…Says Anambra operates on 0% revenue on Oil from Fed Acct
…Assures Ndi Anambra of an end to insecurity
The Executive Governor of Anambra state, Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo has stated that his first one hundred days in office have been bumpy, and challenging in carrying out the affairs of the state.
Prof Soludo who disclosed this at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia on Saturday 25th, also noted that Anambra since February have not recieved a dime from the contribution of oil revenue from NNPC to the federation account while assuring Ndi Anambra of ending insecurity issue.
According to him, “I am not a fan of the fad about the first 100 days. I prefer to give you comprehensive annual reports and I look forward to the first one in March 2023. However, as a responsive government and as part of our periodic citizens’ engagement, we are providing this briefing on this short term milestone. We will also periodically brief and engage you as our employers, through interactive phone-in radio programmes”.
“As promised, we hit the ground running from the first minute after swearing-in; working for 8 hours and 45 minutes on that day, starting with a three and a half hours meeting on security. Since then, I go to the office every day and literally working 24/7 to make you proud.
“To be sure, the last 100 days have been bumpy and challenging as expected, with insecurity and a red treasury being the most portent, as clearly identified in our inaugural address. Since February 2022, the contribution of oil revenue from NNPC to the federation account has been zero and many states have difficulty paying salaries. Thus, with declining revenue in the context of insecurity and a mountain of debt (including over N20 billion in arrears of gratuity to pensioners since 2018) vis-à-vis the sky-high expectations from you (my employers), some fundamental disruptive changes are inevitable. I remind everyone who has tried to commiserate with me that I consciously applied for this job, and there will be no excuses. We thank you, Umunnem, for your continued solidarity and support. Together, Anambra will win!
The Governor speaking further said “We have spent the last 100 hundred days addressing some key foundational issues: appointed, swore-in and organized a retreat for a new cabinet within five weeks; launched the campaign to mobilize our people to take back our state from criminals and head-on systematic and comprehensive attack on insecurity to restore law and order; revised 2022 budget and provided unprecedented allocation of 64% for capital/infrastructural development as well as priority for youth development; declared a state of emergency on roads and traffic and preparing to flag-off the construction of over 220 kilometres of roads as the rains subside; getting touts out of our roads and markets; redefining the purpose and character of government focused upon service delivery as well as prudent and transparent fiscal management; ending the phenomenon of schools without teachers and hospitals without doctors by embarking on an ambitious, open and competitive process to recruit thousands of teachers as well as doctors, pharmacists and nurses for our hospitals; cleaning up the mountains of waste on our roads; working to ensure that entry into and exit from Anambra especially at Amansea and bridge-head Onitsha become pleasurable experience; signaling our urban renewal agenda with illustrative ambitious agenda for cleaning and modernizing Okpoko and Onitsha metropolis as well as other urban centres which will take greater vigor after the rainy season; laying the foundation for our everything technology and technology everywhere agenda; restructuring and digitizing our Internal Revenue Service; designing and approving a regime for a GIS and digitization of our land registry; launching a policy of never owing gratuity to new retirees and gradually paying down the backlog for the State civil service and approving same for local governments; etc”.
“In sum, let me assure you that so far, so bumpy but so good! Most people attest that the grave insecurity is being significantly contained, and we are unrelenting. All eyes are on the ball and we are determined to ensure that despite the daunting challenges, our State will remain on course to a livable and prosperous smart homeland. We remain focused on implementing the Soludo Solution—The People’s Manifesto, with its five driving pillars: Security, Law and Order; Economic Transformation Agenda; Social Agenda; Governance, Rule of Law and Value System; and Environment—towards a clean, green and planned sustainable communities, markets and cities”.
Additionally, “We still have a very long way to go. It is not time to celebrate anything. We are just warming up. In March 2023, we shall present you with the first annual report. For now, we are keeping awake to ensure your safety and lay the foundation for your prosperity. We are working hard and the Monday Sit at Home will soon be history. Our children will have their full week of studies and our businesses will be on full charge again”.
“The road ahead will be bumpy and every citizen has a duty to contribute to building a livable and prosperous homeland in the context of dwindling resources. You will be called upon to bear some sacrifices. To my supporters and party members, it would mean that the State can longer afford many political appointments. A nimble but effective government will be required. Ndi Anambra at home and abroad are called upon to pay their taxes to Anambra State government. We can’t build those roads to your local governments and communities with bare hands. Our Covenant with you is that your tax money must work for you”.
“For those who made a living by collecting revenue on behalf of government through various “revenue windows”, we regret that those can no longer work as the government is determined to collect every kobo due to it through digital processes. Yes, oil money is out but we must survive and prosper. For those in government, it means that the State can’t afford any waste of any sort. Only expenditures that are absolutely imperative will be undertaken in our quest to ensure that every penny is devoted to give maximum value to Ndi Anambra. With the spirit of sacrifice and patriotism by all, Anambra will surely win”.
“Let me again specially thank and appreciate all our citizens and stakeholders for their massive solidarity and support— the clergy, traditional rulers, town unions, youths and women organizations, market unions, transporters, CSOs and professional groups, captains of industry, members of the media, etc. We appreciate the communities embarking on various development programmes without waiting for government. We thank those investors who, in spite of the insecurity, are still betting on Anambra. You will surely reap the huge benefits”.
“I must not fail to thank in a special way the security agencies as well as our vigilante, and all the donors and supporters who have contributed to the war against criminality in Anambra. May the God of Anambra bless you all. We remember all the victims of the crass criminality and pray that God will grant their souls eternal rest. They died but we must not let them die in vain. In particular, let me thank the members of the international community for their solidarity, goodwill and support. We will soon receive many of you in our State, and we will later have the opportunity to document and appreciate your various contributions. Anambra is ready, as a case study, to showcase your exemplary contributions to our country and humanity”.
“On my part, I continue to pledge my commitment of absolute dedication and exemplary service to you. As I adorn our locally made Akwete dress and wear the Anambra made shoes, eat Anambra foods and enjoy her drinks as well as drive the Anambra made cars, I signal my readiness as the chief promoter and marketer of everything produced in Anambra. In time, we will take the made in Anambra to Africa and the world. God did not make a mistake to make us Ndi Anambra. Let’s take back our state and make her livable and prosperous. Of course, we are Ndi Anambra, and we can! Let’s get back to work”, he concluded.