Posted by News Express | 25 March 2014 | 5,358 times
Anambra’s new governor, Chief Willie Obiano, has decided to retain the cabinet he inherited from his immediate predecessor, Chief Peter Obi.
“He has told the commissioners to continue pending when he is ready to reconstitute his cabinet,” a reliable source close to the week-old Obiano administration told News Express. The source said the governor broke the good news to the cabinet members at the end of the maiden Executive Council (EXCO) meeting held last week Tuesday – a day after his assumption of office.
The source praised the governor’s decision to retain Obi’s cabinet, saying: “That is a good step. It is un-Nigerian but a good thing as it would enable him to stabilise and douse tension before making any changes.”
Meanwhile, Obiano rounded off a busy first working week in Awka, the state capital, by charging the Committee on Agriculture to revolutionise food production in Anambra.
Agriculture is one of the four pillars of development upon which Obiano’s economic blueprint for Anambra State rests. Inaugurating the committee, the governor challenged it to produce a comprehensive agricultural blueprint with holistic recommendations highlighting medium and long term targets that would eventually lead to sufficiency in rice, maize, cassava and poultry production in the state.
Obiano further reminded the committee headed by Prof. Emeka Omaliko that Anambra is blessed with many hectares of arable land which favours both dry and wet farming all-year-round, and charged them to advice on how to get the best out of the land.
“You were selected for your expertise and we want you to make specific and actionable recommendations that would enable us achieve set targets. To give you an idea, if currently Anambra is farming on one field, we want you to tell us how we can cultivate on hundred football fields effectively. We expect definite information on how to advance agriculture in Anambra. Anyone who goes with the mindset or says ‘it is not achievable’ is not welcome here and I won’t hesitate to throw the person out, but once you are ready to work, you will get all the support.” Obiano asserted.
The committee’s terms of reference include the following: To prepare the agriculture blueprint for Anambra; prepare funding and financing model for agric; carryout any research necessary for the assignment; determine the current output of each of the target crops; map the state to determine areas where specific crops can be grown for optimum yield, determine gaps in the production of each of the four target areas, and what it would take to meet and surpass the yield; create an effective monitoring mechanism to track the implementation of the agriculture blueprint; and identify donor agencies active in agriculture and how we can collaborate etc.
Assuring the committee of his support the governor urged the committee to get on with the task without further delay; stressing that agriculture is a cardinal pillar in his development plans for Anambra which must be tackled with dispatch.
Governor Obiano also informed the committee that his administration would increase the speed of getting Certificate of Occupancy in the state and set-up a one-stop shop for procurement and approval of relevant documents to encourage investors to come and engage in spin-offs from agriculture like agro-allied manufacturing and packaging.
Responding on behalf of the committee, Prof. Omaliko thanked the governor for the opportunity given the members to serve. The committee is expected to submit its report in four weeks.
•Photo shows Governor Obiano.
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