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COOU HOSTS CLIMATE ACTION, HIGHLIGHTS INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR SUSTAINABILITY

By Nwanodu Angela  :

Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU), Igbariam, hosted the Climate Action Summit, themed “Tremendous Strategy for a Sustainable Future”, under the leadership of Acting Vice Chancellor Prof. Kate Omenugha. 

The event brought together stakeholders to align with Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo’s vision of creating a livable and prosperous Anambra, fostering a sustainable future through collective action.

The summit tackled Africa’s pressing need for climate action, spotlighting the continent’s vulnerability to climate change through panel sessions and masterclasses. Experts explored sustainable solutions for Nigeria and Africa.

Governor Chukwuma Soludo represented by Chief of Staff Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi, emphasized ongoing governmental efforts to develop a smart, sustainable, and prosperous Anambra. 

He underscored the importance of community collaboration in environmental initiatives. “Together, we can create a resilient and thriving environment for future generations,” he stated.

In her opening remarks, Prof. Kate Azuka Omenugha commended Governor Charles Soludo for his numerous initiatives to sustain the environment. 

She also announced a five-year plan to plant 1 million trees and the establishment of a Student Environmental Task Force at COOU as key actions to combat climate change within the university community.

Speaking at Masterclass 2, MD/CEO of the Anambra State ICT Agency, Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata highlighted environmental challenges as the state’s most pressing threat. 

He praised the summit’s focus on tree planting and discussed how AI can revolutionize environmental management. “Geo-marking trees can significantly enhance our forestry efforts,” he explained, commending the Vice-Chancellor’s initiative and Governor Soludo’s dedication to environmental issues.

Key highlights included the official setup of an environmental task force to ensure sustainability and the inauguration of key officials, amongst whom were, MD/CEO, Anambra State ICT Agency, Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata, Commissioner for Economic Planning, Mrs. Chiamaka Nnake, and Special Adviser to the Governor on Innovation and Business Incubation, Ms. Chinwe Okoli, as Ambassadors and Partners of the initiative.

The summit featured notable attendees, including Nigeria’s Former Ambassador to Spain, Amb. Bianca Odumegwu Ojukwu, Chairman of the University Governing Council, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, High Chief Okeke Ogene, and various state commissioners.

* Nwanodu is of the Ministry of Information, Anambra State *

PRESIDENT TINUBU COMMITTED TO HEALTH SECTOR TRANSFORMATION – HEALTH MINISTER

By Chukwuka Ugokwe :

The Federal government has  reiterated President Bola Tinubu’s  unwavering commitment to transforming the nation’s health sector so as to improve  the healthcare services of every Nigerian.

Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare Prof. Muhammad Pate stated this during the commissioning ceremony of some projects at the permanent site of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi.

He said the hospital represented part of government  efforts  to ensure President Bola Tinubu-led administration delivered on its mandate of providing safe and affordable healthcare for the populace.

He commended the Chief Medical Director of the facility and his team for the giant feats and foundation fathers honoured, just as he acknowledged efforts of the private sector in investing in the health sector.

He said, “The health sector is undergoing transformation under the able leadership of President Tinubu-led administration who is focused to improve health of every Nigerian. 

“Such transformation is evident in the area of infrastructure, state-of-the-art equipment  and quality health services to save lives and prevent diseases. 

“Health is wealth. Without health, you can’t work, go to school, market. This is the reason Mr. President is investing heavily in the health sector in collaboration with all segments of the society. 

“Amidst difficulties we’re passing through as a nation, we’re grateful to God who in his wisdom has placed on the saddle President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to assist us navigate through.

“We assure the hospital community and indeed the government and good people of the state of continued support to improving health of the citizens.”

Governor Chukwuma Soludo thanked the Federal Government for supporting the hospital’s management towards achieving the feat, just as he thanked the minister for being physically present to commission the projects and test-run the equipment.

Speaking through his Deputy, Dr Onyekachi Ibezim also appreciated the Chief Medical Director, Prof Joseph Ugboaja for recognizing and honouring the founding fathers who laboured to raise the institution to its present level.

“We also commend private individuals that contributed immensely towards the various projects that dotted the hospital which is in line with the state government’s Public Private Community Partnership (PPCP) model,” he added.

The governor listed some of the supports the hospital has received from his government to include completion of roads leading to the hospital, recruitment of 300 health workers and upgraded of 45 general hospitals in the state.

Earlier,the CMD,Prof Ugboaja called on Federal Government to assist the hospital realise its vision of 10-year strategic development plan designed in line to lifting the institution compete globally with others.

He restated that the vision was to rank among the top three health facilities in Nigeria by the year 2030.

“The 10-year Strategic action plan anchored on 9 pillars which include: a strong governance structure, aggressive infrastructure, acquisition of equipment, robust financial management etc, have greatly helped to transform the hospital, enhance healthcare value chain and ensuring health security,” he said.

Ugboaja enumerated the challenges at NAUTH hospital to include: inadequate number of staff, adding, “Our schools are still located at our old site, even as most of our clinical units have been relocated.

“While management has completed well over 4 km of roads, there’s need for more internal roads, security cameras to cover the estate, solar lights, just as he appealed to the Minister  to facilitate  approval for a waiver to recruit workers.

“Also, there’s need to construct more classrooms and hostels for the college of nursing and school of health information management.

“We are calling for more of Federal Government’s intervention to construct staff quarters to provide accommodation to house those who live far away from our facilities, and thus affects patients care,” he added.

 Personalities honoured during the event were the hospital’s major benefactors, Dr. Cletus Ibeto, Sir Emeka Offor and Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah. 

Foundational members honoured were late Emeritus Prof. O.O Mbonu, late Dr T O.K Osuafor, Prof Ifeoma Egbuonu, Prof O. C Okpala, Prof Okay Ikpeze, among others.

COOU, BREDHUB UBTECH SIGN LANDMARK MOU TO ADVANCE AI/ROBOTICS

By Nwanodu Angela  :

Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU) and BredHub UBTech have signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to advance the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics. 

The signing ceremony, held on Tuesday, marked a significant step forward in fostering academic collaboration within the state. 

The event which brought together key stakeholders from academia, the tech sector, and the government, highlighted commitment to advancing cutting-edge technology and research capabilities.

BredHub UBTech, a leading AI and robotics company, will work closely with COOU to establish state-of-the-art facilities and certificate programs aimed at enhancing research, development, and educational opportunities in AI and robotics in the state.

Speaking at the ceremony, Prof. Kate Omenugha, the Acting Vice-Chancellor of COOU, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership. “This collaboration with BredHub UBTech is a major milestone for our university and our dear state. It aligns perfectly with our mission to provide world-class education and to be at the forefront of technological advancement,” she said.

BredHub UBTech’s CEO, Michael Ahamefula, echoed these sentiments, highlighting the mutual benefits of the partnership. “By joining forces with COOU, we aim to create an ecosystem that fosters innovation and equips the next generation of tech leaders with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed,” he remarked.

Izuchukwu Mojekwu, the Executive Director of Africa Operations at BredHub UBTech, emphasized their commitment to providing a comprehensive learning experience that will propel students forward. “In four years, this school will be producing global leaders in AI and Robotics,” he added.

The MD/CEO of the Anambra State ICT Agency, Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata, while congratulating the university management and partners, stated, “It is no coincidence that we are here to launch something phenomenal and revolutionary, where students will have access to real-time live robots and AI, and understand this disruptive technology. 

He explained that throughout the revolutions in Silicon Valley and other top tech capitals worldwide, the university system has played and continues to play a crucial role. We hope that with this MOU ceremony, COOU will fulfill its role in synergizing the Anambra tech tribe that the governor envisions. As a government, we will continue to support the excellent work you are doing,” he concluded.

Under the visionary leadership of Governor Soludo, who continues to prioritize innovation and technological development, the COOU-BredHub UBTech partnership stands as a beacon of progress and a model for future collaborations.

Highlights of the event included a visit to COOU’s AI/Robotics Laboratory, where students and management experienced the robots and related materials firsthand (MOI). 

Nwanodu is of the Ministry of Information, Anambra State “

MBAUKWU: ANAMBRA DEPUTY GOVERNOR BURIES ELDER BROTHER 

By Chisom Okpala :

The Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Onyekachukwu Ibezim, the entire Ibezim family, friends and well wishers have paid their last respect to their late father, brother, uncle and friend, Sir Nnamdi Clifford Ibezim who died at the age of 65.

Sir Nnamdi Ibezim was a brother to the Anambra State Deputy Governor, Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim and the Archbishop Ecclesiastical Province of the Niger and Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Reverend Alexander Ibezim PhD.

In a sermon during the funeral service at St Lawrence Church Parish, Mbaukwu, Awka South Local Government Area, the Bishop on the Lake, Rt. Rev. Chijioke Oti, reminded Christians that they are mortals and shall one day depart from the earth to a place of eternity.

He noted that there is time for everything on earth, a time to be born and a time to die, charging them to use their lives to make positive impact while on earth.

Rev. Oti, then, encouraged the family of the deceased to hold God firmly and to trust him at all times as he will not leave nor forsake them.

Speaking at the funeral service, the Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, commiserated with the Ibezim family for their loss.

The governor commended the family for adhering to the state burial law, stressing that it is essential to give people a befitting living rather than celebrating and giving them a befitting burial.

On the recent development of Local Government autonomy, Gov. Soludo still maintained his stand in conducting a local government election in the state, as this was part of his inaugural speech and clearly captured in his campaign manifesto.

The Archbishop and Deputy Governor Ibezim thanked those that came to commiserate with them, saying that their consolation was that their late brother lived a good life and that his legacy would be uphold.

In attendance were members of the State Executive Council including the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi, Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr Ugochukwu Obiefuna, Bishops from  Anglican and Catholic churches, former Governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, and Traditional Rulers.

*Chisom is of the Ministry of Information, Anambra State

DMGS BUILDING COLLAPSE: PANEL SWINGS INTO ACTION, CONSULTANTS TESTIFY

By Chukwuka Ugokwe :

 Anambra State Panel on the collapsed Centenary Building of the Dennis Memorial Grammar School (DMGS), Onitsha has commenced hearing over the incident.

During the proceeding, four key persons involved in the construction of the building were called to testify before the Panel.

Consultant Structural Engineer, Engr Dr Chris Oyeka said that a detailed, difficult, technical assessment with a clear plan would be required to determine the cause of the collapse.

He described the incident as aberation, saying he was professionally inquisitive to know the actual cause of the collapse.

While testifying on the approval documents, Oyeka confirmed that he was a member of the DMGS Centenary team that submitted the approval application at the Anambra State Physical Planning Board (ANSPPB).

On the comment that the approval document was labelled “provisional approval”, the consultant stated, “that has been a longstanding and verifiable custom and practice of the planning approval bodies, and consequently invited the panel to contact the ANSPPB on the issue.

He explained issues raised by the panel on Expansion Joint and Base Size of the Columns.

Responding on questions regarding supervision of the construction, Onyeka confirmed that he usually visited the site twice a week and in the course, carried out regular inspections with Engr Nweke whose professional competence he said he respected.

The Contractor, Engr Chinedu Ibeabuchi, the Director of Optimum Works Ltd explained to the panel that he was both a registered engineer with COREN and a registered builder.

He also testified that he had worked professionally and effectively with the technical team and had always cross checked details with the supervising engineer, saying that he had always implemented with scrupulous diligence the engineering and architectural drawings.

Also speaking, former Chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Onitsha Chapter, Engr Davidson Nweke provided detailed professional answers to all the technical questions put to him by the panel.

Nweke, a retired seasoned engineer who had worked for the State Government, however confirmed he had not yet renewed his COREN registration.

Project Architect, Arc Chidubem Olisa while explaining his drawings and on the issue of the placement of columns, said the architect positioned the columns and the structural engineer had the authority on the size of the columns.

Chairman of the panel, Engr Sir Victor Meju who is also Chairman, Anambra State Chapter of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), while adjourning the proceeding for the day, thanked all for coming and told the technical team that they would be re-invited if needed.

Ugokwe is of the State Ministry of Information

ANAMBRA PHILANTHROPIST PICKS AFRICA’S ILLUSTRIOUS AWARD —- SENEGAL’S PRESIDENT, GOV OTTI ALSO

By Chukwuka Ugokwe  :

A Philontropist, Dr Paul Chukwuma has picked the prestigious African Illustrious Award 2024, alongside the President of Senegal, Bassirou Doamaye Faye and Governor Alex Otti of Abia State

The honour was for their respective numerous community development efforts in their chosen areas.

This rare gesture was bestowed on only few very distinguished community development driven African leaders by the African Media Group. 

It was particularly for Dr Chukwuma’s profound impact on citizens of his Umueri community in Anambra East Council of Anambra State, and environs

In his citation, Dr Chukwuma received a thunderous standing ovation for his transformative community development initiatives, especially the construction of access roads and support for the underprivileged. 

It was disclosed that he had undertaken the cost of Senior

School Certificate Examination(SSCE) and the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination(UTME) fees for One thousand(1,000) and Five hundred(500) students respectively, in Anambra State.

This gesture according to records from the state has been on for years through his Sir Paul Chukwuma Foundation. It was revealed also, has continued showcasing his steadfast commitment to education, youth and human resource development.

The African Illustrious Award aims to honor outstanding Africans who have made substantial contributions to the development of African societies.

Chukwuma who was represented at the award ceremony by Chief Hillary Udanoh dedicated the honour to citizens of Anambra State.

He admitted that Dr Chukwuma’s efforts to enhance lives and address economic disparities through impactful philanthropy, was already being recognized and appreciated by those that matters in the world. 

That he has consistently reaffirmed his dedication to improving access to quality education and living standards of the people through strategic investments.

Udanoh who received the award on his behalf commended the African Media Group, other recipients, friends and well wishers who thronged the main hall of the Oriental Hotels, Victoria Island Lagos for the event for their love and support.

GOVERNOR SOLUDO INAUGURATES MEMBERS OF GOVERNING COUNCIL CHUKWUEMEKA ODUMEGWU OJUKWU UNIVERSITY

By Okoli Sunday  :

Governor Chukwuma Soludo has inaugurated the governing council for Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, with the following members:

Prof. Chidi Odinkalu as Pro-Chancellor/Chairman, AIG Chris Ezike (rtd), Amb. Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu,

HRH Igwe Chris Chidume Oranu and Chief Christopher Ndubuisi

Also inaugurated were the members of the Senate Representative to the Council 

Performing the ceremony at the Council Hall, Government House, Awka, Governor Chukwuma Soludo expressed his gratitude to the council members for accepting to serve the state, describing it as an honour. He charged them to make a meaningful impact by transforming the university into a world-class institution renowned for excellence in character and learning. The Governor also outlined the council’s terms of reference, emphasizing their critical role in shaping the university’s future.

In his acceptance speech on behalf of others, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu (Pro-Chancellor/Chairman) thanked Mr. Governor for the opportunity to serve  Ndi Anambra, pledging to do their best to deliver on their new assignment.

The Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi, Commissioners among others witnessed the ceremony.

* Okoli is of the Ministry of Information, Anambra State *

2025 ELECTION: APGA SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT ONITSHA SOUTH INAUGURATED, HONORS PARTY NATIONAL CHAIRMAN, OTHERS

By Juliana Nwachukwu  :

The All Progressives Grand Alliance, (APGA) Solidarity Movement Onitsha South Local Government Area has inaugurated its LG working committees, Ward Executives, honoured the Party National Chairman, Mr Sly Ezeokenwa (Esq) and other party members who have helped in one way or the other in the development of the party

The National Convener of the group, Sir Ebere Okafor charged the newly inaugurated members to go to all nooks and crannies of the state to convert people by propagating the good works of Mr Governor to them.

According to him, “we inaugurate the 17 wards that make up Onitsha south LG today to propagate the good works of the governor, we have to support him because he is doing very well. Over 700 executives from ward levels to LG level converge here today and they have been successfully inaugurated.

“The expectation is that they should go to their various wards and begin to propagate the good works of the governor who has been doing too many things especially in Onitsha South, Okpoko now known as New Haven, every where in Onitsha is serene environment with good road network.

“That is why ASM has been on course to make it go viral that we are supporting the government that is doing the best”, he advised.

He lauded the people of the area, saying that it is their nurture to the national chairman who is from the area that made him(the national chairman) to be where he is today, thanked them for giving the party a reliable product as the national chairman.

The inauguration Chairman, Mr. Buchi Uzoechina, who is also the Onitsha South Protocol Officer earlier in his speech urged those that will be inaugurated to champion the governor wherever they found themselves and assured the national convener of the group that onitsha south ASM will not disappoint them.

The Onitsha South Local Government APGA Chairman, Mr Uchenna Nnabuenyi in his words extolled the group for their turnout, charged them to be up to their expectations and disclosed that many people are in more than two or three support groups, he warned them to leave the group for the new people because more and new people are needed in the party.

The Special Adviser to the governor on Special Duties, Mr Onyebuchi Obi, who is also among those to be nominated by the governor for Onitsha South LG Chairman said that he witnessed a huge turnout of people, stating that the solidarity In the name was experienced today.

”It is a sign of new face of APGA saddled by Mr Governor in the state with the evidence of his good governance in road infrastructure, free education, free antenatal, not leaving the environmental aspects of it.

“It is a call to duty and a call to reciprocate the works of our Governor in Onitsha South , for them to have present themselves to be inaugurated today shows their sincere solidarity”, he said.

The Onitsha South LG Coordinator, APGA Support Movement, Mr Chinedu Okoro in an interview with newsmen disclosed that after the inauguration, they will start ward tour which will be for the campaign for Governor Soludo’s re-election.

“ I promised Governor Soludo 21/21 because he has helped us now for his re- election, unlike the previous election which had some hitches because of situation of things, with these works on ground and other things he is doing now, his reelection is assured, undisputable”,he boasted.

”We will fish out those people that belongs to more than one, two support groups, we will not like the executives to belong to this new support groups, they are trooping into it because it was formed by Hon Sly Ezeokenwa with the Governor, forgetting that the purpose is the same.

“We are to convert other party members and fill them as the executives because we need more people in the party so that the party will be growing”.

He lauded the Chief Executive Officer, Admin Oil and Gas, Chief Promise Egbeji for his support towards the development of the party, noting that he was behind the financial contribution that made the inauguration a success.

The National Chairman, Mr Sly Ezeokenwa (Esq) was represented by the National Women Leader, Mrs Ngozi Obidike, Others honoured at the event were the Commissioner for Special Duties, Mrs Beverly Ikpeazu Nkemdiche represented by the Vice Chairman Odoakpu ward 1,  Agozie Chiagozie Nzeakor, The CEO Admin Oil and Gas, Chief Promise Egbeji, APGA Chairman Onitsha South LG, Mr Uchenna Umennakenyi and other dignitaries that witnessed the event.

* Nwachukwu is of the Ministry of Information, Anambra State *

ANAMBRA ASSEMBLY PASSES ENVIRONMENTAL BILL

By Chizoba Okeke, Anastasia Agunwa, Gloria Abugu :

The Anambra State House of Assembly has passed the Environmental Management, Protection, and Administration Bill, 2024.

This follows Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s assent to 11 bills passed by the Assembly earlier today.

The bill, passed during today’s plenary session, seeks to provide a legal framework for the management, protection, and sustainability of the environment in Anambra State.

The bill successfully passed its third reading after deliberations and consideration at the Committee of the Whole. The Majority Leader, Sir Ikenna Ofodeme, moved a motion for the third reading and passage, which was seconded by the member representing Nnewi North Constituency, Honourable Augustine Ike.

The Speaker, Right Honourable Somtochukwu Udeze, read the bill for the third time and announced its passage after it garnered wide support from the lawmakers.

He appreciated the legislators for their efforts throughout the stages of the bill, stating that it truly reflects their commitment towards making Anambra a better place.

MD ASBA SAYS SOLUDO PROVIDES SUCCOUR TO CIVIL SERVANTS AFTER RETIREMENT 

By Chiamaka Edokwe :

Amidst economic uncertainties where budgets tighten and expenses scrutinized, the Gov. Chukwuma  Soludo’s Administration through Anambra State Small business Agency(ASBA),has provided succor for civil servants after retirement through the ASBA Civil Servant Solution Retirement Entrepreneurship Loan Scheme.

According to the MD/CEO ASBA, Mr Clement Chukwuka during a media chat in his office complex, the scheme aimed at supporting civil servants to have a thriving business to fall back on after service.

“Gov. Soludo’s Administration is very passionate about the workers’ welfare even after retirement hence his willingness to supporting and funding their means of livehood after retirement.”

Mr Chukwuka reiterated that the Agency’s mandate remained to ensure that poverty is reduced to its bearest minimum through funding and capacity building.

*Chiamaka is of the Ministry of Information, Anambra State*

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