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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Have you heard about Free Cleft Lip/Palate Surgery?

You may have heard about some of the charitable works of the wife of Governor of Anambra State, Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme), and what she is doing for the physically challenged and indigent widows. 

But you need to hear the testimony of the mother of a baby cleft lip patient from Osomala, Ogbaru, Mrs. Ndidi Ofili, one of the beneficiaries of over fifty free cleft lip surgeries facilitated by Osodieme.

We also have attestations from the Programme Director of Smile Train West & Central Africa, Mrs. Nkeiruka Obi, and the Consultant Surgeon at Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital Nnewi and coordinator of the Cleft Surgeries, Prof. Dr. Titus Chukwuanukwu about the immense contributions and selfless services of Osodieme through CAFÉ to cleft care which earned her the Smile Train Goodwill Ambassador award.

Cleft lip or cleft palate is a congenital birth disorder common in our society. It is a disorder which causes trauma and stigmatization to the patients if not treated. Smile Train is an international NGO which sponsors free cleft care and has since inception nineteen years ago performed over 1.8m free cleft surgeries globally, over 100,000 in Africa, and over 30,000 patients in West Africa and over 17,000 in Nigeria.

Mrs. Ndidi Ofili 
Osomala Community, Ogbaru Local Government Area
Mother of Free Cleft Palate Surgery Beneficiary

“I feared for my Baby when she grows”

Mrs. Ndidi Ofili, from Osomala community, Ogbaru Local Government Area, mother of Oluchukwu, a four month old baby beneficiary of free cleft palate surgery could not hold her joy.

She said:

“I am thanking God for sending the governor's wife, Chief Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano, to help me correct the anomaly on her baby's mouth. It was already a very big challenge for me and I feared for her when she grows up. I had no money to take the baby to the hospital but to my surprise I was called to bring her that Osodieme will help us with free operation on her mouth. Today I am very happy. I am praying to God to bless and keep the governor's wife and her family as well as to make the governor's second term aspiration a reality.” 

The excited mother continued; "I thank God for sending Osodieme to help me and my family. When I was told that she will conduct surgery on my baby for free, I thought it was a joke until I came here for the treatment and nobody has ever demanded any money from me, even our transportation and feeding, they paid for them all. Am praying that God will bless her and the family, and to give them victory in the forthcoming election to enable other women benefit from the good works of our first lady, Chief Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano, just the way I benefited from her today". 

Mrs. Nkeiruka Obi 
Programme Director Smile Train West & Central Africa

“Cleft lip or cleft palate is a congenital birth disorder common in our society but Smile makers like our Mama, Chief Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano helps facilitate free lifesaving surgeries which cost about $250 USD and can be performed within 45 minutes. We are here to appreciate her immense contribution and partnership through her NGO CAFÉ which ensure that the patients get the benefit of free Smile Train surgery which has seen the treatment of over 150 in Anambra State and many others across Nigeria thereby putting smiles on the faces of the patients and families. She is hereby recognized as Smile Train Goodwill Ambassador.”

Dr. Titus Chukwuanukwu
Consultant Plastic Surgeon
Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital Nnewi
Smile Train International program in Anambra State.

“We decided to partner with the governor's wife in her quest to change lives of people through her nongovernmental, the Caring Family Enhancement Initiative. We identify with governor's wife and her passion for the poor and we are assuring her of continuous partnership. No child with cleft palate should be left to suffer because of poverty; we are collaborating with CAFE to ensure free treatment for them. We decided to partner with her in her quest to change lives of people through her nongovernmental, the Caring Family Enhancement Initiative."

By Emeka Ozumba

Monday, April 23, 2018

Why I'm Sponsoring Free Medical Outreach For Awka South 1 Residents - Emeka Igwe

Chief Emeka Igwe, one of the finest refined young technocrat emerging from Anambra. A reputable and respected philanthropist who has received the blessings of his people, Awka South Constituency 1, to represent them at the State House of Assembly, earlier today in an interview with ABS, Igwe gave insight about who he is, talked about national issue with regard to the youth, and also revealed reason behind the forthcoming free medical outreach. 


Who is Emeka Vincent Igwe

I am Emeka Vincent Igwe, a trained electrical engineer but my firm also handles civil engineering contracts as we have qualified Nigerians and some expatriates working for us. We have an arm in our group that handles warehousing and logistics for blue chip companies. We have been active in the oil and gas sector (downstream) for many years and thus have the requisite knowhow and experience of doing business in Nigeria. I am happily married with kids.

Your views on doing business in Nigeria

Nigeria presents opportunities and at the same time challenges. I like to focus more on the opportunities because if you are creative, resilient and hardworking, you will surely earn your rewards. This has always been my message to the youths, not to dwell so much on the difficulties that surround us. Surely, the government both at the federal and state levels have got a lot to do in the areas of providing the necessary infrastructure and operating environment for entrepreneurs to thrive. Perhaps if they could focus on solving the power issue which drains most of the revenue business people earn, that would be a big step forward.

Do you think Nigerian youths are lazy

Well, I am a youth and I know for sure that I am not lazy. Our Group employs thousands of young people and these guys are so energetic and creative. They are the engine room of our operations. I can't call them lazy. What perhaps may be the problem is that some of our young people have not been given opportunities and many have unfortunately been steered in the wrong direction. Look at what's happening in the entertainment sector, music, Nollywood etc. These sectors are being powered and championed by young people. Let us encourage them more.

Why are you sponsoring the Awka South Constituency 1 Medical Outreach programme?

  • I attended the Anambra @25 anniversary lecture delivered by His Majesty, Igwe Alfred Achebe. He spoke so well about 'Aku Luo Uno', that is urging Ndi Anambra to bring their wealth home. I was also at the Port Harcourt event the same year (2016) and listened to His Excellency, Governor Willie Obiano enumerate for Ndi Anambra in Port Harcourt the excellent efforts being made by his administration to reposition Anambra state especially in the areas of security, agriculture, education, infrastructure etc. I knew after these that I must come come and contribute to the various efforts both the government and other individuals are making.

Team V.I.E medical outreach is my own little contribution towards improving the quality of life of our people, especially those living in Awka South Constituency 1 where I am from. V.I.E stands for Volunteer, Inspire and Empower. These are themes I believe in. We are kicking off the exercise on Wednesday, 25th of April, 2018 at Obodo Ezi Umuogbu, Awka by 8am. There will be free medical, dental and optical care, counselling and drugs adminstration and so on.

We will be at Ayom Okpala Field, Awka on Thursday, 26th April, 2018 by 8am. On Friday, 27th April, 2018, we will be at Ndi Ichie Hall, Umudioka Awka same time as the other days and also every day of the outreach including Okpuno hall on Saturday, 28th April, 2018 and finally Umuokpu Community Secondary School on Sunday, 29th April, 2018.

Anambra Govt Prohibits Parking Of Vehicles At Market Premises,Restates Stand Against Street Trading

State government says it is not going back in its determination to open up streets and roads across the state blocked with illegal shops, shanties and structures.

The Commissioner for Road, Rail and Water Transport, Chief Uche Okafor made the assertion while speaking with newsmen in a function at Ogbunike, Oyi Council area.

 According to Chief Okafor, spirited efforts by state government in creating access roads for its citizenry has been sabotaged by individuals who placed their individual interest above public interest saying that it will no longer be business as usual.

He charged those who are concerned to vacate the areas as they will soon embark on another operation as a follow up to the earlier operations.

Chief Okafor added that he will stop at nothing to ensure that those roads and streets are recovered noting that the practice of parking vehicles along the market roads, very close or inside the markets will no longer be tolerated as the Ministry must ensure free flow of traffic in and around the markets.

By Ngozi Obileri

CVR: APGA Embarks On Sensitization Exercise In Onitsha

The Member representing Onitsha North Constituency One in the State House of Assembly, Mr Chugbo Enwezor says Nigeria will have enduring peace and stability only when its political system is restructured in line with the principles of justice, equity and fairness.

He stated this during a voter registration sensitization forum by the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA in Onitsha North Local Government Area.

Mr Enwezor emphasized that restructuring is fundamental for effective socio-economic development of the country, pointing out that with fiscal federalism the defunct four regions of the First Republic, functioned successfully.

The lawmaker maintained that the onus lies on members of the National Assembly from the Southeast geopolitical zone who would emerge from the 2019 general elections to vigorously champion the cause of the return to true federalism in Nigeria.

Mr Enwezor also stressed the need for door to door canvassing to ensure that all eligible voters in Onitsha North and South local government areas are registered in the ongoing continuous voter registration exercise.

On his part, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Grassroots Media Mobilization, Mr. Egbuna Amuta, called for sustained support and cooperation for the Obiano administration.

Mr. Amuta explained that the ongoing war against illegal levy collection by miscreants, street trading and illegal structures, is a collective decision of the State government and leadership of traders to boost the Internally Generated Revenue of the State.

By Egbuna Amuta

Today Is International English Language Day

The United Nations is observing today as International English Language Day.

It was established by its Department of Public Information in 2010, to celebrate Multilingualism and Cultural diversity.

The day is also said to be chosen because twenty-third April was the birthday and date William Shakespeare died.

Speaking on the significance of the day, the Head of Department English Language and Literature, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Dr Geraldine Nnamdi-Eruchalu, cautioned that going by the influence English language is having on the Mother tongue, Igbo language is at the risk of going into extinction, because many parents of Igbo extraction prefer discussing with their children in English language.

She maintained that though English language is needed in communications, it should be balanced with indigenous languages.

For the President Department of English and Literature, of the University, Comrade Leonard Nworie, English has permeated every part of the society adding that it will offer one, many opportunities as the subject is virtually contained in all courses.

The day usually features book-reading events, quiz competitions, poetry among others that promotes English language.

By Amaka Chibuzor Okoye

Umeh: The prize for resilience

No one on Anambra’s political turf has fought more tortuous political battles in defence of their political convictions than Chief Victor Umeh; none either has enjoyed as much legal victories in their dogged adherence to legitimately seeking redress in the face of daunting manoeuvres antithetical to recognised political and legal best practices.

Indeed, Chief Umeh’s political life for over a decade   presents a vignette of crusades for seemly precepts in democratic practices, particularly as they affect elections and political party administration. The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) provides him the platform for bold expressions of this cause.

Though Chief Umeh’s electoral value handsomely played out in APGA’s impressive performance in the 2003 gubernatorial election in Anambra State, his prefigured ingenuity seemed to be tied more to the rigorous legal battles that saw APGA’s Mr. Peter Obi reclaim a gubernatorial mandate in 2006, three long years after it  was highhandedly appropriated by Dr. Chris Ngige’s People’s Democratic Party.  But for Chief Umeh’s downright rejection of underhand arbitrary counsels and ploys to compromise the party’s pursuit, Obi’s scheme for governorship probably would just have fizzled out. In and out of the courts, Umeh’s robust support counted substantially in Obi’s variegated journeys to the Government House.  This cannot be controverted by any of Chief Umeh’s ferocious traducers today or their pampered surrogates.

Umeh’s trajectory in Anambra politics captures the intricacies, travails and   successes in the making of modern Anambra State. This is not farfetched, considering the critical role he played in APGA’s formation and its entrenchment as a formidable ruling party in Anambra State. Chief Victor Umeh readily provided the youthful zeal and mental energy which the all-time leader of APGA, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, needed to impress the mission of the party in the consciousness of the deprived peoples of Nigeria, particularly those resident east of the Niger.

His steadfastness in driving the fortunes of the party through formidable trials unarguably justify Ikemba’s preference for him as a leader whom he trusted to grow the party’s ideals to prime legacy in good governance. As its National Chairman, Umeh superintended over APGA’s containment of the Peoples Democratic Party’s electoral improprieties, particularly in Anambra State, a pilot state for APGA’s good governance model.   Chief Umeh it was who literarily trod the fields to ensure the delivery of Rochas Okorocha as the governor of Imo State under the APGA banner. Unfortunately, the APGA good governance culture was yet to stick in Imo before Okorocha went his way – thereby leading Imo to the prevailing political woods.

Still fresh in our memory is Umeh’s successes in ensuring Obiano’s first coming (2014) when he (Umeh) was the National Chairman of APGA, and his stellar role in the Governor’s unprecedented reelection result (18th November, 2017), as the Chairman of the Governor’s Re-election Committee.  Given his persistent frontline role in APGA’s subsistence and growth over time, in the years of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s unassailable presence and beyond; given the fine blend of his composite knowledge of Nigeria’s political dynamics and  his inimitable boldness (a bit of which was showcased in his very brief but most brilliant participation in the 2014 National Conference), one would hardly fault the appropriateness of Chief Victor Umeh as a mouthpiece for Anambra Central Senatorial Zone in the 8th Senate.

But for a few who, for mundane reasons, would not bear Umeh’s rising profile in Anambra’s political space; the clique which, in the past, surreptitiously laboured to undermine Umeh’s leadership of the party by lavishly sponsoring internal leadership distractions; and those whose underbellies have eventually been laid bare by their characteristic prowls on him, Chief Umeh’s representation in the 8th Senate would have long taken effect. Recall that the 8th Senate was inaugurated on the 9th of June, 2015. Yet, these people deprived Anambra Central of Umeh’s representation.         

However, if the November 20, 2017 judgment of the Court of Appeal restraining the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from participating in the rerun election which the Court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct within 90 days provided an elixir for the people of Anambra Central Senatorial District, the renaissance spirit displayed by Mahmood Yakubu’s INEC in promptly fixing January, 13, 2017 for the rerun restored the people’s hope in the electoral umpire to avail them fair representation in the Red Chamber of the National Assembly. These crucial turns by essential arbiters in electoral decisions largely diminished the sworn conclusions of Chief Victor Umeh’s denigrators to stretch their judicial taunts endlessly, and anger the people till doomsday.

The enthusiasm of the people about the rerun was aptly captured in the submission by the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) in Anambra, which urged INEC to “ensure that enemies of our democracy do not prevail in their nefarious plot to abort the conduct of the election of January 13, 2018, and thereby permanently denying Anambra Central Senatorial district due representation in the 8th Senate.”

This enthusiasm took flesh in the quiet but determined participation of the electorate who, defying the high cost of petrol, came out to ensure overwhelming victory for Umeh, the candidate after their heart.

With the successful conduct of the Anambra Central Senatorial District rerun, INEC furthered its mettle as a disinterested umpire posting improvement on the appreciable record it established during the Anambra Gubernatorial Election of  November 18, 2017.  The January feat, therefore, announced INEC’s deepening integrity and should further embolden the electoral body in future elections. By these celebrated Anambra experiences, the courts of the land and INEC may have found their voices in ensuring adherence to democratic practices. The salient missing link is the willingness of many politicians to separate crass selfishness, rash hate and limitless mischief from the practice of democracy and service to people and society. 

Nigeria’s electors seek no more than fair play from INEC, security operatives and the government in all elections.

By Okechukwu Anarado

Chief (Mrs) Ebelechukwu Obiano’s Humanness

The media space may have been brimming with what Chief (Mrs) Ebelechukwu Obiano, Wife of the Governor of Anambra State, began to do since ascending the exalted position of First Lady of the state in March, 2014. 

The interest borders chiefly on her seamless passionate expressions of charity to persons in different rungs of the needy class. This exposure is understandable, given the nature and spread of such acts that are public knowledge and therefore media imperative.

Perhaps of greater significance in judging the depths of Chief (Mrs) Obiano’s yield to compassionate drives is her pre-Government House indulgence in freely providing succour to the vulnerable within her reach.

Available records have it that nothing gladdens the heart of Chief (Mrs) Obiano, Osodieme, beyond giving value to otherwise bland and seemingly hopeless lives. It is characteristic of her to endlessly clamour to plant smiles on gloomy faces. This glowing urge may just have been differently structured and formally branded to reflect the nuances of the status of a benevolent First Lady of a state; it is evidently no new trait.

So it is that Chief (Mrs) Ebelechukwu Obiano’s inner compulsions for benevolence, which, in times past, continued to find expressions in quiet assistance in defraying vital costs bordering on school fees, medical bills, feeding, housing, clothing and sundry bills that rudely diminish many a people’s preferences for quality life, have now heartily blossomed into a phenomenal testament of a peerless humanitarian cheer-giving Non-Governmental Organization, the Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ).

Today, through the instrumentality of CAFÉ, Her Excellency coordinates the reach of her enormous works of charity and other vital manifestations of her sense of social responsibility to society. The only difference between Chief (Mrs) Ebelechukwu Obiano, the private person, and CAFÉ, her corporate Pet Project, in care-giving is traceable in the sizes of their benevolent acts; one being private and definitely trimmer than the public other in financial muscles and capabilities.

The Caring Family Enhancement Initiative attracts assistance in cash and kind from individuals and organizations wishing to identify with the Governor’s Wife’s humanitarian scheme. This goodwill has enabled CAFÉ erect toilets in markets and public places; sink boreholes for potable water in localities; build decent houses for indigent widows; empower the underprivileged through skill acquisition trainings and provision of seed capital for small scale enterprises.

CAFÉ grants scholarship to indigent students, and intervenes on congenital medical conditions like cleft lips/cleft palates in children. It provides prosthetic limbs for those with such needs. CAFÉ embarks on advocacy for hygiene and healthy living among city and rural dwellers. CAFÉ accommodates, treats and rehabilitates many whom the public ordinarily discounts as the dregs of society owing to their wanton habituation to drug or other social maladies, the Nteje Mental Rehabilitation Home refers. It has ensured the standardization of classroom, boarding facilities and other requirements for functional teaching and learning in institutions for the Deaf and Dumb as exemplified at Basden, Isulo.

These acts of Her Excellency’s have not failed to earn her honour in terms of laurels and awards from reputable institutions and organizations both in Nigeria and internationally. Such recognitions are exemplified in: Eminent Peace Ambassador of United Nations (2014), EU/UNICEF Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Ambassador, Grand Patroness of Girls’ Brigade Nigeria (2016), Duchess of the Catholic Arcdiocese of Onitsha, among others; and now the Zik Prize for Humanitarian services to society. 

Evidently, Chief (Mrs) Ebelechukwu Obiano’s bold visibility in the trajectory of Chief Willie Obiano’s great attainments over time and her immense capacity to combine her other productive engagements with maintaining a bonded link with Chief Willie Obiano’s high sense of social responsibility in public service, present a distinct narrative of a most confident and supportive wife, who rather than get cowed by the husband’s ascent to glorious heights, lends hand to consolidate his hold unto glory.         

It would be very surprising, rather difficult, to see one who, though liking success, regards less the requisite circumstances informing the subject(s) of like. Probably the saying that ‘Behind every successful man is a woman,’ arose to stem the possibility of such contradiction. In the unique complementary synergy between the Obianos’ the strength in companionship mocks the limitations of aloneness in service – private, public or governmental.

I am therefore sure that the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano (Akpokuedike) in endorsing Chief (Mrs) Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) as his priceless partner in success would gladly adopt Ronald Reagan’s sentiments in describing his (Reagan’s) wife, Nancy, when he (Reagan) was the Governor of California; thusly: ‘There are no words to describe the happiness you have brought to the Governor. It is no secret that he is the most married man in the world and would be totally lost without you.’

By Okechukwu Anarado

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Zik Prize Award: Obiano Optimistic Wife Will Deliver More On Humanitarian Service

Governor Willie Obiano says the Caring Family Enhancement Initiative CAFÉ, of his wife has contributed immensely to his administration’s efforts in making Ndi Anambra feel the impact of good governance.

He stated this at the Victoria Island Lagos shortly after the Ziks Prize award ceremony, which his Wife, Chief Mrs Ebelechukwu, is one of the beneficiaries.

Governor Obiano, who noted that his Wife had long before the inception of their administration, embarked on charity works, commended the organizers of the event for recognizing her efforts in humanitarian services through her CAFE initiative, expressing optimism that the honour will spur her to do more for the less privileged.

On her part, the beneficiary Chief Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano dedicated the award to the downtrodden in the society, as she promised them better experiences from her Non Governmental Organization, the Caring Family Enhancement Initiative, CAFE.

For the State Commissioner for Economic Planning, Budget and Development Partners, Mr. Mark Okoye, and his Road, Rail and Water Transportation counterpart, Mr. Charles Okafor, Chief Mrs Obiano's love for the less privileged should be emulated by other well to do individuals to make the world a better abode.

In their remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Awka Capital Territory Development Authority, Venerable Amaechi Okwuosa, and the National President Anambra State Association of Town Unions, ASATU, Chief Alex Onukwue, described the award as an honour well deserved as they observed that Chief Mrs Obiano has for the past four years of her husband's leadership in the state, continued to transform lives through the Non Governmental Organization, encouraging her not to relent.

Also speaking, a former Commissioner for Works, Chief Lawrence Chinwuba, and former Special Adviser to the Governor On Political Matters , Chief Chinedu Obidigwe, thanked God for such a recognition on the Governor’s wife who they described as the Mother Theresa of the time, praying God to bless the country with more people like her even as they called on good spirited individuals and groups to give more support to CAFE for the benefit of the indigent.

By Emmanuel Okonkwo

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Autism Speaks: Mentally Challenged Children Get Love, As Organizers Call For More Awareness

One of the most pervasive myths that surround autism is that a child who has it will never show affection and can’t accept getting affection from anyone.

Such myth and many more were put to rest on Friday April 13th at Kenneth Dike Library, Awka, as the Anambra State Government in Conjunction with the America Autism Association invited the in a seminar workshop tagged  "AUSTISM SPEAK AWARENESS DAY".

The reason for the program according to the organizer, Mrs Ify Enekwechi, Fmr. SSA to the Governor on Special Education, is to help the parents understand the condition and to support anyone in Anambra State with autism.
Autism which is celebrated worldwide every 2nd of April, is a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by social-interaction difficulties, communication challenges and a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors.

The Deputy Governor, Dr Nkem Okeke, speaking through his representative, Dr Charles Nworah, SSA Special Duties, said the Gov. Willie Obiano  through his administration has given special attention to individuals with special needs because there is ability in disability.

Mrs Enekwechi who emphasized the need to show more love and care to autistic children, explain that lack of affection is what pushes them away from human and draw them close to domestic animals. “They are friendlier with animals, domestic ones like dog and cat” she said.

Refuting the public notion that Autism is a disease, she said, “Autism is a disorder that can manifest on anyone at any given age but one is save from 46 years and above”. 

Given example of Bill Gate and Vladinam Putin as popular individuals who were once autistic, Mrs Ify Enekwechi , assert that with proper care and early intervention, the condition can be control.

In the same vein, Philanthropist, Chief Emeka Igwe who made a realistic donation to support the program, said that the world will be a better place if everyone come together lto bring succour to those in need.  

Igwe used the opportunity to announce his forthcoming free medical outreach on 25th and a special program on education by September with 50% of it going to students with special needs.

Chief Igwe called for an increase in awareness because this affects us all, one way or the other.

Hon. Willy Nwokoye, the Principal Secretary to Gov. Willie Obiano, also reiterate the need for proper enlightenment, saying it is the first step towards addressing the issue. He praised the effort of Mrs Enekwechi in putting the event together, saying that such effort directed towards a common purpose gets the attention of the government. 

Other speakers who took time to talk include;  Lady Joy Ulasi, Chairman, post primary School Service Commission, represented by Mrs Nkiruka Nkechukwu; Mrs Okeke Patience, Principal, Special Secondary School for the deaf, Onitsha; Mr Uche Nworah, Managing Director, Anambra Broadcasting Service.

Other guest present includes: Prince Obinna Ndigwe; Elder and Mrs Ndife Afamefuna; Chief Vincent Okoli; Peter and Paul; Dr Vera Okecchukwu; amongst others.

The highlight of the event was the artistic display from students from the Special Secondary School for the Deaf.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

VP Osinbajo To Visit Anambra Thursday For MSMSE Clinic

The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo will storm the commercial city of Onitsha on Thursday this week for a two-day Anambra, Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises MSMSEs, Clinic which will start on Wednesday, April 11, 2018.

The event which will hold at the All Saints Cathedral Onitsha will feature two segments of activities; which are open exhibitions by MSMSEs and a business clinic where participating MSMSEs operators in Anambra State will be exposed to important new approaches for survival and growth.

A release signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Willie Obiano Mr James Eze said that the two-day event is designed as a part of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan by the Federal Government which is targeted at driving the nation’s economy out of recession and breaking the stranglehold of oil on the economy.

According to the release, central to the initiative is the need to create an enabling environment for all critical stakeholders to interact with each other to enable relevant federal agencies interface with MSMSEs operators and proffer on-the-spot solutions to problems affecting MSMSEs.

The release also states that the Clinic is also expected to offer a veritable ground for effective communication of the policies, initiatives and programmes of the Federal Government that are intended to provide support to MSMEs.

It further explained that the initiative is similarly intended to help promote Nigerian made goods through exhibitions.

The MSMSES Clinics was launched in January 2017 by the Federal Government through the Office of the Vice President in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment to address obvious gaps that militate against the survival and growth in the sector.

Some states across the federation that have hosted the clinic are Abia, Kwara, Sokoto, Plateau, Katsina, Cross River, Ogun, AkwaIbom, Osun, Ebonyi and the FCT.

The Anambra MSME Clinic is expected to attract a lot of participants and many federal agencies on account of the growing profile of the state as an emerging startup haven in the country including the Bank of Agriculture, Bank of Industry, Development Bank of Nigeria, the Corporate Affairs Commission, the Industrial Training Fund, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Nigerian Export Import Bank, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria and the Standards Organization of Nigeria among others.

Obiano Reveals Plan to Boost Anambra’s Tourism Offerings

The Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano has declared a bold intention to place Anambra State on the nation’s tourism map as his second term in office gathers steam.

Speaking at the State Executive Council Meeting in the Government House, Awka on Monday, Governor Obiano revealed his plans to open a window into the attractive tourism offerings of Anambra State by constructing access roads to the famous Ogbunike Cave in Ogbunike town in Oyi Local Government Area as well as the Ogbaukwu Caves and Waterfalls in Owerre Ezukala town in Orumba South Local Government Area of the state.

The Governor also spoke of his plans to construct concrete footpaths that would lead into the bowls of the caves to make them more accessible to tourists.

Expressing his desire to showcase the fullness of Anambra’s tourism endowments to the world, Governor Obiano further revealed that the famous Ojukwu Bunker which provided a sanctuary to the great Ikemba Nnewi, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu during the Biafran War would be resuscitated and refurbished for tourism purposes.

The Bunker is located in Amorka village in Uli, Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State. The Governor also explained that the Light-up Anambra Campaign would install its dazzling streetlights on the roads and footpaths leading to the Caves and the Bunker.

According him, to demonstrate his administration’s resolve to harness Anambra’s tourism potentials, some heavily branded two 30-seater buses would soon be deployed to operate shuttle services to tourism locations in the state.

Anambra is home to most of the historic sites of the Igbo people and home to some of nature’s amazing works. Apart from the two awe-inspiring caves in Ogbunike and Owerre Ezukala, Anambra is home to the famous Igbo Ukwu Bronze which has not only been described as the oldest bronze artefact in West Africa but as a more distinctly advanced bronze work than the contemporary bronze casting in Europe. The Igbo Ukwu Bronze is dated in the 9th Century.

Anambra is also home to the ancient kingdom of Nri and Aguleri which together offer a rich historical insight into the ancestral roots of Ndigbo. Both Nri and Aguleri provide an array of historical sites and symbols that make for interesting scholarly enquiry while offering a rich tourism experience.

For instance, Aguleri town in Anambra East Local Government Area is the home of Father Cyprain Iwene Tansi, the only Nigerian Saint who was beatified on March 22, 1998 by Pope John Paul II.

Governor Obiano’s drive into tourism is therefore a bold attempt to draw attention to Anambra’s layers upon layers of historical, religious and cultural endowments and make them accessible to the rest of the world.

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