Gov. Willie Obiano has donated a gunboat to the Nigerian Naval Outpost in Onitsha, Anamabra, to increase its response rate in the on-going efforts to wipe out crime in the state.
The governor presented the boat to Navy Capt. Dika Kwabe, the Commander of the Naval Outpost, Onitsha, at Okoti Odekpe in Ogbaru Local Government Area of the state on Thursday,
Obiano also donated 15 speed boats and seven water ambulances to provide ambulatory services in the coastal communities in the state.
He said that the gesture was aimed at opening up the affected communities most of which had been cut off from the rest of the state by the lack of access to modern water transportation system.
He said that the effort was also intended to facilitate movement across the water channels in the state and bring the communities closer to the people on the mainland.
According to him, the newly formed marine transport scheme will foster academic excellence for school children and their teachers who have endured extreme challenges to access quality education in those communities.
Obiano said that apart from the speedboats, the seven water ambulances would come in handy in cases of emergency to offer respite to medical cases that required urgent professional attention.
Kwabe lauded the governor for donating a gunboat to the navy and said the vessel would assist the command better in confronting criminals, who used the water channels in the state to carry out their unlawful activities.
The state Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha, said that the launching of the marine transport scheme would facilitate the realisation of the target of education for all by the state government.
She recalled that the government had also sought to accelerate the realisation of the target by increasing the salaries of teachers in coastal areas in order to motivate them to work.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Joseph Akabuike, commended Obiano for providing the water ambulances to the communities.
He said that primary healthcare would no longer be the same in the state.
According to him, the benefitting communities have for several years suffered from the consequences of limited access to quality healthcare due to difficult terrain and peculiarities of their environment.
Akabuike commended the governor for the initiative and promised that the Ministry of Health would put the vehicles to good use.
Earlier, Chief Nzemeka Olisa, the Chairman of Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board, described the event as historic.
He said that the Obiano administration had also completed about 1,370 classroom blocks, while 201 classroom blocks were still under construction.
The highpoints of the event were the governor’s symbolic ride in the gunboat and a mini regatta performed by Ogbaru community.