2019 elections are over. Winners and losers have celebrated their victories and lamented their losses. Enugu State Governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who was overwhelmingly reelected for his second term is among the winners of the elections. But even when it is expected that Gov. Ugwuanyi will still be basking in the euphoria of his resounding reelection victory that coincided with 55th birthday, take a rest, wait for his swearing in, while giving governance backseat for now, it is interesting and amazing to know that Gov. Ugwuanyi is not resting on his oars, as he has already hit the ground running in the state, knowing full well that the reward for hardwork is more work.
He is already proving the cynics and sceptics, who had always believed that elected political public office holders, especially governors do not perform in their second term wrong with his developmental and progressive actions since his reelection. In line with his avowals, assurances and promises in his reelection acceptance speech that he and his team will continue to serve the state with fear of God, humility and unwavering commitment to improving lives and lifting the state to unprecedented heights, Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration is already living by its words with the recent award of multiple contracts that will engender even development across the state.
The contracts which were approved and awarded by the state exco and in tandem with Gov. Ugwuanyi’s commitment to full implementation of 2019 budget include the construction, reconstruction of urban, rural roads and 263 classroom blocks across the three senatorial zones in the state. Also approved was the purchase of 22,150 set of lockers and chairs for students; 1,228 set of tables and chairs for the teachers; 1,130 marker boards for teaching and 1,960 ceiling fans for conducive learning environment.
Others include the construction of a state-of-art administrative block at the new site of the Enugu State University of Education, Ihe in Agwu Local Government Area, as first step towards relocation of the school from GRA Enugu to its permanent site.
Also approved is the purchase of two Hilux vans for effective monitoring and supervision of the projects. According to the State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Uche Eze, while the construction of classrooms and procurement of facilities will cost N4billion, the project will be executed under the Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board ( ENSUBEB) considering that unlike other states, Ugwuanyi’s administration has already contributed the state’s counterpart fund, which led to the drawdown of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) fund.
The construction of the administrative block , which will accommodate the vice chancellor and registrar’s offices, Council Chamber and other offices for smooth administrative take-off at Enugu State University of Education, Ihe Agwu will cost N162,913,167.90, and when completed activities and processes of obtaining relevant approval from National University Commission will commence.
On road projects, in continuation of the governor’s determination to improve accessibility of rural areas and reduce drastically rural-urban migration in the state, the council approved contract for the construction and reconstruction of Carter Street, Asata, Enugu; Aludele Road, Nsukka; Bishop Court, Agwu; Access Road to Igbo Ano, and failed culvert, pavement and surfacing of Onuiyi Road, Nsukka, adjacent to Zik’s residence, totaling N544,795, 992.68.
Other approvals according to the Commissioner for Works, Engr. Greg Nnaji, was for his ministry to commence engineering studies and design of Oji River and Nsukka modern township stadia for Enugu West and Enugu North respectively; pre-contract documentation for the construction of state secretariat annex at Nsukka Satelite town. Approval was also given for the recruitment of 52 personnel, namely four Fire Officers, 24 Fire Lead Men and 24 Fire Men for the State Fire Service to work at the five newly built fire service stations across the state.
It would be recall that prior to the last elections, Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration had awarded contract worth N1.4b for the construction and reconstruction of One Day road, Awkunanaw, Enugu; construction of Phase 2 of Nike Lake junction-Harmony Estate Road- Amorji Nike- Adoration Pilgrimage Centre; rehabilitation of Kenyatta Market road/ failed portions/ Onah street Enugu; Umumba Ndiagu-Ebenebe road phase one in Ezeagu Council Area. Others are the reconstruction of Amankwo-Amaeke Ngwo-Ama Brewery Junction (Bypass) ; extension of Amalla-Orba-Orie-Orba-Eke-Ovoko-Ovoko Junction road and others.
Knowing that awarding contracts without pre and post effective monitoring and inspection could be counterproductive, Gov. Ugwuanyi accompanied by the Commissioner for Works, Engr. Greg Nnaji had commenced pre-contract inspection of roads approved for construction and reconstruction and post inspection for the ongoing and completed contracts across the state. Already inspected are old UNTH road, Enugu; Ogidi street and Onyeama lane in Asata, Enugu, Carter Street, Asata, Enugu and the erosion menace at Okwuosa bridge, Ogui, Enugu and others.
In the same vein, Gov. Ugwuanyi has paid the 2017 arrears of salaries owed local government workers in four local government areas in the state. This was disclosed by the permanent secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mr Ezema Benedict at the Nsukka Council Area during the payment of the arrears of council workers for last month. He said that four council areas out of the 17 in the state, were unable to pay the 2017 salary in their council areas and Gov. Ugwuanyi had intervened to salvage the situation in the four local council areas namely Nsukka, Isi-Uzo, Enugu South and Uzo-Uwani. It is a public knowledge that on assumption of office, the governor took it upon himself to clear several months of local government workers’ arrears of salaries he inherited from his predecessor across the 17 council areas in the state in 2015.
Again, it is of immense credit to Gov. Ugwuanyi that none of the development contracts awarded by his administration since assuming office had been abandoned, shabbily executed or tagged white elephant project. They have all been commended and appreciated by the people, executed at speed pace by contractors and put to use in time. While many of these projects have been completed, others are ongoing, nearing completion across the state.
It is good and a welcome development that just like the massive cum equitable infrastructural development and people-oriented programmes that have characterised Gov. Ugwuanyi’s government since he came into office in 2015, the governor has commenced his second term on a sound and reassuring footing with his government’s award of multiple developmental contracts across the three senatorial zones in the state. This equitable leadership trait and display by Gov. Ugwuanyi in project allocations and contracts, even before being sworn in into office for second term is rare and unparalleled in the leadership of the state since 1999.
It is a demonstration of quality leadership embedded in equity, patriotism and devoid of segregation. This development is a sign of good things that will befall the people of the state during Gov. Ugwuanyi’s second term. This has shown that the good governance and massive infrastructural development provided by Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration since coming into office in 2015 was borne out of the governor’s genuine love and concern for the wellbeing of the people of the state and not to please anybody or secure reelection per se.