The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has slammed the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, accusing the governor of taking the state 20 years backward with his poor performance.
In a statement released by his media office, the minister accused Obiano of wasting the opportunity given to him as a governor after inheriting a “virile and robust state resources”.
He said the stagnation, depreciation and retrogression in the state had become mind-blowing, making the people wish the hand of the clock could be turned backward, and challenged Obiano to state his achievements beyond bequeathing a mounting regime of debts to generations unborn.
Ngige maintained that his 34 months in office as governor was unrivaled, thereby dismissing a parody performance rating of him by governor Obiano as hogwash, noting that his achievements were well known, therefore, surprised that Obiano’s media aide described his performance as empty.
The minister insisted that Obiano has failed woefully in his responsibilities to the people of the state, saying that his era as governor has remained a parameter for judging successive administrations in state, going by his unprecedented achievements and quantum of projects he executed just in three years.
“It is important to remind James Eze, who authored the diatribe, that Ngige took over power at a critical stage in the history of Anambra state, with years of salary and pension arrears, dilapidated infrastructure and mounting debts owed to banks and international lenders, yet, Ngige did not sell off state assets to take off.
“Ngige neither received a formal handover note, nor inherited N75 billion in local and foreign currencies from his predecessor. Indeed he inherited Anambra in a state of anomie. Yet, he not only liberated the state but left it at an enviable height.
“Ngige inherited neither gold nor silver and therefore did not have any to squander. There was no promissory note, running into billions of naira to sell prematurely or valued state assets to auction off, to fund squandermania,” the statement read.
The statement claimed that Ngige’s administration engineered an armada of road construction, which unfortunately are the only motorable roads in the state today, while those constructed by the incumbent administration had all collapsed.
“Still standing like the rock of Gibraltar are 105 road projects, cutting across the three senatorial zones of Anambra State, transversing six local government areas each and connecting neighbouring states of Abia, Imo, Enugu, Delta and Rivers.
“Through the Governor’s Executive Order, he brought the payment of salaries and pensions to first line charge, ensuring that till today, civil servants and pensioners are paid as at when due. He liquidated debts which the state government owed banks and international lenders and cleared the backlog of salaries and pensions he inherited from the previous government,” the statement added.
The statement further noted that Ngige equally made notable impacts in security through a law appropriately passed by the State Government, creating the community based Anambra State Vigilante Movement (AVM), thereby reducing crime to the barest minimum.
By Victor Ifeanyi Uzoho…
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