By James Eze ([email protected])
Following the efficient security network that Anambra State has enjoyed in the past three and half years under Governor Willie Obiano, the hospitality and leisure industry has recorded a sharp rise of about 70%, leading to an encouraging growth in the Internally Generated Revenue of the state and creation of more jobs for the youths.
This was revealed by Obiano in his address to mark the recent flag off of his re-election campaign which witnessed an unprecedented crowd in Awka, the state capital.
According to him, the clockwork efficiency of the loyal security officials in the state has impacted on the socio-cultural environment and created a conducive environment for investors in the hospitality and leisure industry to move in.
He said: “The progress we have recorded in security has led to a sharp rise in Internally Generated Revenue as businesses thrive better when everyone feels safe, we have become the preferred destination for investments, there is an increase in Public Private Partnerships and finally, there is an increase in hotel and tourism business of about 70%, leading to the creation of jobs and more jobs!”
The governor recalled that when he took over the state, Anambra had no landmark infrastructure and no clear-cut strategic vision for the future. “And perhaps more importantly, we met a state that was heavily traumatized by violent armed robbery, kidnapping, child-trafficking and endless cases of drug-related crimes. This crime-ridden scenario discouraged investments and successfully cut off the state from the grid of modern development.”
He said that he inherited a state with an average ambition but that through strategic re-focusing and a commitment to excellence, he had repositioned Anambra among Nigeria’s leading states today!
According to him, long before he assumed office as governor, it had dawned on him that without a tight hold on security, his vision for the state would be dead on arrival.
“Experience has shown that peace is the first condition for human progress. I have also learned that security is the key to a brighter future for Anambra State.
This is the reason why I made security the bedrock of my administration.” Obiano further pointed out that his first major event as governor was to organise a landmark security summit which was facilitated by Moshe Keinen, a renowned Israeli security expert.
“This summit gave us a clear blueprint on security. We implemented the blueprint immediately; setting up Operation Kpochapu, a joint task force that is made up of the police, the army, the navy and the NDLEA. We donated over 200 patrol vans and 25 American-style smart cars to the police. We also erected security tents on locations that used to be flashpoints for violent crimes, donated a gunboat to the Navy to protect our waterways and we launch occasional surveillance helicopter patrols into our skies. With this arrangement, we succeeded in erecting a clockwork 360 degrees security architecture that ensures the safety our beloved state in the skies, in the waters and on the land.”
Obiano recalled that he even took his campaign for security beyond the state and made it a regional agenda when he convened the first ever ‘Regional Security Summit’ for the five South Eastern states and Delta State.
“Today, Anambra has been widely acknowledged as the safest state in Nigeria. Our state is no more listed as a no-go area on the travel advisory of many embassies, he explained
“Our achievements in Security have been widely applauded by the US, the UK and Germany through their envoys. And I have been personally commended by two Nigerian Presidents – Jonathan and Buhari for leading Anambra out of its former security nightmare,” he added.