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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Historic Stimulus Package: Obiano's Lifeline To Ndi Anambra To Beat Recession



AWKA - Governor  Willie Obiano of Anambra State, yesterday, announced in a state broadcast a stimulus package for Ndi Anambra to cushion the effects of the recession enveloping Nigeria.
It is fairly certain that in recent times in Nigeria, perhaps since 1999, no government has been able to respond in this manner to a situation of this magnitude across Nigeria.
Gov Obiano explained that following the formal announcement by the Federal Government that the nation’s economy had gone into a recession, he considered it a duty to distill the message of the economic situation of the country down to the grassroots because Ndi-Anambra deserve a response and immediate relieve.
In the broadcast entitled ‘Rising from the brink,’ Obiano announces the immediate suspension of sale of emblems, collection of wheel barrow tax and hawkers permit in all parts of the state. He also abolished imposition of unapproved levies in primary and post primary schools in the state.
He said, “Following the formal announcement by the Federal Government that the nation’s economy has gone into a recession, I consider it my duty as your Governor to distil the message of the economic situation of the country down to the grassroots.
“Following this development too, I am happy to announce to you that I have come up with a Stimulus Package that will ease the pain of the recession and help our dear state bounce back to prosperity.

“Brothers and sisters, our country’s painful journey into the current recession is fairly known to us. The events that triggered this decline are very well documented in the public domain. So, I will not go through the details of how we arrived where we are.

“I wish to assure you that after a careful study of the situation, I am more convinced now than ever before that with our fundamentals, our infinite capacity to come back from deficits and our implicit faith in God, our story should be different in Anambra State.
“Consequently, our intervention comes in Four Key Areas: Tax Relief Programme, Special Intervention Programmes for Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs and Large Enterprises, Social Intervention Programme for Low Income Households and finally; Intervention in Infrastructure-for-Jobs.”
He said although it may not be known to many people, the truth is that the famous Anambra Rice owes its growth to the intervention through ASBA, adding that many manufacturers have also benefitted from the initiative.
According to him, arising from the highly visible success recorded by ASBA, government would carry out policies that would provide relief to the productive sectors and stimulate the domestic economy.
He added: “Following the visible success recorded by ASBA, government would provide it with a minimum of N3 billion to lend to SMEs and MSMEs at 9% interest rate across key sectors, as well as re-channel earlier accessed Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme funds totalling to about N1.5 billion to support the sector. “At the same time, we have since commenced consultations with the business community in the state and will soon hold an interactive session with the Awka, Nnewi and Onitsha Chambers of Commerce as well as the state chapter of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN). This will enable us understand their most pressing needs in order to make a strong case on their behalf to the Presidency and other relevant authorities.”
Obiano said government would provide sum of N3.6 billion to fund the on-going N20 million ‘choose-your-project’ community program in all the 179 communities in the state, adding that each community has been allocated N20 million to spend on their most pressing concerns. The projects, he added, would be executed by the community and strictly supervised by the state’s tenders’ board and the community members in line with best practice.
He said further: “We shall provide automatic employment to all graduates from universities in Anambra State that are living with disabilities into the State Civil Service. The aim of this initiative is to encourage all our brothers and sisters living with disabilities to embrace education as the key to a better life. “We shall work closely with the United Nations Development Programme to provide training and empowerment programmes for the uneducated physically disabled members of our society.
“We shall intensify efforts to tap into the numerous social programs at the World Bank, such as Community Social and Development Programmes, Youth Employment and Social Support Operation and the Rural Access Mobility Programme. “We have also aggressively keyed into all the social investment programmes available at the Federal Government, mainly the Home Grown School Feeding and the Conditional Cash Transfer Programmes. Working closely with the FG, we hope to commence these programmes in the next two months.”

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