Anambra Assembly approves Soludo’s N100bn loan request for infrastructure development

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The Anambra State House of Assembly, has approved Gov. Charles Soludo’s request to access loan facilities worth N100 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for infrastructure development.

The approval followed the consideration and adoption of the report of the House Committee on Public Accounts during plenary on Thursday in Awka.

Soludo had, on July 5, written to the Assembly, seeking approval to secure a N100 billion Global Limit Multiple Term Loan Facility from CBN, for the construction and refurbishment of key infrastructure in the state.

Presenting the report, Mr Somto Udeze, representing Ogbaru Constituency ll and Chairman of the committee said that the Commissioners for Finance and Economic Planning and Budget were invited for interaction on the terms of the loan facilities.

Udeze said that the discussion was to ascertain the terms of the loan, monthly deductions, duration of the loan, the interest rate, project specifications and the current debt profile of the state.

He said that the Committee was satisfied with the answers provided by the commissioners.

“We observed that the N100 billion loan was strictly for the construction of roads, bridges and flyovers across the state.

“It was also observed that the current debt profile of the state at about N107 billion can still accommodate more of such loans considering the expected outcome and impact on the residents of the state.

“However, we recommended that the Commissioners should provide the list of the proposed project descriptions and expected cost of each project for ease of oversight function subsequently; and that was done

“That the loan should be secured at single-digit interest rate and be used for feasible infrastructure development alone.

“We also recommend the need for increased internally generated revenue to minimise borrowing to fund Infrastructure development in the state,” he said.

Meanwhile, some lawmakers lamented that not all the 30 constituencies in the state were captured in the proposed infrastructure upgrade.

The Speaker of the House, Mr Uche Okafor commended the committee for thorough scrutiny of the loan request and conducted a voice vote for the adoption of the report.

The House granted the governor’s request in a unanimous resolution.

Also at plenary, the House passed a bill to establish the system of Criminal Justice Administration in Anambra and to provide for related matters.

The Bill titled, ‘Administration of Criminal Justice Bill 2022, Repeal and Re-enactment,’ was read for the third time and subsequently passed during plenary.

The Speaker, directed the Acting Clerk, Mrs Esther Anetoh to send a clean copy of the Bill to the State Governor for assent.

The House later adjourned sitting to July 26.

In another development, Anambra State Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo has tasked the National Population Commission on providing accurate data as a panacea for effective planning.

He made statement on Thursday at the Government House, Awka while receiving in audience a delegation from the Commission who paid him a courtesy visit.

Soludo described statistics as everything, saying that it remains the basic requirement for effective planning for development

His words; “If you can’t measure it, you can’t change it! Without data, you can’t plan.

The governor reiterated the significance of the Commission and the imperative of a full population demographics and not just stating the total number of a location especially for a unique state like Anambra which is estimated to have over 50% of its indigenous population living outside of the state.

While noting that the asic data needed to disaggregate are sadly unavailable, he said, “The transit population of Ndi Anambra is more than those domiciled in the state. “The 50% population is just an estimate. We need concrete numbers to plan for the surging population that will arrive the state during the festive period and also plan for traffic control, and for several other social sectors, etc”.

“To plan for tomorrow, for purely planning purposes, not just for only residents of Anambra State but also Ndi Anambra living outside of the state; basic data for age population, education, qualification, residential address, persons living with disability, income level, household survey, among others, are basic requisite for planning.

According to Governor Soludo; “we are committed to supporting the next population census exercise so as to ensure it is  successful with a less error margin.

“It would be delightful if the National Population Census can provide the total number of Ndi Anambra living in the 35 states of the Federation so that we can be able to plan for basic infrastructure.”

He gave assurance of maximum security and provision of basic logistics in terms of sensitisation, mobilization, personal and professional assistance, in the course of the exercise.

Chairman of the National Population Commission, Hon. Isa Kwarra who led the delegation comprising of Commissioners and Directors of the NPC, in his speech, pleaded with Governor Soludo to uphold Anambra state as the light of the nation.

While reeling out the intensified efforts made so far by the Commission as they prepare for the national count, he added,

“We’ve commenced pre-test trial census exercise using Idemili South LGA. The specific objectives will be to assess the quality of the enumeration area maps that had been created, determine demographic and geographical changes that might have occurred and their implications, determine feasibility for house numbering, determine correlation between estimated population and pre-test enumerated population, determine educational qualification for 2023 census enumerators, determine estimated workload on enumerators and finally, determine logistics support required from States and LGAs”; he concluded.

The visit became imperative to solicit the state government support, in lieu of the digital housing and National Population Housing Census exercise billed for April, 2023.

Present at the event were, Secretary to the State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi, Head of Service, Barrister Theodora Igwegbe, Chief of Protocol and Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr. Chinedu Nwoye Glamour among others.

[championnews]

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