Ekwunife calls for crackdown on sand miners


Former Anambra Senator Uche Ekwunife has condemned sand miners in the state, saying that they are destroying the environment.

She said that environmental laws exist to regulate sand mining, but that these laws are not being enforced.

She made this known at a town hall meeting between Governor Soludo and Anambra indigenes living in Abuja.

Ekwunife also called for the Anambra state government to monitor how households are planting coconut and palm oil seedlings, which are economic trees that can help to checkmate erosion. She said that Anambra is an erosion-prone environment, and that both man-made and natural erosion can be damaging.

The senator also offered her support to Dr. Ngige, who stressed the importance of skill acquisition in secondary schools. She said that community modern banks should be energized with funds so that soft loans can be granted to students who have perfected their skills and want to start their own businesses.

Meanwhile, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, Governor of Anambra State has again reiterated his calls to Ndi Anambra living outside the State to bring their investments home to help develop the state.

Governor Soludo made the clarion call during a town hall meeting with Ndi Anambra businessmen and women resident at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

It will be recalled he made similar calls to Ndi Anambra resident in Lagos few weeks ago. He specifically enjoined the business owners and investors of Anambra extraction to imbibe the homeland consciousness by repatriating home their investments to begin the foundational process of developing the State

He again emphasized that God did not make mistakes by making them Anambra citizens. He called for their strategic partnership by seeking their cooperation to work together to develop the State

“Let’s work together as strategic partners to develop Anambra. We have only one agenda which is to make the state a destination and not a departure lounge”

Governor Soludo thereafter reeled out some of the activities and infrastructure his administration is putting in place to make the State investor’s friendly.

On security which remains a top priority of his government, Governor Soludo reassured that the security architecture has been strengthened with committed and dedicated state’s community Vigilante Group working effectively with the other security forces. With a more strengthened security, he reassured the weekly sit-at-home syndrome will come to an end.

On road infrastructure, he reassured that over 300 kilometers of road across the entire state are currently at various stages of completion while additional ones will be flagged off soon.

He revealed Awka the State Capital is being modernised adding that a new government house and lodge will be ready in the latter part of first quarter next year.

He further told the audience that his government has embarked on regenerative agriculture to boost production. He added that the recently distributed Coconut and palm oil seedling to about 140,000 households across the State will drastically reduce poverty when it starts fruiting in few years to come with every household expected to generate a princely sum of N1.2 million annually as income

On environment, Governor Soludo said it remains an existential threat with the devastating effects of flooding and erosion. He mentioned areas like Oko, Nanka, Ekwulobia, Oba etc as heavily proned zones. He however assured that the government is re-channeling and desilting the waterways while a draft bill to further combat the menace will be forwarded to the State Assembly

Speaking about the commercial city of Onitsha, the Governor regretted that the city was now more or less a shadow of itself. He reassured that his government has embarked on a rescue mission to bring it back to its former glory by rebuilding infrastructure and desilting the waterways.

He mentioned that environmental laws to compel landlords to paint their buildings once in awhile will come into effect soon. While Ochanja Roundabout will wear a new look with waterfalls fountain, and the famous creek road dualized with street lights

On acquisition of land, Governor Soludo assured that every prospective investor will get land expeditiously. On power, he restated that the State government is working with the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, for 24 hours electricity at least for the four major towns of Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi and Ekwulobia. He also appealed to every ndi Anambra to pay part of their taxes to the State Government to help develop the State.

On the future of the South East, the Governor expressed great optimism that the future is bright with the current leaders who have demonstrated the desire to work together for the growth of the region

Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion, Sir Emeka Offor had commended the Governor for his giant strides in infrastructural development in Anambra State. He emphasized that developing Anambra State requires the cooperation of every Ndi-Anambra irrespective of party affiliation. He therefore called on all the politicians in the state including investors to support the government and invest in the homeland

The Governor of Abia State, Dr Alex Otti, who came in at the middle of the event said Alaigbo cannot develop without Anambra.

“We are one and the same people. We need to fix the whole of South East. My coming here is to support what Governor Soludo is doing. We must do everything possible to bring back our investment home.” He told the audience

He thereafter called on every Ndi-Anambra to support Governor Soludo, saying he has done very well in the little over one year he has been in office

Others who spoke at the occasion such as former Governor Dr Chris Ngige, Senators Victor Umeh, Ifeanyi Ubah, Uche Ekwunife all commended Governor Soludo for the great work he is doing in Anambra State

The occasion was also graced by the wife of the Governor, Mrs Nonye Soludo with prominent Anambra-born Captains of Industry as well as members of Anambra State Executive Council among others