Our 34 Months [May 2003 – March 2006] Of Re-Engineering Anambra State – Senator Chris Ngige

Senator Chris Nwabueze Ngige addressing a crowd in Anambra
Senator Chris Nwabueze Ngige addressing a crowd in Anambra

It is with deep sense of responsibility that I address you today, perhaps for the last time as governor, as we enter a new phase in our struggle for an egalitarian Anambra State, devoid of acrimony and filled with milk and honey.
As you are already aware, the court of Appeal sitting in Enugu,yesterday March 15,2006 failed to uphold my appeal against the verdict of the Justice Garba Nabaruma-led Tribunal which declared Mr Peter Obi of the All Progressive Grand Alliance(APGA),as duly elected in the governorship race of April 19, 2003.Consequently, I am expected to relinquish the governorship seat which I won and have occupied since May 29, 2003,following my declaration as winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for Mr Obi to be sworn in as our next governor.
The road to today has no doubt been tortuous for both Mr Obi and my humble self. For me, today is not also the time to talk about who won and who did not win the elections, or whether the distinguished justices of the Appeal Court gave their verdict freely, and without coercion from very powerful quarters.
What is important in that a court of competent jurisdiction has delivered its verdict, and as a law-abiding and responsible citizen, I will abide by it, in the interest of the peaceful and orderly development of our state. Respect for the rule of law and sanctity of the judiciary are critical ingredients we must honour and cherish if we are to advance as a civilised society, practise democracy in its true , pure form and be respected in the comity of nations. People in authority should endeavour to obey court orders, no matter how unpalatable they may be. Doing otherwise is an open invitation to lawlessness and anarchy, and our society can ill afford this.
I salute Mr Obi for his doggedness and determination which saw him pursue his case to a logical conclusion. I also congratulate him for being my successor in office while wishing him good luck and God’s Guidance in his new assignment. I call on you, my dear people of Anambra State, to give your maximum co-operattion,even much more than you gave me, to enable him succeed in his new assignment ,so that in the end, all of us will be beneficiaries of his stewardship.
It might be necessary for me to use this opportunity to do some stock-taking, while thanking you the good people of Anambra State for your courage and steadfastness as manifested in the granite support you gave our administration these past 33 months. You will recall that when we came on May 29, 2003, we promised to give you qualitative and purposeful leadership that will regenerate confidence in government business, in order to make you shirk off the despondency and cynical look seen on most faces in the state-a feature noticed among teachers, workers and pensioners whose salaries and allowances were not regular.
Pensioners were owed for many months and retirees were owed gratuities running into two decades. Dearth of infrastructure, particularly roads stared us in the face. Housing and water projects were non-existent. Primary and secondary schools buildings/furniture were utterly neglected, not to talk of the only newly established university-Anambra State University-which did not benefit in terms of any development.
I am happy to say that after 33 months in the saddle all these have changed for good in the first year, for better in the second year and for best in this third year.
We have built 44 inter-local government, state and federal roads, spanning all local government areas in the state. We have also built 10 township roads in Awka, including the on-going massive dualisation of Nnamdi Azikiwe Avenue, 14 township roads in Onitsha, and eight in Nnewi. All roads are accompanied by concrete drains and erosion checks to make them last. In all, about 72 constructed /reconstructed by our administration.
At the inception of our government on May 29, 2003, we met an empty treasury, and there was no single kobo to run government business, not to talk of paying salaries. We owed banks and other financial institutions. The state could not even service her counterpart funding for various projects. It was not until the end of June 2003 when money trickled in from the Federation Account that we re-engineered the finances that enabled us to pay staff and start paying pensions at 142% rise-the first state in the South East to do so. We have also from then allocated N150 million monthly to defray the huge accumulation of gratuities, which had piled up from the old Anambra State up till 1991 when the state was created and beyond. Today, I am proud to say that coming in historical order we have entered the 2001 gratuities, currently being liquidated.
As I leave the saddle of governance of the state today, we have in the State Coffers as State Funds, the sum of N12.8 billion. This is made up of a strategic reserve of N7.5 billion for road construction, N1.5 billion for the development of the new Anambra State University. This is drawn from the Excess Crude savings and is for the development of the three campuses at Uli, Alor and Igbariam.We have another N1.3 Billion for Housing development programmes and N2.5billion as recurrent account for salaries, wages and pension. These are aside from the N0.3b billion in the State-Local Government Joint Account, dedicated to the construction of Inter-local government roads.
Every member of the State executive and Honourbake Members of the State House of Assembly made sacrifices for the state and shunned profligacy, which enabled us save this quantum of money. I therefore plead with the incoming administration, in the name of God, not to ‘fritter’ away these painfully gathered savings, as they are already tied to specific projects such as the following:
• Onitsha –Atani-Osomala-Ogwu-Ikpele Road with a spur to Ozubulu-one of the most dilapidated roads in the state (Contract for this already awarded)
• Amansea-Ebenebe-Awba Ofemmili Road ( Which has already been awarded)
• Anaku-Ifite Ogwari-Omasi Road
• Umueze Anam-Orom Anam-Nzam Road
• Nibo-Umuawulu –Awgbu-Odor Bridge-Amaokpala-Oko Road
These roads were already slated for flag-off before the verdict of the Appeal Court, even though considerable earthworks had been moved on each of them before now.
It would therefore be appreciated by peace-loving Ndi Anambra if the incoming administration pays special attention to these roads and also uses the funds judiciously to pay for the certificates that would be generated by the various contractors handling all the road projects.
In addition, we have kept N2.5 billion in the Recurrent Account to ensure that salaries and wages of civil servants ,as well as other perks of office are addressed as and when due ,without waiting for money from the Federation Account. Due process and Accountability has been enthroned in doing government business and I urge the Obi administration to maintain this tempo. I have no doubt in my mind that government is about service to the people and that my successor will complete all the projects we have started and will even go ahead to do more for the people of Anambra State.
Our Health Care financing, educational and other social services are on course and should be sustained. In the healthcare sector, we have two 40-foot containers filled with medical equipment, valued at N350 million awaiting distribution to various General hospitals and Health Centres. Water Supply is also receiving serous attention with work going on in Onitsha and Awka. In Onitsha Water Scheme, water has now started running after donkey years of dry taps.
Finally, let me seize this medium to thank all dedicated men and women who joined us to form the government of Anambra State for their display of extreme patriotism to their state. I wish all of them well in their next endeavour. I thank the Deputy Governor, Chief Ugochukwu Nwankwo, the speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Mike Balonwu and all members of the State Assembly for their exemplary conduct and support, without which the milestones recorded in my government would not have not been possible. I am also profoundly grateful to the members of the National Assembly from our state, who stood by us and the truth. I salute my brother Governors, party leaders, political associates and friends for their support and solidarity to my administration at its trying times. I will not forget members of the State Executive and other political appointees who worked tirelessly with me throughout the duration of my tenure. They are indeed all quality men and women.
My sincere thanks also go to the Judiciary in Anambra State, for standing firm in the discharge of their duties. I thank the Traditional Rulers, the civil society, organised labour and the church for their prayers which sustained us in the face of vicious opposition mounted by a tiny cabal determined to ensure we did not last a single day in office, in order to gain access to Anambra State resources.
I thank the media for their resilience and positive coverage of my administration and urge them to extend same to my successor, as he takes over the reins of power in Anambra State.
For now, I take a bow and leave the stage in order to take my well-deserved rest till service of our fatherland beckons again.
Thank you and God bless you all.



  1. This mans actions speak for him.It is so testimoniial that he deserves another chance.What are we waiting for,this is our Governor.God bless Ngige and give him the strenght and courage to deliver as he did in the past.


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