The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has replied he Governor of Anambra State, Charles Soludo, for saying the roads he constructed when he governed the state were poor.
Speaking at the 26th Lagos Business School Alumni Day in Lagos, Obi said he won a prize from the federal ministry of works for having the best road networks in Anambra when he was governor.
He also used the opportunity to reveal that his investment in the state is still worth something as against the worthlessness attributed to them by Soludo.
Read his comment below.
“I’m sure you are talking about comments from my very respectable elder brother. I and Soludo have come along way. He’s my brother, he’s my friend and he’s the governor of my state.
“And as governor of my state, I pray for him to do well in everything. and all that and we have to support him. It is very important and critical.
“He has his own opinions. His opinion might not be the opinion of the people of Anambra State; it might not be the opinion of South-East or Nigerians, but I respect his opinion because it is his opinion and he’s a respected person as far as I’m concerned and he’s my governor.
“But in a clarification so that people may understand, the investment I did in Anambra State was… before I talk about investment, the only measure of development while I was governor was millenium development goals. It was millenium development goals that India, China, Vietnam mainstreamed into their development agenda.
“For China, they used it to pull 439 million people out of poverty. Between the year 2000 and 2015, India within this period pulled 276 million out of poverty and Vietman pulled almost 40 to 50 million out of poverty. These are records we can check.
“I became governor in 2006, was impeached end of 2006, came back…
“One of my greatest supporters today, one of the reasons why he’s supporting me is that when they said I should give people money for me not to be impeached, I said no I can’t pay people to do the wrong thing, I’d rather go but I came back.
“So, for me, they started MDG in 2000 but after my impeachment, I came back in 2007 and started implementing MDG. By the time Nigeria ended MDG in 2015, Anambra State was number one.
“The person in charge of pulling people out of poverty in Nigeria is a man called Dr Magnus Sparkle. Go and I ask him, I have a certificate for being number one. He’s still alive.
“Go to Department of Statistics, I was the first governor to do statistical record of poverty. I won a prize from federal ministry of works for having the best road network. You can go to people in Anambra State.
“I was number one when I started. We were number 26 and 27 in WAEC and NECO. By the time I left, we were number one.
“I won Bill Gates prize for health. I can go on and on and say this is what we achieved but I say the overall measure is the MDG. I was number one. The people who were doing it then was Amina who is now in United Nations. I was even invited to United Nations to share my experience.
“The day I left office, I was not owing any contractor who has executed his job. I didn’t say I’m noy owing for any job that the contract was awarded but you can only pay when contracts are executed.
“I’m not owing any contractor who has executed his job. I’m not owing any supplier who has supplied anything.
“Examples are people like Innosson, Xenox computers… I paid Xenox. We bought the highest number of computers ever bought by a government in Africa. They are there. HP wil tell you the same thing. I paid them six months upfront before they supplied them to our schools.
“I paid Innosson one year before he delivered any car. You can go and verify all these.
“Above these, I decided from day one that we must have a savings as a state and we must save at least 10 per cent of my total receipt by the time I will leave government.
“Total money I received while I was governor… Anambra State received, whether it was local government, whether it was state, whether it was local revenue, IGR, everything was about N500bn.
“The day I left office, we had in savings N75bn and this was how the money was shared so you will know which one is mentioned.
“The money we saved, we saved in dollars in three banks in Nigeria; some of you are working in those banks. Access Bank, Diamond Bank and Fidelity Bank. In each of those banks, I had a savings of $50m. Dollars, I didn’t say naira; and they were invested at at least interest of six and half per cent. If you calculate it today, as of that time it was equivalent of N25bn.
“If you calculate with interest, it’s about 260, at least $250m.
“These three banks are there. I have in each of these banks I again invested N10bn in each of them, making it 30 billion at an average interest of… call it 10 per cent. If you calculate it, that money today would have been about 50 billion.
“Remember what I left was 75 as you calculated them.
“The third one is investment I did in various companies. NIPP, we had $59m in it. The one that they are saying is worthless, we invested 3.5 billion in international breweries.
“International breweries is what you can call a global company. It is part of AB beer which is the biggest brewer in the whole world.
“We had a policy while I was governor that any factory, any foreign investor who wanted to invest in Anambra State, we would buy 10 per cent of the company, and under the condition, we will sign an agreement with him that he would give Anambra people work to the minimum of not less than 40 per cent of the workers.
“They built a facility in Anambra State. That facility is there today employing, directly and indirectly, over 10,000 Anambrarians. They’ve been one of the highest revenue source for the state. Even some of their waste, the biggest piggery we have in Anambra State collects waste from them. There are so many things that company has done in terms of heldping the state, transporters, this, that and everything.”