NEARLY three years to the next general
elections, the country is already in the mood of
politics. Characteristically, the achievements
or otherwise of governors in their second
terms come to mind. Why the governors are
usually on the spot is because majority of the
people think that most of the state Chief Executives are more interested in the politics of
who succeeds them than in the developments
of their states.
With this tradition, one of the states in
focus is Enugu because of its long history and
strategic place in the South East region of the
country. The stewardship of the governor of
the Coal City state, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who is
also in his second tenure is also under interrogation. For critical observers and stakeholders in Enugu, many questions agitate their
minds. They include; how has Gburugburu
performed in delivering democracy dividends
to his people? Is he one of those governors
whose second tenures are essentially to prepare grounds for their succession rather than
towards development in their states?
For those conversant with events in Enugu
State, Governor Ugwuanyi is different as he
is more interested in the legacy projects he
would leave behind than politics of succession.
He believes that the ultimate decision of who
would succeed him rests with the people of
To Governor Ugwuanyi, development is
at the heart of good governance, hence, his
renewed vigour, zeal and sustained efforts in
fulfilling his campaign promises to the people
of Enugu State. Through his actions and
inactions in the nearly one year of his second
tenure, he has proved that he is in governance
to alleviate the sufferings of the people and
impact their lives positively.
One unique quality of his administration is
his contract execution policy of start-to-finish,
which ensures that projects are duly awarded
and backed up with funds for timely completion – a scenario that has prevented the ugly
experience of abandoned projects in the state.
Enugu State under Ugwuanyi is rated by the
Financial Derivatives Company as one of Ni- geria’s Most Financially Stable states alongside
Lagos and Kano states. These accolades came
even when most states loudly bemoan the
economic crunch in the country.
Further testimony of Ugwuanyi’s commendable performance preceding the reports came
from a World Bank Ease of Doing Business in
Nigeria. It decorated Enugu as the third best
state to start a business in Nigeria after Abuja
and Lagos. The governor has never relented in
his pursuit of his dream of activating Enugu as
a recognizable economic hub in the country
through investor-friendly policies.
It is little wonder that in spite of the nation’s
dwindling economic fortunes because of the
crash in the oil price and the ravaging effects
of the Coronavirus pandemic, the governor
has continued to take actions that have
brought meaningful development to the state.
Even his critics agree that his administration’s
peace and grassroots development initiatives
have ensured rapid transformation of the rural
communities which hitherto had literally been
denied democracy dividends.
Through his administration’s rural development policy, one-community-one-project
initiative and a great deal of passion for the
wellbeing of the masses, he has focused on the
long-neglected communities in the state in
line with his firm belief that the greatest objective of government is to alleviate the suffering
of the people.
To show his determination for more work
in his second term, Governor Ugwuanyi after
his second term inauguration, constituted 12
Adhoc Committees that reviewed all sectors of
governance for effective service delivery.
Upon inaugurating the State Executive
Council (EXCO) to drive the recommendations of the committees, the governor had
charged members of his cabinet to hit the
ground running as he was in a hurry to fully
deliver on his promises to the people.
Through his administration’s adherence to
fiscal discipline, peace and grassroots development initiatives, the governor has successfully
delivered democracy dividends to the doorsteps of the people of Enugu State.
His humble disposition, simplicity, candour,
good works and uncommon leadership style
of inclusive governance and an open-door policy
have helped him to deliver the message of
hope and rekindled the confidence of the
people in participatory democracy.
He has united everybody in the state,
especially the political leaders irrespective of
class, religion, socioeconomic and political background and the ambience of peace and
unity has remained the pillar of his administration’s success story and one of the major
reasons Enugu is devoid of political crises like
in other states.
In the last one year, Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration has sustained the tempo of peace
and good governance in the state, awarding
multiple contracts for execution of more
critical infrastructural development across the
state, worth over N9 billion.
The state government also approved the
sum of N1.5 billion, N244 million and N200
million for payments of counterpart funds
for the Universal Basic Education scheme for
construction and renovation of more primary
and junior secondary school buildings, the
APPEALS programme for women and youths
agricultural empowerment and the Universal
Health Coverage (UHC) for comprehensive
basic health services for every eligible resident
in the state, respectively, totaling over N1.9
This is in addition to the N4.9 billion and
N100 million counterpart funds paid by the
present administration for the Universal Basic
Education and Universal Health Coverage,
respectively, during its first tenure.
Some of the projects awarded after his inauguration for another term, which are ongoing
with some concluded, include the completion
of the Nike Lake junction – Harmony Estate
Road – Amorji Nike – Adoration Pilgrimage
Centre, Phase II and III, in Enugu East LGA,
which will link Abakpa and Emene and serve
as a critical bypass that will decongest traffic
gridlock at Abakpa T-junction; the asphalting
of a 22.443km inter-community link road
– the Neke-Mbu-Ogbodu Aba-Obollo Etiti
road – that connects Isi-Uzo and Udenu LGA,
under the Rural Access and Mobility Project
II (RAMP II); rehabilitation of numerous internal roads in the University town of Nsukka
and the flood routing/erosion control works at
Achi Street, Independence Layout, Enugu.
Others include the construction of access
and internal road networks at Golf Estate
Annex, located at Abor, in Udi LGA, which
will cost the state government a whopping
sum of N2.08 billion; the rehabilitation of
Orie Market-Nkwo Ida-Afor Inyi road junction in Igbo-Eze North LGA; the Agbalaenyi junction-Enugu-Onitsha Expressway link road
at Oji River LGA; the Amaeze Street outflow
to Enugu Road catchment box culvert and the
New Anglican Road – Obechara Road junction
in Nsukka; the Akpabio Street, GRA, Enugu
(completed) and access/internal road at the
old Governor’s Lodge, GRA, Enugu (completed).
Others are the beautification, fencing and
provision of works of arts in major roundabouts in Enugu City as well as in the forest reserve adjacent to the Michael Okpara Square,
Enugu, now known as Unity Park, to serve as a
tourist attraction and centre for relaxation and
Parts of the critical infrastructure also
include the construction of the Nsukka Town- ship Stadium (Phase One) in the University
town of Nsukka; remodeling and renovation
of the Abuja Building, Government House,
Enugu (completed), to ensure efficient
administrative service delivery; construction
of fence, pavement, surfacing, landscaping and
beautification of the newly constructed State
Customary Court of Appeal headquarters,
Independence Layout, Enugu; massive renova- tion of the State Judiciary Complex, Enugu
and supply of 300 units of bicycles to comple- ment the 260 vehicles as well as motorcycles
purchased by the state government for Forest
Guards’ operations in the rural areas, which
are being distributed to the 260 electoral
wards in the state for effective security engage- ment.
Also, Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration equal- ly purchased 100 units of Innoson patrol vans
equipped with communication gadgets, which
were distributed to security agencies in the
state to aid their operations. It engaged 1,700
Forest Guards, repositioned the Vigilante/
Neighborhood Watch groups and purchased
260 security vehicles for their operations.
The state government recently handed over
five newly procured Innoson Vehicle Manufac- turing (IVM) fire-fighting trucks to the state
fire service, for the five newly constructed fire
service stations across the three senatorial dis- tricts of the state, to enhance their efficiency
and effective response to emergencies.
• Aneke writes from Coal Camp,