Gov Soludo Holds Interactive Session With Ndi Anambrian
Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR, on October 20, 2022 had an extensive interactive session with Ndi Anambra on Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS) where the people had an opportunity to call in and ask the Governor questions in regards to the government activities
The MD of ABS, Mr Chido Obidiegwu who anchored the programme, in his intro revealed that Mr Governor promised to interact with ndi Anambra every four months so they can air their views, opinions, criticisms and suggestions. It’s in fulfillment of that promise that Governor Soludo is making a second appearance on the programme.
Mr Chido throwing the floor open for questions asked Governor Soludo to tell ndi Anambra where the flood crisis emanated from and what extent he has intervened in finding solutions
Governor Soludo in response to the question said the flood is an annual occurrence but the one of this year is quite different because of higher levels of water tide experienced.
He said no state in Nigeria is experiencing the high level of erosion that exists in the state. 30% of erosion has taken over the Land and most of the roads are splitting into two.
“Seven LGA in the states have largely be submerged. Hundreds of thousands of homes, assets and farmlands are under water. Thousands of people are displaced. They ran from their homes to camps and families.
Our major aim is to save lives. Those in camps, we want to ensure they feed, have access to medicines and solar for electricity. Once this water subsidizes, we will continue to tend to them because many will start life all over again.
This is an annual occurrence so we will be fully prepared for that of next year. We shall provide modern speed boats to ease means of transportation for residents in the riverine areas.
Boats and Canoes are no longer secured. There was an incidence of boat mishap that led to loss of lives.
“We have also commenced serious conversation with the Federal Government. Cameroun opening their dams and allowing these floods to cause destruction shall no longer be tolerated.
Why is Nigeria no longer building dams? Cameroun built theirs in the 1980s and we didn’t do the same. We need to build up to four dams so when Cameroun open theirs, the flood won’t occur.
The Governor extended his gratitude to good spirited Ndi Anambra who have been donating to the displaced flood victims. He said a special account will be opened to help victims to start life afresh.
We must prepare for the next flood. NEMA should have an office in Anambra because the state has annual flooding.
The Chairman NUJ Anambra Chapter, Dr Odogwu Emeka Odogwu asked when will works begin in all the roads already flagged off?
The Governor replied that a number of roads have been flagged off. He said; “This is October and the rains are falling. Asphalt is not good to be applied during rainy season.”
We want to construct stone base roads with cement stabilization and moisture content. A quality never seen before!” Governor Soludo said
By the end of next month, every local government must have one road construction. Some have already begun. From Okpoko (14km) is ongoing, Akpaka to Nsugbe and decongestion of 33.
Any road we flagg off, I must go and inspect it. We inspected 13km of road at Awka from Okpuno to Isuaniocha and work will start soon.
From ogidi to Ogbunike, there’s heavy water there which is already being tackled. From Amansea to Obefemmili, Amansea, Awa down to Ufuma Junction, Akpali to Ogbunka, IgboUkwu to Ikenga, Contracts have been awarded and we shall be flagging off the roads soon.
We are going to Ekwusigo, Ihiala, Nnewi South, Osumenyi and Ezinifite, Aguata to Ayamelum. Work is ongoing at Nnobi; Inland doors, Umuoji Area.
It’s a promise we are determined to keep. Road! Road!! Road!!! Work is ongoing at New Market Road, the entire roads at Fegge, I have toured there. It’s been 40 years ago construction work has been carried out there.
I went to Owelle-aja Obosi. If it rains heavily, water level gets to their necks. I have seen these roads, I feel them and I see what people are going through on a daily basis. We are determined to fix .
“As the dry season approaches, you will see heavy construction work ongoing.
“The timelines of these roads I awarded would be completed before my 1st year in office. From Mmiata, the road should be completed before March next year. The one of Amansea should be completed before February next year.
Many of the roads have timelines of 8 months, 1 year, 18 months. Our first construction cycle is October to March. The Second Construction cycle should see us constructing over 100km of roads by the end of next year.
Lady Ify Obi who is the Station Manager of Unizik FM asked the Governor questions on insecurity. She said when it was looking that the environment was getting calm, some hoodlums attacked Senator Ifeanyi Ubah’s convoy few months ago. She asked if the culprits have been arrested.
Governor SOLUDO said when he assumed office, the security situation in the state was very terrible with over 15 camps set up from which they operate.
I was tough in my resolve to find a solution because light and darkness cannot cohabit together.
Those criminals who attacked Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah, some of them have been arrested but full briefing in that regard shall be given in detail.
The others who attacked vigilantes and military personnel, they can run but can’t hide. It’s only a question of time. Each day, we get closer in apprehending them.
Anambra must be calm and secured! We are ready to help these criminals if they make up their mind to stop crime. We will help and empower them.
Communities have lots of responsibilities to do. Any youth who attain quick wealth, interrogate and investigate him on how he accumulated such sudden wealth.
Crime won’t vanish completely in 3 or 6 months. It will take time but we shall overcome.
Lady Ify Obi also asked the Governor to give assurance to Ndi Anambra who would be visiting the state during the festive period.
Governor Soludo maintained that Ndi Anambra employed him to secure lives and properties. He said as Government, he will do all he can to ensure the state is safe for Ndi Anambra during the festive period.
He urged Ndi Anambra if they hear or see something, they should say something. He said their assistance and cooperation will help the Government win the fight against crime in the state.
We are encouraging communities to invigorate their local vigilantes to give us information. We make arrests any time of the day even at midnight. Give us information and we shall go pick them up.
Mr Jude Atupalizi, the Editor-in-Chief of Fides Newspaper asked the Governor on how far he has gone on taxation.
The Governor replied that oil money is dwindling. He recalled in his inaugural speech where he mentioned that the Government of advanced countries use taxes to work and solve public problems.
Everyone must pay their fair share. Lagos generate over N50 billion in one month from the taxes the people pay.
Of course, I’m conscious of tax incidence on the poor and making sure it’s not heavy on them. What Keke drivers pay now is less than 50% of what they pay before. The only difference is that they are asked to pay monthly.
Unions collect illegal taxes from these Keke operators. They do this for a living and use it to enrich their pockets.
We have disbanded these unions. If you want to belong in any union from henceforth, it will be on a voluntary basis.
Keke operators are asked to pay N15000 in a month (N600 a day) compared to when they pay N1500 a day (N30000 monthly). We have removed this tax burden on them.
We are also after Touts (Agberos) because they are no longer needed in the State. When I toured Onitsha, the people appreciated our efforts in driving them away.
In our billboards, we write “Solution is here! Your tax money is at work.” My promise to Ndi Anambra is that they will get value for every Kobo they pay
We recruited 5000 teachers and we must pay them monthly. We will pay pensioners who haven’t received their gratuities since 2018. This is at a time the receipts from oil have declined.
With taxes, we can construct roads and solve other problems. When people pay their taxes, government provide services in an accountable manner.
It’s difficult for a start but with time, people will begin to see the dividends of these taxes.
Part of our revolution is to get rid of these billionaire tax merchants but they won’t leave easily without a fight. Majority of them instigated the Keke drivers protests that happened last month in the state.
If everyone pays half of what they should, Anambra will be on course. Under my watch, Anambra will see the progress and value of their taxes.
The conversation on tax and value is what we take serious but we want to lower the burden on the poor.
The MD of ABS, Chido Obidiegwu spoke about the Governor closing revenue doors and organizing a public bid. He said it’s a way of demonstrating transparency.
Governor Soludo said the public bid opened his eyes to see the value of various government concessions. He said the top ten bidders are also included to winners of the bid Incase, they fail to pay to the government, the other top bidders are available to take charge of the concessions.
Mr Governor in his response to waste management in the State said it is impossible to clean Anambra from Awka.
We can’t continue to tolerate dumps and heaps of refuse in the State. We can’t sit with an Agency in Awka and clean the whole state. We have to take it to the local government level.
Waste management is local. We must develop a local mechanism we can monitor. House to House collection of Refuse and sweeping of streets is the next level we are targeting because we want Anambra to be the cleanest state.
Cleaning up Anambra is our responsibility. It is not meant for Government alone. Those throwing dirts in the gutters and blocking drainages, including those who build houses and channel water flow to the streets, will have to stop.
A whole lots of things lies on us. In keeping Anambra clean, everyone has his or her own responsibility.
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