The Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has again disagreed with his predecessor, Chief Willie Obiano, over handover notes.
Soludo had while interacting with the team of the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project, a World Bank assisted project, in Awka, Anambra State on Wednesday said the state was not yet an oil producing state.
Obiano had in the twilight of his government told journalists in his Aguleri hometown that one of his bequests to Soludo was handing over to him a state with an oil producing status.
Obiano had said he received approval of the presidency for Anambra to be recognised as an oil-producing state.
He showed a letter addressed to him (Obiano) on August 24, 2021, and signed by its Secretary, Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission Secretary, under the Presidency, Mr. M B. Shehu, where the Commission approved the attribution of about 11 oil wells to Anambra State. The oil wells include Nzam 1, Alo 1, Ogbu 1, Ameshi 1,2,3,4 and Enyie 1,2,3,4.
He vouched that the state would start receiving payment in that respect from March 13.
But Soludo, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr. Onyekachukwu Ibezim, at the interaction, made it clear that the state was yet to be fully assented among oil producing state in the country.
That was the second time Soludo had disagreed with Obiano over the latter’s handover note. Obiano had claimed that the state was not indebted to anybody; but Soludo some days after his inauguration said he inherited a debt of over N100bn.
On the NEWMAP project in the state, the governor said Anambra State had paid her counterpart funds to the tune of N700m.
He explained that for now, Anambra State was cash-strapped and managing the little fund at its disposal.
He said, “The N700m counterpart funds paid by the state government show that we recognised the part you have played in Anambra State.
“Initially, the state had 960 gully erosion sites, but with the NEWMAP effort, it has reduced to 947 after the successful completion of eight sites and five near-completion in some of the most affected communities.
While commending the Work Bank for assisting the state in controlling the ravaging erosion menace through the NEWMAP, the governor noted that the menace had been a source of hindrance to development in the state.
The Taskforce Team Leader of NEWMAP Nigeria, Dr. Joy Agene, said the team was in Anambra State for the 2022 NEWMAP AF-ICRM Conference in Awka, for the inspection of the projects done so far in the state and to have a face-face interaction with beneficiaries in communities.
She said NEWMAP had been in Anambra State for 10 years and was expected to complete her mission in June 2022.