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I would rather fill manpower gap than appoint special advisers, says Soludo

I would rather fill manpower gap than appoint special advisers, says Soludo
March 10
18:50 2023

Chukwuma Soludo, governor of Anambra, says he would rather fill the manpower gap in the state than appoint special advisers. 

Speaking through Alex Obiogbolu, his senior special adviser, in Akwa on Friday, Soludo said his administration is on track to deliver good and quality governance to the Anambra people despite the economic challenges.

He said his administration had not despised anybody but was only taking policy decisions that were “hard-headed” in the “overall public interest”.

The governor said the best was being done in terms of delivering dividends of democracy within the limits of available resources.

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“There is a need for us to separate public interest from personal interest. We have a state with a population of about six million or seven million,” Soludo said.

“This administration came in and decided to treat roads as an emergency and in 10 months, 267 kilometres of roads have been awarded, guaranteed to last 20 years. All will be delivered in 24 months and 35 percent of these roads are near completion.

“We have an approved loan request of N100 million but it has not been accessed, yet we have paid about 30 percent mobilisation for all the road contracts.

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“It is true that the good people of Anambra rooted for this administration but they did it in the first place because they believed we will do a good job.”

On the accusation of heavy taxes and not appointing many people as special advisers, Soludo said the prevailing economic situation of the state could not shoulder the burden at the moment.

He said, rather, his administration had decided to fill the manpower gap identified in some critical sectors, including education, and health, and address the challenges of insecurity.

“We are evolving a progressive tax regime where the poor would no longer fund the rich as well as expanding the tax base to shore up the revenue profile of the state, ” he added. 

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“The salary of a special adviser is about the salary of six teachers a month. When we came in, we met schools without teachers, and hospitals without doctors. 

“Out of the 7,500 manpower gap identified in the school system, we employed 5,000 in one fell swoop, that is roughly the salary of 900 special advisers.

“We appreciate the support we got from our people. Regarding people who supported the government assuming office, there is nothing bad in having 1,500 special assistants but the resources available cannot take care of this for now.

“That is the public interest decision we are talking about, how is the government despising anybody?” 

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On the forthcoming house of assembly election in Anambra, Soludo said he was optimistic that people of the state would vote for candidates of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

“We are positive that we have done a lot of work and we are confident that the electorate will appreciate the direction of the government and cast their votes for the candidates of APGA.”

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