An Address Presented by the Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano to Commemorate Workers Day on May 1, 2017
Ndi Anambra ekenem unu.
I am delighted to celebrate this Workers’ Day with you for two reasons. The first reason is that for the first time in a long while, feelers from the relevant authorities indicate that Nigeria may be on her way out of recession. To me, that is something to be cheerful about. My second reason for being happy to celebrate this great day with you is because, in spite of the current recession, my administration has kept its promise to you workers and to Ndi Anambra in general in the past three years!
We have upheld the concept of ana alu olu, ana alu mmadu! We are the only administration that increased salaries for workers in Nigeria in 2015 when the economy began to relapse into recession. We have ensured that salaries and pensions are paid on time ever since then. We ensured that December salaries were not only paid before last Christmas but that you also went home with a token of goodwill from my administration as a Christmas gift. Umu nnem, okwanu eziokwu?
Thank you very much. Now, I wish to restate my earlier promise that I will increase your salaries once I see a significant growth in my Internally Generated Revenue (IGR); once we are able to push it to N2.3bn per month. So, all hands must be on deck to achieve this target and create new economic elbowroom for ourselves and our families.
Ndi Anambra, I must not fail at this juncture, to acknowledge the huge support that Anambra workers have given to me and my Team in the past three years. I have no doubt that the overwhelming support that my administration enjoys from the good people of this state is because you people have taken it upon yourselves to distil government policies down to the grassroots and ensure that we are adequately understood by the ordinary folks. In all sincerity, my Team and I would not have been able to achieve this without you. So, kuolunu onwe unu aka biko!
I must also commend you for coping with the harsh challenges caused by the current recession. I salute your resilience in the midst of a contracting economy. I admire your belief in the brightness of our dream as a people of uncommon courage. I assure you that your faith in my administration is not misplaced. I assure you that we are building a new state that we can all be proud of.
Ndi Anambra, I have always said that our dream is far too bright to be eclipsed by the dark clouds of economic recession. I have always believed that we know the true worth of a people when they are pushed against the wall. That is why in the midst of a pervasive economic slump, my administration had decided to respond with a comprehensive Economic Stimulus Package which has been largely praised as revolutionary and humane. That is also why in spite of the gloom and doom of recession, my Team and I decided to raise the bar in our approach to the welfare of the workers of Anambra State.
Umu nnem, I am happy to announce to you that before November this year, a total of 100 units of housing at the Civil Servant Estate in Isiagu would have been completed, allocated and ready to be occupied by their prospective owners. Yes. You heard me right. One hundred people among you will be proud owners of their own homes before November this year. That is my Special Workers’ Day gift to you. The Federal Mortgage Bank has approved the necessary funds and I assure you that this is one promise that is as good as kept already. They are the first batch of 1000 units of housing that we are building for civil servants and the members of the organized labour in Anambra State. My administration has already earmarked a total of 100 hectares of land in Isiagu for this estate. So, if you are not among the first set of beneficiaries, never mind. Your name might be in the next phase. Ndi be’anyi, okwanu ka osi di?
Indeed, it is a thing of pride that while the rest of the country is reeling from the shocks of recession, our dear Anambra State has attracted a major foreign direct investment valued at over $2bn US Dollars for the Anambra Airport City Project which I flagged off at Umueri recently. My brothers and sisters, this singular effort tells you that Willie is Working! Willie is Working! Say it again…Willie is…???. In fact, we are pushing the drive for foreign direct investment even harder now. That is why in the next one week or so, Agulu Lake Hotel Resort shall be taken over by the Golden Tulip Group, a world famous hotel chain with its head offices in the Netherlands. The hotel will be run in the finest traditions of world class hotels across the globe and it will help to bring the world to our doorsteps. Umu nnem, Willie is Working! Shall we say it again please?
Ndi Anambra, the Airport City Project and the arrival of Golden Tulip are clear indications that our future is brighter than our present. This is even more so when we remember that barely three years ago, some of our enterprising brothers and sisters did not consider our beloved state safe enough for investment. Now, we are attracting quality investors from different parts of the world to Anambra State. The combined impact of these two investments will lead to the creation of thousands of jobs, a big growth in IGR as well as serve as a major boost to the domestic economy at large. Ndi Anambra, more of our youths will find employment in these places. Very soon, our young graduates will no longer face the pressure of having to relocate to Lagos or Abuja before they can find a decent job. We would have created enough pools of excellence to absorb the human capital that our universities produce. So, Willie is …???
Ndi Anambra, the road is long and the journey may be rough, but we have taken a few steps of faith already. In fact, from where we stand at the moment, we can see an outline of greatness in the horizons! My Team and I need your support and prayers to guide Anambra State to the land of fulfilment!
In conclusion, a day like this usually calls for something special. So, I asked my Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Anali Chude who is also the Chairman, State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy to come up with a list of our brothers and sisters behind bars whose cases deserve the compassion of the state. He came up with a list of 13 people who in exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 212 of the Constitution, I hereby grant amnesty in keeping with the doctrine of the Prerogative of Mercy. They are – Mathias Umeozokwele, Livinus Ekwe, ijeoma Ike, Obinna Okonkwo, Esonwanne Henry Rotachi, Onyebuchi Okafor, Victor Ohatu, Onuegbu Makuachukwu, Chinemem Mmadueke, Victor Kalu, Jospeh Obi, Daniel Victor and Dagore Abuduulahi.
God bless Anambra State!
God bless Nigeria!
Governor, Anambra State