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Anambra: Governor Soludo Budgets N1.3 Billion For Vigilance Groups

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Anambra State has earmarked N1.3 billion in its 2023 budget to fund the operations of vigilance groups in the state.

Chikodi Anara, the commissioner of Homeland Affairs,  stated this on Thursday, December 1, 2022, while defending the ministry’s budget before the House of Assembly Committee on Police, Security, and Boundary Matters.

Anara said the vigilance groups have been assisting security agencies in community policing and maintenance of law and order. According to him, the relationship between the police and the vigilance groups was cordial, adding that members of the group take instructions from the police and other security agencies.

He added: “If our 2023 budget is approved, we plan to train the community-based vigilance groups, data capturing of the personnel, purchase security equipment and intensify grassroots sensitisation on security matters.

“We plan to build a rehabilitation centre for youths, which will also serve as correction facility for repented criminals.”

Anara, who restated the government’s commitment to the security of lives and property, added: “I am happy that with the support of Governor Chukwuma Soludo, security has really improved in the state and we wish to sustain it. We are also telling Anambra indigenes resident outside the state that they can come home for the yuletide because Anambra is now peaceful and safe for all.”

Committee Chairman Onyebuchi Offor hailed the ministry for its efforts at improving security in communities across the state. He called for constant training of vigilance personnel on rules of engagement to ensure safety and security.

The government also earmarked N5.6 billion to fund youth empowerment programmes in 2023.

Commissioner for Youth Development Patrick Aghamba stated this while defending the ministry’s budget before the House of Assembly Committee on Youths and Sports Development. According to Aghamba, Governor Soludo’s administration is committed to taking the youths out of the streets and engaging them in meaningful ventures to safeguard their future. He said the empowerment programme was also aimed at taking the state from consumption to productive economy ‘as we plan to create thousands of millionaires every year’.

“The empowerment programme is tagged ‘One Youth Two Skills’, and as at September this year, we have trained about 5,000 youths in different vocations of their choice to make them self-reliant. The training include Igbo Apprenticeship Scheme, also known as ‘Igba Boyi’, metal fabrication, furniture making, aluminum fabrication, catering, and Information Communication Technology. They also had training in Cosmetology, Agro-livestock value chain, among others, in their various local government areas.

“The sum of N5.6 billion was budgeted for youth empowerment in 2023 fiscal year and we plan to employ more experts in the selected skills to train more youths next year,” he added.

Committee Chairman Noble Igwe praised the ministry for a good budget performance, and urged it to ensure a balanced representation of youths across the 21 council areas.

SMALLNESS: Governor Soludo Threatens To Deface Peter Obi’s Posters, Billboard

Chukwuma Soludo, the governor of Anambra State, has given presidential candidate of Labour Party, LP, two weeks to clear debts of posters and billboards or have them defaced.

Anambra State Signage and Advertising Agency, ANSAA, threatened other candidates and parties to pay up too or face similar action.

A statement by ANSAA MD/CEO Tony Odili Ujubuonu on Sunday, November 20, 2022, warned it would deface billboards and posters of political parties and candidates owing the agency.

The agency said the enforcement of the order would begin on December 5, 2022.

The statement reads: “Anambra State Signage and Advertisement Agency through a letter dated 14th November, 2022, urged all Out-Of-Home advertising practitioners in the state to revalidate and register all their billboards.

“According to a letter addressed to both OAAN and registered Non OAAN practitioners, the agency has taken major steps towards sanitizing outdoor advertising practice in the state through ban on individuals, clients and government agencies ownership of billboards in the state.

“Having done this, the agency expected maximum cooperation from the practitioners in terms of registering their billboards and payment of campaigns but are yet to get such.

“As a result of the above, the agency has directed all billboard owners to provide the information required to register each billboard and also pay up for any campaign on them.

‘Through this release, the entire political party candidates for the upcoming general elections are urged to make sure those handling their campaigns have made payments to the government to avoid ANSAA defacing their campaign materials.

“The agency has also given a two-week grace to make such payments or face a legal enforcement.

“It has also gotten to the knowledge of the Agency that some political party candidates are erecting billboards on their own ignorantly. The Agency wants to state that this is not only wrong but illegal and any such billboard would be brought down without any notice, the structure seized permanently and auctioned.

“This lasts between 14th November to 5th of December.

‘It’s the wish of the Agency that by the 5th of December 2022, all billboards in the State must have been duly registered and paid for, as legal enforcement starts immediately.

“Remember ANSAA is your progress partner in business and we want you to succeed.”

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