Anambra plans N10m house repainting competition for landlords

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The Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Onyekachukwu Ibezim, cautioned Onitsha landlords against defacing the city, emphasizing that the government will no longer tolerate such actions.

Ibezim delivered this warning during an interactive session with Onitsha South Local Government Area landlords at the council secretariat on Wednesday.

Additionally, he announced a N10 million cash award for the first street in Onitsha to complete repainting their buildings between February 1 and March 10, 2024.

During the session, the deputy governor, also observed that most houses in Onitsha do not have soak-away pits, while those that have, channel them into the Sakamori drainage system and Nwangene River, thereby causing health hazards to inhabitants and this “does not speak well of the largest commercial town in sub-Saharan Africa.”

He said, “The essence of this meeting is for us to interface with you all, the landlords, on the need to clear the blocked drains, clear the refuse dumps, plant trees and paint your buildings to give this place a face lift.”

Commissioner for Environment, Felix Odimegwu, also stressed that the main thrust of the meeting with the landlords was to sensitize them on the need to be clearing the drains, planting trees, as well as painting of their buildings.

Odimegwu said, “We are here as a follow up to the last visit where our governor sent his deputy to come and interact with the Fegge landlords on degeneration and facelift of Onitsha.

“We want to do this thing in three folds, repainting, where the governor brought out a challenge called, “Ka Anambra Chakee,” which prompted the governor to set a cash gift to any street that comes together, discuss and embark on this initiative, paint from street end to street end.

“Each street that paints her houses and finishes them before March 10 will come first, and receive N10 million, while the second and third will get N5 million and N3 million respectively.

“Another one is cleaning of drainages, Onitsha was last rated as the dirtiest place in West Africa, but this government, since it came, is deliberate to change Onitsha from the present narrative and place it on the right direction it should be.

“Since solid roads constructions are going on, it will be an eyesore that the environments, buildings within these roads are dilapidated, we all know that paints help in protecting houses, so we are here to appreciate the governor.

“Fegge is well planned, when we paint all our houses, plant trees, it will make your properties valuable, appreciate naturally and also be conducive for foreign investors and businesses.”

He averred that the World Health Organisation has also made it known that 60 per cent of the causes of ailments are from the environment, adding that clean environment with good air, plus good food would scare sicknesses away.

He enthused, “The local government chairman fixed this meeting today to ginger Onitsha landlords, and as you are doing it, Awka landlords are also doing theirs, likewise Awada and the chairman is trying to see that Onitsha landlords come first. If this first, second and third positions come to Onitsha South, it will be remarkable.

The local council chairman, Chief Emeka Joseph Orji, explained that in the last one year, his administration has been able to enforce cleanliness and removal of illegal structures as well as shops built on top of the culverts.

Orji said that the council area would stop at nothing to put Onitsha in its position, adding that there should be no sacred cows as those that were against the law would face the music.

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