Column

Law And Order Return In Anambra

Opinion

By Chidiebele Obika

Since the assumption of office by the sixth legitimately elected Governor of Anambra State, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, on the 17th of March, 2022, some form of orderliness has returned in the state. It is no longer business as usual for almost all the sectors of the economy following the riot acts read for touts, revenue merchants, public officers and several others.

A government powered by the mantra, “Solution is Here” has been living its bidding. Before the advent of the Solution, so many persons were living large off government’s revenue which they call ‘windows’ from which they made themselves ‘irremovable’ thereby frustrating every genuine effort of previous governments at sanitizing the system. Some of these revenue merchants became billionaires off the unremitted government internally generated revenues.

Suddenly, Soludo emerged with comprehensive strategy for the total overhaul of the system and injected probity, transparency and accountability into the governance business.

Firstly, Mr. Governor directed that all Anambra roads must be free of traffic gridlock which according to him depletes potential man-hours in the state and lowers the productivity level of Ndi Anambra, friends and residents. The streets, junctions and parks in Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi and other urban cum semi-urban areas have witnessed tremendous improvement in the management of traffic.

People who drive against traffic, abandon their rickety or faulty vehicles on the roads without appropriate signs were asked to pay fines and evacuate them . Some vehicles whose owners were unknown were towed off the road by members of the Anambra Road Traffic Management Agency in collaboration with Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra, the Anambra State Joint Enforcement Team and others. Before the coming of Governor Soludo, who could have believed that areas like Tollgate, Building Materials, Tarzan, Upper Iweka, others all in Onitsha; Aroma under flyover, Amawbia express, Unizik tempsite junction and Eke Awka Roundabout all in Awka and such places in Nnewi like Izuchukwu, Triangle, Bank Road and others could be free of abandoned trucks, cars and others that were used to partition the pliable meters of Anambra roads and converted into make-shift herbal medicine shops, shades for petty traders and shelter for criminals who rob their victims at odd hours?

At the Anambra private and public motor parks, the Solution Governor, Professor Soludo overhauled revenue collection, remittances through point of sale system (pos) upon obtainment of Anambra Social Identity Number (ASIN) by drivers of urban buses, shuttles, tricycle riders and commercial motorcyclists. People no longer pay tolls or permits into private individuals’ personal accounts but directly into the Anambra State consolidated revenue accounts as supervised by officials of the Anambra Internal Revenue Service. The monthly net internally generated revenue of the state has since doubled with projection of tripling or quadrupling same in the the nearest future.

It suffices to say that elimination of revenue touts and unapproved revenue agents has impacted the Anambra IGR positively as evidenced in the quality of infrastructure the governor is strategically undertaking around the state. The government also trained and deployment ad-hoc park monitors that serve as the eyes, ears and representatives of government in the over forty government parks in the state. The presence of these ad-hoc park monitors has since reintroduced orderliness in public parks.

The present consolidated revenue model of the state allows the drivers of buses and riders of tricycles and other commercial transporters the options of monthly or weekly payment of permits to operate in the state. For instance, before Governor Soludo, keke (tricycle) riders paid between N900 – N1500 daily amounting to about N40000 monthly. But the governor slashed the permit/tolls and asked them to pay only N15000 monthly or N600 daily to operate. This is the first of its kind in revenue collection and remittance throughout the country. Same applies to urban bus drivers. The Governor went a step further to approve free health care insurance for compliant drivers. Another first in Nigeria!

Anambra State Government equally inaugurated mobile courts to try revenue defaulters, touts, illegal revenue agents and others. The management of Anambra Road Traffic Management Agency recently announced the disrobment of five rogue officers who were found to be extorting motorists in the state. Some of these measures help check the excesses of public servants who bully innocent citizens in the state.

Truly, the vision of a liveable and prosperous homeland through compliance with the rule of law and order is gradually becoming a reality. It is possible because #SolutionIsHere and #IAmAWitness

Chidiebele Obika (I-Witness) writes from Nteje.

Ifeizu

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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