By Christian Aburime
As the 6th democratically elected governor of Anambra State, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR, has literally brought governance from its high horse to the down-trodden. Within a short period of four months the people of Anambra State are feeling the positive impacts of Soludo’s people’s oriented government
- In Security, Law and Order. He Created a new Ministry of Homeland Affairs (for homeland security) to signal the emergency and utmost priority placed on homeland security.
- Massive consultation, mobilization and sensitization of the citizens and critical stakeholders— including security agencies, the clergy, traditional rulers, town unions, youths, civil society organizations, businessmen and women, agitation groups, etc.
- Worked with South East Bishops to organize prayers; offered amnesty/carrot to repentant outlaws; etc. The people are united in fighting against the lucrative criminal enterprise and its idolatrous energizer which had held the entire South senatorial zone plus Ogbaru local government hostage.
- The criminals masquerading as agitators have been exposed, and the nexus between crime, idolatry and hard drugs has become evident. The narrative is changing and the people are seizing the conversation and initiative.
- Declared zero tolerance for criminality and drug abuse. Took the war to the criminals in Anambra State.
- Put in a place a cohesive operational team with the State Security Council to enhance operational capabilities.
- Created Anambra State Vigilante Central Strike Force to complement the security forces to keep our forests and homeland free of the criminals.
- Successful deployment of Direct Labour Intervention to rebuild the washout section of Onitsha – Enugu Federal Highway opposite Chisco Park at Onitsha as well as the Amansea section of the Enugu – Onitsha Federal High way (entry section of Anambra), at a very cost effective rate.
- Engineering design and procurement process completed and contractors has completed the dangerous portions of two federal high ways which experience massive flooding each year, drowning unsuspecting commuters. The Ekwulobia- Nnobi federal road (Igboukwu/Isuofia boundary) and the Ogbunike – Ogidi section of the Enugu – Onitsha Road (old road) will follow soon
- De-silting of 1km of the Obodoukwu road, Okpoko to Idemili River end of the Sakamori storm water discharge. Same to the Fegge/Nwangene end of the discharge drain.
- Hydrological studies and hydraulic designs of storm water discharge channels as well as engineering designs almost completed for over 220 Kilometres of roads scattered all over Anambra state and these roads will all be flagged off for construction before the dry season commences.
- In Power and Water Resources: Thrre has been Reinvigoration of the Anambra State Power Committee, which also has the EEDC as a member. The Committee recently finished a Retreat and is finalizing details of the plans and programmes (including the legal/regulatory framework) to align all the stakeholders in the electricity market in Anambra and ensure optimal performance and delivery of government’s target.
- Rehabilitation of the water facilities at the Jerome Udorji Secretariat for civil servants. The Secretariat has not had water running in the offices for over eight years. Today water runs freely at the secretariat
- Completion of the Urban Water generation at Amuko-Uruagu, Nnewi.
Achievement of Open Defecation Free (ODF) status for Aguata LGA. This is the second local government, after Anambra East LGA to achieve such a status.
- In Agriculture: Successfull launch of new Agro-economic transformation along the Oil-palm and coconut value chains, with the target of planting one million seedlings per annum. Over 30 Communities, institutions and investors have been profiled to plant over 2.5 Million seedlings, in partnership with the State government. This is designed to re-start from where Dr. M.I. Okpara stopped and to maximize our potentials in these highly profitable agro value chains – to create jobs, wealth and revenue to government.
- Creation of 14 task teams to aggressively drive the agro-transformation agenda of this new government at all levels
- Reactivation of the Ministry of Agriculture E-platform for data gathering, hosting and dissemination, to enable R&D, tech-driven monitoring and evaluation
- Restoration of the image of Anambra State as a responsible, trustworthy recipient of development programmes by World Bank, African Development Bank, UN, JAPAN, FGN etc by paying Counterpart funding
- Adoption and Declaration of Regenerative Agricultural Systems as a state policy.
- Embarking on the decongestion/removal of obstructions along major roads (Amansea to Head Bridge, Upper Iweka to Amorka & Awka to Ekwulobia, etc), market encroachments/trading activities on the roads & sustenance of free flow of traffic. To achieve this, state government has completed the cycle of Public Service Announcement and Town Hall meetings with Transport Unions/Associations
- Identification/Assessment of public parks in the State
- Central Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Teams at Zonal levels have been constituted.
- In Culture, Entertainment & Tourism:
Hosted a high-profile research team from the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture for the possible enlistment of the Ogbunike Cave at the UNICEF World Heritage Site.
- Three designs from notable Architectural firms have been shortlisted for further consideration for the building of a world class Entertainment and Leisure Park, at Agulu Lake.
- Anambra State Executive Council (ANSEC) has given approval for the deployment of Anambra Tourism System Statistics, a globally approved strategy which will provide automated/digital monitoring and regulation of the Tourism and Hotel Industry among other sectors. This will boost and standardize Hospitality, Hotel and other related businesses.
- Lands: The Evaluation and Service Delivery Committee is a new innovation introduced under the present administration. The Committee is charged with the responsibility to, among other things; ensure expeditious action and quick service delivery in every documentation process within the time frame stated in the Ministry’s Timeline for Execution of tasks. The Committee also ensures strict compliance with the time limit assigned to every department/unit in the Timeline for efficiency and quick service delivery.
- Land Disputes Resolution Committee has been set up to review land disputes
- Issued public notice directing holders of Certificate of Occupancy issued on or before the 31st day of December, 2018 to pay up their outstanding ground rents. The Ministry also intends to announce the proposed revocation of the Right of Occupancy of those who fail to pay within a particular time.
- The implementation of Geographic Information Service (GIS) to enhance effective land administration and increase revenue has been approved by Anambra State Executive Council.
- The launching of Land Transparency Initiative and Setting up Partnership Forum with Private Sector Investors and Operators in Land and Property Sectors is ongoing.
- Begun to engage with host communities on acquisition of 1000 – 2000 acres of land for the building of the World Class Entertainment Resort akin to Disney World.
- A trial run on Implementing Fast Track Mortgage Transaction Acceleration Programme, in the Ministry of land has commenced.
- The Anambra State Land Reform Committee has been constituted. The Committee is to review the procedures, parameters and purposes for land acquisition, allocation and revocation.
- Technology—ICT: Anambra Digital Tribe; Initiative ready for launch and activities will commence within the next 90 days.
- Standardization of Internet Assets; the process of hosting all MDAs under the same domain has begun. All Government assets will gradually be migrated to the Internet domain name anambrastate.gov.ng as we finalize our Cloud Strategy.
- The Anambra Cloud; a public cloud service just finalized. It will consolidate the numerous cloud providers being used by MDAs today.
- State Digital Assets SOPs; Released the Digital asset SOP based on the naming convention approved by Mr Governor, which is currently being adopted by all MDAs.
36: Last-Mile High-speed fiber optic internet provision; In line with the Manifesto of providing high speed broadband, the State is in final negotiations with a PPP partner which would ensure a dig-once policy and the laying of fiber-optic cable in ducts. This project will attract thousands of direct and indirect jobs, as well as help launch Anambra fully into the global economy.
37: Public WiFi Proof of Concept; the concept and proposal for a public Wi-Fi for the state is being finalized and upon deployment would ensure that select Public areas would be powered with Wifi.
40: NITDA’s Planned Innovation Centre; the National Information Technology Development Agency ( NITDA) has expressed interest in launching an Innovation Centre in Awka – the First of its kind in the South Eastern Part of the Country. Land will be allocated for the project shortly.
- Baseline Study of e-government in Anambra State; the ICT Agency undertook the study, which showed the state of e-government infrastructure in the state. This will serve as a basis for the development of our Civil42 service into a Digital workforce.
GovTech preliminary strategy; The state participated in a World Bank subnational Government GovTech Maturity Index survey and based on the preliminary results of this survey and the baseline study, the state has designed a first draft gov-tech strategy which advises the government on the relevant infrastructure to put in place, for a transition to e-government.
- Education: Completed Phase 2 of screening of over 40,000 candidates who applied for teaching job in the primary and secondary schools. The next phase of interviews for the last 6,000 candidates will soon commence.
- Reviewing the state of Anambra tertiary institutions with a view to aligning them to global best practices and responsive to needs of the State and Nigeria..
- Launched “operation bring back our school/Adopt a School Programme” to support Government effort in improving our Educational system.
- Students successfully completed their WAEC exams despite the insecurity challenges
- Health: Ground breaking ceremony of Coordinated Wholesale Center, Oba has been achieved. The project was jinxed for six years. When completed, it will be the largest drug distribution hub in West Africa.
- Introduced andlactivated drug revolving fund in the State hospitals.
- Achieved a rapid response to measles outbreak in 13 LGAs. Currently the outbreak has been contained in 12 LGAs out of the initial 13
- Fixing of the State ambulances to aid emergency responses with a toll free number boldly displayed
51: Ongoing Massive recruitment of health workers in our General hospitals
52 Activation of Endoscopy unit at General Hospital, Onitsha.
- Activation of dental units in General hospitals, Enugwu-Ukwu, Umueri and Ekwulobia.
- Optimization of laboratory department of general hospital Agulu and general hospital Nnobi with haematology analyzers.
- Introduction of Anambra State hospital Inspection team.
- Zero Malaria Initiative: In collaboration with the Malaria Consortium flagged off the distribution of 3.8 million Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN).
- In collaboration with the State government, the Global Fund is building a new Oxygen plant at Onitsha.
- Women and Social Welfare; Rescued a total of 13 Children from agents of human trafficking.
- Establishment of a situation room for Sexual Gender Based Violence and Data collection in the State.
- Budget & Economic Planning: Submitted the 2022 revised budget to the State House of Assembly tailored to meet the state governemt’s ambitious infrastructural and other capital development, especially roads.
- Anambra State Internal Revenue Service (AIRS)
a. Completely digitalized our revenue collection to remove leakages and widen the bracket to meet our set targets (ANSIDD has been replaced with ASIN which ensures a dynamic Biometric Data collation structure).
63.New Digital structure would ensure long term and user friendly channels and we have commenced pilot schemes on the use of POS , USSD, Web and App channels and the payments into Banks and Bank ordered agents which ensures that those within the informal sector especially, can make payments seamlessly.
- Commenced wide scale engagements with the various markets and Transport Unions to ensure that the leakages are plugged.
- Local Government, Chieftaincy and community Affairs
a. PwC reviewed the operations of the local government and submitted report for
- Resolved 15 community disputes which include re-instating 4 Presidents General through the rule of law; resolved 11 community crises and successfully conducted 15 Town Union Elections
- Egagement with key stakeholders in the communities with a view to resolving the crises
- Environment.; Embarked upon the clearing/cleaning of mountainous waste dumps in Onitsha, Okpoko, Awka, Nkpor, etc which had impeded flow of traffic, undermined commercial activities and constituted health hazard.
b. De-silted over one kilometre of drainage preventing the impending flood that faced the residents of Okpoko and environs.
c. Revised and launched a framework for the collection and evacuation of solid waste within our state, and selected waste management contractors for the 31 zones specified in the State.
- Launched the tree planting campaign designed to make Anambra the greenest State in the country.
Updating the social register which is a social protection net for the poor and elderly in
Anambra state. It was last updated in 2017.
UNDP/UN System is back to Anambra and an office space has been given to them with other logistics support to enhance their functionality.
Ongoing engagement to implement the Ease of Doing Business programme in Anambra with support from the Office of the Vice President
Ongoing Development of Economic and Social Database with the Statistical Office
Establishment and inauguration of the Truth, Justice and Peace Committee to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the agitation and violence in Anambra/South East; seek a restorative justice approach for truth-telling or real facts; for the healing of the victims of the violence, accounting for responsibility and accountability of the actors, conditional mercy for the repentant perpetrators, restitution for certain losses and rehabilitation of the perpetrators, for the overall aim of restoration of peace and justice as well as the promotion of development in the State/region.
Declared zero tolerance for touting (Agbero) which has endeared the government to transport owners, operators and stake holders. More programmes and projects will be unveiled in due course particularly to retrain and empower the former touts.
Citizen participation has been emboldened. We have created an avenue for connecting with the people by the provision of seven phone lines for citizens to reach the security managers of the state. There is a flood of actionable intelligence and the security forces are prompt with response.
Declaration of 6 p.m. to 6 a.m curfew on motorcycles (okada), tricycles (keke), and shuttle buses in 8 Local Government areas is a short term security measure that will be lifted in no distant time.
Work is ongoing to restructure and strengthen the community security architecture and deployment of technology in security.
Declaration of emergency on traffic management and the Anambra Road Traffic Management Agency (ARTMA) is being strengthened to deliver.
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