One of the best times to be in Arochukwu is during the Christmas period. This Christmas is going to be even better because there are a number of programmes lined up to further enliven the season.
Indeed, the past few years have recorded a number of positive developments that put smiles on the faces of Aros. From the completion of the Arochukwu Civic Center to on-going work on Aro internal roads; from the qualityreconstruction work going on on the Aro/Ohafia/Bende road to several water schemes, mini stadium, health centers, to mention those few,Aros have every reason to thank God. The icing on the cake is the completion of Nkana bridge. Work is also progressing on the road. Just a few days ago, the Federal government opened the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank in Arochukwu to promote financial inclusiveness and access to credit for the people at the grassroots.We sincerely commend all those, leaders and supporters, whose contributions have resulted in these incremental progress in Arochukwu despite the miserable antics of detractors.
One of the programes thatpeople look forward to during Christmas is the Aro Day activities. Aro Day is a day set aside to take stock of our progress as a people and celebrate the essence of the Aro nation.This years Aro Day would be outstanding. It wouldwitness a continuation of the tradition of honouring selected men and women who have impacted the Aro community in various ways. The honourees emerged through a transparent and rigorous process which resulted from the innovations introduced by the George Ezuma led executive to ensure that the grassroots, whether at the branch or village levels owned the process. Carefully developed guidelines were circulated with the purpose of ensuring that nominations were grassroots based.The aim was to make sure that those who merit the award have made genuine contributions to the kingdom either at their branches, villages or Nzuko Aro affiliate organizations. Another innovation was to constitute the screening committee headed by the palace, and members drawn from Nzuko Aro body of patrons, Nzuko Aro Women’s wing and Nzuko Aro Men’s wing. The nomination processwas separated from the approval processes to reduce any conflict of interest. We therefore, congratulate all the awardees and stress that the awardis not an ego trip but aimed at motivating and encouraging all Aros to continue to perform their duty to the kingdom.
This years Aro day would also witness the launching of the Arochukwu Development Fund. The Fund is designed to ensure that all Aros who have means of livelihood contribute financially according to their ability every year to a common fund that would be devoted to executing critical projects in the kingdom. The Fund is properly structured to ensure transparent and efficient management of resources. The Board of Trustees of the Fund is chaired by Mazi (Dr) Alex Otti while the Co-Chairman is Mazi (Dr) Sam Ohuabunwa.
The Implementation Committee of the Fund is chaired by a Fellow of theInstitute of Chartered Accountants, Elder IK Onu while all village PGs and branch presidents are members. The Committee just released its draft proposals for consideration. The proposals include:
- Approved Levies for Villages, Overseas Diaspora and High net worth individuals shall be worked out by the Implementation Committee based on Nzuko Aro yearly Capital Budget and allocated to all Village Unions based on the usual Nzuko Aro categorization of villages and others. CEC shall consider and approve the amounts allocated to each of the groups. The groups will then cascade it down to their members as they deem fit.
- Each Village will be required to collect and pay in their allotted amounts before the end of the relevant year. AAUSA EXCO and other Overseas Diaspora exco shall work out the categorization for individuals within their group.
- The Implementation Sub-Committees at the village/branch levels shall collate the payments and remit to the ADF bank account monthly. A list containing the names, location and amounts remitted shall be sent to the Implementation Committee for accounting purposes.
- The various EXCO shall act as the Implementation Sub-Committee for those in diaspora and will report as the Village Sub-Committee in (3) above.
- Levies for High net worth individuals shall be collected by the Implementation Committee directly and appropriate records shall be kept.
- The Implementation Committee shall produce a Status report half yearly to CEC while the Implementation Sub-Committees shall make a report to the Implementation Committee quarterly.
- Aros in different parts of the world apart from the USA shall be identified and relevant anchors contacted to drive the process there also.
There will be awards for performing villages, Overseas Diaspora Chapters, high net worth individuals. Villages may give awards or reward performing individuals too.As can be seen it is very much work in progress.
Inputs into the proposals of the Implementation Committee are welcome through the PGs of villages, branches or directly to the committee. We hope to institutionalize a kind of Fund that would be of immense use to the kingdom on a sustainable basis.
You now know why you should be part of this year’s Aro Day activities. Merry Christmas and a splendid 2020!