By Louis Amoke
As Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State strives tirelessly to advance development in the state in spite of the current nation’s economic challenges, which have drastically dwindled the state’s revenue to an all-time low, it is imperative to review the in-depth of the present predicament to be able to appreciate the governor’s painstaking efforts towards good governance.
Report has it that the oil prices over the past 19 months have slumped by more than 70 per cent to near $30 per barrel resulting to painful revenue drop that has consequentially crippled the economic indices of countries that depend heavily on oil sales such as Nigeria and Venezuela, among others.
It is on record that Enugu State is third from the bottom of the federation account and a predominant civil service state with plethora of needs bordering on provision of social services, advancement of development of infrastructure and other essential amenities that guarantee the security and welfare of the people, especially those at the grassroots.
The times are difficult. But governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State is pulling strings to keep the state afloat.
The governor is making marks in the areas of roads construction, education, rural development, healthcare delivery, investment promotion, agriculture, human empowerment, workers’ entitlements, provision of other basic amenities.
It is pertinent to note that the first project Gov. Ugwuanyi executed immediately after his inauguration, was the 15km Inter-Town-Connection (ITC) 2.5MVA Injection Sub-Station at Ezi-Nze in Udi Local Government Area which provides electricity to communities across Udi, Uzo-Uwani and Igbo-Etiti Local Government Areas of the state. The project which was in keeping with his administration’s rural development initiatives, will also supply power to the Adada Dam project and open up business activities in these communities. Upon completion, the dam will power the greater Nsukka Water Scheme that has also been in the proverbial pipeline for decades.
Recently, the governor in a bid to fast-track the on-going roads construction, mostly in the rural areas, had mobilized the contractors handling the projects with a matching order to deliver quality jobs within the stipulated contract period. He had also embarked on unscheduled inspection tour of the sites to assess their performance, and reassure the people of his administration’s commitment to deliver on his campaign promises in spite of the economic downturn.
On water supply, Gov. Ugwuanyi during a fact-finding tour of the water facilities in some remote villages in the state recently, had declared that he will now spend more time on the field than in the office as that is a better way he can feel the impulse of the people and ascertain the true position of things.
In an effort to ensure effective potable water supply to the people of the state, especially those in the rural areas, the governor through the State Executive Council had recently approved the release of the sum of N100m to the State Water Corporation to enable it carry out repairs and maintenance work on some broken down facilities at its Enugu and Nsukka water supply schemes.
It is incumbent on the newly inaugurated Local Government Area Caretaker Committee Chairmen and their Executives to raise their performance bar as well as key in expeditiously into the new ethos of leadership and development trajectory of the present administration in Enugu State.
As the State Chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) and Committee Chairman of Enugu East Local Government Area, Prince Cornelius Nnaji recently stated during the inauguration of members of his Executive, which has equally taken place in other Local Government Areas of the state, “our governor has laid a solid foundation that is grassroots-oriented for us to build on as grassroots soldiers in the third tier of government. He has kept faith with his promise to give special attention to rural development and bring good governance closer to our people.
“We at the helm of affairs of the 17 Local Government Areas, therefore, reassure our visionary governor of our maximum support to his grassroots development initiatives.”
The onus is therefore, on the people to continue to give his administration the needed support to sustain the current tempo of governance and take Enugu State to the next level, in spite of the present economic challenges.
- Amoke writes from Enugu