14 October 2018

Herdsmen and Farmers: Realities, Response and Resolution of a National Dilemma by Gov Willie Obiano.

Herdsmen and Farmers: Realities, Response and Resolution of a National Dilemma

A Lecture Delivered by the Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano at Double Tree by Hilton, Boston, Massachusetts, USA to mark Nigeria’s 58th Independent Anniversary.

It is a great honour to stand before you today to deliver a Lecture on Nigeria’s 58th Independent Anniversary. I had looked forward to this moment just as I had looked forward to the month of October in particular. Every October, I celebrate two of the most important women in my life… my wife and my country. Yes, my beloved wife, Ebelechukwu, marked her birthday last Sunday. So, you can see how important October is to me.

Ladies and gentlemen, I sincerely do not know where the idea of looking at a country as a woman came from but there is probably no better way to look at Nigeria than to see her as a beautiful woman…very lovely and glamorous, but full of shakara.  A beautiful woman needs care and tenderness to remain fresh and glamorous. Nigeria needs care and tenderness to reward our hopes and fulfil our dreams. Nigeria needs us now more than we need Nigeria. And we must not let her down!

Engaging Nigeria
Indeed, it is difficult to think of Nigeria without thinking of her enormous gifts and endowments; or her many unfulfilled promises. With an estimated population of almost 200 million people and a land area of 923,768 square kilometres, Nigeria is potentially a big country. But sitting on the 157th position in the global Human Development Index in 2017, it is obvious that Nigeria has not kept the promise of a huge material wealth to her population. It is not for want of effort on her part though but a challenge of sustainability.

To illustrate this point, as at 2015, Nigeria was rated as the 20th largest economy in the world with a nominal GDP in excess of $500 billion. A year earlier, it had overtaken South Africa to become Africa’s largest economy. Consequently, the World Bank rated it an Emerging Market and Nigeria became a Regional Power on the continent, a Middle Power in International Affairs and an Emerging Global Power. Yes, Nigeria has shown tremendous promise.  So, I have no doubt that Nigeria can and shall attain greatness. It is just a matter of time!

Ladies and gentlemen, this is not an empty rhetoric. Nor is it a statement driven by excited optimism. If history is any guide to memory and knowledge, then we may remember that the area known today as Nigeria covers a wide expanse of geography that once brimmed with outstanding human achievements. Long before much of the world knew anything about civilization, the area that covers Kaduna and Plateau States gave the world the Nok Culture which dates from between 1000 BC to 500 BC. It documents a movement in civilization that covers the Neolithic or Stone Age and the beginning of the Iron Age. It drops hints about what might be the oldest organized human society with current research suggesting that the Nok Culture may have predated the founding of Rome by about 500 years. In contemporary history, the ancient Eri Kingdom in my own Anambra State, the glorious Benin Kingdom, the Yoruba Kingdoms, Kanem Bornu Empire and the great Hausa city states are a sparkling confirmation that greatness is neither strange nor new to modern Nigeria. And if our ancestors did it, then we too can do it. The key is in our own hands!

Introducing the Dilemma
Nigeria is a fascinating study in human tribulations and resilience. But that is not an extraordinary story. Every progressive society known to man has its own stories of socio-political turbulence, mutual suspicions, bitter rivalries, armed conflict or full blown war.

Essentially, since the end of the Biafran War, Nigeria has had many dangerous disagreements, violent eruptions, wild protests and other symptoms of a society in transition. But none of these past experiences is as menacing and wide-spread as the recent clashes between farmers and cattle herders. Even at their most violent peak, the exploits of the dreaded terror group, Boko Haram, were restricted mostly to the North East region of Nigeria. But the violent clashes between the herdsmen and farmers present a different test of willpower. What many Nigerians would like to understand is why everyday people who have lived together for ages would suddenly become each other’s dread. Why the farmer who is bound to his ancestral farmland by sweat and blood should run for his dear life when he hears a rustle in the tree. Why the herdsman who had walked the open fields of Nigeria with his dropping straw hat and a harmless stick across his shoulders should suddenly become a source of fear and anxiety. And finally, why after 58 years of living together as a country, we have allowed this mild irritation to develop into a national nightmare?

Ladies and gentlemen, once in every while, I ask myself hard questions and I think you should do same too. I ask myself if all that history had taught us about our ancestors were a heap of lies. Are we the true heirs to the Nok Culture, the great Eri Kingdom, the Kanem Bornu Empire, the Benin Empire, the Ife and Oyo Empires or even the more recent Opobo Kingdom where King Jaja taught the British a few lessons in trade and statecraft? Are we the true inheritors of all those great civilizations that our ancestors wrought with their own hands? Are we the great grandchildren of those great men and women who created those magnificent kingdoms and ran them with unbelievable efficiency? If we are, how can we not manage a mild headache like an argument between a farmer and a cattle herder? Again, I ask HOW?

Why the Stakes are High
Nigeria is the 12th largest producer of petrol in the world, the 8th largest exporter and the 10th largest confirmed reserves of crude oil but what keeps Nigeria going is Agriculture. That is why I made Agriculture the number one pillar of my Economic Blueprint. All statistical and geographical facts point us in the direction of Agriculture and that is why the stakes are sincerely high. It may be important to know at this juncture that in agricultural terms, Nigeria has 91 million hectares of land. 84 million of these hectares are arable. But only 40% of our arable land has been cultivated. Nigeria also has 230 billion cubic meters of water and has abundant rainfall in over two thirds of her territory. These facts make Agriculture the natural route to greatness for Nigeria. Our founding fathers knew this and designed all their economic plans with it in mind. That was what led to the groundnuts pyramids and made Nigeria the largest producer of palm oil and the second largest exporter of cocoa at the dawn of independence in 1960. And this is why the stakes are high!

Indeed, the stakes are high because the National Bureau of Statistics estimates that 25% of Nigeria’s GDP comes from Agriculture while 70% of Nigerians are employed in the Agricultural sector. At the same time, recent studies indicate that Crop Production accounts for 93.45% of overall nominal growth in the agriculture sector.  In the light of this therefore, a disruption of the natural balance that has kept things together is bound to throw large populations out of employment, create avoidable food scarcity and lead to a painful loss of revenue. A clear demonstration of what could happen when a disruption occurs in the food supply chain could be seen from the acute shortage of tomatoes that hit Nigeria in the early part of 2017. The scarcity was so severe that tomatoes became an instant metaphor for Nigeria’s national grief.

On the other hand, Nigeria is home to about 22m cattle. The other day, the Minister of Agriculture was quoted as saying that Nigeria consumes about 90,000 of this figure per day. Lagos alone consumes 6000 cattle per day. At N150,000 per head, the cow business stands at about N3.4 trillion or $16.2 billion today. This is a huge amount of money. The cow business is a big business. And that is also why the stakes are so high!

The Sources of Trouble
One of the most recurrent causes of conflict between the cattle herders and farmers is cattle-rustling. Herders often point fingers at farmers for their missing cattle which they consider a serious loss of revenue. There is also the usually unspoken emotional attachment that the herders have to their cows which outsiders to the cow business do not easily understand. They rightly or wrongly believe that herders exact revenge in blood for missing cows because of this strange attachment. Another point of conflict that is regularly cited is that cattle herders graze their livestock on the crops of farmers, ruining a whole season of work and throwing families into avoidable hunger. In some instances too, herders brazenly graze on large industrial farms thereby destroying huge investments. Not quite long ago, it took all the political will of the government of Anambra State to move cattle herders away from the famous Coscharis Rice Farm in Anambra State which is valued at over $200 million dollars. We can all imagine what would have happened if we had not intervened. There are so many other reasons offered for these bloody conflicts. But what no one has been able to tell us is the reason why they seem to have risen just when the flames of Boko Haram began to die down.

Gauging the National Rhetoric
Anyone who has followed the farmers and herdsmen conflict will recall that when it started, many people did not know what to make of it. It began slowly like a typical quarrel between unfriendly neighbours and quickly grew in dimension and scale into a national tragedy. And when conversations eventually began about it, views were polarized along ethnic and religious lines. While that should be expected, our diversity should be our strength and not our weakness. However, the dominant views that emerged from the deluge of commentaries and opinions are quite fascinating. There have been strong moves for the establishment of Cattle Colonies. There has also been an effort to introduce a National Grazing Reserve Bill. Interestingly, neither the establishment of cattle colonies nor the National Grazing Reserve Bill has gained the acceptance of the Nigerian people.  On the contrary, many Nigerians prefer that rather than roam freely in the wild, cattle should be properly ranched as is the case in most countries in the world. They argue that since cattle-herding is a private business, it should not be allowed to evolve into a public headache!

Introducing Anambra State
For purposes of enlightenment only; not as a prescription of what should be the standard response to this national dilemma, I would like to share the Anambra story here. I avoid prescriptions because prescriptions are usually subjective and easily misunderstood. Now, Anambra presents a very interesting scenario. Anambra is blessed with natural gas, crude oil, bauxite, kaolin, salt, gypsum, lead, lignite, limestone and iron ore among others. We have the largest retail market in West Africa. With an economy of N3.8 trillion, Anambra has the lowest poverty rate in Nigeria with $1,615 per capita. And if Anambra were an independent country, our GDP would be 17th in Africa. We have great tourism potentials with the Ogbaukwu Caves and Waterfalls in Owerre-Ezukala and Ogbunike Cave in Ogbunike. Anambra is the 10th most populous state in Nigeria with a population density of 860 per square kilometer. And in the past four years, we have been Nigeria’s safest state. With only 4,844 square kilometres of land, Anambra is Nigeria’s second smallest state. It is just slightly bigger than Lagos. But while Lagos has expanded into the sea with the Eko Atlantic City Project, Anambra has lost a sizeable chunk of her precious land to over 950 gully erosion sites. Anambra has 100% arable land. Land is not something we have in abundance in Anambra, and with the growing reports of violent clashes between farmers and herdsmen over land, my administration needed to think its way out of the danger that loomed over Anambra.

 Solving a National Dilemma
In Anambra State, we like to look at the big picture. We realize that diversity is life and that if God wanted a homogeneous world, He would have made everyone look the same. Being the birthplace of the Igbo, our worldview is broad. We believe in the ancient Igbo saying that the world is like a dancing masquerade; you cannot appreciate its full splendour if you choose to watch it from the same spot. This philosophy is at the heart of our people’s wanderlust and drive for success. We are almost everywhere on the planet. The large Anambra Community in this great city is enough proof of this.

Now, during our routine scenario-planning in 2015, we foresaw the impending threat by herdsmen in some parts of the country and moved quickly to save Anambra State from the looming attack. That was long before the menace of the herdsmen took over the front-pages of our national newspapers.  Our counter strategy was to include the threat of a possible attack from them into the security architecture of Anambra State. We had prided ourselves as Nigeria’s safest state for a while and we did not want that profile to be shattered. Once we did that, our next step was to set up the Herdsmen/Farmers Cattle Menace Committee. Members of this Committee are leaders of the Hausa-Fulani Community, government officials, the traditional rulers of agrarian communities and the Service Commanders of the various security agencies in the state. Through the mediating influence of this Committee, an agreement was sealed between the agrarian communities and the herdsmen, which specifies that compensation would be paid by either party for breaching the rules of engagement between them. In other words, the herdsmen would pay compensation if they allowed their cattle to destroy people’s farms while the host communities would pay for confirmed cases of cattle rustling or any other breach of the agreement reached with the herdsmen.

To further strengthen our interface with the Hausa-Fulani Community, I appointed one of them known as Garuba Haruna as my Special Assistant on Islamic/Hausa-Fulani Affairs with the mandate of nurturing and sustaining cordial relations between the farming communities and the cattle herders. This agreement was unanimously applauded by all the members of the committee including Mr Sidiq Gidado, the Chairman of the Fulani Herdsmen Association in the South East. Similarly, the leader of the Muslim Community in the state, Alhaji Sule Momodu also commended our decision to give a Hausa-Fulani a position in the government; the first since the creation of the state.

The lesson here is that we must create more room for tolerance and diversity in our communities. That is one of the sustainable ways of forestalling extremist tendencies and maintaining peace in our communities. Many Nigerians may not know that 1% of the population of Anambra State does not speak Igbo Language. They speak Igala Language. But my administration appointed an Igala man, Bonaventure Enemali, as a Commissioner and a member of my Cabinet; another first since the creation of Anambra State. It is a gesture that carries a loud message of tolerance and inclusiveness.

Finally, Nigeria must hasten up to join the 43-nation group of Climate Vulnerable Forum. This Forum is a global partnership of countries that are most vulnerable to global warming and have come together to negotiate for special concessions and considerations from the United Nations. Many analysts have pointed at climate change as one of the remote causes of the violent clashes between farmers and herdsmen. They point at the rapid pace of desert encroachment in the far North as the reason behind herdsmen’s invasion of farmlands in the North Central and some parts of Southern Nigeria. It is believed that membership of the Climate Vulnerable Forum will attract some concessions that will checkmate the spread of this national anxiety. This is an option worth exploring!

The Anambra Success Story
At the risk of sounding immodest, I would like to observe that under my watch, Anambra State has evolved into one of the model states in Nigeria today. And there is really no magic to it. We simply started with clearly defined Vision and Mission Statements which serve as a roadmap to our overall development drive. When we started out, we declared that our Vision was to make Anambra State the 1st Choice Investment Destination and a hub for industrialization and commercial activities. We also declared that our Mission was to make Anambra State a socially stable, business-friendly environment that would attract both indigenes and foreigners to seek wealth-creating opportunities. To ensure the realisation of these two Statements, we crafted a Blueprint known as the Four Pillars of Development which revolves around Agriculture, Industrialization, Trade and Commerce and Oil & Gas. The Vision and Mission Statements come together in a perfect synergy with the Four Pillars of Development to make up my dream for Anambra State. We also have what I call the Enablers. There are fourteen of them. The Enablers are those basic things that must be in place for the Pillars to function. Some of the Key Enablers include Security, Education, Health, Roads and Social Infrastructure, the Environment, Finance, Transportation, Public Utilities and others.

Ladies and gentlemen, after four years on the saddle, I am quite happy with the decision we took on matters pertaining to security. I have come to realize that for most of the developing world, security is the master-key to sustainable development. When we assumed office on March 17, 2014, we knew that no matter how bright our ideas or how eloquent our rhetoric was, if we failed to tackle the persistent challenge of insecurity in Anambra State, we would be dead on arrival as an administration. So, we designed a security architecture that helped us stamp out crime of all shades from Anambra State. And today, because of our decision to make security the number one priority of Anambra State, because we have donated a gunboat to the Naval Outpost in Onitsha to secure our waterways and 25 smart cars to the police to patrol our streets and alleyways, and finally because we occasionally launch surveillance helicopters into Anambra skies to detect threats beyond the range of human eyes, our dear state is a better place and we are within a touching distance of our vision and mission as a government.

Ladies and gentlemen, the results are there to see in all key areas of development. Commercial and socio-cultural activities have been on a steady rise in Anambra State. The impact is so much that in 2016/2017 when Nigeria’s economy went into deficit, the sub-national economy of Anambra State grew by 1% because of the measures we initiated to fight recession.  We established the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA) to anchor our investment drive. The Agency swiftly became a One-Stop investment powerhouse, offering first class solutions to all investment inquiries. It signed 42 MoUs across various sectors in the state valued at $5.4 billion out of which $1.6 billion worth of investments had come from the indigenes of the state alone.

We have also recorded many success stories in our drive for investments into Anambra State but I will mention only three here because of time. We have some interesting case studies especially in the agricultural sector where some indigenous entrepreneurs like Coscharis Farms has invested $200m in a large mechanized rice farm located in Anaku. We also have JOSAN Agro Limited which has invested $180m in an Integrated Farm in Ufuma and Umumbo and finally, Lynden Farms Limited which invested $180m in a modern integrated poultry farm in Igbariam. Similarly, our rice production output currently stands at 345,000 metric tons. When my administration took over four years ago, Anambra was producing only 80,000 metric tons. We have also paid a serious attention to roads and infrastructure. We built three iconic flyovers which have become aesthetic landmarks in Awka and Amawbia as well as the longest bridge in the South East of Nigeria which leads to the oilfields. Lately, we have focused a lot of attention on giving a facelift to our cities. We rolled out the Light-up Anambra Campaign which has turned our cities, towns and communities into dazzling beauties at night. Our quest to enhance the beauty of our cities recently witnessed the remodelling of the famous DMGS Roundabout in Onitsha. We have turned it into a magnificent monument with five long elephant tusks rising from the base to form a canopy of unity at the top over a refurbished sculpture of the Great Nnamdi Azikiwe. The five tusks symbolically represent the five states of the South East held together in unity by a bead at the top. Indeed, the remodelling of the DMGS Roundabout further confirms that leadership must inspire the society to remember what it might so easily forget. It was this impulse that informed the decision of my administration to introduce a remarkable State Anthem which has powerful lines that inspire the citizens as they sing it at every event. By the Grace of God, I will continue to build monuments like the DMGS Roundabout to constantly remind Ndi Anambra of our common heritage and the imperatives of social peace. Indeed, Anambra State is on the rise! We have put our house in order and we are now ready to welcome the world.

We have had a fruitful interactive session with European businesses in June this year during my investment tour of Austria. And we are here today in Boston to open our doors to American investors. We would never contemplate all these if we didn’t consider Anambra safe enough for investors or if live with the dread that any part of Anambra State could suddenly come under the assault of some cattle herdsmen. To you our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora, I say, come home and invest and change the story of our people. Let us be guided by the encouraged by the inspiring stories of the contributions of the Jewish Diaspora to the greatness of the modern state of Israel today. The Nigerian Diaspora can do just the same. Nigeria is a better place today than it used to be!

In conclusion therefore, as we celebrate Nigeria’s 58th Independence Anniversary, we may do well to remember that no human society, no matter how advanced is without conflicts. So, the conflict between herdsmen and farmers is just one more hurdle Nigeria must scale on her way to a stronger union. And we can all lend a hand in the search for a sustainable solution to this dilemma by building more tolerant, more diverse and more inclusive communities.

God bless Nigeria
God bless Anambra State
Thank you

Willie Obiano
Governor
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1 October 2018

Anambra State Government Signed Into OGP.

Anambra State Government signs into OGP

The ever-responsive Gov. Willie Obiano's government has signed into the Open Government Partnership. This is a great step in the democratic process.

The OGP is hinged on the premise of running a government with greater transparency so that the average Anambrarians can have access to certain information needed to hold their leaders accountable.

The Willie Obiano-led government wanted to ensure and restore trust in the assurance that ``Government business is Everybody's business’’.

The government has since partnered with stakeholders to ensure optimum performance in the extractive industries in and outside the state.

Previously unremembered communities have been included in the affairs of the state. Through personal intervention, Akpokuodike has attracted the federal government to the state, as witnessed during the heavy flooding in some parts of the state.

This ``Inclusion’’ is one of the major pivots of the success of the OGP.

We applaud the endless giant steps to ensure a better Anambra State by our amiable Governor.

Willie is ``exceptionally’’ working!
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Nigeria @58: Sweet Dreams or Nightmare?

Nigeria @58: Sweet Dream or Nightmare?

By James Eze (eziokwubundu@gmail.com)

You cannot live in Nigeria and not think about who we have become in recent years. You may try to shut it out of your mind but you may not always stop wondering if there is a sufficient reason for hope; to step out at dawn and watch the sun rise on the faces of your loved ones.  And I want to ask you this; at 58, what feelings does Nigeria stir in you?

Well, I don’t know if I am the only one that feels this way, but there are moments I feel like a deer, finally hounded to a corner; a plant in a room with no air. Those are moments when I mull over my relationship with Nigeria; and I gently ask her with the voice of a heartbroken lover, “have you been fair to me?”  At such moments, I am often of two minds, like a victim of an abusive relationship – I feel a strong desire to leave her but an utter lack of will power to get up and go.

 Don’t get me wrong. It is not for want of courage that I am still here.  It is the dilemma of someone who must choose between hope and despair. It is how you feel after years and years of broken promises. Each new promise raises the threshold of hope but each disappointment breeds a season of despair. Years when young and fearless, it seemed as though you could jump up and touch the sky. But also years that time has now turned into a blur in the haze of memory. And there are no mementos, no trophies and no reminders that you ever lived through those years. And who do you blame for this but Nigeria?

Who do you blame when children in your neighbourhood scream “Up NEPA,” after a long power cut and you suddenly remember that your tiny boyish voice once rang out the loudest forty years ago when the power holding company restored electricity to thousands of homes denied nourishing sleep by heat and a swarm of hungry mosquitoes?  Who do you blame when cows assume a value higher than human life and all we can do is shout from the temporary safety of our homes? Who do you blame when over 180 million people consistently bring back former military rulers to run their affairs and our best and brightest actually parted the way for one of them to mount the saddle of leadership? Who do you blame when a country that produced its first professor of medicine 53 years ago has neither the expertise nor the equipment to attend to the medical needs of its citizens?  Who do you blame in a country where injustice to one is never seen as injustice to all? Do you blame the leader or the led? Is the leader an alien or just one of us; a brother or sister, a former classmate, a fellow tribesman/woman, a home-boy/girl? If the leader is one of us, why can’t he touch our wounds and feel our pain? Why is he far removed from the very air we breathe? And are we innocent or complicit in his sudden transmogrification?

At 58, it is insincere to continue to absolve ourselves of blame for what Nigeria has become. And by the way, it is time to stop pointing fingers outwards. We cannot point fingers when we wilfully accept what more serious societies revolt against? We have watched with hands akimbo as farmers turned to manure in their own farmlands. And we shamefully nodded our acceptance when we were advised that it was wiser to let go of our ancestral lands than die holding onto them. We watched genocide sweep through the rainforest and looked away when malnourished children died with distended bellies over a war they had no hand in. We pretended that it didn’t matter when the goose that lay our collective golden egg became a wasteland for decades while fishes died in rivers poisoned by oil exploration. In fact, we laughed at them and called them ‘lazy.’ And when our fellow citizens complained of marginalization and pointed at decrepit federal roads in their domain, we called them cry-babies and mocked them with comments like; “you people are your own worst enemies.” And I just wonder how, by the way.

 And when we mock the wounds of our neighbours, when we deny the humanity of one another and strip our neighbour the right to indignation and justifiable outrage, we trade places with Nigeria and hand her the moral right to ask us; “have you been fair to me?”

Indeed, Nigeria never quite leaves you without questions, without wonder, without discontent. You may never stop wondering if this is all you can be as an individual. Sometimes the bleakness is so perverse that there seems to be nothing at all to give you pride as a Nigerian. No shooting stars to kindle hope with brilliant sparkles across the skies. No exceptions to celebrate; no genius to applaud and no singular act of heroism that could pass for a national banner of excellence. Innoson’s recent ordeal with the EFCC and Guaranty Trust Bank puts a dampener on what had looked like a rare flicker of hope and finally confirms the fear that Nigeria is a place where flowers wilt before sunrise. And you can’t help but hope that Anambra’s Golden Girls who won the World Technovation Challenge in San Francisco will get a chance to  live another day.

Now, should I wish Nigeria a Happy Birthday or just watch her in silence?
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14 September 2018

An Address Delivered by the Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano at the Formal Launching of the Anambra State Health Insurance Scheme

An Address Delivered by the Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano at the Formal Launching of the Anambra State Health Insurance Scheme.

Protocol

I am happy to welcome you all to this event. Ndi Anambra, today marks the beginning of quality, affordable and accessible healthcare delivery in Anambra State. It also marks an end to avoidable suffering, preventable disability and careless death for our people.

After a careful planning, my administration has stepped out to make sure that everyone in Anambra State has a chance to enjoy a quality healthcare service. And when I say “everyone” I actually mean everyone that is living in this great state, including the poor and the rich and the young and the old. The scheme also comes with very special offers for pregnant women and for children under the age of five.

Ndi Anambra, this is a revolutionary scheme. It is probably the most affordable quality healthcare delivery scheme in this part of Africa. With just one thousand naira (N1000) a month per person, we offer a comprehensive scheme that covers preventive care, curative care and rehabilitative and surgical services for a whole year. Ndi Anambra, what this means is that if you register for the scheme with one thousand naira and continue to pay one thousand naira every month, you will get a top quality medical attention for whatever diseases or ailments you might have for a whole year. One thousand naira only!

Indeed, I am very hopeful that our illustrious brothers and sisters shall easily take up the challenge of offering insurance cover to their relatives and to their towns and communities or even local government areas. Since it costs only N12,000 per person per year, I have no doubt that some of our brothers and sister will underwrite this cost for their relatives in the spirit of onye aghana nwanne ya. I also urge employers of labour and members of the organized private sector to organize and buy policies for their staff from this scheme.

 Similarly, I advise members of professional associations, social clubs and age-grades not to miss this great opportunity to buy a rewarding policy for themselves.
Ndi Anambra, at this juncture, I am delighted to announce to you that Anambra State Government has paid for policies covering ten thousand people from across the state. The modalities for equitable distribution of this offer are being worked out to ensure that every community is adequately represented among the beneficiaries. At the same time, my administration shall pay ten percent in counterpart funding for the coverage of all civil servants and their families by this scheme. So, as you can all see, we are already leading from the front.

Ndi Anambra, my administration has always given the health sector the priority attention it deserves because we believe that ‘health is wealth.’ That is the reason why Health is one of the Key Enablers of my Economic Blueprint.
Essentially, we approach Health from three broad categories. Namely; Primary Healthcare, Secondary Healthcare and Tertiary Healthcare. Interestingly, this administration has recorded quite some impressive achievements in Primary Healthcare Delivery in the past five years. In specific terms, we have renovated 83 Primary Healthcare Centers and provided 63 Keke Ambulances. We also provided 17 Speedboats and 6 Water-ambulances for the riverine communities. Two Escort Life-saving Ambulances were also added to this fleet. In addition, we have finally established the Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency.

Ladies and gentlemen, we achieved even more in Secondary Healthcare Delivery. They include the upgrading of three General Hospitals in the state to a specialist status in each senatorial zone, namely; Onitsha, Ekwulobia and Enugwu-Ukwu General Hospitals. Next is upgrading of Nawfia Psychiatric Hospital and the on-going renovation of 18 General Hospitals in the state for improved services, accreditation and a robust participation in the Anambra State Health Insurance Scheme.

In Tertiary Healthcare Delivery, we also recorded some impressive achievements. They include the successful accreditation of the School of Health Technology, Obosi with 6 Departments, the successful accreditation of Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), the successful accreditation of the School of Nursing & Midwifery, Nkpor and perhaps more importantly, the accreditation of the final MBBS Programme of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital to ensure the graduation of the first set of Medical Students from the College of Medicine, Amaku. Other achievements include the accreditation of the Residency Training in O & G, Paediatrics and Community Medicine and finally; the donation of over N747m to Mission Hospitals as well as the sum of N250m in medical support to the vulnerable members of the society.

Ndi Anambra, these are some of the achievements of my administration in Healthcare Delivery so far. We still have a lot of headroom for improvement and we shall not relent until we have put Anambra State on the map for exceptional healthcare delivery.
Ladies and gentlemen, what we are launching here today is indeed a visionary healthcare scheme. I have no doubt that when it hits its operational peak, it will inspire a new thinking in medical insurance in Nigeria.

However, no matter how good this initiative is, it will not achieve its objectives if we do not take ownership of it and give it the support it deserves. So, I urge you all to take a policy today. I also charge all healthcare providers in Anambra State to turn over a new leaf and commit to providing quality healthcare services to our people. Ndi Anambra deserve nothing less than the best healthcare services- in the world!
Dalunu!

Long live Anambra State
Long live Nigeria
Willie Obiano

Governor
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7 September 2018

Online Supermarket/Store in Anambra, Lagos Nigeria - JaraCart





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2 September 2018

Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah @47, Happy Birthday.

THE MAN – DR. PATRICK IFEANYI UBAH @ 47.

Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah was born into a modest family of late Mr. and Mrs. Alphonsus Ubah of Umuanuka, Otolo, Nnewi on the 3rd of September, 1971. A man of a humble beginning, amiable, likeable and good-natured personality, Dr.  Ubah is married to Mrs. Uchenna Ubah and the marriage is blessed with five children.

The visionary Chief Executive Officer, promoter and Managing Director of Capital Oil & Gas Industries Limited, no doubt is an ambitious business mogul who from the very day he joined the Oil and Gas business, decided to creditably distinguish himself and the company. Through dint of hard work, personal conviction to succeed, visionary leadership and doggedness, he has in a matter of six years, (between 2003 and 2009), taken Capital Oil & Gas Industries Limited to a vantage position of becoming a dominant leader in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. Capital Oil and Gas' strategic importance to the Nigerian Downstream Oil and Gas Sector was propelled by her massive investments in the sector which include but not limited to:

• A jetty capable of berthing 4 shuttle vessels simultaneously
• Tank farm with a storage capacity of over 190 million litres
• 32 arm loading gantry capable of discharging up to 55 million litres of petroleum products which exceeds the nation’s daily consumption need
• Fleet of over 400 trucks for distribution of petroleum products nationwide.
• A highly motivated, dedicated and hardworking workforce.
Capital Oil and Gas is currently responsible for the distribution of about 40% of petroleum products in Nigeria, and at such times, when the nation had been held to ransom, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah led his company to intervene on the part of the Nigerian people, an action that has endeared him to many.

As the Promoter and Chief Executive of Capital Oil & Gas Industries Limited, he also seats as the Chairman on the board of several other companies, among which are:

• Knoll & Hachfer Engineering Company Ltd
• Chevron Oronite & Chemical Company Ltd
• Hero Communications Ltd
• Authority Media and Publications Ltd (Publishers of Authority Newspapers)
• Authority Radio and Television Ltd (Owners of Authority 91.9FM)
• FC Ifeanyi Ubah
• First Nigerian Independent Oil Company Ltd
• Commodity Giants Nigeria Limited
• Capital Group Congo S.a.rl. in the Congo DR
• Oil Force Nigeria Limited

Having built an Oil and Gas group that has successfully taken its undisputed place as a leader in the downstream sector of the Nigerian Petroleum Industry, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah decided to venture into other sectors with the primary aim of replicating what he had done in the Oil and Gas sector. This hunger gave birth to FC Ifeanyi Ubah (one of the few privately run clubs in the Nigerian Professional Football League), The Authority Media and Publications (Publishers of The Authority Newspapers) and Authority Radio with frequency 91.9FM currently transmitting in Anambra, Imo, Abia, Enugu, Delta, Edo, Kogi, Benue and Ondo states. In so little a time, FC Ifeanyi Ubah, The Authority Newspapers and Authority Radio have carved out niches for themselves as they gallantly stride towards leadership of their respective industries.

The Authority Newspapers, which published its first edition on the 1st of October, 2015 is the second Nigerian newspaper to go daily on its first day, (after the Concord in 1982), a rare feat. In spite of the brevity of its existence, it has left an indelible mark on the information landscape of Nigeria and the world through its very powerful online presence.

In keeping with his tradition of scoring firsts, in January 2016, FC Ifeanyi Ubah became the first club in the Nigerian Professional Football League to attract and sign Brazilian footballers and trainers which undoubtedly added value, flair and glamour to the NPFL. Another first was achieved in August 2016 when FC Ifeanyi Ubah became the first Nigerian club to partner a European club as it signed a partnership deal with West Ham United of England, a team that has one of the best academies that produced the likes of Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole to mention but a few. Dr. Ubah's midas touch is encapsulated in the fact that FC Ifeanyi Ubah, in just its second year of existence, won the NFF Federation Cup 2016 and Charity Cup 2016.

By reason of Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah's 'think home' mentality, burning desire to create jobs, empower the youths and bring the needed development to his state of origin, Anambra state, he embarked on the construction of a multibillion naira games and industrial village crammed with facilities such as:
• Two football stadia with multiple training pitches
• Industrial park
• Hospital
• Sports Academy
• Technology Hub
• 5-star Hotel
• Conference centre
• Women and Youth development Centre
• Indoor Sports Hall
• Shopping Malls
• Residential Estates
• Corporate office complex
• Linguistic school
• Police post
• Fire service station amongst other facilities/basic amenities.

Not resting on his oars, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah set up Authority 91.9FM situated in Ozubulu/Nnewi, Anambra State. As is the norm with whatever Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah establishes, Authority 91.9FM has, in a short space of time, become the darling of the local communities in Anambra, Imo, Abia, Enugu, Delta, Edo, Kogi, Benue and Ondo states.

In May 2016, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah was unanimously elected the Chairman, Anambra State Football Association (ANSFA). Since his election, Dr. Ubah has introduced series of football programmes aimed at promoting and developing football in the state. One of such programmes is his novel initiative - Football Made in Anambra "1 Family - 1 Footballer" project which was endorsed by the world's football governing body, Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) when her President, Gianni Infantino visited Nigeria. Not resting on his oars, Dr Ubah, in a bid to touch as much lives as he could possibly reach, also committed his foundation to the donation of 1million footballs to African children (an extension of the 1Family 1Footballer project), all in a concerted attempt to foster football development at the grassroots. This initiative has also been endorsed by FIFA under the leadership of Gianni Infantino and Confederation of African Football (CAF) under the leadership of Ahmad Ahmad. Dr. Ubah is a Patron of the Nigerian Nationwide League One (NNL) as well as a Patron of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN).

Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, in his bid to better the lives of his people contested in the 2014 Anambra State Gubernatorial Elections under the canopy of Labour Party. In a keenly contested battle, despite being a first timer to such a contest, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah made his presence known and left a mark in the contest. Since then, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah has been a household name in Anambra and Nigerian Politics which was expressly exhibited during the 2015 Presidential and Gubernatorial Elections.

Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah was profiled by the Oxford Brookes Magazine as one of the “Forty under Forty 2009”, that is, the top forty young Nigerian business leaders under the age of forty.  Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah has received numerous awards and honours both in Nigeria and abroad in recognition of his leadership qualities and outstanding performance in the oil and gas industry.

By virtue of his creative leadership skills, ability, capacity and in recognition of the giant strides he has made in business coupled with his immense contributions to the Nigerian economy, he was conferred with an Honorary Doctor by the Federal University of Technology, Owerri. Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah is also a Fellow with the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators (ICMC). He has been actively involved in top flight business management for over two decades with vast experience in international business and has attended several local and international courses and seminars in leadership and business management. Currently, he is undergoing an Ownership/President Management Program at Harvard Business School, USA.

In addition to all these, there is a part of this able visionary leader that cannot be left out.  Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, being an AKS member of Rotary Club, District 9140, is an avid philanthropist and a motivator par excellence. In acknowledgment of the need to serve humanity, provide succor to the needy and give back to the society, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, under the aegis of Ifeanyi Ubah Foundation has established an Educational Fund that gives students free University education, the first of its kind in the South-East, particularly Nnewi. Dr. Ubah has also sunk boreholes, installed electricity transformers and engages in constant repair/grading of roads, adding immense value to his community in the process.

The Philanthropist par excellence is fondly called “Ebube Chukwu Uzo” meaning “Placing God First” in all his dealings.  His business interests include Oil & Gas, Jetty Development, Bonded Terminal, Truck Park facilities, Media, Sports Development, Construction, Telecommunication, Real Estate, General Merchandise and Politics.

Happy birthday Ebubechukwuuzo!

Long live Ife Nnewi Ji ka Mba!
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29 August 2018

Davido Serving As NYSC Corp Member, A Criteria Of Marrying Chioma.

Davido Serving As
NYSC Corp Member, A Criteria Of Marrying Chioma.


ON THE DAVIDO NYSC SAGA....
Do you know whether one of the
criteria of marrying our
daughter, Chioma is serving as
NYSC corp member, and our
Son,Mazi David Adeleke is
effortlessly fulfilling the mandate.
The Igbo people could be very
dynamic when it comes to
paying of bride price, cos Davido
might be asked to pay all his
monthly allowances while in
service as the Bride Price, and
submit his CV and all photocopies
of his documents filed and
submitted to the Bride's Family.
To some Igbo Bride Price is High
BP.
In between, I pity all the
relationship that will be broken
in Davido's camp. I pity the
female corp members that will be
beaten by a female soldier cos of
Davido. I pity the fellow NYSC
guys that will jam leg for ground,
carry two hands up, dey twale
for Davido. I pity girls that will
fight themselves cos of him. I pity
girls that will snub their future
husband in the camp cos of
Davido.
Lastly, I pity the Igbo business
men in Lagos, Onitsha, Aba and
all big markets in Nigeria, who
sweat profusely to sponsor a girl
in tertiary institution with the
hope of getting married
immediately after her service
years, eventually, she found
herself in Davido's camp, that
demon in her will not allow her
to remember the pasts.
To add, Davido has taken the
bold step which few or no
celebrity has taken, me, I don't
reckon it to him as humility, he's
doing the right thing, probably to
avoid the story of Kemi Adeosun.
The guy, Davido is from a political
family, await him to contest for a
public post in few years to come.
His NYSC certificate will be a sure
proof of his service to his father
land.
As regard the payment of his
allawee, do you think he won't
welcome it? If he doesn't, people
will say it's pride, if he does
people will say him carry big
eyes, upon all him money! The
best thing for him is to use the
allawee to pay another person's
bride price in the camp.
Thank you.


~Ogbonnaya Joel. N
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25 August 2018

New Affordable Online Store In Anambra/Lagos "JaraCart" Launches




As Stated by the founder Jaracart.com.ng on his facebook status today.


Hurray!! Talk of the town #JaraCart is launched and live!!
We are happy to announce to you that our startup, ecommerce website www.jaracart.com.ng is on this day 25th August 2018 launched, live and up for sales by the time 12noon.
We are using this medium to thank each and every one of you that gave us listening ears when we needed advice concerning this startup, those that in one way or the other gave us the ladder we needed to climb to this very spot, we urge you to continue the good works you are doing. Our gratitude goes to His Excellency Chief Dr. Willie Obiano, the Governor of Anambra state, Commissioner for Youth Empowerment and Creative Economy, Anambra State, Hon. Bonaventure Enemali, Senior Special Assistant on Youth Development and Digital Entrepreneurship to Governor Obiano Hon. Ifeanyi Aniagoh, APGA frontier for House Of Rep 2019 Barr Okoli Gozie Ray #IkoloAbuja2019 and many others for their support so far concerning this project. We really appreciate.



I Emeh Valentine Ifeanyi Kit, the founder #Jaracart, Emeh Blaiz Pascal and the rest of JaraCart team promise to give Anambra, Lagos State and Nigeria at large the best shopping experience.
Shopping feels no better than with us at JaraCart.

What are you waiting for? Place your order today.
JaraCart, Your Affordable Online Store!!
#Startup #OnlineShopping #OnlineStore #eCommerce #Onlineshop

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10 August 2018

Anambra School Girls Win Gold In World Technovation Challenge In US.

Anambra School Girls Win Gold in World Technovation Challenge in US

By James Eze (eziokwubundu@gmail.com)

The five Anambra girls from Regina Pacies Secondary School Onitsha who represented Nigeria and Africa  at the World Technovation Challenge in the Silicon Valley in San Francisco, US last night have won the Gold Medal in the contest.

The team, led by Uchenna Onwuamaegbu Ugwu defeated representatives of other technological giants including the USA, Spain, Turkey, Uzbekistan and China to clinch the gold medal.

The Anambra girls who have now become Africa's Golden Girls is made up of five brilliant girls including

1 Promise Nnalue
2 Jessica Osita
3 Nwabuaku Ossai
4 Adaeze Onuigbo
5 Vivian Okoye

The world champions who are reported to be attracting a lot of attention in the world's greatest technological hub won the Challenge with a mobile application called the FD-Detector which they developed to help tackle the Challenge of fake pharmaceutical products in Nigeria.

Under the tutelage of Uchenna Onwuamaegbu-Ugwu the CEO of Edufun Technik STEM, the Golden Girls spent five months researching and developing FD-Detector which swept through over 2000 competing applications to get to the finals in San Francisco.

Technovation is a programme that offers girls around the world the opportunity to learn the programming skills they need to emerge as tech-entrepreneurs and leaders.

 Every year, girls are invited to identify a problem in their communities, and then challenge them to solve them by developing Andriod applications that would address those problems.

115 countries participated in the qualifiers but only 12 teams from all over the world were selected as finalists for the pitch in Silicon Valley.

The girls will also be attending Field trips, life-changing workshops including a networking session during their one week stay in USA.

The Governor of Anambra State,Chief Willie Obiano had personally sent them off to the US in a brief ceremony at the last Executive Council Meeting where he charged the girls to put Nigeria and Africa on the global technological map with their rare talent.
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