. . Calls for Preservation of Eco System
By Ray Udeagbala
The Managing Director of Leisure Parks and Streets Beautification Agency, Lady Ify Atogu, has described the award to an APGA governor, Willie Obiano of Anambra State, as a clear indication of how far the Agric Revolution conceived and introduced by the Obiano Administration has gone, as well as the effectiveness of the revolution in revamping the Agric Sector in Anambra State.
In a press release made available to the press, Atogu remarked that since the former Eastern Region under the late Dr. Michael Okpara, whose agricultural programme which involved plantations and farm settlements when agriculture was the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy, no real effort had been made to resuscitate the all important sector until Governor Obiano came on board with robust programmes and policies to bring it back on track.
According to Lady Atogu, Governor Obiano and his team saw the Agric potentials of Anambra State, worked together, took positive measures and made huge investments in the sector, knowing full well that much benefits would accrue from it.
She recalled the Governor’s Public Private Partnership, his administration’s establishment of business support agencies, like Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA) which attracts foreign and local investors, and the Anambra State Business Agency (ASBA) that grants repayable loans when necessary under agreement to set up mechanized farms and agro-allied industries, noting that the system had brought unprecedented innovation to the state’s agricultural production, turning the sector from subsistent to mechanized farming, employing many youths and producing high yields, as well as boosting the state’s agric value chain.
The Leisure Parks and Street Beautification Agency Chief Executive noted that it was this robust agric programme that made it possible for Anambra to export those products like vegetables and yams and earn scarce foreign exchange, ensure food security and boost employment.
She posited that it was this turn around in this sector and its great value chains that attracted the President’s Award to Obiano and described the honour as not for Anambra alone, but for the entire South East, as well as those Chief Executives who believed in hard work and prudent management of scarce resources.
While commending the Governor for bagging the award, Lady Atogu described it as a wakeup call to other State Chief Executives to borrow a leaf from Obiano, work hard in the agric sector to better tap the great agricultural potentials God bestowed on Nigeria, and export the products, rather than import them. She said the foreign exchange derivable from such exports was enormous.
‘This award is unique, phenomenal and truly national, as it came from the country’s number one citizen who believes in hard work and merit, and in the principles of equity, justice and fairness in all he does,’ Atogu stated, describing the honour as one that underscored the great role the governor’s purposeful and dynamic administration had played in impacting positively on the lives of Anambrarians.
Appraising the administration, she said its robust programmes, right focus and commitment to the security and welfare of Anambrarians brought the Governor glory.
‘Since this government came on board March 2014, Anambra State began to witness transformational leadership. The Obiano Administration has broken new grounds in governance, stimulating farmers to produce more food, introducing watertight, security network and boosting the education sector, as well as empowering the citizenry through its entrepreneurship programme, and ASBA which funds many business ventures,’ she said, describing the development as a new concept in administration.
She then enjoined Anambrarians to give maximum support to the government, which, she said, meant well for them, even as she pledged the unalloyed loyalty of the Management and staff of her agency to the Administration.
Meanwhile the United Nations declaration of June 10 every year as World’s Tree Planting Day has been described as a welcome development in view of the crucial role trees and flowers play to humanity.
Making the remark in her office in Awka while planting trees around the compound, Lady Ify Atogu said in addition to making offices, compounds and surroundings look greener and beautiful, ornamental trees and flowers generated pure, natural fresh air, checked erosion, gave shade and boosted tourism by attracting tourists, both local and foreign, as well served as wind brakes to homes.
She said it was in realization of the critical role trees and flowers played to human life that Obiano set up the Leisure Parks and Street Beautification Agency (LPSBA) to give Anambra State a beautiful look, adding that the beautification exercise of the agency was a continuous process that would reach to all nooks and crannies.
Lady Ify said Anambrarians would better understand the importance of the exercise when Obiano would lead some members of the executive and other top government officials to perform this year’s tree planting exercise.
She cautioned against indiscriminate felling of trees in order to protect and save the ecosystem.
The Leisure Parks and Street Beautification Agency’s Chief Executive commended Governor Obiano on his administration’s interest in the welfare and happiness of the citizenry, noting that in addition to providing facilities for youth entrepreneurship and workers’ capacity building, the governor took full cognizance of the need for recreational facilities for a healthy living.