By Louis Amoke
RECENTLY, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration in continuation of its commitment to good governance in Enugu State, took far reaching decisions aimed at impacting positively on the lives of the people of the state, especially the rural dwellers.
The state Executive Council EXCO, at its first meeting after the second year anniversary of the administration, despite the current economic challenges in the country, approved the award of contracts for the execution of multiple development projects worth over N750 million, in line with the state government’s vision to open up more rural areas to boost socio-economic activities as well as address the untold hardship being encountered by the dwellers because of the deplorable condition of their roads.
The Council at the meeting awarded contract for the construction of the Agbani – Afor Amurri road in Nkanu West Local Government Area to Ambeez Services Limited at the total sum of N240,455,078.20. It also awarded the construction of the Nkanu East Local Government Area Headquarters section of the intractable Amechi-Idodo – Amauzam – Amagunze road to Arab contractors Nigeria Ltd. at the total sum of N40,072,953.38, because of the nature of the soil texture of the area.
In a bid to complete the ongoing construction of the Enugu State Medical Diagnostic Centre, Enugu and give the entire premises a facelift befitting the centre’s status, administration also approved the award of contract for the external work at the centre at the contract sum of N233,218,262.81.
At the same meeting, approval was equally given for the payment of N204,987,028.68, covering all the outstanding debts owed to Setraco Nigeria Limited by the previous administration in respect of the rehabilitation of major roads in Enugu Urban, namely: Abakaliki dual carriage way, Ogui/Fire Service dual carriage way and rehabilitation of New Haven roads (Chime Avenue), among others, as a means of enhancing good business relationship with the construction company.
In addition to these approvals, the Council in line with the policy thrust of the present administration approved the full implementation of inclusive educational policy at the Special Education Centres at Oji River and Ogbete, Enugu to ensure the training of the physically challenged and healthy children in the same learning environment for better integration in the society after schooling, beginning from the 2017/2018 academic session.
The idea, according to the Commissioner for Information, Dr. Godwin Udeuhele, is “to promote social skills development of these children, as well as reduce the suspicion gap between these two categories of peers”.
Approval was also made for the release of N39,172,378.80 to enable the School of Public Health Nursing (Health Technology, Nsukka) carry out its accreditation exercises to sustain its status and the consequences therein, as well as a the bill for a law to provide for the establishment of the Enugu State Debt Management Office and for other matters connected therewith and after which same is forwarded to the Enugu State House of Assembly for legislative action.
Explaining the essence of this, the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Miletus Eze, said that “the Debt Management Office will enable the state ascertain its debt profile and so be able to manage its debt obligations in a most transparent manner”.
These multiple approvals are aimed at delivering more dividends of democracy to the people of Enugu State. This vision is an attestation of the governor’s steadfastness to continue to render selfless service, fulfill his campaign promises to the people as well as ensure equitable development in the state.
On the Amagunze road in Nkanu East L.G.A awarded to Arab Contractors Nigeria Ltd., Gov. Ugwuanyi’s decision to rehabilitate the dilapidated road was borne out the difficulties encountered by the people of the area, especially during the rainy season, to access their Council headquarters. It is sad to note that the section of the road for construction leads to the Headquarters of Nkanu East L.G.A – the only Council in the state without a good access road to its headquarters.
On the newly awarded Amurri road, it would be recalled that the people of the community had for decades clamoured for government’s intervention because of the road’s deplorable condition, which had become “a physical and psychological affliction to Amurri people”.
The people alleged that “the oldest signpost on the road was erected in 1919”. They had complained bitterly of total neglect and marginalisation by the past administrations, adding that the road’s deterioration had diminished economic activities in a town famous for food products, such as garri, ogbono, palm oil, among others. They were worried that their community which borders Awgu Local Government Area at Agbogwugwu and Ogbaku has hundreds of thousands of hectares of extremely rich fertile lands (between Amurri and Ogbaku) trapped and turned into virgin forests because of inaccessibility to them as farmlands.
All these challenges prompted a surprise visit by the governor to Amurri in November 2016 to ascertain the true state of the road for government’s immediate intervention.
Today, the contract has been awarded and work will soon commence on the road. The governor’s swift intervention on Amurri road as a priority project is a clear indication of his commitment to the wellbeing of the people of the area and the state at large.
*Mr. Amoke, a public affair analyst, wrote from Enugu, Enugu State.