Appraising Mbah’s One Year of Stewardship in Enugu

Folalumi Alaran takes a critical look at how far Governor Peter Mbah has implemented the campaign promises he made to the people of Enugu state one year after taking office.

When Governor Peter Mbah presented himself for election as the governor of Enugu State, he was very clear about where he was taking the state to and how he intended to take the Coal City State there. However, for a nation and a state accustomed to the mundane, some promises in his 64-page manifesto, were highfalutin. Among them are his vision to grow the state’s economy from $4.4bn to $30bn, eradicate poverty, and build 10,000km of roads all in four to eight years as well as restore pipe-borne water to Enugu city in 180 days, to name a few.

But after just one year in office, Mbah is no doubt winning more converts to his lofty dreams through the results and groundworks they see on ground.


Assessing the security situation in Enugu state, the National Security Adviser (NSA) Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, said, “Before the coming of this administration, police stations were being attacked, law enforcement people were being attacked. People were giving selfish orders, selfishly giving instructions that people should not go to work. But no more, it is no longer happening.” He said kidnapping and terrorism have gone down drastically.

At the root of this success is Mbah’s daring ban on sit-at-home and the strengthening of the capacity of security agencies and related bodies like Neighbourhood Watch and Forest Guards.

Mbah also launched the pilot scheme of the Distress Response Squad (DRS) and constructed the Security Command Centre, a technology-enabled platform offering a real-time, round-the-clock surveillance of Enugu via CCTV cameras placed at strategic locations. It’s virtually set for inauguration.

The government is currently partnering with the Nigerian Navy in establishing a naval base at Ogurugu in Uzo Uwani and with the Nigerian Army to set up Army barracks in Isi-Uzo both at the northern borders of the state.

It amended and activated the Enugu State Security Trust Fund, inaugurating the Board of Trustees to help mobilise resources to fight insecurity.

Water supply

For well over two decades, tanker drivers ripped Enugu city residents off, with many resorting to questionable water sources like surface wells and streams.

But on the 180th day of his government, Governor Mbah inaugurated the ultra-modern Ninth Mile 24/7 Water Scheme in addition to overhauling much of the state’s dilapidated water infrastructure to raise water production from an average two million litres daily water to 120 million litres of daily.

So far, pipe-borne water coverage in Enugu city are as follows: GRA I and II – 80 per cent; Abakpa – 55 per cent; Ogui – 80 per cent; Independence Layout (including parts of Nza Street) – 60 per cent; Uwani – 85 per cent; Trans Ekulu – 30 per cent; New Haven – 85 per cent; Idaw River – 55 per cent; and Emene – 60 per cent.

Mbah’s giant stride in this area can best be appreciated against the backdrop of the immense challenges: vandalism, dilapidated water infrastructure, asbestos pipes laid in the 1950s that are now corroded, brittle, and unable to cope with the present intense water pressure. Besides, only about 45 per cent of Enugu metropolis was connected to the supply grid. But Mbah is aggressively changing the pipes to modern ductile pipes and reticulating water to unreached areas.


In October, Mbah flagged off the construction of 71 urban roads and 10 major rural roads, some of them major dual carriageways spanning over 40 kilometres to link the state with other geopolitical zones.

To mark his first anniversary, Mbah commenced the inauguration of the roads, among them Idaw River district where there had been no road intervention by any government for the past 52 years, obviously due to the difficult terrain. Enugu, according to residents, is beginning to wear new looks to the joy of residents.

The administration recently acquired an asphalt production plant capable of producing over 1000-tonnes, eco-friendly asphalt daily and is also about to commence the construction of additional 80 urban roads. It has additionally undertaken to construct a minimum of 10km road in every ward.

Education sector

Whereas UNESCO recommended a benchmark of 15 per cent – 20 per cent of total annual budget, Mbah allocated N158.78bn to education, representing 33 per cent of the state’s N521.5bn. In other words, for every 100 Naira spent, 33 Naira goes to education. This is the highest both by percentage and per capita in the country.

At the heart of Mbah’s education recalibration effort are the 260 Smart Green Schools, which the government penned down for each of the 260 wards. The archetype at Owo is already running.

“The Smart Green Schools, which we are building in each of the state’s 260 electoral wards, are clearly at the cutting-edge of innovation. Each Smart School features an interactive digital whiteboard, an internet system, robotics and artificial intelligence centre, modern ICT centre, two science laboratories, hybrid multimedia library, creative production studio, 25 inclusive classrooms and 700 Android tablets,” Mbah explained.

The administration is also setting up the Centre for Experiential Learning and Innovation to produce smart teachers to deliver on the vision.

Health Sector

Again, at the heart of Mbah’s effort to reposition the health sector are the 260 well-resourced Type 2 primary healthcare facilities he is constructing across the 260 electoral wards.

The administration constructed a new modern triage at the ESUT Teaching Hospital, renovated and equipped General Hospitals in Enugu State; ensured the accreditation of additional courses in the state universities, colleges, and other higher institutions; and employment of additional medical doctors and health workers. This is in addition to digitalising of patients’ records at the state’s healthcare facilities, creating seamless access to patients’ health history at state-owned facilities. He initiated and signed a Law to establish State University of Medical and Applied Sciences Teaching Hospital at Igbo Eno, in Nsukka Zone.

Revival of Moribund Assets

Across the length and breadth of the state are long-abandoned assets many of which dated back to the Michael Okpara and Senator Jim Nwobodo Administrations. They include the Presidential Hotel which was built in 1963, United Palm Products Ltd., Nigergas Company Limited, Niger Steel Limited, Sunrise Flour Mills, the Enugu International Conference Centre, among others.

Contracts have been awarded and work is already ongoing at International Conference Centre and Hotel Presidential. Mbah recently performed the groundbreaking for a five-star 345-room International Conference Centre Hotel, Enugu to be delivered in 11 months by the China Communication and Construction Company. It will be the first 5-Star hotel in the South East.

Only recently, the administration, through Mbah’s initiative was also handed over 14 properties recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Agriculture sector

By far the biggest win in Agriculture in Enugu and perhaps nationally in the last one year, is the N100bn partnership deal the Mbah Administration recently sealed with Pragmatic Palms Ltd, a private investor, for the revamp of the long-moribund United Palm Products Ltd. Established several months ago, the government signed a Public-Private Partnership deal with Ugwu Anama Farms Limited for the industrial cultivation of cassava, rice, maize, banana, oil palm, yams, and sundry crops at a 15,000-hectare farmland in Isi-Uzo LGA.

The administration has created 100,000 hectares of land in each of Enugu’s three senatorial zones for the cultivation of export-focused cash crops, and building the infrastructure that opens up opportunities in the entire value chain from storage to processing of agricultural produce. It is also aggressive about value addition and agro-processing, hence the attention to growing the cassava-to-ethanol value chain.

Power sector

To position the state to attract investments in electricity generation, transmission, and distribution, the Mbah Administration moved quickly to   initiate and sign the Enugu State Electricity Law and established the Enugu Electricity Regulatory Commission, to position the state to benefit from the decentralisation of the power sector. Thus, Enugu became the first state to be handed over the regulatory oversight of its local electricity market by the National Electricity Regulatory Commission.

This, Mbah said, “is critical to our planned industrial expansion, and our projection to attain regular power supply in no distant time, working with the private sector.”

Transportation sector

In the transportation sector, findings show that the governor is constructing modern transport interchanges at Holy Ghost area of Enugu, Abakpa Nike, Nsukka, and Gariki Awkunanaw, in the first phase, to alleviate the perennial traffic congestion, enhance safety, preserve road assets, optimise transport efficiency, and address various needs of transport sector operators in the state.

Also, to make commuting a more comfortable experience for the people and visitors in the state, the administration is procuring 150 CNG buses with 50 already procured for deployment across various routes. it is also launching 2,000 taxis through private sector collaboration.

New Enugu City

Consequent upon the discovery of coal in Enugu in 1909, Enugu city has grown from a modest colonial outpost, which officially attained a township status in 1917, to the busy megapolis, thus putting pressure on basic amenities and infrastructure for long.

To address this, Mbah flagged-off the construction of a Enugu New City, conceived to be the premier investment destination in Nigeria, a smart city, and a vibrant and integrated metropolis that could compete with the best in the world. It will feature a dedicated power project, central sewage system, and centralised public utilities, including central high-speed internet

Measuring about 10,000 hectres, the CCCC works around the clock to deliver the first phase measuring 26 square km around October, 2025. A 17 kilometre-dual carriageway, feeder roads, and other critical infrastructure are being put in place.

Meanwhile, Governor Mbah has initiated and signed the New Enugu City Development Agency Law to oversee the city.

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