Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has reassured the people of the state his continued total commitment towards providing them democracy dividends.
Ugwuanyi who gave the assurance while marking this year’s Democracy Day at Michael Okpara Square, Enugu on Tuesday, listed the numerous achievements his administration had recorded so far to improve the living standard of the people, stressing that they are the true heroes of democracy.
The governor who was overwhelmed by the large turnout of leaders and people of the state at the event expressed immense gratitude to them, adding that it was also “a day of gratitude to God Almighty from whom all blessings flow and whose ceaseless grace has continued to sustain and give us a lifting up in the midst of the current economic realities.”
He also congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari, his deputy, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; the leadership and members of the National Assembly; the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the entire judiciary; fellow governors, among others on the nation’s 19th Democracy Day celebration and third anniversary of his administration.
According to him, his administration had made tremendous progress in the past three years in spite of the challenges it confronted at his inception in 2015 which he said included “huge debts profile of the State breathing down our necks, huge salary and pension arrears amidst economic crunch and very depleted revenues from the centre occasioned by the fall in oil revenues.”
Dedicating the successes recorded so far by his administration to God, Ugwuanyi disclosed that the government also employed utmost determination, aggressive revenue drive and prudent management of available resources to render good governance in the state.
Ugwuanyi further stated “we partnered and supported the security agencies to build their capacities to rise to the challenges of securing a modern society. We launched the Enugu State Security/Neighbourhood Watch Endowment Fund and provided support in the forms of vehicles and equipment to complement the efforts of the security agencies.”
On investment drive, Ugwuanyi said, “the peace and security in Enugu State have transformed the State into a popular destination for investments and tourism”, adding that the state’s Investment Summit, Oganiru Enugu, organized by his administration unveiled the potentials and economic opportunities in the state to the world.
“Both foreign and local investors keep coming”, he said, adding that “in addition to the ENPOWER Free Trade Zone, which was envisioned as a world-class in-land technology, industrial, and business hub and licensed by the Federal Government in December 2015, we have also set up the Lion Industrial Park, 9th Mile Corner, to create fresh economic and industrialization opportunities as promised in our inaugural address”.
While speaking on infrastructure, Ugwuanyi stated, “this administration is synonymous with rural development” as the bulk of the infrastructural development efforts of the administration are in the rural areas and there is hardly any community in the state without one form of government presence or the other in the form of development projects.”
He added that the government conceptualized “The One Community One Project (OCOP)” with the sum of N10 million per community to make all the communities in the state “the chief drivers of their infrastructural development priorities.” “This is already yielding fruits” as “not only have communities received the initial instalment of N5 million, I have also had the honour and pleasure to commission some of the projects.”
The governor also disclosed that the five new Ultra Modern Fire Service stations his administration is constructing across the state, after 56 years such projects were built in the state, the Eastern Region, are nearing completion, with that of Ogrute in Igbo Eze North L.G.A completed and inaugurated in a record time.
On education, he stated that the government had restored confidence in public educational institutions and had embarked on massive renovation, rehabilitation, and re-equipment of primary and secondary school buildings to make them friendly and safe for learning.
He equally stated that his administration has invested heavily in the recruitment of primary and secondary school teachers and has also regularized the appointment of volunteer teachers declaring that the employment of more teachers in the state continues because of “the premium we place on this all-important sector.”
Ugwuanyi also said that the government has paid close attention and carried out reforms at the state’s tertiary education, revealing that the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) “is set to hold its convocation for the first time in nearly 11 years.”
The governor maintained that his administration adopted a “multi-strata empowerment approach” that touches the lives of traders, market women, the youth, urban and rural dwellers alike, adding that it has remained consistent with its promise to pay civil servants on or before the 23rd of every month and pay the pensioners.
He also said that through the recent launch of “the Enugu Clean Team Project”, 1,000 youths were gainfully employed to clean up the state, adding that “the State Executive Council has also approved the recruitment of an additional 1,000 youth for the Initiative,” among other numerous achievements.
Some of the dignitaries at the event included: the wife of the Governor, Mrs. Monica Ugwuanyi; the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and other members of the National Assembly from the state; state’s Deputy Governor, Hon. (Mrs) Cecilia Ezeilo the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo; Chief Nnia Nwodo.