By Chioma Ndife
An Industrialist and Founder of Modern Living Products Limited, Chief Martin Udeaja, has eulogised the former Governor of Anambra State and PDP’s Vice Presidential Candidate in the 2019 election, Mr Peter Obi, for his visible contributions to the small business sector of the state and beyond.
Udeaja, who marked his 80th birthday at last weekend with a Thanksgiving Mass at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Ozubulu, narrated how Obi, passionate about growing the small business sector, directly supported his furniture business and took him to greater heights.
He stated that his business success today was as a result of Obi’s support in yester years. In his words, ‘Barely one month into his tenure as the Governor of Anambra State, there was need for some repairs to be carried out at the Government House. Many who had access to the state corridors of power were already making arrangements for the needed products to be purchased from overseas. But Peter Obi, as the Governor, insisted that the products must be sourced locally.
‘One day he reached out to me to produce and supply furniture to the Government House. I did not pay any kobo to anyone, neither did I bribe my way through to get the contract. At first, I was even skeptical about the whole offer, judging by the insincerity with which Nigerian politicians are known. But eventually, I got the necessary funding and support that I needed to deliver and I did deliver, to everyone’s satisfaction. That was how I kept receiving many more contracts through him to the extent that our company is a big employer of labour today.
‘There are many other big brands today who can testify to how Obi supported them through to success. Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company is another great example. About 1000 vehicles distributed to schools in Anambra State, traditional rulers, community vigilante groups and many others under Peter Obi’s Administration which cost about N5 billion, were manufactured by Innoson as awarded by Obi.
‘Initially people were afraid of having a local manufacturer produce vehicles en masse for schools and traditional rulers. But today, Innoson has continued to wax stronger and continues to create thousands of job opportunities across the nation. I stand here today to appreciate a man who made all these possible – Mr Peter Obi.’
Udeaja noted that Obi not only supported small scale businesses, but went about preaching the need to do so, saying that it was a sure way of lifting people out of poverty. He prayed God to bless Obi and give him the platform to do more.
For his part, Obi prayed God to bless the octogenarian with good health of mind and body, and protect him always.