Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano has stated that the state’s economy is buoyant, and that part of the reason the recession is not biting very hard in Anambra is because his government still pays salaries.
Chief Obiano who spoke in Awka during a one-day fire and safety summit organized by the State Emergency Management Agency(SEMA) and the Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria(ISPON) said at a time like this when hardship is pervading the country, there was need for citizens to apply safety to safeguard what they already had.
The governor said he can best be described as the man who saw tomorrow as early in his government, he had announced agriculture as one of the major pillars of his government, and this has helped in the cultivation of food crop that is today mitigating the hardship.
Obiano said that as a result of the high prices of dollar in the parallel market, most businesses were finding it difficult to remain afloat, while lots of shops at Onitsha main market have remained under lock and keys.
“We are still lucky to be paying salaries, and that is what has kept the state’s economy buoyant. We pay our workers, and they in turn spend money in the state to buy the things they need.
“In this state, we are losing revenue everyday as businesses are going down. If you go to main Market Onitsha, you will find a lot of shops closed. This is because of the rise in the price of dollar. Dollar has never been as high as this before.
“We saw the recession coming, and we made Agriculture a priority of this government, and today, we have food to eat. Economists have proven that it takes nothing less than 18 months to exit recession once in it, so our people have to eat, while we wait for the recession to be over,”Obiano said.
The governor called on citizens of the state who he said are mostly traders to take seriously the issue of insurance, and to also take seriously the Fire and safety tips to be shared in the summit to avoid losing already acquired properties at hard times like this.
“Our people do not take advantage of insurance, but there is need for them to look towards this area. We must learn to insure the things that are valuable to us. Some people do not see sense in paying premium, but in cases of loss, you will see why it is worth doing,” Obiano said.
He advised that things like certificates and other valuable documents can also be safeguarded in bank boxes at very minimal fees to avoid loss.
Earlier, the Executive secretary of SEMA and the ISPON national president, Chief Paul Odenigbo and Dr Nnamdi Ilodiuba respectively gave reasons for the convening of the summit, saying it would arm citizens, especially traders, market leaders and even house wives on how to ensure safety at home and offices, and how to deal with emergency situations.
Four papers were presented at the summit which basically bordered on managing fire outbreaks, flood and erosion control and prevention, safety at construction sites and benefits of insurance.