Developing Anambra through ‘community-chosen projects
Anambra State Governor, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo is one year old in office. In this special package, National Light Newspaper writers collate report, appraise and highlight the governor’s activities in governance. Notable is Mr Governor’s high work rate in his mission to establish that the Solution is Here! Without doubt, Anambra’s problems and challenges have never been given such a hard quake in one year since the state’s creation un 1991. The reporters write:
THREE hundred and sixty- five days ago , ndiAnambra witnessed a political transition, change of baton in governance that brought in a technocrat, a Professor of Economics and former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Charles ChukulwumaSoludo as the sixth governor of Anambra State.
Sworn-in on March 17, 2022, Soludo came with the zeal to improve and impact positively on the state, he developed a mantra to make Anambra ‘ the Japan of Africa’ by making the state a liveable cum prosperous homeland where every citizen would be proud of.
Armed with the knowledge that one of the most efficient and effective means to deploy the resources of the state for the greatest outcome is through adopting the philosophy of ‘Community Choose Your Project Initiative’ as one of his economic enablers to power the economic transformation of his administration down to the grassroots level.
Soludo in his manifesto, maintained that he “seek a framework for compounding the state wealth and ramping up fiscal revenue with the target that after eight years, Anambra would not need federation account allocations for its basic needs.
“Indeed, after four years, Anambra should generate more than 100 percent of its recurrent expenditure. To sum it up, we envision Anambra where our homeland population will have no incentive to migrate to other places in search of opportunities and the itinerant population will have a proud homeland to return to.
“Anambra must be transformed to that mega industrialised economy, our roads both in the rural areas and cities, markets, environment challenges must be addressed.”
The community choose your project initiative of N20 million was pioneered in the state by the immediate past governor, Willie Obiano and the initiative remains model of bottom-up development paradigm where every community knows what is best for them at the grassroot level. With this model, government presence is felt in all the 181 communities in the state.
This approach of progressing upward from the lowest level is a strategy for sustainability that focuses on improving infrastructures and creating direct benefits such as local employment for skilled and unskilled labourers, social services, as well as providing support for local contractors. It also provides help to identify locations and alignment of infrastructures that would make communities more economic viable.
However, to achieve his desired objectives of making Anambra a liveable and prosperous state, Governor Soludo in his slogan ‘Solution Is Here’, increased the amount being allocated to communities from N20 million to N25 million to meet the economic situation of the country. He reopened windows for communities who are interested in the initiative to step forward and choose their most critical priority projects.
The initiative is an act of drastic reduction of poverty which focuses on increasing the access of the poor to job opportunities as the project targets narrowing state infrastructure gap by improving infrastructure at grassroots.
More so, every community is expected to be creative while choosing its priorities and equally allow larger number of community members to get involved. The implication is that there won’t be room for non-viable projects, in that only developmental projects will be executed which includes establishing modernised portable water, sanitation systems, drainage, as well as creating access roads, safe walkways, recreational centers, modernised parks and markets, providing ICT incubation centers, quality health and educational services, among others. These projects are expected to be designed and executed by expertise indigenous contractors.
Each project must meet state government approved standards such that no adverse environmental impact will result from its execution. Government will also provide detailed description and certifications and ensures compliance with the terms of an applicable requirements to contractual standards and terms.
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