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Friday, June 09, 2017

Obiano Breaks 38-Year-Old Painful Legacy, Brings Relief To 385 Retirees Of ABS, ANPC

* 130 communities completed their 20 million projects, another 40 approaching completion
* 64 registered markets get 10 million naira projects each
* Power supplied to Orumba North and South for the first time in about 40 years

Since 1979 and spanning several governments, civilian and military, from the old Anambra State till now, anambra has had 227 retirees of ABS without pension or gratuity.

This revelation was made by the Honourable Commissioner for Information, Ogbuefi Tony Nnacheta during a press conference organized to update the public on recent governmental progress.

Speaking on the substantial misery encountered by the retirees, Ogbuefi Nnacheta said that a landmark result was achieved when he announced that Governor Willie Obiano has resolved the pension legacy issue for Anambra Broadcasting Station, (ABS) and Anambra Newpapers and Printing Cooperation, (ANPC). For ANPC, it was 158 retirees who have been in misery since 1992.

“The 385 persons will have their pension arrears and gratuity settled by this administration. Government has sent it into audit and for the past one year, this ministry, the pension office and the budget office have been working to resolve this matter. We have resolved it and the pension sum will now be amortized over the next 12 month. All the staff of ABS and ANPC, since 1979 and 1992 till date, respectively, will have their pension paid from the end of June 2017”, he disclosed.

He gave a 700 million Naira figure as the total sum provided to extinguish the misery. Ogbuefi  considered it a measure of enormous humanity and courage from the governor for prioritizing and providing for it, amidst recession climate and dwindling inflows.

Continuing, the Honourable Commissioner sheds more lights on the do-it-yourself projects, power supply, roads and infrastructural projects.

On the do-it-yourself community projects, he stated that 130 communities have completed their 20 million projects as at the end of May, while another 40 communities are approaching completion. About the 13 communities in the riverine areas with environmental issues, he stated, “what government did was to go ahead and pre-purchased all the materials. So all the materials they need have been purchased and taken to site because when the rains come, it is often difficult for big trucks to ply their roads so far. So we are prolific enough to absorb that fact and buy the products and equipment and take across the sites. So work is continuing there. We are hopeful therefore that by the end of June 2017, out of a total of 181 projects and communities as it were, we expect to have atleast 175 ready for use”.

“At the same time, government decided while preparing budget 2017, that this initiative will be replicated. What led to this was that, as we went about commissioning projects for the 1st 20 million naira, we got to communities where government has not visited in 30 – 40 years. Some of the projects there were some of the building left by colonialist. And you could see the cheer joy of being remembered, for them to choose what they wanted and to build it by their own labour as it were. And government decided that, we will duplicate it, so from 20 million naira project, we go to another 20 million naira project. If you finish your first 20 you apply. And as at this morning (June 8, 2017), about 50 communities have applied for the 2nd batch of 20 million”.

On road, Power supply and infrastructure, Ogbuefi Nnacheta announced that work is ongoing in about 12 roads projects across the state, even with the rain. In power supply, government made a giant stride, as power was supplied to Orumba North and South for the first time in about 40 years.

On infrastructural projects, Nnacheta announced an initiative for all the market in the state, 64 markets. “10 million infrastructure in every 61 registered market in Anambra state. You choose what you want to build in the market. As a point of fact the disbursement started yesterday (June 7, 2017). The market choose what they want, choose the contractors as well. Contractors must meet the standard of the tenders board and must provide an APG. Some of the markets choose conveniences, some choose drive ways, and some chooses building some security houses and warehouses. So far the response has been overwhelming and it has been determined it will be completed in 90 days”.

Highpoint of the press briefing was the one minute silence observed in honour of the late matriarch, Mrs Christiana Obiano, the mother of Governor Willie Obiano.

By Emmanuel Tobechukwu Aniagoh

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