Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State has said that the birthrate in the state has increased from 200 to 1,600 per month in less than two years.
He attributed the development to huge investment his administration had made in the health sector, including introduction of free ante-natal and child delivery.
Speaking at the 65th birthday ceremony of Sir Emeka Offor in Oraifite in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of the state, Soludo added that 52 percent of the free ante-natal were non-indigenes.
He said, “We have made a lot of progress in the healthcare. When I assume office, the state was recording birth rate of 200 monthly, but now, it has increased from 200 monthly to 1,600 with zero mortality.
“This is because of the free ante-natal and child delivery that we have instituted.
“Out of all these beneficiaries, 48 per cent are Anambra indigenes while the rest are from outside the state.”
Highlighting his administration’s efforts in infrastructure development, healthcare, and education, Soludo announced creation of the “Anambra Champions” list to recognise individuals contributing to the progress of the state.
He commended Offor for living an impactful life and reaching out to the poor and widows, describing him as a prime example of the “Anambra spirit” of philanthropy and community service.
“We don’t just leave, we leave to matter because here on earth, we must do the work of God. It is not how far, but how well we live.
“When you want to evaluate what is important in life is when the person dies. No one is celebrated for the millions in his account but with the impact he made,” he stressed.
Responding, Sir Offor thanked friends and well-wishers for celebrating with him on his birthday, promising to spend the rest of his life in the service of God and humanity.
“I am overwhelmed by the show of love from you all, on my 65th birthday. I am happy that the foundation I nurtured has grown tall and providing shade for many,” he added.
The event graced by former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, and former Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, among others, witnessed distribution of 40,000 bags of 50kg rice to widows in the 179 communities across the State as well as textbooks and other educational materials to over 200 schools across the state by the Sir Emeka Offor foundation.