Why I saved money in naira, dollars, by Peter Obi
Former Anambra State governor, Mr. Peter Obi, has described as scandalous alleged sale by the Governor Willie Obiano-led administration of dollars he saved and invested in the Anambra Future Growth Funds.
During a campaign speech at Head Bridge Market, Onitsha, yesterday, Obi defended his decision to be prudent with the state’s resources.
He said: “I saved N48, 629,473, 469 in local currency, some of which we tied to specific projects like the payment of two-year salary of civil servants we employed for him (Obiano), so as not to be encumbered; Agulu and Onitsha Hotel, Awka and Nnewi Malls; and some critical roads like the completion of the dualisation of the carriage road which we got permission for and (were to) be paid back by the Federal Government. We also left some for him to continue what we were doing aggressively.”
On a sum of $156 million, Obi explained: “After our study of the Chinese phenomenal achievements as we were coming to the end of the MDGs, we learned that the Chinese regional governments were able to attract a number of investments because of ability to contribute or partner with investors in setting up productive facilities within their regions. For example, some of them effectively made equity contributions of 10-20 per cent, 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, $18-$20 million dollars, as we did in eight years, up until 2030 at the average interest rate of a little over 6 per cent, we would be able to achieve about a billion dollars in savings and earnings.
“We would then use about 50 per cent of this amount to attract investment, considering that the average Chinese small and medium scale enterprise (SME) for example, was set up with about $2 million dollars.
“Our goal was that if we would be able to invest 25 per cent in each enterprise, which is $500,000, we would be able to achieve 1000 SMEs facilities scattered all over Anambra State, which would jump-start aggressive economic growth within the state, especially as income from oil is coming to an end. I personally explained this to him and we wrote it down in our comprehensive handover note.”
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