Anambra State Governor, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR has assured that his administration is ready for strategic partnerships with communities for accelerated development.
He also assured that the administration is working assiduously to repair the broken social contract existing between Ndi Anambra and the State government.
Governor Soludo gave the assurances while recieving a delegation of Amawbia people led by Ozonkpu Victor Oye, National Chairman of APGA and Chief (Engr.) Godwin Aronu, President General of Amawbia Town Union who paid him a courtesy call at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia.
While addressing the delegation, Governor Soludo stressed that it will take time and will be difficult because the people no longer trust the government. He admitted that successive governments hasn’t been entirely sincere to the people for decades.
He thanked Ndi Amawbia for their massive support during the last gubernatorial election and for electing him to work for the state while describing Amawbia Community as a great town and a home.
The Governor explained that Anambra has an estimate of N5.5 trillion annual economy, but 99.8% of the income is in private hands.
According to Governor Soludo, the Public Community Private Partnership (PCPP) with the public sector is critical, stressing that his administration is attempting to get Anambra to contribute at least 5% of their income.
He mentioned that countries that are rapidly developing contribute 22% of their income to the government.
“When the oil money arrived, we abandoned the taxes that had been in place since the first and second republics. There is no society in the world that has developed without the use of taxes”, Soludo stated.
“We are currently at 0.2%, but 22% income or higher is required for any economy to develop rapidly. Individuals may provide public goods, public infrastructure, waste management, security, law and order and so on. That is the primary responsibility of the government.
“People have forgotten that they must contribute a portion of their income to the government in order for it to provide public services. This has been the practice for decades “Soludo noted.
“In my inaugural speech, I mentioned the Neni and Oraukwu models in which the people built their roads with good drainage on their own. They are now concentrating on primary health care and education. This model is gradually being adopted by a number of communities. I’m spreading this message to individuals and communities. We have limited resources but we are maximizing, squeezing costs, and reducing waste while determined to add value to whatever services we provide.
“There is a new revolution on the horizon, and trust ndi Anambra, they are on the right track. I am urging local governments to work with the state government. We should pay for services as a people. We are collaborating with communities that have usable skill acquisition centers. The state government will accredit and use it if they meet the minimum requirements. In partnership with Bank of Industry, we have set aside over N2 billion for the Ministry of Youth Development to empower our youths,” Soludo maintained.
The Governor while responding to one of their pleas, assured that the State Government will look in and ensure that the Organic Fertilizer Project at Amawbia becomes operational because it will create jobs and add value for the people, while urging the Federal Government to provide the necessary equipment.
“The roads we are constructing at the moment are intra-community roads. In the first phase, we are focusing on roads with strategic connections”, Soludo pointed out.
“How are communities ensuring the cleanliness of Amawbia? The state will be clean if all of the communities are clean. We will shortly launch an Open and Clean Drainages campaign and strategy to keep it clean throughout the year. We intend to set up a system that includes a central receptacle and a waste collection mechanism. Community leaders and stakeholders will play an important role”, Soludo stated.
“After 30 years, we will relocate from the current Government Lodge to the new one that we are currently constructing in Awka. We need to consider how to put this place to better use and bring Amawbia back to life. Minimum standards must be established for markets and community roads. The most efficient government is community government.
“We are also working towards controlling erosion and the solution is to control run off water from buildings in every community. The entire state is secure if everyone can control the water that runs out of their houses, if all communities become responsible,” Soludo concluded.
The National Chairman of APGA, Ozonkpu Victor Oye, thanked the Governor for giving the people of Amawbia the opportunity to meet with him after rescheduling the meeting four times.
He admitted that he had no idea how many communities have the opportunity to meet with the Governor as Amawbia has.
“Ndi Amawbia are known as peace makers which connotes our name (Ama obia) meaning we don’t know visitors. We welcome everyone from wherever they come and give them our lands. We are facing existential threat. Some of our lands are being taken over and sold. Our PG has been harassed and arrested on numerous occasions”, Ozonkpu explained.
He revealed that the people of Amawbia adore Mr. Governor as all three wards and 17 polling units in Amawbia voted for him. He also promised that Governor Soludo would get the most votes from them during his second term.
“When this state was formed in 1991, I witnessed all of the Governors who came and went. My prayer for Governor Soludo is that God will propel him to greater heights when we leave office”, he prayed while urging the Governor to continue doing his job honestly and confidently.
The President General of Amawbia Town Union, Chief Engr. Godwin Aronu, discussed in detail the challenges of land grabbers and issues of boundary delineation between themselves and neighboring communities. He also mentioned organic fertilizer (a project Former President Obasanjo approved for five states and added one in the SouthEast).
According to Chief Aronu, the project was initiated in 2006. While the Community will provide the land, the state government will provide the building while the federal government will provide the equipment, but the project was halted somewhere along the way.
“This project has the potential to solve the problem of providing organic fertilizer in the South East. It generates approximately 500 million naira in revenue through job creation and by-product marketing. Based on Mr. Governor’s policy, we would like to collaborate with the state government. We want the stumbling block removed from that project. Finance and expertise are available to run it.
“We want our skill acquisition center to be operational. These are two critical programmes that we want to present to the Governor on behalf of the Amawbia community”, he added.
Chief of Staff to Governor Soludo, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi, Commissioner for Special Duties, Barr. Sly Ezeokenwa, Member Representing Awka South 2, Anambra House of Assembly, Hon. Chukwuma Okoye, Managing Director, Ocha Brigade, Mr. Celestine Anere, Iyom Josephine Anenih, Woman Leader Amawbia, Mrs. Chinyere Anagoh, Former TC Chairman, Awka South, Mike Akuwudube, the prestigious Amawbia Ozo Society, Amawbia stakeholders among others attended the event.
Photo: (L-R): Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo, the executive Governor of Anambra State and Chief Victor Oye, National Chairman, All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA during the visit at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia yesterday.
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