Valentine Ozigbo is the immediate past President of Trancorp group and a frontline governorship aspirant on the platform of PDP. He bares his mind on his achievements and plans for Anambra state. MYKE UZENDU was there for The AUTHORITY.
Why do you want to govern Anambra State?
The reason is simple, I believe that Anambra is a unique state, Anambra has everthing Anambra needs to solve Anambra problems. And why haven’t we been able to solve this problem. It is because we are yet to enthrench competence in leadership, we’re yet to imbibe that culture that I call Kaizen culture, a culture of continuous improvement, where we challenge ourselves to do even better in anything that we do.
We are here to bring that audacious visionary leadership that we’ve been missing that can lead us to eldorado and I will do everything to ensure we actualize that vision.
We will focus on the basics of roads infrastructure, gas infrastructure, industrialising Anambra, looking at things from various level, from cluster level, from sector level, we can begin to deal with Anambra problem in a pragmatic manner.
On the cluster level, we want to pull up with ensuring that Onitsha truly becomes a commercial hub, we want to follow up to make sure that Nnewi truly becomes an industrial hub. We’ll make sure that Awka truly become a true capital of a state because today it is not.
I finally want also look at technological cluster, where Aguata zone and the environm can actually be taken care of. I can tell you that there’s no reason why Anambra cannot be a technology hub for Africa because indeed by the time we begin to engage the global technology companies, established their research centers in Anambra, you’re going to see a remarkable difference.
You were the MD of Transcorp, did you do enough in terms of share holders return. What are those achievements that will speak in favour of your quest to govern Anambra?
I was the CEO of Transcorp hotels from 2011 to 2018 and we paid record dividends never paid in the history of the company.
The hotel within my realm became the best business hotel in Africa for six consecutive years according to seven stars group; world travel hotels. I became the only black person voted the CEO of the year in the world.
So I want to assure you that all through my span in transcorp hotel as CEO, by the grace of God, the hotel was unprecedented in performance. Both the federal government and the shareholders alike derived sufficient dividends.
We also made sure other stakeholders were fully well taken care of; from FIRS in terms of tax payment, I was the only CEO that ever received acknowledgement from the Federal Island Revenue Service for being tax compliant.
Is it not possible for the candidates to go for consensus?
We are going for proper, democratic process for people who are interested in bringing in their wealth of experiences and have shown interest and for as many people as we have that are qualified and competent, they are free.
On the day of primary, we head to the polls and we make sure the best would emerge through a transparent process that we have been guaranteed by the national leadership.
I’m also an advocate of consensus and peace and I want to tell you that this is the reason why I’ve been engaging quite a number of people on a stakeholder level, on relationship level even at aspirant level to say to them let’s unite, let’s form a nexus, so that at the end of the day, whoever would win the primary will get the support of those who have lost especially when the process is fair and credible.
So, I believe in that consensus, and so if it is necessary for anybody to step down, that will be fantastic so the numbers get reduced and the cost of electioneering also minimized.
But also I want to say this, by the grace of God today, I am the leading aspirant, I’m the top contender for the job and by the grace of God, I’m on my way to winning the primary of PDP.
I have also been friendly and close to every other aspirant on this journey. That’s why I don’t talk anything bad about any aspirant because at the end of the day, we’re all from the same family of PDP.
The only way we can make sure we win this election is that we go as one family. My promise to all of you is that I will do everything possible to help in uniting PDP.
What stands you out among other aspirants?
I want to say this to you, there are a lot of unique advantages that I have that by the grace of God may not be equalled by theem. As you know, we are in the realm of these two worlds, we’re talking about how do we get Anambra to catch up with the rest of the world.
The person you have here is a digital man, who understand the future. So as a matter of fact, if you’re looking for class or modernity and world class, If you are also looking for energy that is required for this process, you understand that politicking and governance requires that you are on toes, we are looking for people who are in their prime, not people who may have retired and looking for how to settle.
At that point, you understand that I am superior in terms of what I can bring to bear. If you’re also looking for people who are widely acceptable who have no babbage’s who have no enemies who haven’t done anything that has anybody to question about. I thank God that he has been able to take me through that journey for my career, where I’ve shown brilliance in everything I’ve ever done.
And by the way, if you want to know, if you come to the intellect, I’m also not second class to anybody, by the grace of God, everything I’ve ever done, I’ve come tops, my primary school top, second top. I went to University of Nigeria, I made the best results in my department and the faculty. I went to England for masters, I made distinction finance, I went to the Institute of Accountants, I am a fellow of multiple bodies.
I’ve also been to multiple universities in the world and I’m the president of the GCO class that we just finished few years ago.
So if you’re also looking for somebody who’s a community developer, I’ve also been in very key in making sure we empower women and youths through my foundation. I’m also here to tell you in the world of today, sports and entertainment is the orderb of today, and am one of the biggest promoters of sports in Nigeria and also the biggest promoter crystal football in Africa.