The Anambra State Chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN, Surveyor Amb. Obi Emeka Chukwudi believes Anambra State needs the frugality and financial prudence of Governor Chukwuma Soludo, considering its present fiscal condition. Surveyor Obi made the position clear on Tuesday in Awka, the State Capital, while fielding questions from journalists on the affairs in the state.
The Anambra youth leader is of the opinion that the inception of the Soludo administration has birthed many strategic policies that have aided the ailing economy the governor inherited when he assumed office. He said that having met a near-empty treasury, Governor Soludo has carefully navigated the state through very difficult seasons, with intentional policies that did not worsen the state’s economic problems but alleviated them.
One such policy, Obi noted, was his decision not to borrow the N100 billion loan approved for him by the State House of Assembly when he came into office to begin to address the infrastructural deficits observed.
“Any other person would have jumped at the loan, especially with the State Legislature having given their consent. But Governor Soludo refused.
“Instead, he began foundational steps, such as taxes and levies, to grow government revenue. These, of course, are very difficult to drive, especially with the people’s level of understanding concerning taxes and levies.
“Soludo began with consultations to get the people’s buy-in into the need to envision a post-oil economy independent of oil revenue, considering the decline in global oil fortunes.
”This tax drive was well developed; it did not overburden people already in the government tax net but focused more on reaching the majority of the population in the informal sector, who had hitherto evaded tax,” he noted.
Obi expressed delight that today, the state has significantly increased its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) due to the governor’s prudence and tact in managing public resources. According to him, the numerous projects going on in terms of infrastructure bear eloquent testimony to the fact that the governor has successfully steered the state out of the murky waters of economic recession.
“We see today various road projects ongoing without the state borrowing.
“In the education and health sectors, we have seen the governor announce free education and free antenatal and delivery services, respectively.
“We have also seen the governor dole out over a billion naira in support of mission schools as well as massive recruitment of teachers and health workers.
“These simply tell you that Anambra is becoming economically viable again, as against the dire situation the governor inherited,” Obi maintained.
He also took time to applaud the initiative of the governor towards youth empowerment, insisting that with what he is doing, more youths will have no reason in the future to venture into crime.
“This is what we have been clamoring for – for the government to recognize the potential of youths and make significant investments towards their well-being.
“The 2 billion naira distributed to youths who learned various categories of businesses and skills will be a game-changer in the near future, as Anambra will become a hub for entrepreneurship and commerce.
“We at the NYCN do not take these efforts of the governor for granted, and we have galvanized the youths across the 21 Local Government Areas of the state to participate in government programs targeted at improving their living conditions.
“Also, the NYCN under my watch has initiated many programs, including computer training, partnerships with high-net-worth individuals to provide empowerment to our youths, sports development programs, educational support initiatives, and scholarships among numerous others.
“Overall, the target is to ensure a more virile, productive, and useful youth population in the state,” he enthused.
The Anambra NYCN Chairman advocated continued support for the governor in the task of developing the state, insisting that the government alone cannot effectively undertake the task of development.