will no doubt contribute to the overall development of the state, as well as being a plus to the Obiano administration.
As our governor therefore marks his two years in office, we once more commend him on the journey so far and urge him to remain focused and refuse to be distracted by political jobbers.
It is what he does between now and the end of two additional years that will guarantee him a smooth ride to second term in office and not the amount of noise any praise singer may make.
We wish Gov Obiano more power to his elbows as he continues to steer the ship of the state to the desired destination.