Every government at the time of its inception always has various projects which it plans to implement within its tenure.
In Enugu State, the word development would leave a familiar tinge on the lips of anyone who has been taking note of the workings of the government and this is the true mark of any functioning government.
The different sectors which have seen remarkable improvement since the outset of the gburugburu led administration have been outlined and are addressed in no particular order:
In the sector, the actions of the government improved significantly the state’s Internally Generated Revenue from N14b in 2016 to N18.4b in the first ten months of 2017 and now 31billion, thereby placing the state in good financial stead, even without the monthly federation allocation as revealed by The Economic Confidential in its 2018 Annual States Viability Index (ASVI).
The building of roads and renovations has been a major tenet of the Gburugburu-led administration. Efforts have also been made in the building of schools as well as recreational and tourist centers.
One taking a walk with one’s eyes would observe the pristinely renovated Unity Park on the flanks of the road across the court of Appeal in the state. The park carries an air of solemnity and with adequately fitted chairs at different corners, one can use it for a picnic or hang with friends.
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The constant painting of the blue and sky blue walls of the popular Queen’s School along Ani Bustop which faces most of the state-owned schools such as metropolitan Girls Secondary School, Uwani Boys Secondary School among others is also a sight to see.
And across the state, roads like Opi-Nsukka dual carriageway, Obechara Road Junction-Umuakashi Mechanic village-Ikenga Hotels Junction-Enugu Road Nsukka Junction, and Umuezebi-Nru Junction have been completed.
Others include the extension of Agbani-AforAmurri Road, the extension of Ituku Road, the construction of Ogonogoeji- Ndi Akpugo Road ( Atavu Bailey Bridge-AforOnovo), the construction of the 42-meter span Bailey Bridge and road works across River Nyama to Amichi, linking Umuogo and Umuagba Amaechi Uno/ Obinagu community, all in Nkanu West LGA of the state.
Also, the state facilitated the building of the Agbani-Amurri Road which was constructed for a community that has never witnessed any form of development or government presence on its land in the past 100 years plus.
In the same vein, the Ogonogoeji-Ndiagu-Akpugo Road from Atavu Bailey Bridge to Afor Onovo is the first state government road in the entire Akpugo land since its creation of the Enugu State.
Finally, within the state capital, Ugwuanyi’s administration has executed numerous road projects at Holy Trinity Street and Bishop Michael Eneje Street, Nawfia Street, Ibuza Street, and Isi-Uzo Street all in Independence Layout Enugu. Also asphalted are Mount Crescent, GRA Enugu, Dental School-Tipper Garage Road, Trans Ekulu, Enugu; Loma Linda-Timber Shed Road, and many others.
In his first four years, Ugwuanyi’s administration spent not less than N45b on road construction and reconstruction across the state. These are not inclusive of the numerous road projects awarded by Ugwuanyi’s administration close to his reelection that has been completed and is in use now.
The academic reach of the state is no longer a thing of myths. This is because Enugu boasts of the highest number of schools across all levels including primary, secondary and tertiary, both government and private schools in the SouthEast.
With a mandate of academic excellence, ENSUBEB has built and renovated more than 480 primary school classrooms, provided learning and teaching facilities, and recruited more than 3500 teachers.
Also recruited through the Post Primary Schools Management Board ( PPSMB) were more than 1200 secondary teachers in addition to the 857 volunteer teachers( engaged during the past administration) but were not regularized as permanent staff. The government since its inauguration has built a lot of schools specifically in the rural areas spear marking the action-driven system of the Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi-led administration.
The Rangers Football Club is the official club of the state. However, after many decades without any national or international trophy in its kit, the state-owned Rangers International Club with the massive support of Ugwuanyi’s administration won the 2015/2016 Nigeria Professional Football League and also, the 2018 Federation Cup.
Payment of Salaries
Notwithstanding that his administration inherited a backlog of salaries of workers and arrears of pensioners, Ugwuanyi never engaged in buck-passing or blame game for one day. His government boldly took the bull by the horn by clearing the outstanding salaries, and promotions and introducing prompt payment to workers.
Since then, workers in the state receive their salaries every 21st of the month and 13 months in December as a bonus. That is the first of its kind in any state in the Southeast zone. This is although Enugu State is not an oil-producing state and is almost at the bottom in the cadre of monthly Federation allocation.
This made the national leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and workers in the state confer on him the award of ‘Most Workers’ Friendly Governor in Nigeria’.
Enugu students, widows, entrepreneurial groups laud Gov. Ugwuanyi’s development strides, benevolence The National Council of Enugu State Students (NACESS) Worldwide, widows in the state under the aegis of Widows’ International Ministries and a Non-Profit Entrepreneurial Organization, The Potter’s Wheel Foundation, in the first quarter of 2021, converged on the Government House, Enugu, on a solidarity visit to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
The widows, who came with their widow’s mite to celebrate with Gov. Ugwuanyi on his 57th birthday in 2021, expressed deep appreciation to the governor for his benevolence and constant assistance to them each time they called on him. They, therefore, offered prayers to the governor for long life, God’s guidance and protection, reassuring him that “we are solidly behind your present and future endeavors, both in prayers and solidarity”.
Commending Gov. Ugwuanyi for his uncommon leadership qualities and the positive impact of his administration in every nook and cranny of Enugu State, the Executives of NACESS, led by the President, Comrade Joseph Onyemaechi Onah, described the governor as “a good man, goal-getter, God-sent and a man with a mighty good heart”.
The students said: “Your excellent performances amid little resources are indeed speaking for you such as the introduction and implementation of the payment of 13th-month salary to workers which is only obtainable in Enugu State; the implementation of N30,000 minimum wage; all-inclusive, grassroots, open and transparent government; youths, students and women-friendly programs and policies, massive infrastructural development both in urban and rural areas; peace and security, as well as the stable and viable economy, among others.
“Your Excellency, it is only in your administration that religious leaders, group and organization leaders are involved in policymaking and implementation.
“You have patronized both local, federal policing, and security outfits in that state to save lives and property of your people. We have heard so much about your plans and activities and have as well witnessed them; we pray earnestly that God will take you to the highest part of life and should as well grant you the strength and wisdom-cum-capacity to continue to ride on the horse through which you came”.
On their part, members of The Potter’s Wheel Foundation, who disclosed that their major responsibility is to offer free vocational and entrepreneurial training to interested persons, thanked Gov. Ugwuanyi for “your support for the youth and women in the state”.
They also thanked the governor “for making Enugu State the most peaceful state not only in the South East but in Nigeria” as well as “your many long term and short term development strides in the state, especially in education, agriculture and health sectors as well as infrastructure, to say the least”.
In his response, Gov. Ugwuanyi expressed gratitude to them for their prayers, kind words, and solidarity, reiterating his commitment to the wellbeing of the people of Enugu State, including the needy and the less privileged.
The governor, who maintained that the unprecedented 95.54 percent votes cast for his reelection as governor in 2019 were a referendum on his modest achievements, revealed that the special attention his administration is paying in the rural areas was targeted to address the challenges of the long-neglected and the majority of the people of the state.
Gov. Ugwuanyi said that his administration gave a scholarship to 680 indigent engineering students of the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) Enugu and Enugu State Polytechnic, Iwollo, as well as 22 post-secondary school indigent students presently studying at Mewar University, India.
The impact of the government has left a shell of relief among many sectors of the constituency and it is because of the laudable efforts of the government. With each year and with the implementation of new policies, the state takes its place repeatedly as the Capital of the South East with its progressive giant strides.
The satisfaction of the polity is the utmost mandate of any government and the Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi Government with his innovative actions is laying a trail that will be hard for any subsequent government to match.
Sedo Elijah Ebinne writes from Enugu