Based on the recently published 2020 survey on unemployment rate in the country by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which pegs Anambra as the state with the lowest unemployment rate in the country, the Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU) has lauded Governor Willie Obiano for this remarkable feat.
Chief Alex I. Onukwe, ASATU national president, made the commendation in a letter to the Anambra State governor which he sent to journalists in Awka, the state capital. As a matter of fact, the NBS survey indicates that only 13.1 percent out of the 2. 25 million working people in the state are unemployed in a nation where the national average unemployment rate is 27.1 percent.
In the commendation letter addressed to the Governor, Chief Alex I. Onukwe stated that: “Our state does not receive much from the federation account because it is not treated as an oil-producing state and it does not receive much from the organized private sector in form of taxes and levies like Lagos and Ogun states.
“Neither does it get special privileges from the Federal Government, yet it constantly comes tops in all kinds of competitions and performance assessments by respected national and international bodies.
“This shows that Anambra State has more than a government which manages resources prudently but is also blessed with committed and visionary leadership’’.
Furthermore, he emphasized the fact that the State’s employment performance came as no surprise despite glaring disadvantages that the state faces. “Anambra remains the first state to pay both workers and pensioners before the end of every month throughout the federation, and this religious payment on the 24th or 25th of every month enables money to circulate within the state as markets do well and landlords recover their investments in properties and services provided by professionals like lawyers, pharmacists and doctors are paid for”.
Chief Onukwe also thanked the governor for the massive promotion of entrepreneurship “in recognition of the fact that Anambra people are born entrepreneurs”.
He recalled that Anambra was one of the five states identified by the Federal Government last year for a great improvement in the ease of doing business in the country, winning the first prize in the annual assessment of states which promote small and medium enterprises which was held at State House, Abuja, on August 1, 2019, with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo presiding.
ASATU, which comprises all 179 town development unions in the state, was formed in the late 1980s by a group of distinguished Anambra people led by Chief Arthur Mbanefo, the first Igbo accountant who was to become the chairman of the governing councils of both Obafemi Awolowo University at Ife in Osun State and the University of Lagos before becoming Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations with the restoration of democratic governance in 1999.