Thursday, 4 February 2016

LONG WALK TO GOOD GOVERNANCE IN ENUGU

Rt. Hon. Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi
The recent alarm by the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that hard times await Nigerians following its projection that low oil revenue will linger for a long period has set a new agenda and dimmed hope of a possible viable economy that would impact positively on Nigerians and enhance development.

Today’s crop of leaders is witnessing the worst economic depression in the annals of the country. Most economic indices point to diversification of the economy as the only viable option for the nation’s economic recovery, as the mantra has changed from Excess Crude Oil fund to Bailout fund.

Luckily, a handful of leaders had taken the bull by the horns and swung into action through their steadfastness and innovative approach towards exploiting other avenues of revenue to meet their people’s needs.

In Enugu State for instance, the economic realities characterized by paucity of revenue in the midst of avalanche of demands and people-oriented programmes are being tackled by the courage and driving force of the State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, in spite of the negative development in the oil sector.

Chief Ugwuanyi’s administration has continued to pay workers’ salaries promptly despite the economic meltdown; it has also maintained a harmonious working relationship with the Organised Labour in the state.

Construction work in about eight urban and rural roads across the three senatorial districts of the state, recently flagged off by the governor, is ongoing, as contractors have been fully mobilized in all the sites. Chief Ugwuanyi in his desire to ensure delivery of quality jobs within the stipulated contract period, had, through the Chairman of the Enugu State Urban Renewal Committee, Chris Offor, ordered the contractors handling various road projects in the state to speed up work, on the grounds that the government was in a hurry to deliver on its promises to the people despite the drastic effects of the perennial economic meltdown.

Also, the State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Patrick Ikpenwa, had on several occasions during his routine inspection visits to sites, told contractors to stick to work specification, ensure that standards are maintained and work to ensure that the projects are completed within the specified period.

In the Nike Lake Road project, work has reached advanced stage of asphalts placement in the first one kilometre of the road. Also, in the Udenu Ring Road project, drainages, culverts and earthworks are ongoing. In the Amaeke- Nsude – 9th mile by-pass road project, being handled by CCC Nig. Ltd, earthworks have been completed; culverts are on-going while stone-base is 50 per cent completed.

Notably, the governor, through the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, had successfully repaired most potholes in Enugu metropolis including the popular 9th mile corner roads, under the Operation Zero Pothole (OZP) Programme initiated for aggressive maintenance of all the existing roads in line with his principle of seamless continuity and consolidation.

One appreciates the fruitfulness of the trip to Dublin, Ireland for an investment drive which led to the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Enugu State Government and the authorities of Dublin City University on how to promote education in the state as one of the focal points of the government’s development initiatives. It is strongly believed that the people of the state would feel the fruitful discussions and other fallout of the investment trip in no distant time.

Chief Ugwuanyi has in recent times spent more time on the field than in the office in his bid to address the needs and problems of the people of the state. Within three days, the governor made appreciable interventionist moves towards brokering peace between the two warring communities of Umuodo and Oruku in Nkanu East Local Government Area of the state through unscheduled peace mission visits and meeting with stakeholders of the two communities.

The governor made a brief stopover at Uzam Community Primary School, Amechi-idodo, to appreciate pupils of the school who lined up on the road in large numbers to welcome him. After identifying the needs of the school, he promised to improve on the learning condition of the pupils.

Chief Ugwuanyi has through his absolute faith in God continued to maintain his promise to the people of Enugu State, “to deploy government services to create fair and equal opportunity for every willing citizen to make a living and create wealth, educate our children and enjoy life in a peaceful and secure environment”.

It is the responsibility of the people to continue to give his administration the maximum support it deserves to successfully drive the wheels of governance in this moment of economic depression. (Guardian)