PICTURE: The former Gov. of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi( right), receiving from Dr. Alex Ekwueme (left), the Igbo Youth Movement ” Best Governor Ever” award at Nike Lake Hotel, Enugu
Mr Peter Greg Obi, the former Gov. of Anambra State has disagreed with those that said Nigerian States are incapable of paying salaries.
He insisted that with prudence and rational prioritizing that each State can comfortably pay salaries and engage in other developmental activities.
Obi was speaking today at the 17th Annual Convention of the Igbo Youth Movement at the Nike Lake Hotel, Enugu.
Obi who bagged the “Best Governor Ever”, award said that those in government spent a lot of money on things that were not necessary, while running out of money for projects that would enrich the people.
Using himself as an example, Obi said that when he was the Governor, that he did not:
– keep guest houses,
– charter planes,
– travel with more people than necessary,
– fly Business Class, use bullet proof vehicles, among others
… thereby saving billions he used to offset close to 40 Billion Naira arrears of pension and gratuity and extra for effective developmental projects.
“If any Governor finds it difficult to pay salaries, let him consult me and I will freely and willingly divulge the secrets to him.”
Earlier, the leader of the Igbo Youth Movement (IYM), Evang. Elliot Uko said his organization found Obi worthy for the award after comparative studies.
Evang. Elliot said Obi did so much for Anambra State such that under him Anambra had best network of roads; moved from among the last in external examinations to number one after his return of schools to the Churches and having invested billions on the returned schools; invested heavily in security; partnered with the Church to deliver more than other States in Health, among others.
Evang. Elliot said that what was mind boggling was that he did all he could do in Anambra State without borrowing or raising of bonds and in the end, while those that borrowed and raised bonds bequeathed debts, arrears of salaries and pensions, Obi left over 75billion Naira in cash and investment for his State.
Elliot who said that a restructured Nigeria would accommodate every person, called on the federal Government to obey court orders and release Nnamdi Kalu.
Other awardees at the event were Dr. Ayo Adebanjo, Mrs Lulu Briggs and Prof Jerry Gana.
Present at the event were Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, among notable other personalities.