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Gov. Soludo’s Palliatives, More Impactful

By Paul Nwosu :

Ever since President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR) announced the disbursement of N5 billion palliatives to the States, there has been something akin to a stampede by the States to dole out to the people the prescribed items to be procured. While this had been going on, a few uniformed public affairs commentators have made a show of displaying an unusual interest in how Anambra State palliatives would be managed.

Despite their jaundiced commentaries and insinuations, Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo (CFR) has remained focused in fore-thinking how well to deliver a more diverse package that would be of better impact to the living conditions of the very low income earners. A well-thought-through programme for maximum impact will significantly mitigate their economic hardship over a sustainable period of time. After all, it is not how fast but how well.

Just like the Good Books in Matthew 4:4 that states: “Man shall not live by bread alone…”, Governor Soludo rightly believes that our people shall not live by palliatives rice and maize alone. Beyond these food items which would be consumed and passed out as wastes over time, there are other departments of living that could be rejigged to support the low income earners to wade through the current economic challenges.

Even so, it is crucial to quickly clarify that out of the N5 billion announced by Mr President to be given to States, it’s only N2 billion that has been released, partly as loan of which the States are expected to pay back 48 percent while the Federal Government will pay the remaining 52 percent.

As things stand, States have been mandated to mainly use this money to procure bags of rice, maize and similar food items to be distributed among the people. To this end, Governor Soludo plans to distribute rice to 300,000 households across 326 wards in Anambra State. This is to ensure that it gets to the “Umunnas” at the grassroots.

Well before the President’s initiative on palliative measures, Governor Soludo had undertaken without being prodded an increase of the salaries of public servants in the employment of Anambra State Government and the Local Governments by 10 percent from January 2023. The Governor did this as his own internal measure to respond to the rising inflation in the country.

With the President’s formal proclamation of the palliatives’ regime, Governor Soludo in his typical approach to such economic issues has dug deeper to come up with more fundamental solutions beyond rice and maize to better shield Anambra people from the turbulent whirlwind that is exerting unusual pressure on the system.

Following the advent of economic palliatives, Governor Soludo has since placed pensioners and public servants on non-taxable cash award of N12,000 monthly from September to December 2023.

The game-changer is of course the tax exemption to vulnerable groups which include hawkers, Okada drivers, wheelbarrow and cart pushers, vulcanizers, artisans and petty traders with less than N100,000 capital.

Another welfare measure taken by Professor Soludo is the declaration of complete free education in public Nursery, Primary and Junior Secondary schools. The fees for public Senior Secondary schools were slashed down to N5,000 per session.

As if that was not enough, Mr. Governor also made antenatal care and child delivery services free in all the government’s General Hospitals and Primary Healthcare Centres in Anambra State. To ensure that quality services are rendered to these women, special telephone lines have been set up for these women to call in case they are not satisfied with the standard of services or care they received.

Government has also awarded the contract for the supply and installation of modern laboratory equipment in all the 326 Primary Health Centres across the State. Modern Tele-medicine Hub and Spoke System have also been established in Anambra State.

Governor Soludo has in the last few months, under the 1Youth, 2Skills programme, trained 5000 youths in 20 different skills, and bank cheques will be doled out to them any moment from now to enable them set up their own businesses.

In addition to the 5,000 teachers already hired by this administration, Governor Soludo is looking forward to hire 3,000 more teachers to reinvigorate the quality of Anambra State public schools.

The renovation and repair of civil servants’ staff buses are ongoing. Governor Soludo plans to introduce Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-fuelled buses to reduce Intra-State transportation costs.

Anambra State Palliative drive has a touch of Mr. Solution. The essence is to make it sustainable over a long period of time.

Commissioner for Information
Anambra State

Soludo: Transforming Justice Dispensation with Technological Innovation in Anambra State

By Christian ABURIME :

The journey to transform Anambra State, as envisioned by Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR, into a livable and prosperous smart megacity continues in full throttle.

As there cannot be a progressive society without an efficient, proper dispensation of justice, the Soludo administration has been intentional about implementing crucial judicial reforms.

Thus, in the quest to further ensure an ideal state of security, law and order as one of the key 5 policy pillars for transforming Anambra State, Governor Soludo is leveraging technological innovations in Justice dispensation in Anambra State through the Ministry of Justice with Prof. (Mrs) Sylva Chika Ifemeje as Attorney General and Justice Commissioner

Universally, technology-enabled justice reforms in modern governance refer to the integration of advanced technologies to improve and streamline various aspects of the legal system. These reforms aim to enhance the efficiency, accessibility, and fairness of justice delivery.

In modern era, technology has extensively revolutionised the legal field, making it more efficient, accessible, and transparent. So, embracing these technological advancements is crucial for a modern justice system that effectively serves the needs of society.

It is in view of the foregoing that Governor Soludo has made remarkable strides in fulfilling his manifesto promise to ensure the swift dispensation of justice for the people of Anambra in the Justice Sector. A significant achievement in this endeavour has been the implementation of Virtual Court Hearing Facilities for criminal cases.

Previously, only 10 out of the 20 courtrooms in Anambra State were equipped with such technology, but under Governor Soludo’s administration, every courtroom now boasts these cutting-edge facilities. To complement this technological upgrade, laptops have been provided to the esteemed Judges, streamlining the process and ensuring seamless proceedings.

Moreover, state-of-the-art internet enabling devices have been supplied to guarantee uninterrupted connectivity. This comprehensive integration of virtual hearing capabilities extends beyond the courtrooms to include all four correctional centres in Anambra State, which have also received alternative power supply sources for uninterrupted operation.

In addition to the core technology, a suite of auxiliary equipment has been installed, including high-quality televisions, robust public address systems, advanced web cameras, and top-tier video conferencing software.

These enhancements signify a significant leap forward in advancing the criminal justice system in Anambra State, markedly reducing delays in proceedings. No longer will cases be held up due to logistical challenges in transporting defendants from the correctional centres to the Courts, or from the Courts to the correctional centres. In the long term, Governor Soludo’s unwavering commitment to expediting justice is exemplified by these transformative measures.

The seamless integration of virtual court hearing facilities is poised to revolutionise the justice system, ensuring timely and efficient resolution of criminal cases for the benefit of all Ndi Anambra, while enabling the journey to a livable, prosperous homeland.

Governor Soludo Swears In Izuchukwu Okafor as Commissioner for Finance

Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo (CFR) has sworn in Mr. Izuchukwu Okafor as the Anambra State Commissioner for Finance.

Mr. Governor congratulated and welcomed him to the Solution Team. He enjoined the new Commissioner to endeavour to periodically read the Oath of Office and Allegiance that he just took to constantly remind himself of his purpose in government. Governor Soludo informed him that he has just become a member of the team that will lay the foundation for a liveable and prosperous Anambra State, and asked him to contribute his quota.

The new Finance Commissioner, 39-year-old Izuchukwu Moses Okafor, was a former Senior Special Assistant (SSA) Finance and Audit to Governor Soludo from July 2022, and served as the Deputy Manager of Financial Operations and Audit at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from July 2020 to June 2022.

He was appointed a Senior Supervisor, Internal Audit Department, of the CBN in November 2013, and he diligently discharged his duties until June 2017, after which he was elevated to the post of the CBNs Assistant Manager, Financial Operations Audit, from July 2017 to June 2022.

He has been a Member of, the Anambra State Executive Council Committee on Anambra State Legacy Debt from July 14, 2022.

Mr. Okafor was born on September 27, 1984. He was educated at Holy Child Secondary School, Isuofia, Aguata LGA where he earned his West African School Certificate (WASC) in 2004. He took his B.Sc. Accountancy in 2010 at the University of Abuja, and got an Advanced Diploma in Accounting and Business in 2022.

He is a Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and a Certified Strategic Professional.

Mr. Okafor has attended more than a dozen seminars, trainings, and workshops on finance, accounting, and risk management techniques including ICT. He excelled as Effective Supervisory Manager in October 2021 at TOM Associates, Lagos, Fundamentals of Risk Management in June 2020 vide Risk Management Association of Nigeria, and SPSS in November 2009 at Afrihub ICT Solutions for Africa.

He is married to Chisom Faith Okafor with beautiful children.

Sir Paul Nwosu
Commissioner for Information
Anambra State

Building Anambra Into A Cultural Destination

By Ifeyinwa Ogwo :

In a resolute stride to build Anambra into a cultural destination and a preferred place to live, work, relax, and enjoy, two big state events – Anambra Arts and Crafts Mega Exhibition and Anambra Fashion Expo (AFE) were organized
The events were poised toward showcasing the rich, unique and outstanding talents of Ndi Anambra in the creative industry to the world and what it can offer to the state and the nation’s economy.

The Anambra Arts and Crafts Mega Exhibition, titled, ‘Organic Innovative Solutions for Economic Prosperity’ was packed with lots of exquisite, rare, unique, and latest artworks and crafts in the state and beyond, which provided an opportunity to highlight the state’s distinguished and exceptional status in the visual arts.

The exhibition, which was organized by the Anambra State Ministry of Culture, Entertainment and Tourism, in conjunction with the Society of Nigeria Artists (SNA) was held at the Oma Event Center (opposite Alex Ekwueme Square), Awka, from the 27th of September to 1st of October, 2023.

The event also featured a one-day colloquium on arts and crafts, on-the-spot blacksmithing, cultural performance, and choral rendition by the state’s Ministry of Culture, Entertainment and Tourism Choral Group.

The arrival of Mr. Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo CFR with his entourage to the scene, electrified the atmosphere and the mood of the exhibitors. It became glamorous when the Commissioner for Culture, Entertainment, and Tourism, Mr. Don Onyenji took the governor around each stand where he appreciated and patronized the works of the exhibitors.

On the other hand, the second edition of Anambra Fashion Expo, AFE2023, titled, ‘Creativity Unleashed’ also brought a spotlight to the state’s fashion sector. The event, which kicked off on the 6th of October at the International Convention Center (ICC), Awka, had models of different genders, ages, ethnicities and sizes gracing the runway.

The two-day event was poised toward showcasing the state’s creativity, diversity, and innovation in the fashion industry, through the participation of various brands from within and outside the state at the event. It also featured a musical performance steered by “Apate” an upcoming artist.

The governor, who was in attendance with his wife, Nonye, implied that the fashion expo demonstrated the interest of the state in the fashion industry, which has a notable impact on the economy and culture. He called on the youth and everyone in the state to explore every opportunity offered in the creative economy and patronize “Made in Anambra or Nigeria products” as a means to boost the economy.

On her part, the convener of the Project, Ms. Adaora Soludo of AORA Brand, added that the fashion expo is an opportunity aimed at fostering collaboration between participants in the industry.

The climax of the event was the doling out of a whooping sum of one million naira to FP Design for emerging the winner of the best fashion design creator in the competition organized during the event.

*Ogwo is of the Ministry of Information

TCC Anaocha Lauds Soludo over N1.5B Education Grant to Mission Schools in Anambra State

By Ginika Oguji :

The Transition Committee Chairman (TCC) Anaocha LGA, Mr Gerald Ozoh has commended the Governor of Anambra State, Prof Chukwuma Soludo for providing financial support worth about One billion five hundred and twenty four million Naira to Mission Public schools returned to Catholic, Anglican and Pentecostal churches to develop their schools in the state.

Ozoh speaking to journalists after the presentation ceremony at the Governor’s Lodge Amawbia on October 5, described Education as a basic tool for shaping humanity and building better future for children.

He extolled Gov. Chukwuma Soludo’s genuine efforts toward advancing education to an enviable height in the state, describing him as an education friendly governor.

He encouraged Anambra students to always participate in internal and external examinations, saying that they have been equipped to emerge victorious.

Ozoh noting that Anambra is arguably the light of the nation, called on the authorities of the schools to make judicious use of the funds for the development and betterment of their schools.

Accordingly, a total sum of nine hundred and eighteen million naira (N918,000,000) was handed over to Anambra Catholic Mission Public Schools which has 459 schools that were returned to them.

A total sum of five hundred and fifty million naira (N550,000,000) was handed over to Anambra Anglican Mission Public Schools which has 275 schools returned to them.

Furthermore, a total of sixteen million (N16,000,000) was handed over to Anambra Salvation Army Schools which has 8 schools returned to them.

Also, a total of forty million (N40,000,000) was handed over to Pentecostals which has 20 schools in the State. (Ministry of Information)

The information officer reports from Anaocha LGA


Fostering Tech Enthusiasm: Anambra Welcomes Dawn of Tech Innovation at KODEX AFRICA’s Grand Opening

By Angela Nwanodu :

The future seems bright for the tech ecosystem in Anambra State as various stakeholders, including tech-savvy students, tech lovers, and Hub owners, converged on Aug. 29 for the first-ever Anambra State Meetup organized by the Innovation Support Network and hosted by KODEX AFRICA.

The meetup aimed at establishing a platform for Hubs and other ecosystem stakeholders to share experiences, network, learn, and collaborate to drive innovation in the state.

The event, which doubled as the official launch of KODEX AFRICA was well attended by major stakeholders in government, a testament to Gov. Chukwuma Soludo’s vision of making Anambra the creative hub of Nigeria, with everything and everywhere bearing the stamp of technology.

Cutting the ribbon to officially launch KODEX AFRICA, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Anambra State ICT Agency, Mr. Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata (CFA), emphasized the need for people in the tech ecosystem to embrace collaboration, which he said is key for success in the tech space.

“Everything I have ever achieved in the tech space has been because of collaboration; brilliance helps, but collaboration and execution are key, execution sets you apart.

“You must also be disciplined. I have seen Lagos evolve, and the fact that government policy can lead to transformations, just like the removal of Right Of Way (RoW) and the approval of a zero-cost policy for broadband access by the then Lagos State Governor, Babajide Fashola, made it possible for Funke Okpeke to take high-speed broadband to Yaba and expand connectivity.

“Likewise, if you look around various areas in Anambra, you will discover that fibre duct laying is ongoing and aimed at boosting internet connectivity across the state.

“The agency’s commitment to fostering a culture of collaboration is undeniable, which is why we would continually explore interesting areas of collaboration with as many people as possible,” he concluded.

CFA also encouraged more hubs to sign up with the Innovation Support Network (ISN) so that they could collectively build a thriving tech ecosystem in Anambra State.

The Managing Director of the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA), Mr. Mark Okoye, stressed the need for identification of the challenges within the ecosystem as well as ways to surmount them while optimizing the myriad of opportunities therein.

“I like that we are telling our stories right now, we must continue to collaboratively push out positive narratives about us with one voice so that soonest, all the negative stories will fizzle out.

“I tell you, we are at the beginning of something great, and we owe it to ourselves to create a thriving, more productive, and sustainable ecosystem.

“We also need to evolve new funding models to further support start-ups within the ecosystem, maybe by next year, we can launch a crowdfunding platform for start-ups in Anambra State,” he said.

On his part, the Director of Partnerships with the Innovation Support Network and the founder of ROA Hub, the first hub in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Mr., Charles Emembolu, expressed his excitement about the meet-up and the prospects it holds for the tech ecosystem in Anambra.

Emembolu also encouraged more hubs to join ISN in order to expand their networks and experience new and faster ways of achieving great feats within the ecosystem.

“In today’s digital world, you need to have an open mind and imbibe the spirit of collaboration in order to grow; there are lots of tech skills, but most people find it hard selling them out there, hence the need to come together.”

Also, the Managing Director of Founders Institute Lagos, Mr. Ifedy Ralph Eze, while welcoming everyone to the event, stressed that the gathering is pertinent and timely to eliminate all forms of working in silos and achieving less by working collaboratively for the common good of all in the ecosystem.

“We must eliminate unhealthy competition in all its forms, which is the reason the ecosystem is not thriving as it should; we must think differently and work differently to achieve better results and chart a pathway for success.

“This gathering is about how to expand the ecosystem, and KODEX, on their part, is committed to opening their doors to ensure that the ecosystem thrives”, he added.

In his remarks, the Managing director of KODEX AFRICA, Mr. Stanley Aroh explained that KODEX AFRICA was born out of the need to build an ecosystem of people and products to drive the digital transformation of Africa through strategic alignments with customers, institutions, and communities.

He further explained that to achieve this, Kodex Academy, which focuses on tech talent development and upskilling, and Kodex Build, which is positioned to build digital products and solutions for clients, as well as through which it is building a vibrant and thriving ecosystem for young creatives, entrepreneurs, and talents across the South East, were created.

“There is a need for everyone in the tech ecosystem to work together, leveraging the environment KODEX already provides.

“Do not be afraid to explore and do not forget your days of humble beginnings; dream big and collaborate with like-minded people in the ecosystem,” he advised.

The Managing Director, of Trunk Digital Media, Mr. Uche Okoye, aka “Anambra first son”, on his part encouraged the tech enthusiasts to maximize the limitless power of social media and the importance of storytelling as a means to ensure appropriate visibility for all the valuable feats they are achieving in the ecosystem

“Story-telling is a very powerful tool, and people connect more with it, so you must leverage it.

“If you cannot, seek those who can and collaborate with them so that your solutions can be well publicized.

He further stressed the need for people in the ecosystem to sit together and talk about the problems of the ecosystem, as this can create solutions for them, encouraging Anambra techies to establish their presence on Twitter.

Highlights of the event were the panel discussions as well as the tour around the facility, KODEX AFRICA (Ministry of Information)

The information officer reports from Anambra ICT Agency, Awka

Solution Fun City; Anambra State Government Hands Over Site to Contractors

By Okoli Sunday :

The Anambra State Government has handed over the site of the proposed Solution Fun City to Contractors.

The handover ceremony was done by the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Ifeanyi Okoma, at Awka.

According to Mr. Commissioner, this handover today signifies the commencement of construction works at the Solution Fun City.

“You have been handed over the designed drawings and other contract documents, and so, your completion period has started counting.”

The contracts handed over included:




Engr. Okoma said that Mr. Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo, is passionate about the project and charged them with its speedy completion.

By March 17th next year, Mr. Governor has already slated to hold a banquet in one of the buildings, and you can’t afford to fail.”

Speaking on behalf of other Contractors, the Project Engineer for Zghontai Construction Company, Kolawole Abiola, thanked the Anambra State Government for the opportunity given to them and promised to justify the confidence reposed on them by the State Government by ensuring standards and delivering the projects within the timeline. (Ministry of Information)

The information officer reports from the Ministry of Works, Awka

Notice of Tax Exemption For All Wheel Barrow Pushers, Hawkers, Petty Traders And Vulcanizers

Anambra State Government wishes to inform the Anambra State Amalgamated Traders Association (ASMATA), individual market associations, and the general public that all wheelbarrow pushers, hawkers, petty traders, and vulcanizers are exempted from all kinds of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) payments such as fees, charges, levies, rates, etc.

In view of the current harsh economic condition, the government has decided to waive these taxes for the above categories of people as a way of making their livelihood easier.

Anybody found collecting any form of IGR from these categories of people would be arrested and prosecuted for stealing.

Be warned.

Commissioner for Information
24th November, 2022

Toll Reform in the Interest of Transport Operators and Commuters

Awka the State capital witnessed days of another unexpected protest by tricycle (keke) and shuttle bus drivers. This came as a surprise to many who are aware that government had severally engaged all the transport unions in Anambra State to ensure that affordable dues are paid to the government instead of touts who are holding these drivers hostage by collecting illegal fees that are not remitted to government’s coffers.

The government’s overhaul of the tolling system is actually meant for the drivers and sundry transport owners to pay reduced fees directly to the government instead of paying exorbitant monies to the underhand middlemen who end up cheating transport owners and their drivers.

It’s indeed tragic that after many months of engagement with the transport unions on how the new payment arrangement will benefit the drivers and commuters, the keke and shuttle bus drivers still allowed themselves to be manipulated to go on strike.

It is disheartening to note that after the series of meetings and subsequent mutual understanding with the government of Anambra State to pay the reduced monthly tolls; these operators have over the months refused to pay. It was as a result of their non-compliance that prompted the Anambra State Joint Enforcement Team (ANJET) to move in to ensure compliance. While a few went to pay at the designated locations and collected their vehicles, others who are under the grips of the influential park Dons refused to pay and instead resorted to protests and ruthlessly enforced it among their law abiding colleagues, disrupting commercial activities in Awka and its environ.

The curious thing about the whole matter is that while this crisis persisted, the so-called leaders of the unions were nowhere in sight and could not be reached. All of these points to the fact that it’s either the leadership is weak or complicit in the riotous actions that virtually crippled transportation for days. The situation became clearer when government invited the operators to Dr Alex Ekwueme Square on Saturday for another round of engagement. Following the dissatisfaction they openly expressed against the leaders of their unions, they were given the opportunity to directly nominate representatives who would dialogue with government once again.

For want of what to say some of those who have been instigated to resist the reform have embarked on all kinds of campaign of falsehood to justify why they will not pay. They lied that government did not provide POS for payment as they were promised, but this is not true. Anambra Internal Revenue Service (AIRS) has 234 agents with POSs spread across 74 locations in the State where they can make payments. Another insignificant few claimed that they paid for identity cards and stickers but were not given up till this moment. This again is untrue because AIRS had since acquired the equipment to capture every payee and issue cards and stickers on the spot.

The joint agreement between the government and operators of keke and shuttle bus is that they will pay N600 and N1000 daily which would amount to N18, 000 and 30,000 monthly tolls respectively but government in its humanness granted a Saturday and Sunday discounts that eventually pegged what they will pay at N15, 000 and N25, 000 monthly. It is important to note that this is a far cry from the N2,500 and N3,500 they paid daily which adds up to N75,000 and N105,000 monthly. The difference is remarkably incomparable; and it has become necessary for Ndi Anambra to know that it is just a few greedy elements who have exploited and billed the system to line their individual pockets that have continued to misinform and instigate this unwarranted crises.

It is key to note at this point that the collected tolls will augment governments revenue with which it could repair roads which transporters whine about and construct new ones where there are none. Already, government has flagged off the construction of 20 new roads and presently carrying out over a dozen interventions to rehabilitate failed sections of existing ones. These are the services that the self-centred middlemen cannot provide.

The Governor of Anambra State, Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo has repeatedly stated that his government will be transparent in spending every Kobo that comes in as revenue. Under his watch, Ndi Anambra will see their legitimate taxes, levies and tolls translate into tangible developments that will transform Anambra State into a more liveable, pleasurable and prosperous one.

Sir Paul Nwosu
Anambra State Commissioner for Information.

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