Anambra: Business Activities In Top Gear On Election Eve

 

Awka, the Anambra State capital, was a beehive of activities on Friday as residents put final touches to their preparations for the general elections.

Traders were seen trying to make last-minute sales before the polls on Saturday during which there would be a restriction of movement.

See Photos below.

Buhari Orders Reinstatement Of Obiano’s Security Aides

President Muhammadu Buhari with the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations), Joshak Habila at the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship rally in Awaka, Anambra State.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Nigeria Police to immediately return Anambra’s Governor Willie Obiano security aides.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina in a statement on Wednesday, November 15 said Buhari made this order during his visit to Awka, Anambra State.

Obiano, while welcoming the President in Awka for the grand finale of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship rally complained about the withdrawal of his security aides.

“Before departing Awka, President Buhari directed the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations), Joshak Habila to ensure the return of the governor’s security personnel,” he said.

The Senate had earlier today ordered the IGP to immediately restore the security details of Governor Obiano. The lawmakers on Wednesday criticised the decision of the IGP to withdraw the security detail attached to the governor, claiming that it is to allow for a level playing field for all contestants in the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State.

The upper Legislative House, therefore, directed the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs to ensure that Obiano’s security aides were reinstated by Thursday, November 17.

Obiano Upgrades Fire Service In Anambra

Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has procured three special firefighting trucks with 10,000 litres water storage capacity for the State Fire Service.

The Police and the Federal Road Safety Corps also received smart bikes and patrol cars to accompany and support firefighters during emergencies.

The procurement is in line with the Governor’s pledge to take proactive measures against fire disasters across the state, following a fire incident in February where property worth millions of Naira were destroyed in Onitsha.

Governor Obiano formerly handed over the equipment to the Southeast Zonal Officer of the Federal Fire Service at the Governor’s Lodge in Awka, the Anambra State capital.

He said the fire equipment would be deployed to the commercial cities of the three senatorial zones which include Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi.

The Governor, however, tasked the people of the state to insure their property, saying it is not only the responsibility of the government to ensure their property are protected.

“Our people must have the culture of insuring their goods; that culture is not deep-rooted here in Anambra State and we are trying to educate people on the importance of insurance.

“You won’t say because the Governor has bought three fire trucks, then you feel you are protected. Yes we will try to do so, but you must insure your goods,” he said.

Obiano Signs Two Billion Dollars Airport City MoU

The dream of Governor Willie Obiano in making Anambra State a first choice investment destination and a hub for commercial activities seems to be materialising.

The State Government has signed a two billion dollars Memorandum of Understanding with two investment companies, Orient Petroleum Resources and Elite International Investment Limited, for the construction of an international airport city in Umueri, Anambra East Local Government Area.

Speaking at the signing ceremony which took place in the Government House Awka, the state’s capital, Governor Obiano expressed hope that the project would reduce cost of importation and boost development in the state.

He added that it will also create a boundless business connection between Anambra and China, saying the State Government will ensure that the project is not only a central economic hub for the state, but also for the entire south-east region and Nigeria at large.

Giving details of the investment, the Chairman of Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA), Igwe Cyril Enweze, said the project would promote rapid urbanisation and increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state.

On his part, the Managing Director of Orient Petroleum Resources, Mr Christian Udechukwu, commended the vision of the Obiano led administration.

He assured the State Government that they would deliver quality project, in line with aviation engineering best practices.

The airport city to be named, Anambra Airport Infrastructure Company Limited, has a completion duration of three years and sits on a 1,500 hectares of land at Ivite Umueri.

Palm Sunday: Christians In Anambra Pray For Nigeria

Christians in Anambra State, from the Church of the Holy Spirit, Awka, the state capital, engaged in a procession in celebration of the Palm Sunday.

The Vicar of the parish, Reverend Canon Jason Onyeakagbusi, upon the return of the congregation and clergy from the procession, prayed that the palms be a sign of victory for the church.

He also prayed that just as Jesus Christ triumphantly entered Jerusalem as king, he would enter every nation, especially Nigeria and Anambra state and cleanse them of every political and economic mess.

“Jesus triumphantly entered into Jerusalem, it is also our belief and faith that he will enter into every heart triumphantly and when he enters into the heart, he will cleanse the mess. Jesus will enter into every nation – He will enter into Nigeria and when He enters into Nigeria, every political mess, and economical mess will be cleansed.

“When He enters into Anambra state, every economic mess, every political mess will be cleansed and we will have a cleaner place to live in, a place where the will of God is done,” Reverend Onyeakagbusi said.

Improper Budget Processes Responsible For Nigeria’s Backwardness – Pat Utomi

A renowned Professor of Economics, Pat Utomi, has blamed Nigeria’s backwardness on the lack of vision as well as absence of consultation of the masses in the budget processes which according to him, is made worse by leaders without capacity.

Professor Utomi who was a guest speaker at the maiden Budget Roundtable Seminar of the UNIzik Business School of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

Speaking on the theme: Budget Processes in Nigeria, Challenges and Implication in National Development, he trailed the problem of the country from the military era to over dependence on oil and to the cluelessness of some Nigerian leaders.

He stated that as a matter of urgency, a complete and total reform of government is what the country needs.

Furthermore, he advocated leadership brilliance and disciplined execution of budgets which would have peoples’ priorities reflected in order to save the economic situation in the country.

Other speakers also insisted that a budget must contain what the people want, while putting in perspective, future economic challenges and changes for easy and proper adaptation and adjustment.

Keynote speaker and House member representing Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo federal constituency, as well as the Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Appropriation, Mr Chris Azubogu, noted that asides poor funding of budget, lopsided budgeting, deficit and high profile debt profile, citizen participation is a major factor affecting the actualization of the national budget.

He however gave an assurance of imminent budget reforms.

APGA Faction Joins PPA In Anambra

APGA Faction Joins PPA In AnambraPolitical alignments and realignments have become the order of the day in Anambra State, ahead of the November 2017 governorship election in the state.

The latest political coalition involves the faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), led by Mr Mazi Okwu, joining forces with the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA).

Mr Okwu, a former APGA National Chairman, explained that the move followed his rejection by the APGA leadership, despite the intervention of Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano.

He said his attraction to the new party was as a result of its sincerity and stable internal democracy.

Speaking at a rally in Awka, the National Chairman of PPA, Mr Peter Ameh, noted that the party can withstand other parties in the state.

Anambra State PPA Chairman, Mr Godwin Ezeemo, also said the masses have been given the option to live again in PPA, citing the provision of level ground for all players in the party.

APGA Holds First NEC Meeting To Strengthen Party Democracy

apga-2The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has made resolutions to ensure the strengthening of the internal democracy and maintenance of discipline in the party.

Other issues relating to the development of the nation, were equally discussed during the party’s first National Executive Committee meeting at the Professor Dora Akunyili Women Development Center, Awka, the Anambra state capital.

In a massively attended meeting by almost all the members of the National Working committee, the board of trustee members, and members of the National Executive Committee, the National Chairman, Victor Oye, outlined in his address, that the progress APGA had made as a party, the challenges it faced and the way forward for a stronger and united party, were key aspects of the meeting.

The National Secretary, Mr Labaran Maku, briefing newsmen on the proceedings of the party, stated that the meeting touched on so many issues such as:

“Expansion of party membership base through registration in all the states, reconciliation efforts made in Lagos and Imo states, strengthening the internal democracy of the party through enforcement of discipline with the suspension of seven members of the NWC including Mr Campbell Umenzekwe and Ozo Nwabueze from the party.”

Other issues included: the funding of the party for stability, the need for support for Governor Willie Obiano ahead of the 2017 governorship election, the appeal to the judiciary to end the lingering litigations, which has been withholding the representation of Anambra Central Senatorial zone in the senate, as well as passing a vote of confidence on Mr Oye.

According to Mr Maku, “the meeting exhaustively discussed very important issues relating to the development of our country and the progress of the All Progressives Grand Alliance and we took quite a number of decisions which will define the motion of our party in the coming months and years.

“We also discussed extensively the transformation of Anambra state under the able leadership of our National Party leader, Governor Obiano, since inception in March, 2014.

“We discussed the revolutionary programme of development in Anambra state which cuts across different sectors of the state’s economy and social life, he added.

Furthermore, Maku stated that “the NEC rose with unanimous confidence that going forward, APGA remains the most visionary option for the country in terms of its policies, in terms of its vision, in terms of its programme and its slogan to be our brothers and sisters keepers at this time in our country”.

Anambra Youths Endorse Obiano For Continuity

Anambra Youths Endorse Obiano For ContinuityAnambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has charged the youths of Anambra state to take the future of the state seriously as they are the key and major stakeholders in the development of the state.

The Governor was speaking at a mega rally organized by youths under the aegis of United Anambra Youths Assembly, UAYA at Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, to show solidarity with the administration as well as endorse him for continuity.

It was a magnificent sight as thousands of colorfully dressed youths and women including the Ebelechukwu Obiano Ladies Movement and other affiliate organizations from the 21 local government areas of the state converged.

It was an opportunity for them to bare their minds on the activities of the Obiano administration in which they affirmed that the Governor has indeed transformed the state in addition to the laudable youth oriented programmes his administration has been involved in.

They vowed never to go back to the days of rascality wherein the state property was burnt down and destroyed.

The National leader of the youth group, Chinedu Obidigwe, maintained that they are saying no to irresponsibility and never again would they be used as instruments of destruction of the state.

“Never listen to those disgruntled people, they betrayed us in the past and they cannot convince us now. There was a time all the property belonging to Ndi Anambra state was burnt down.

“Your Excellency, that government house was burnt down. The Governor’s lodge was burnt down. The governor’s lodge at Onitsha was burnt down. Ikenga Hotel and ABS were burnt down. ABS people are here; they can attest to this. Bad things were happening in this state.

“Your Excellency you salvaged us from the trouble. A former governor was kidnapped in this state and today that former governor is making noise at the center. He has forgotten how bad things were. Your Excellency, we are saying it loud that anybody who is making noise for you is ranting.

“We are being used for thuggery and you turned our lives back. You changed us with your mantra, mission and vision and today, we are reasoning along with you. Nobody born by a man can truncate it, God is there and Anambra is watching,” Obidigwe roared.

An important programme in the agenda of the youths was the endorsement of Governor Obiano for continuity in office, which the group leader for Ogbaru local government area and his counterpart from Idemili North council area initiated.

A frenzied excitement enveloped the mammoth crowd during the endorsement.

The highly elated National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Victor Oye, proudly declared that Governor Obiano was a performing governor and APGA is the only political party that is healthy enough to contain any other political aggression.

“APGA is the only political party in Nigeria today that has a clean bill of health, all the other political parties are suffering from epilepsy.

“They are suffering from stagnation and all these conditions lead to irreversible coma and when they move into irreversible coma, APGA will be the ultimate undertaker,” he said.

Poised To Do More

In his reaction to the generous out-pour of encouraging assurances of support from the youths, Governor Willie Obiano reminded the youths that the future of Anambra state lay in their hands and assured them of his commitment to ensure they became independent and self-reliant through agriculture and other economic activities.

“The youths of any place especially in Anambra are the future of Anambra. That is why we are not joking with you. All my four pillars, agriculture, trade and commerce, oil and gas and industrialization, all those areas are to create jobs youths.

“In the last two years plus, we have employed, in various categories, over 800,000 youths and we will still employ more in the coming year.

“I am sure you listened carefully to my budget speech a week ago where we multiplied five times what we are doing this year in agriculture to what we are going to do next year.

“What that means is, there will be lot of work opportunities for our youths and that is why we keep saying be a good ambassador wherever you are as a youth. Do not get into trouble, be good, we will get job for you.

“By the way, anybody that wants work in Agriculture area, I can assure you will get one almost immediately,” Obiano declared.

Anti-Drug Agency Takes Campaign To University Students

drugThe National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Nigeria has taking sensitisation campaign to students of different campuses in Anambra State to warn students of the dangers of drug abuse and consumption. 

The Anambra state commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Mr Sule Momodu, led the campaign as part of the agency’s efforts in curbing the increasing and growing trend of drug abuse among students.

At the Auditorium at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, heads of faculties and departments, students and lecturers all gathered to interact on the trending anomaly that had caused loss of lives, mental disorder among youths and other negative effects.

According to Mr Momodu, the agency has resolved to embark on a massive campaign against the societal ill which would start with students so that anybody found culpable of the crime would have his or her academic activities terminated with prosecution following subsequently.

Early this year, the officers of the NDLEA stormed some student hostels in Awka upon the receipt of intelligence report of massive drug business going on in and off campus hostels.

Dubai hostel was one of the places visited and the quantity of cannabis recovered was disturbing. It was a clear indication that drug business was thriving in various institutions of higher learning with merchants from neighbouring states and communities conscripting students for the illegal business with the bait that they could make huge amount of money from it.

For those and many more, the Anambra State Command of the NDLEA, decided to bale the water while it was ankle deep by launching a massive campaign against illegal drug activities in schools.

The State Commander, after the interactive session with students, maintained that the rate of drug activities among students was giving cause for concern, informing the need to embark on the sensitization programme.

“We notice that there are so many students that are abusing drugs today so we believe that we need to work with the university to reach out to them and to let them know the consequences of their action. So this is just the beginning.

“The whole idea is first, let us meet with the deans, the head of departments, the departmental associations, and the leaders. We have met with them and we are now going to step it down to faculty levels so that we will see a bigger crowd, and we can now reach a bigger audience.

“The message we are taking to them is for them to “say no to drug abuse”. Don’t get involved. Like we say, high on drug, cold in death. We are just trying to make them understand that drug will destroy their lives and so it is better to stay off it, if you don’t want your life to be destroyed,” he told the gathering.

The Dean of Student Affairs, Professor Stan Udedi, also expressed worry over the latest development among students and said it was important that students were made to understand early the dangers of drug abuse so that they could by themselves preach to their fellow students for effectiveness.

Professor Udedi stated that the “spate of drug abuse and the rate of use of drugs by students is becoming high and it is affecting their behavior and it is affecting the society at large. So we want to know whether we can curb that trend so they can become better students in future. This TOT now ended, students will now be organised in their departments and faculties, NDLEA will now support them and we will have a faculty wide discussion that will now be led by the students, because we want the students to be at the forefront so that when they speak to their fellow students, it will make a lot of sense”.

Some of the students who reacted to the sensitisation programme were shocked to learn that some of the effect of drugs on students could lead to death, loss of sanity, expulsion from school and other negative effects and they resolved to make use of all the safety methods advocated by the NDLEA in helping to save their fellow students as well as support in sanitising the society.

Above all, the consequences of termination of academic activities and prosecution with the culminating prison sentence should be enough deterrent to any student who may wish to indulge in illegal drug activities and the NDLEA is warning every student to desist.

Anambra Launches 2016 Dry Season Farming

Obiano Meets Industrialists, Seeks Solution To RecessionAnambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has flagged off the 2016 ‘dry season farming and agric show’ in Awka, the Anambra state capital.

According to the governor, he is advocating for an all season farming practice, as he believes that as climate is changing, food production and agricultural processes must also change.

The programme was attended by over 5,000 farmers and representatives of various cooperative groups from the 21 local government areas of the state, gathered to be part of the new initiative.

Re-enforcing the new farming initiative, the governor announced the introduction of practices and technology that would help reduce food losses through better technology for harvesting, storage, packing, transport, infrastructure and market mechanism, as well as institutional and legal frameworks.

The flag off which took place at the ABS Headquarters, Awka field, featured distribution of farm inputs, fertilizers, pesticides, improved and high yielding seedlings, as well as handover of motorcycles to deserving farmers for farm to farm movement.

With a strong resolve to ensure food security and sufficiency, Governor Obiano has made agriculture the number one pillar of his administrative blueprint.

Also, in the budget proposal for the 2017 fiscal year, a budget of 5.4 Billion Naira has been earmarked for agriculture alone, in which the state aims at being one of the top three producers of rice, maize and cassava.

With the challenges of climate change and the growing population however, there is need for agriculture and food system to find means of adapting to the adverse effects of climate change and becoming more resilient, productive and sustainable.

It is for this reason that thousands of farmers and cooperative groups gathered to re-dedicate themselves to the course of agricultural development.

The arrival of the governor charged up the arena where various food crops were on display for the agricultural exhibition.

He then moved round to inspect the crop harvest of 2016 as well as felicitate with the farmers.

While addressing the farmers, Obiano commend them for their steadfastness in the trending occupation and assured them that the state would support them with every necessary equipment needed.

He ended the event by distributing various farm inputs such as certified rice seeds, high variety vitamins, a termite free cassava stems and agricultural facilitating equipment like pesticides, irrigation equipment, tractors and motorcycles.

Women cooperatives, on the other hand, presented a gift to the governor and commended him for the support he has been giving them especially in the area of making available off takers who buy off their farm produce upon harvest.

The representative of the Minister Of Agriculture, Mr Albert Odukwe, stated that the governor’s resolve to embark on all year round farming is a demonstration of his commitment to agriculture as a serious business which all must embrace.

The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export, Mr Afam Mbanefo, also announced the agricultural success of the outgoing year.

Hundreds Of Businesses Storm Anambra International Trade Fair

Hundreds Of Businesses Storm Anambra International Trade FairAnambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, says the state has become Nigeria’s most popular investment destination with over five billion US dollars investment attracted in two years.

The Governor was speaking during the opening ceremony of the Joint Trade Fair of all the Chambers of Commerce in the state tagged, “The Jubilee Fair.”

The trade fair with the theme, “to harness Anambra’s natural resources for non-oil exports as a world class trade hub”, was packaged with awareness of high standard expected of an international trade fair.

“Ndi Anambra, this trade fair could not have come at a better time. Anambra is indeed ready for the world. First, this is our 25th anniversary as a state.

“Second, Anambra is Nigeria’s safest state at the moment and thirdly, our beloved state has become Nigeria’s most popular investment destination with over five billion dollars investment attracted in two years.

“We are indeed in a better place today. Everything seems to be working in our favor. We have shaken off the dark days of violent armed robbery, kidnapping, child trafficking, and bloody shootout between rival gangs.

“We have made bold efforts to bring home our illustrious sons and daughter together on the altar of brotherhood. As a government, we know what our people expect from us and we are not relenting in our efforts to surpass the expectations of Ndi Anambra,” he said.

Hundreds Of Businesses Storm Anambra International Trade Fair

The trade fair has seen over 100 business merchants from Anambra and environs with high expectations of attracting international business brands and investors who will tap into the commercial potentials of the state and step up the export potentials of the state.

Hundreds of business pavilions have been erected at the Dr. Alex Ekwueme Square Awka, the venue for the Trade Fair.

Various products on display ranged from agriculture and forestry, food and beverage and IT and Technology industries and the Governor was again blown away by the standard of the event as organized by the coalition of the three chambers of commerce in Anambra state for the first time.

“Before now, Anambra has three separate chambers of commerce, one each from Onitsha, Nnewi and Awka. Each chamber had made efforts to run its own affairs and hold its own trade fair, but I am told that their separate effort did not make as much impact as what we are witnessing here today”, the governor said.

The governor reminded them of the breakthrough Anambra made in rice production with the production of Anambra Rice and the export of vegetables to the United Kingdom in 2016.

He insisted that the state could still make more positive statement in export business with proper coordination.

He urged all the big businesses, small and medium enterprises, entrepreneurs and all interested members of the community to participate in the trade fair and help develop the state.