The Ministry of Sports and Youths Entrepreneurship in Anambra has inaugurated a monthly road walk for workers and residents in the state.
The exercise, supported by the Anambra Command of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), was led by Mr Harry Udu, the Head of Service in the state on Wednesday.
Uju Nwogu, Commissioner for Sports and Youth Entrepreneurship, joined some senior civil servants and some residents in the state on the road walk on the major roads in Awka, the state capital.
Nwogu said the monthly exercise was part of the activities of the ministry aimed at raising awareness on mental and physical alertness of workers.
She said that obesity resulting from sedentary lifestyles of people was responsible for the frequent visits to hospitals over minor ailment and heart attacks.
The commissioner also said it was targeted toward enhancing the physical well-being of the residents of the state and engenders greater productivity of workers.
She said the ministry would make staff of government in the local governments to hold their own exercise in subsequent editions as all workers could not come to Awka for the programme.
“This is a monthly jogging and walking, a programme of the Ministry of Sports and Youths Entrepreneurship for all workers and residents of Anambra.
“We want to encourage physical exercise to keep fit because a healthy man is a wealthy man; it is only a healthy man that can be productive.
“Again, it is important because it drives away illnesses like cancer, high blood pressure, heart attack and other related illnesses; the psychomotor of workers is also sharpened,’’ she said.
Meanwhile, Sunday Ajayi, Sector Commander of the FRSC who participated in the exercise, said it was a welcome development.
Ajayi said the FRSC would provide all logistics support within its powers to enable it succeed, adding that keeping fit was good for safety on the road.
“I want to say that health is wealth as they say, what has happened today is a landmark event and I thank the state government for approving this exercise.
“I foresee positive outcome after this exercise in terms of productivity of workers, the FRSC has always collaborated with the state government and we shall work with the ministry of sports on this programme.
“Fatigued people are advised not to drive, sick people are advised not to drive, you need exercise to drive those things away,’’ he said.
Earlier, Udu said that road walk was not just for workers in Anambra, but the entire citizenry.
The head of service said that even though the inauguration was symbolic, the people of the state were expected to engage in physical exercise at the individual levels on daily basis.
He said the monthly programme was a ministerial duty which was in line with the rules of civil service, and encouraged workers to turn out in large numbers whenever they were called out to exercise.
“It should not be a monthly affair, individuals should work out their plans for daily exercise and it is not for workers only, but the entire people.
“This will improve the thinking process, metal alertness and strength of our people both those in civil service and those that are in business, the state government is encouraging people to keep fit.
“This is part of the awareness, we will ensure that those outside Awka also benefit from this exercise, people can gather at the local government field and exercise for some minutes,’’ he said.