I am inspired to write this piece because one agbado and cassava slave economist in his poorly written article yesterday was angry that Peter Obi after paying billions of debt owed by Anambra state before he became governor, was still able to meet all financial obligations of the state; built over 800 kilometers of roads and 13 bridges.
He also established a fantastic security architecture for his state, covering one hundred and seventy seven communities provided with security vans and gadgets and security agencies in the state also equipped; built health facilities across communities and got National accreditation for ten tertiary health institutions in the state; remodeled over five hundred schools in Anambra state with laboratories installed, libraries updated, power generators provided for all schools, two buses provided for all schools, water provided in all schools, over thirty thousand computers given to schools, internet provided for all schools, as he took Anambra from number twenty six to number one in education in Nigeria.
The agbado and cassava slave economist was angry that Peter Obi met other Millennium Development Goals in his eight years tenure, and was adjudged the best governor in Nigeria by international bodies on MDGs. This is amongst other things not mentioned here.
Yet, he was able to save for the future of the state. That is what the agbado and cassava slave economist was particularly angry about.
He didn’t even consider the fact that poor savings culture is the reason Nigeria is borrowing today to service debt. He would rather rant about the rationale for saving for the future even it is now a public knowledge that this is the missing link in Nigeria’s development.
Nigeria is not even paying it’s debt but expending hundred percent of annual revenue on servicing existing debt. That is now at the heart of Nigeria’s crisis.
Yet some empty brains that have no history of wealth creation and cannot stand near Peter Obi in terms of wealth creation are talking as though they have anything to offer. Aside stealing from government or being ass lickers of people in government many of those challenging his theory on wealth creation have never ran a successful business.
Peter Obi saw what Nigeria is passing through now coming over 10 years ago and he advised the Nigerian government and other governors to save for the future of our children but some of them refused. Even when Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, under President Jonathan, wanted Nigeria to save for the future, many of the governors then resisted her. Especially, APC governors, including Adams Oahiomole and Raji Fashola, fought against it. It was Peter Obi and one or two other governors then that supported her.
Because Peter Obi is a successful businessman of many years experience, he understood that saving money was an important step to wealth creation.
And you wonder how these agbado and cassava economists could have become rich if they didn’t get into government to steal.
Peter Obi in his model for pulling Nigeria out of poverty posited that for one to prosper both as an individual and as a society, the steps needed to be taken will include:
1. Pay up your debt
2. Stay out of debt
3. If you must borrow, let it be for investment in a productive venture that will pay back the debt and bring you return on investment
4. Meet your immediate financial obligations
5. Save for the rainy day, for your children’s future and investment in productive venture
6. Invest in lucrative ventures
7. Take part of your profit from your investment to improve your standard of living
8. Reinvest part of the profit from your previous investment in another venture to avoid having all your eggs in one basket
9. Continue in this trajectory until you gain financial stability and become prosperous.
10. Do it over and over again and you will continue to prosper.
That is Peter Obi’s model for wealth creation.
This simple steps have been difficult for Nigerian government and many states in Nigeria to follow because many of those occupying leadership positions don’t have the personal discipline and forward thinking attitude of Peter Obi. He has the discipline and forward thinking mindset that has helped him build his many businesses and governed his state without borrowing but thereafter left Anambra as the most financially stable state in Nigeria.
And as my friend would ask: “would it be reasonable to think that the agbado and cassava economist who authored the deliberate mysterious nonsense against Peter Obi does not have a savings account as a private person? If he could save for any reason, why does he rationally think that States should not save?
“In any case, Obi is ever ready to explain the rationale behind saving for the State.
Here he goes: “I saved N48,629,473,469 in local currency some of which we tied to specific projects like payment of 2-year salary of civil servants we employed for him [his successor, Willie Obiano] not to be encumbered, Agulu and Onitsha Hotel, Awka and Nnewi Malls and some critical roads like the completion of the dualization of the Dual carriage road over which we had got permission to do so and be paid back by the Federal Government.
“We also left some for him to continue what we were doing aggressively”.
On the US$156 million saved, Peter Obi explained the purpose thus: “After our study of the Chinese phenomenal achievements as we were coming to the end of MDGs, we learned that the Chinese Regional governments were able to attract a number of investments because of the ability to contribute or partner with the investors in setting up productive facilities within their regions.
“For example, some of them effectively made equity contributions of 10-20%, which they were able to achieve due to their robust saving.
“So, our calculation was that if the State would be able to save a particular amount (US$18-20 million) as we did in eight years, up until 2030 at the average interest rate of a little over 6%, we would be able to achieve about a billion Dollars in savings and earnings. We would then use about 50% of this amount to attract investments, considering that the average Chinese Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SME), for example, was set up with about two million Dollars.
Our goal was that if we would be able to invest 25% in each enterprise, which is $500,000, we would be able to achieve 1000 SMEs facilities scattered all over Anambran State, which would jump-start aggressive economic growth within the State, especially as income from oil is coming to an end”.
I challenge anybody anywhere to fault this. Peter is not just a great manager of resources but a visionary leader who has shown a model for pulling Nigeria out of poverty.
What is much to his credit is his resilience, his personal discipline, ability to resist pressure to be extravagant and to impress people by lavishing money whether his or that of government on frivolities. He is a silent giver with focus on critical areas where people need help in education, health and starting a productive venture. Since living office as a governor he has given financial support to over hundred and fifty schools and health facilities in Nigeria covering Sokoto, kogi, nassarawa, Abia, etc.
By 1999 Peter Obi was richer than anybody that has ruled Nigeria or any state in Nigeria since 1999 to date. Many of the politicians boasting about financial war chest in their campaign only made money in government. I challenge them to present their financial records before they ever came into government; only a few of them had wealth before then.
Only a fool doubts a prove.
Great Imo Jonathan
National Publicity Secretary
*Peter Obi Support Organization*