Gov. Willy Obiano of Anambra State on Tuesday announced a range of economic stimulus plans to fight the impact of Nigeria’s recession on residents of the state.
The governor announced tax reliefs and packages for small, medium and large scale entrepreneurs.
He also announced a social intervention programme for low income households and an intervention in “Infrastructure-for-Jobs”.
Under tax reliefs, Mr. Obiano announced the suspension of the sale of consolidated emblems and the collection of Hawkers Permit on all streets in the state.
He also suspended the collection of Wheelbarrow Tax in all markets in the state, and abolished the imposition of unapproved levies on students in public primary and secondary schools in the state.
Anambra is the first state to announce specific programmes aimed at providing reliefs to its residents.
“The objective of our Tax Relief Programme is to evaluate existing taxes, levies and fees in the state and introduce some waivers and in some cases scrap the collection of some illegal levies imposed on our people,” Mr. Obiano said.
The government is to provide the Anambra Small Business Agency with a minimum of N3 billion to lend to SMEs and MSMEs at 9% interest rate across key sectors.
It will also re-channel earlier accessed Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme funds totalling to about N1.5 billion to support this sector.
Among other Social Intervention Programme for Low Income Households and the most vulnerable populations of the state, the government says it will provide N3.6 billion to fund ongoing N20 million community projects in all the 179 communities in the state.
“Each community has been allocated N20 million to spend on their most pressing concern. The projects will also be executed by the community and strictly supervised by the State’s Tenders Board and the community members in line with best practice,” the governor said.
The government will also give automatic employment to all graduates from universities in Anambra State that are living with disabilities into the State Civil Service.
On infrastructure, the government said it will fund the development of 500 hectares of land in all agrarian communities across the three Senatorial Zones in the state to support out-grower schemes and link them up to big industries in the state.
“For example, next year, Delfarm Songhai Ltd will commence the supply of sorghum that is produced in Igbariam to Intafact Breweries Ltd in Onitsha,” Mr. Obiano said.
“Having trained 250 youths at our School of Agriculture in Mbakwu, we shall fund three Youth Empowerment Schemes in fish farming, garri and ice processing clusters in the State. We have earmarked the sum of N225m for that.
“We have also earmarked the sum of N300m to be distributed to stimulate Vegetable Production in the state and enhance our highly popular Vegetables-Export Programme to the UK and other parts of the world.”