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100 Days: Five Takeaways from Soludo’s Address

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Chukwuma Soludo/Governor of Anambra State

Anambra State governor, Chukwuma Soludo spent his 100th day as the Chief Executive Officer of his state on 26 June.

He held a briefing in Awka where he listed the challenges he has faced in three months in office and also talked about the plans for the future.

Here are five things you should know:

Anambra Moving to Agriculture-Based Economy

Governor Soludo said his administration was embarking on an aggressive agriculture-based economy.

This involves giving people palm and or coconut seedlings that they would plant and harvest within a five-yearperiod.

Palm fruits cropped

“This is why we say we are going back to where the late M.I. Okpara stopped; he built Eastern Nigeria with money from palm oil.

“Cities of Onitsha with the Main Market; Enugu, University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Port Harcourt, Calabar, Aba and the rest were built with palm; they were well planned with pipe-borne water and electricity.

“But all these were abandoned with the discovery of crude oil and revenue from it, but there is enormous room to maximise our potential in palm production,” he said.

He reminded those present at the briefing how Malaysia has become a leading palm exporter after learning from Nigeria.

“Malaysia came to Eastern Nigeria to collect samples of the palm but today, their export of palm is far more than Nigeria is exporting in crude oil and today, we go to Malaysia to get improved seedlings that mature between four to five years.

“A household that gets about 30 or 40 seedlings is out of poverty permanently; so the government wants to plant about one million seedlings every year for the next 10 years and if we achieve that, it will give us more revenue than FAAC and IGR,” he said.

Civil Service Retirees Owed N21.6 bn

The governor also disclosed that local government and state civil servant retirees were N21.6 billion in gratuity.

This is made up of N14 billion owed to state civil service retirees and N7.6 billion to local government retirees.

Soludo 100 days

He warned that states may be unable to pay their basic bills if they fail to move away from FAAC-based revenue.

The governor said Nigeria was facing tough times due to dwindling oil revenue, which is in turn affecting thestates.

“Since February this year, the share of oil in the revenue that comes to the Federal Government and States is zero, I saw the table, zero contribution from oil.

“What we share now is revenue from customs duties, VAT, and company tax and most states cannot pay salary because there is no oil money,” he said.

Delay in Road Construction Due to Non-Passage of Revised Budget

The governor blamed the delay in road construction and repairs on the non-passage of the revised budget by the Anambra State House of Assembly.

Soludo Budget 1

He assured those present at the briefing that work will begin as soon as the N170 billion appropriation bill is passed.

220 km of strategic roads across the state have been earmarked for construction, according to Governor Soludo.

Resolve to Tackle Insecurity

He also said progress in other areas was being slowed by the insecurity in the state which he described as “a lucrative criminal enterprise.

He restated his administration’s determination to recover Anambra State for its people, declaring that no bush, forest, or house would be comfortable for violent groups and gangs to inhabit.

Passion for Sports 

The governor’s passion for sports was evident when he said he was personally interested in them and will do all that is possible to improve the sector in the state.

School sports cropped

He regretted that the insecurity in Anambra had not made it impossible to implement his government’s sports plan. 

“To be honest with you, we are very passionate about sports; if you look at our manifesto, we spoke very eloquently to it.

We believe in the sports economy, it is an area that we need to exploit and explore.

“We had planned to kick start sporting activities the next day after our inauguration but for insecurity, that was not possible, as a matter of fact, I have my bicycle and I would have loved to use it to go to work but I have been advised to shelve that for some time,” he said.

Governor Soludo promised to establish a state-owned football club and develop sports from the grassroots with the revival of moribund school sports competitions in the state.


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