Enugu State’s type of governance or government is the type that is silent and free from rancor in politicking.
Since the politicking that brings in most governments is free from deep rancor and bitterness, they set out to work right after they are elected.
First, the elected government seeks opinion from the people, scholars, and political stakeholders on the best method and process to administer the state, and the response provided would be a guide for the government.
Sullivan Chime, the state’s governor from 2007 to 2015 had his few points agenda and focused on them until he finished, delivering the required governance the people needed.
The present governor had his agenda which he stated to be rural development, human capital development, health, and education. He has delivered good governance in these areas well. The same can be said of Chimaroke Nnamani who ruled from 1999 to 2007 and focused on education and rural development as well. In Enugu State, governance and development go hand in hand.
The focus of every government since the return of democracy in 1999 is to provide the type of governance that yields development. The result is that Enugu has moved away from that tiny state in 1999 that generated little revenue, was dirty, crime-infested, and with an average or less human capital base to that of one generating the best revenue in the South-East region, clean, crime-free, and a performing human capital base.
The progress made by the state lies in the focus of governance on the development and improvement of the standard of living of the people. However, one pertinent question is how is this possible? How were all these achieved?
The present Enugu State Government, for instance, has focused on what they called “meaningful people-driven effective governance and development.” Building on the successes of the previous governments, basic infrastructure, and other development-enhancing items are being put in place in different sectors.
These items and these sectors include
This is the main priority of the Enugu State Government. Standing on the economic postulation that the “greatest and long-term investment of the government is investing in the people,” the government has continuously made policies and provided infrastructure geared towards improving the standard of living of the people. They have done these in several ways elaborated below:
- Education: This sector has witnessed continuous investment and seriousness by the state government. The number one way of improving the lives of the people is providing them with good and quality education. It improves the reasoning level of the people, makes them more productive and skilled, and equally enhances their ability to earn more. The government has remodeled and built over 200 school buildings across the state in conjunction with the Federal Government funding. There has been the employment of over 3000 teachers across the state and their continuous training to improve their service delivery. There has also been the provision of classroom and teaching equipment like chairs, desks, teachers’ chairs, and desks, computers, lab equipment, technical schools equipment, writing boards, and so on.
Around the state, there are public schools well-built and equipped with the best facilities like Queen’s School, Enugu; Model Primary School, Nsukka; Model Secondary School, Nsukka; Trans-Ekulu Primary School, Enugu; Providence College, Enugu, and many more. The state’s tertiary institutions such as the Enugu State College of Technical Education, Enugu, Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu, and ESUT all got a good face-lift.
- Skill Acquisition and Training: This is also a good area the government has invested well in. Qualified residents of the state are selected and trained in various skills like programming, digital marketing, product design, cyber security, agro-allied skills, and many more. This is to make the state have a good labor workforce and give these trained citizens opportunity to earn with these skills internationally and locally.
- Funding of Businesses: Through the Enugu State SME, qualified businesses are funded and the owners trained. This is to raise more viable businesses in the state and reduce unemployment among the citizens.
- The government also works hard in the provision of infrastructure to the people. The major infrastructure provided is good roads. The state government has constructed a total of over 200KM length of road across the state. Hotspots areas like Nsukka town witnessed a great face-lift due to the standard roads provided in the town, and this has boosted activities, growth in migration, and commerce in the area.
There are also other infrastructures provided like street lights, a flyover to ease traffic, pedestrian bridges, bus stops, skill acquisition centers, schools, hospitals, and many more.
Most of the infrastructure provided by the present government is in the rural areas.
It is often written that a healthy population breeds a good labor force, and this is what the state government takes into consideration when it works great in the improvement of the level of healthcare in the state.
Notwithstanding that Enugu is adjudged one of the best states in Nigeria in healthcare delivery, the government leaves no stone unturned.
They have made great investments in the sector like in the remodeling and building of new hospitals. The government is constructing a 200-bed capacity Igbo-ano Specialist Teaching Hospital to be the teaching hospital of the Enugu State University of Technology.
There are other hospitals remodeled and constructed across the states like Cottage Hospital, Enugu; newly constructed type C hospitals in Ogbede, Ibagwa-aka, Ibagwa-ani, and other areas; remodeling and upgrading of Nsukka and Enugu-Ezike General Hospitals; and the employment of healthcare workers.
The government has focused on improving business development and ease of doing business in the state.
For a long time, Enugu has been often considered a civil service state but the government has done its best in providing the infrastructure and security which would attract businesses. This government equally harmonized taxation and provided tax relief to SMEs to encourage businesses.
These policies made foreign bodies rank Enugu as the second-best in ease of doing business in the last two years. More businesses are coming into Enugu and the revenue of the state is improving, especially in the ICT sector wherein 2021 Enugu entered the top 1000 start-up cities in the world. From around 15 billion Naira, the present state government met the revenue, it is now 27+ billion Naira.
The government works hard in tackling unemployment and encouraging youth and skill development. This first step taken is to involve the youth in politics and governance. Then, there are many skills and funding offered to the youth to encourage them to own businesses, apply for jobs locally and internationally as skilled young men and women, and become self-employed. The areas where the youth are trained to include mostly IT, agricultural sector, and trading.
At the moment, the government is boosting the sports sector by remodeling and reconstructing the stadium at Enugu, and building new ones at Nsukka and Oji-River. These stadiums have football fields, running tracks, in-door sessions, and many more to help the youth develop their skills in a wide coverage of sports.
Apart from the provision of funding and improved seedlings to farmers, the government has purchased and is purchasing more tractors to facilitate farm tilling and labor.
The government is also reviving farm settlements by building access roads to these farm settlements and providing machines for the processing of the farm products. For instance, the Adani farm settlement in Uzo-uwani Local Government is being revived.
To tackle insecurity in farms across the state, the state government employed 1700 forest guards, providing them with vehicles, cars, and motorcycles, for movement and guns as well. The state government also encouraged community policing by encouraging neighborhood watchmen in different communities. The spate of attacks on people’s farms has reduced.
Governance and development go hand in hand in Enugu State. Every elected government sets to work immediately they are elected. Even though every government elected has its agenda, they’ve all worked in improving the standard of living of the citizens of the state and the revenue as well. This present government, for instance, has achieved a lot in its agenda of rural development, education, human capital development, and health-care.
Ukwueze, Chinweokwu writes from Enugu