By Tony Edike
Enugu – OFFICIALS of Enugu State Government and the 17 Local Government Areas in the state rose from a three-day retreat in Enugu at the weekend, with a resolve to jointly embark on the provision of basic infrastructures in the 471 communities in order to improve the living conditions of the rural dwellers.
Under the programme, the government said a databank detailing the various needs of each community had been developed following the findings of various committees that visited the communities earlier in the year to determine the basic needs of the people at the grassroots level.
The state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Chuks Ugwoke, who briefed newsmen on the outcome of the retreat, said with the adoption of the databank, the government was now fully aware of the immediate needs of the people in the communities, adding that the government was set to meet the identified needs through a partnership with the local government councils.
He said that the databank indicated that several communities chose roads as their key development needs; 101 communities are in dire need of electricity, 23 demanded rehabilitation or provision of health centers, while 43 requested for governmentâ€™s intervention in the provision of water, adding that some communities requested for the establishment of tertiary institutions, establishment of markets and skill acquisition centers among others.
According to Ugwoke, relevant agencies and leaders of the local government councilsÂ had been given a period of six weeks to harmonize with the implementing agencies on the effective modalities for the execution of the identified projects, which is expected to commence in the next few months.
He further said that the databank has now brought the governance closer to the people, as it has afforded the government opportunity to know the needs of each community while the contacts of community leaders including telephone numbers of all the Councilors, traditional rulers and President-General of the town unions had been obtained for easy communication between the government and the communities.