The Anambra State Government under Governor Willie Obiano’s leadership is a model of how the private sector and the government can work in close collaboration for the good of all, according to a new entrepreneur, Mr Emeka Obinwugo.
In a letter sent to Governor Obiano, the chief executive of Obinwugo Farms Ltd, Mr Emeka Obinwugo, lauded Obiano for ‘consistently going out of his way to lend incredible support to private sector operators, especially new entrepreneurs, for the good of all in our society.’
Mr Obinwugo, an indigene of Umuoji in Idemmili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, said he gave up his law pursuit to set up a foods company in Nnewi in response to Gov Obiano’s campaign for Anambra people to invest at home, particularly in agricultural and industrial development known as the Think Home policy.
The entrepreneur said he was happy to heed the call which had enabled him to produce the first two tea brands in the Southeast Geopolitical Zone.
‘The governor provided us the seed money with which we began our enterprise through the Anambra State Small Business Agency (ASBA), and the result is the now famous Anambra Tea which is sold in the market as Ijele Hibiscus Tea and Ijele Lemon Tea,’ Mr Obinwugo revealed in the letter.
‘Just last week when we ran to the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C. Don Adinuba, to seek assistance to get our tea brands to some international retail chains in Nigeria, Chief Obiano immediately directed the commissioner to ensure that the brands, already approved by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), were available in top shops in Lagos and beyond.
‘Less than a week, the general manager of Shoprite in Nigeria, Mr Carl Erikson, informed the Anambra State Government that the teas would be sold and distributed nationwide by his firm because of the high quality.
‘It is noteworthy that the state government bore entirely the cost of marketing our products and others from the private sector in the state.
Yet, the governor does not know any of us personally. What matters to him is that we have products which exceed national standards,’ Mr Obinwugo stated, urging other state governments to borrow a leaf from Anambra State to promote public private partnerships.
Meanwhile, Governor Obiano has directed the Ministry of Information and Public Enlightenment, as well as the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Wealth Creation, and the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA), to quickly devise a strategy to export Anambra Tea to the West African Sub-Region and to Europe, North America and even Asia.
The governor argued that if Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese teas could effectively penetrate world markets, including Anambra State, there was no earthly reason why teas from Anambra State produced from hibiscus flower and lemon fruit, which, he noted, had no additives or preservatives, could not be consumed in large quantities everywhere across the globe.
‘You are, therefore, required to start working with Dr Foster Ihejiofor, the chief executive of Grafil Nigeria Ltd, who has been doing a good job of exporting Anambra’s pumpkin vegetable, bitter leaf, yam and ogili seasoning, to include Anambra Tea in his list of exports to Europe and North America,’ Obiano directed.