By Louis Amoke
The post-election actions and inactions of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration in Enugu State in sustaining the tempo of peace and good governance have further demonstrated the governor’s sheer dexterity, vision, passion and commitment to rapid development of the state as well as the wellbeing of the people.
Gov. Ugwuanyi who was overwhelmingly reelected through an election adjudged as one of the most peaceful and transparent exercise in the nation’s history, has remained grateful to God and residents of Enugu State for His abundance of grace and the people’s unceasing prayers, show of solidarity, goodwill and support. The governor saw the people’s love and support as a re-investment of their trust and faith in his administration to render more selfless service.
The renewed mandate was therefore, a veritable platform to continue to reward them with good governance as the true heroes of democracy.
Consequently, Gov. Ugwuanyi in his acceptance speech pledged “to devote our energy and time to work hard for the wellbeing and prosperity of all our people”, declaring that “now is the time to get back to work”. He reaffirmed his resolve to continue to serve with the fear of God to improve the lives of the people and lift the state to unprecedented heights of development and progress.
Shortly after his reelection, Gov. Ugwuanyi, who had earlier paid ‘Thank-you visits’ to markets and streets of Enugu, returned to the streets on a post-contract inspection of roads such as the old UNTH road, Enugu, Ogidi Street and Onyeama lane in Asata, Enugu, preparatory to immediate rehabilitation and reconstruction. He also inspected the ongoing reconstruction of Carter Street, Asata, Enugu, which was awarded by his administration during the pre-election period, as well as the erosion menace at Okwuosa Bridge, Ogui, Enugu, where he promised a swift intervention.
A few days after, contracts for execution of the inspected projects and many others, such as the zonal secretariat annex at Nsukka town and additional works at Nkwo Inyi-Akpugoeze-Mamu Forest road in Oji River Local Government Area and Nike Lake junction – Harmony Estate road – Amorji Nike – Adoration Pilgrimage centre (Phase one), were awarded, totaling over N1.1 billion.
Also in the post-election moves, the Ugwuanyi administration awarded multiple contracts for the construction/reconstruction of urban and rural roads and 263 classroom blocks including the purchase of two Hilux vans for effective monitoring and supervision of the projects.
Approval was also given for the construction of a state-of-the-art administrative building of the Enugu State University of Education in Ihe, Awgu Local Government Area. The foundation-laying of the first university of education in the entire South East geopolitical zone was performed by Gov. Ugwuanyi a few days ago, amid jubilation and excitement.
The state government during the period under review also approved 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.
Other development projects that received the approval of the government for “better urban, inter-local government and community road infrastructure”, include, Aludele road, Nsukka; Bishop’s Court road, Awgu; Access road to Igbo Ano Specialist Hospital, Igbo Ano, and failed culvert, pavement and surfacing at Onuiyi road, Nsukka adjacent to Zik’s residence.
Still on infrastructure, the state government equally gave approvals for the “engineering studies and design” of Oji River and Nsukka modern township stadia for Enugu West and Enugu North Senatorial Districts respectively, pre-contract documentations for the construction of state secretariat annex at Nsukka satellite town which has been duly awarded for construction, and recruitment of 52 personnel for the State Fire Service to man the five newly built stations across the three senatorial districts of the state, for efficient and effective discharge of duties.
It is on record that Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration few weeks to the general election awarded N1.4 billion worth of contracts for the rehabilitation/reconstruction of One Day Road, Awkunanaw, Enugu; Construction of Phase II of Nike Lake junction – Harmony Estate road – Amorji Nike – Adoration Pilgrimage Centre (road works); Rehabilitation of Kenyatta Market road/failed sections/potholes/Onah street, Enugu; Rehabilitation of Umumba Ndiagu-Ebenebe road (phase one), Ezeagu LGA.
Others include, the reconstruction of Amankwo – Amaeke Ngwo – Ama Brewery junction road (Bypass); Extension of Amalla-Orba- Orie Orba -Eke Ovoko- Ovoko junction road, and Rehabilitation of Pocket Layout internal roads, Independence Layout, Enugu, etc.
All these projects, which are ongoing, were in keeping with the governor’s commitment to full implementation of the 2019 budget to advance the cause of development in the state for the wellbeing of the people.
Recently, Enugu State came second in the list of the five most reformed states in ease of doing business in the country that were rewarded by the Federal Government at the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) Awards 2019.
The impressive rating of the state attracted commendations from the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, and the National President of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Iyalode Alaba Lawson, at the opening ceremony of the 30th Enugu International Trade Fair.
The duo commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for his administration’s innovative measures and steadfastness in enhancing the ease of doing business in the state.
On the journey so far, the World Bank Ease of Doing Report in 2014 ranked Enugu State 27 out of the 36 states plus the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja on “where it is easy to start a business and where it is not.”
On his assumption of office in 2015, Gov. Ugwuanyi, promised to ensure a significant increase in the state’s rating through innovations and far-reaching reforms and transformation of the commercial environment, institutions, regulations, policies, processes and programmes that affect ease of doing business in the state.
The consequential effect of the initiatives was the quantum leap of the state’s rating from 27th position in 2014 to 3rd in 2018 by the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index.
According to the organizers of the PEBEC Award, Enugu State came second behind Kaduna State for improving its score from 48 to 56.82 by making it easier for business ventures, especially micro, small and medium enterprises, to start a business, register property and enforce contracts.
Not too long ago, Enugu State was singled out and praised for its resilience, consistency and commitment to sustainable reforms and innovations, at the two-day workshop organized by the South East Governors Forum to review the region’s performance on ease of doing business and also appreciate reforming states.
From the foregoing, Gov. Ugwuanyi’s sustained tempo of rapid development of the state after his reelection, his administration’s outstanding performance in the 2018 World Bank Ranking vis-à-vis the recent prestigious award by PEBEC, the commendations from various institutions and relevant stakeholders, and the existing peace in the state, among others are eloquent testimony to the reality of good governance in Enugu State.
These discernible acts of good governance signpost a great deal of vision, innovations, peace, even development, accountability, transparency and proficiency in the next tenure, laced with utmost passion and commitment to the wellbeing of the people and unprecedented growth of the state.
Now that it has ended in praise and the good works have continued, the onus is on the people to remain steadfast in their unceasing prayers and unwavering support for the high performing governor for his administration to do more in the coming tenure. Enugu State is truly in the hands of God.
*Amoke writes from Enugu.