BY FRANCIS IGATA, ENUGU
Jubilation rented the air among civil servants as Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi presented keys of 100 housing units to junior civil servants drawn from the 17 local government areas of Enugu State who had won the houses through an open ballot exercise. The governor had initiated the gesture and his administration paid over 30 percent equity contribution to the developers of the Elim Estate to enable the beneficiaries acquire the housing units.
It is the first time in the history of the Coal City state that a government would dole out this kind of largesse to junior public servants. Ugwuanyi said at the occasion of the presentation of the houses to the beneficiaries: “You will recall that on the 29th of September, 2015, we took the unprecedented step of conducting an open lottery for civil servants from grade levels 1-10, in respect of 100 units of one bedroom apartments at this very estate.
“A hundred lucky civil servants thereafter emerged as winners of the lottery and, having paid the over 30 per cent equity contribution that we promised for each of them, we are here today to formally hand over to them, the keys to their apartments. “This event is in accordance with our promise to deploy government resources and services to create fair and equal opportunity for every willing citizen, to make a living, create wealth and enjoy life in a peaceful and secure environment”.
He further recalled that the gesture “is also a reaffirmation of our commitment to improving the welfare of workers in Enugu State and to the provision of affordable housing for all Enugu citizens”. Ugwuanyi used the occasion to commend the leaders of the organized labour in the state as well as workers for cooperating with his administration in the past year, especially in the face of the present economic diificulty.
“As I congratulate the beneficiaries, I wish to use this opportunity to once again thank the organised labour and workers Enugu in State in general for the support, understanding and cooperation that they have continued to extend to my administration especially in these times of severe economic challenges. “We want to reassure you that we will continue to work within our means to address issues affecting the welfare of workers and to ensure that industrial peace continues to reign in Enugu State”.
Chairman of COPEN Group, Ugochukwu Chime, whose company are the developers, praised Ugwuanyi for facilitating the housing units. The state Head of Service, Mr. Chidi Ezema, also, praised him for doing for workers in the state what no other administration has attempted to do by providing junior workers a concrete opportunity to own their houses within Enugu metropolis.