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Ugwuanyi’s one year of visionary, dynamic leadership

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By CYPRIAN AJAH, Enugu

RIGHT Honourable Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has shown profound commitment to effective and efficient service delivery to the people since he became Governor of Enugu State on May 29, 2015. On his first anniversary in office, Ugwuanyi is already setting an indelible landmark of visionary and dynamic leadership towards delivering expected dividends of democracy to citizens in the state.

On assumption of office, Ugwuanyi outlined five points agenda as the compass to navigate his policies on security, infrastructures, youth empowerment, health, education, agriculture, etc, to improve the living standard of the people and development of the state.

On his first anniversary, the governor is already fulfilling his promise to complete projects initiated by his predecessor, Barrister Sullivan Chime. Ugwuanyi has completed the Abakpa-Nike Lake road, fondly called NOWAS road. Abakpa is a suburb of Enugu and work is ongoing at Nike road.

In Enugu North Senatorial District, (Nsukka axis) about 10 roads have been completed in the last one year while many other roads are at 90 per cent completion.

Nsukka, second largest city in Enugu State but development has eluded the town despite the renowned University of Nigeria sited there. Ugwuanyi administration is now alleviating the sufferings of the people by constructing and dualizing some of the roads to enable business thrive in the area.

Enugu residents were bored by the crisis stimulated by some politicians in the last administration, thus, they expected a new lease of leadership from Governor Ugwuanyi after his inauguration in May 2015.

His ascendancy to power was seen by many as an era to re-organize the state which was overburdened by many challenges, particularly, political crisis, low internally generated revenue, heavy debt burden and lack of adequate funds to run the affairs of the state.

Ugwuanyi made wise decision in appointing professionals to assist him in running the government of the state.

Ugwuany’s cabinet is made up of 24 commissioners carefully selected to deliver quality services to the people. The governor in the past one year has made several achievements despite the daunting economy challenges.

Ugwuanyi, as a sports loving governor, appointed Charles Ndukwe, the man that knows his nitty-gritty in sports administration, to take over sports development in the state. Today, the appointment has been justified. Rangers International Football Club of Enugu is currently on the top of Nigerian Football Federation Premiership league table. Plans are on the way to ensure that the flying Antelopes win one of the trophies if not both this season. The last time Rangers FC lifted both trophies was in 1984 when people like Ben Ugwu (Surugede) and others were the back bone of the team.

On works and infrastructures, Ugwuanyi has made remarkable success. Engr. Patrick Ikpenwa, Commissioner for Works and Infrastructures, has been committed to providing necessary logistics to ensure that all contracts are completed at the stipulated time.

In the past one year, the following roads have been completed in Nsukka: the Obechara road junction to Umuakashi-Mechanic village, the Amankwo-Ameke Amah Brewery junction by 9th Mile bypass, the Ohom Orba junction-Imilike Ani-Ezimo Uno-Ezimo Agu-Imilike-Ogbodu, and the dualisation of Opi-Nsukka road. Others include Enugu road (Nsukka) junction-Umuezebi-Nru junction-University gate, Ameke Ngwo-Nsude 9th Mile bypass, etc. Extensive renovations have been done on the Government House, Enugu, including the Deputy Governor’s office and the reconstruction of Government House fuel pump; landscaping of Government House environment and completion of internal work at the Lions Building. The environment glitters as gold.

The Ugwuanyi administration has continued with the construction of Enugu State Diagnostic Centre which was abandoned by the last administration.

Work is also ongoing at the New Secretariat Complex, Enugu. Despite the fall in electricity megawatts in the country, the Government of Enugu State has continued to maintain streets lights in Enugu urban to keep the city lively and return night live which the city was known for.

In making sure that the local governments chairmen adhere to their statutory duties and remain accountable to the people, the governor, through the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Hon. Chijioke Edeoga, introduced a system which compels local government chairmen to publish their achievements every two months. The governor established Enugu State Local Government Areas news magazine where the works of the local governments are widely published. The claims made by each local government chairman are subject to verification by the public. This ensures accountability in the local government system.

Hitherto, some of the chairmen exhibit reckless behaviour in spending public funds while the mass die in penury. Today, the public can hold any of the chairmen that makes false declaration accountable for his claims.

Also Governor Ugwuanyi has made remarkable marks in the rural development by integrating the grassroots to his government. The Commissioner for Rural Development, Ozor Gab Azubike, liaises with community leaders and town unions to ascertain the needs of the people.

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Since the governor came up with this idea, the commissioner has inaugurated town union executives to take governance to the grassroots. He urged the leaders to be the watch dog of their communities and also ensure that no gap exists between the government and the people. Thus, every community was free to access rural development through the government.

On education, the governor has empowered the ministry to embark on mass literacy. In the past one year, Ugwuanyi administration embarked on community mobilization and sensitization on literacy and vocational skill acquisition programmes which many have benefitted immensely. The ministry also reorganized the extra mural and continuing education centres in the state to meet up with the current education curriculum.

The governor, through the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Uche Eze, emphasized zero tolerance for examination malpractice in the state, placing education as a high priority in the state.

Enhancing youths empowerment and rehabilitation of moribund companies to reactivate production capacity in the state, Enugu State Government organized an investment summit in April, 2016 to attract private investors. The summit’s Director General, Ike Chijioke, in collaboration with the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Barrister Sam Ogbu Nwobodo, made the summit successful, attracted people from all walks of life.

National Daily gathered that the dividends of the summit are unfolding.

private investors within and outside Nigeria have been thronging Enugu negotiating terms of investment in different sectors of the economy.

Under the Ugwuanyi administration, Enugu State is the first in the east of the Niger to introduce a modern traffic control system where traffic warders controlled vehicles without harassing or intimidation. Since the responsibility of controlling traffic in the state was handed over to the Ministry of Transport, the social miscreants popularly known as Area Boys, seized to intimidate motorist in Enugu State.

ALSO SEE: How PMB endorsed the Enugu massacre

Governor Ugwuanyi has been outstanding for prompt and regular payment of salaries of the state workforce.

Having graduated from the legislative arm of the government to the executive, the governor did not have problems with the Enugu State House of Assembly. The peoples’ governor enjoys cordial relationship with the legislators whose prime aim was to enact laws that will take the state to an enviable height. This was demonstrated when the state House of Assembly supported the governor in presenting a bill banning night grazing in the state.

The actions of the governor did not only portray him as a visionary leader but it shows his dynamism in politics, administration and leadership.

Ugwuanyi has continued to resist calls across the state for probe of his predecessor on suspected or perceived misappropriation of public funds. Ugwuanyi rather concentrates his energy on fulfilling his campaign promises to the people.

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