Peter Obi was elected governor of Anambra on March 17, 2006. He was impeached 8 months after on November 2, 2006, by the State House of Assembly. Obi would later reveal that one of the reasons he was impeached was his refusal to inflate the government’s yearly budget.
His impeachment was overturned on February 9, 2007, and he was reinstated as governor. By this time he had only a few months to stay in office as the majority of his tenure was stolen by Chris Ngige who had been governor for three years before a court declared that Obi was the rightful winner of the 2003 election.
Obi was reappointed governor of Anambra State on June 14, 2007, after a court ruled that he should be allowed to complete his four years in office. The tenure ended in 2010 and he won his re-election campaign and served an additional term. He finally handed over to Willie Obiano in 2014.
Peter Obi’s achievements in Anambra State as governor
Below is a compilation of Peter Obi’s projects and undertakings during his time as Anambra State governor. Only projects with enough sources for verification are included.
A. Management of Funds
i. Under Obi, Anambra State became the first state in Nigeria to start Sub-Sovereign Wealth savings, the first of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa. At a time many other Governors were leaving huge debts, Peter Obi stated that he left the equivalent of $500 million dollars in investment in Anambra State in both local and foreign currency, including some $156 million in dollar-denominated bonds.
ii. The Nigerian Debt Management Office (DMO) rated Anambra as the least indebted state in Nigeria. Peter Obi received praise for not borrowing to fund his projects.
iii. The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria rated Anambra State as the most financially stable state in the country during his tenure.
B. Foreign Investments
i. Many Ambassadors and High Commissioners of notable countries such as the United States, Britain, Russia, the European Union, South Africa, Belgium, Israel, the Netherlands, Canada, among others, visited Anambra State for the first time when Obi was governor.
ii. Obi personally remarked that before his tenure, Anambra was like a pariah state blacklisted by the Diplomatic Corps and international development partners.
iii. Development partners such as UNDP, UNICEF, the World Bank, DFID, the European Union etc., which were not originally present in Anambra State started working with the State. Anambra was consistently adjudged one of the best states in development partnership and commitment to reforms for good governance.
i. Obi oversaw the return of schools to their original missionary owners with the government continuing to cater to the schools’ staff salaries, while the Missions were in charge of general administration. This proved to be a super-efficient strategy as Anambra State rose from the 24th position out of 36 States to become Number One in National Examination Council (NECO) and West African Examination Council (WAEC) examinations for three consecutive years. This move made the World Bank commission a study, led by the renowned Prof. Paul Collier of Oxford University, in the state.
ii. Obi’s government procured and distributed over 30,000 computers to secondary schools in the state, including 22,500 units from HP. The Managing Director for Personal Systems Group HP Inc, Mr Fabrice Campoy described the deployment as the biggest of such projects in the Middle East and Africa.
iii. Peter Obi’s administration provided Microsoft Academies to over 500 secondary schools, which the Head of Microsoft in Nigeria (Mr Ken Span) described as the most extensive of such deployment in Africa so far.
iv. His government provided Internet access to over 500 secondary schools. The CEO of Galaxy Backbone, Mr Gerald Ilukwe described this as incomparable to any state in the country.
v. More than 700 buses were provided to secondary schools in the state by Obi’s government. Boreholes were provided in schools all across the state. New classrooms were built in all the 177 communities of the State.
i. Similar to what he did with the schools, Peter Obi’s government entered into strategic partnerships with the Churches in the Health sector. The somehow symbiotic relationship resulted in a tremendous boost to health care in Anambra State. Health institutions owned by voluntary agencies and missionaries continued offering their services, while the state funded the agencies and made available to them over 50 Million Dollars in various types of support.
ii. Through partnership with the Church in the health sector, Obi’s government funded the transformation of the following hospitals and health centres:
a: Iyienu Hospital, Ogidi
b: Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Ihiala
c: St Charles Borromeo Hospital, Onitsha
d: Holy Rosary Hospital, Waterside, Onitsha
e: St. Joseph Hospital, Adazi-Nnukwu.
iii. Obi’s government also built the Joseph Nwilo Heart Centre in St. Joseph, Adazi-Nnukwu, where heart operations are now being performed.
iv. Obi’s government won the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s $1 million grant as the best-performing state in immunisation in the South-East.
v. Obi’s administration conceived and built, from the scratch, the first state-owned Teaching Hospital, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu Teaching Hospital, Awka.
vi. By the end of his tenure in 2014, more than twelve (12) health institutions, including two hospitals, had secured accreditation. Before Obi’s takeoff in 2006, no health institution in Anambra State was duly accredited.
i. Obi’s government invited some companies to build their facilities in Anambra State. A case in point is SABMiller, the second-largest brewery in the world, which built its first Green Field facility in the State.
ii. A number of other companies followed the SABMiller initiative and were all supported and encouraged by Obi’s government; an example is INNOSON Motor Manufacturing Company, from which Obi’s government purchased over 1,000 vehicles for government use.
iii. During Obi’s tenure, Anambra State became an oil-producing State.
i. Under Obi, Anambra State for the first time started close collaboration with all government security agencies (the Police, Army, Navy, Department of State Security, and Civil Defence, among others), offering them various types of support including the supply of more than 500 security vehicles. The improvement in security was phenomenal, such that the former IG of Police, Abubakar Mohammed, lauded Anambra State for not witnessing any bank robbery in the last three years of Obi’s administration.
ii. During his tenure, Anambra State provided at least one security vehicle to each of all the 177 communities in the State as well as various organizations such as markets and churches.
iii. Obi revamped the local vigilante system so community vigilante groups were working directly with the police and were closely monitored.
F. Youth and Employment
i. Obi revitalized the Anambra State Youth Re-Orientation & Empowerment Programme (ANSYREP) which provided training and grants to young and aspiring entrepreneurs.
ii. His Youth Employment Fund initiative boosted job creation and also helped many young businesses thrive.
i. Obi’s government undertook a massive construction of internal roads and oversaw large-scale electrification projects all over the state.
ii. Obi built the first Secretariat Complex to house State Government Ministries that were hitherto scattered around the State.
iii. Obi’s administration started the planned development of the Igbariam Campus of the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu University, including the construction of other facilities such as the school’s Faculty of Law, Auditorium, Administrative Block, Faculty of Agriculture, Management Building, etc.
a. Obi’s government attracted the World Bank support on erosion – National Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) – to Anambra State.
b. Obi’s government was the first to do Poverty Mapping in Nigeria, as a guide for the effective implementation of the state’s poverty-alleviation strategies.
c. Obi was the first governor to undergo national peer review which scrutinised state government for good governance through the State Peer Review Mechanism (SPRM), an initiative of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum in collaboration with the DFID.
Peter Obi introduced the first-of-its-kind multi-sector development model called Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS) which had a tremendous impact on virtually all sectors of the state, from education and industry to infrastructure and health.
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