Subsidy Removal: Soludo announces palliative measures for Anambra residents

Subsidy Removal: Soludo announces palliative measures for Anambra residents

Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra State has announced a number of palliative measures to cushion the impacts of the fuel subsidy removal on residents of the state.

Mr Soludo, in a post via his verified Facebook page on Monday, said the state government has decided to roll out immediate and medium-term palliative measures for the residents.

“Our response recognises that the subsidy removal affects all citizens, especially millions of the unemployed and underemployed youths and vulnerable segments of the population,” he said.

The governor explained that the measures were intended to last for four months, from September to December within the context of the state’s 2023 budget framework.

“In our 2024 budget, we shall roll out a more comprehensive agenda to address the medium to longer term issues that will help to smoothen the path for all our residents, and ensure that everyone shares in our broad agenda of building a livable and prosperous homeland,” the governor explained.


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Short term measures

Mr Soludo recalled that his administration had earlier increased salaries of civil servants in the state by 10 per cent since January.

He added that he has further resolved to begin paying all pensioners and public servants in the state a monthly “flat non-taxable cash award of N12,000” within the period of the palliative.

“This is to augment their monthly take-home,” The governor said.

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He said his administration had resolved to begin the process of clearing over four-year pension and gratuity arrears which he inherited on assumption of office.

“Anambra State Government will be distributing rice to over 300,000 households in the coming weeks across the 326 wards in Anambra,” the governor stated.

Tax exemptions and reductions

Mr Soludo also said his administration has exempted “highly vulnerable persons” from all forms of taxation and levies in the state.

The governor listed the “highly vulnerable persons” to include hawkers, wheel barrow and truck pushers, vulcanisers, artisans, motorcycle riders, and petty traders with capital of less than N100,000.

He also said the internal generation revenue payments imposed on all transporters- such as tricycle and minibus drivers – have been reduced by 20 per cent with effect from 1 September.

He stressed the ongoing free basic education programme (primary school to junior secondary education) in all public schools in the state would be sustained.

“We are reviewing the plethora of other levies, fees, and charges in these schools. Before schools resume in September 2023, we shall make further announcements to sanitise the system and reduce the burden on our pupils/students and their sponsors,” the governor said.

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Healthcare

Mr Soludo also announced that the government will henceforth be providing free antenatal services and free delivery services to pregnant mothers in State Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and general hospitals

“We will announce a more comprehensive medical package for our residents, especially the senior citizens and children in our 2024 budget,” he stated.


READ ALSO: Subsidy Removal: FG announces N5bn ‘financial support’ per state, constitutes committee to meet labour


“We are rolling out a very ambitious program to build and modernise PHCs in all the 326 wards to let everyone have access to qualitative healthcare.”

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The governor appealed to landlords in the state to “show empathy to their tenants at this challenging moment” and consider easier options for rent payment.

Transportation

Mr Soludo said he has approved repair and renovation of all serviceable public servants’ staff buses to facilitate easy movement of public servants.

The governor said that the government would apply for the purchase of many of the CNG-fueled buses to be provided by the Federal government for intra-state transportation.

“The aim is to reduce the cost of transportation within Anambra,” he said.

“We will embark immediately on the repair of existing and purchase of new water boats to ease transportation for our citizens in the riverine local government areas.”

Medium term measures: Empowerment of farmers

Mr Soludo said his administration recently distributed 1.1 million oil palm and coconut “high yielding seedlings” to over 100,000 households.

The governor said he would sustain the initiative by distributing one million seedlings per annum over several years in continuation of the state’s revolution to create a new palm-coconut green and industrial ecosystem.

He said the initiative would “guarantee 500,000 – 1,000,000 households earning N1.5 million to N3 million per annum, thereby lifting them out of poverty, create wealth and earn foreign exchange for Nigeria”

“We are determined to provide every assistance to the farmers for the next planting season in 2024 to boost food and animal production,” Mr Soludo said.

The governor listed other measures to include ameliorating the impact of imminent flooding on the residents, provision of grant and soft loans at reduced interest rate for youths as well as further recruitment of thousands of youths as teachers for schools, road and street sweepers and public works.


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