By Abuchi Onwumelu
The Managing Director of Anambra State Signage and Advertisement Agency (ANSAA), Chief Jude Emecheta, says re-numbering of every house and naming of hitherto unnamed streets in Anambra State is part of measures set aside by Governor Willie Obiano to checkmate crime and criminality in the state and also to provide a better living.
Emecheta who stated this in his office in Awka while fielding questions from newsmen, said the agency was out to sensitize and enlighten the general public on the need to participate in the exercise, disclosing that the fee for numbering would be paid directly into the government’s coffers.
‘It is a way to make the state more secure and formidable. It is also for revenue generation and for easy location and identification. The security of life and property of Ndi Anambra is top on the agenda of Governor Willie Obiano led administration. He is leaving nothing to chance,’ Emecheta stated.
The ANSAA Boss said the houses in Anambra would be digitalized for easy identification as well as help security agencies in doing their job, noting that they embarked on the exercise to add to the security architecture of the state government.
He said the only way the agency could assist in reducing crime in the state to the barest minimum was to ensure that houses and streets in Anambra were numbered and named accordingly.
‘If you can call somebody on phone and say you are calling from number 20 Zik Avenue, Fegge Onitsha, they will Google and see whether it is a one-storey or a two-storey. They must know the kind of building they are going to work on.
‘For instance, the fire service is going to put off a fire in number 21 Fegge, they will find out that the building is a two-storey building and prepare adequately to go there; not just go there and find out that even their pipes cannot get to the first floor. That is one aspect of what we are doing.
‘Number two is that, you find out that the numbering of most streets in Anambra State is irregular; number one is here, number two is somewhere faraway. What we are trying to do is to make numbering seamless. It has to be odd numbers, even numbers. Even empty plots on that street, we will number them and keep your numbers and as soon as you build your house, the number will be given to you.
‘It will outlive any government that comes in because it is an ongoing thing. That is basically what we are trying to do to put Anambra State on the world map. The only way you can do it is that after numbering you upload to Google so that people can Google and see every street in Anambra State. Security is key to what we are doing,’ the ANSAA Chief explained.
Emecheta said the agency had not started enforcement, as they were still going round sensitizing people. He however said people had started paying and once a reasonable number had paid, they would put numbers on their homes before enforcement would commence.
‘We are going to give time before we start enforcement. Our first three months will be to enumerate, get landlords to pay for their Signage, which is their house numbers. Of course, they are paying directly to the state government. Nobody is giving us any cash. It is direct to the state government and we know the number of people that have paid.
‘What the Board of Internal Revenue has done is that anybody who needs to pay must pay with their ANSSID number. Your name, address is there. So as we go along it will help us to have the data of all the buildings in Anambra State,’ he said, noting that it would also help government in planning.
‘When government wants to plan development in any place, they will know the number of buildings there and they will be able to plan. What we are doing will include the type of building that is there; flat, bungalow, a storey building, two storey or three storey building. We have to capture all those; it includes rural areas, we are not leaving any place out.
‘There are some streets that do not have names. We are mapping them out and submitting them to the local government and the local government will apportion names to those streets.
‘Those who want to pay for those streets should be able to come out now and pay for those streets. People are supposed to pay for the streets to the local government so that the local government can name the street after them.
‘The agency does not name streets; we do numbering, but for the numbering to be effective the names of the streets must also be there so that when we number and upload, we will be able to say this is this street and this is this numbering,’ Chief Emecheta concluded.