Some residents of Enugu State have commended their governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, whom they said has improved infrastructure in the state even in the face of daunting economic realities and global health challenges.
The indigenes have said that the governor’s intervention in the areas of health, security, workers’ welfare, tourism, education, judiciary, agriculture and rural development was making life more meaningful for the people of the state.
The people, however, called on the governor not to relent in his efforts at building a new Enugu that everyone would be proud to associate with it.
The 2019 Annual States Viability Index that was released on July 26, 2020, by Economic Confidential, revealed that the state has been elevated into becoming one of the six economically viable states in Nigeria that could survive without federal allocations.
Enugu has also been rated as the second most advanced state in Nigeria on the ease of doing business and third on the ease of starting business, by the World Bank Group. In addition, the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria listed Enugu as the fifth most competitive state in Nigeria.
One of the ardent followers of Ugwuanyi’s performance, Kenneth Udeh said that the governor has also displayed his mastery of economic development by mitigating rural urban migration. To achieve this, he said that the state government has focused on developing the rural areas of Enugu, which is reducing the health, environmental and social consequences of urbanisation.
He stated that Ugwuanyi’s administration has taken the wellbeing of the masses into consideration, especially through its rural development policies and empowerment programmes that have boosted socio-economic growth, thereby alleviating poverty and improving standard of living in the state.
His words: “The governor has constructed road projects covering over 600 kilometres, in the rural and long-neglected communities. This is a feat he achieved through simultaneous execution of grassroots developmental projects across the 17 local government areas (LGAs), as well as the N10 million “one community, one project” scheme earmarked for each of the 471 autonomous communities in the state.
“Ugwuanyi’s administration has empowered 3, 600 traders with N50, 000 each to grow their various businesses under the Enugu State Traders Empowerment Scheme. It has also empowered 750 youths in skills acquisition under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) programme.
“The governor also awarded scholarship to 22 post-secondary school indigent students studying at Mewar University, India. The administration has engaged 1000 youths in its Enugu Clean Team Project, with additional 1000 workers underway. Notably, the state government recently granted bursary allowance to 246 students of the state at the Nigeria Law School.
“Ugwuanyi’s administration operates a tax-friendly regime judging from the countenance of the government in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as it granted tax relief and incentives to taxpayers in the state. This decision, according to the Enugu State Internal Revenue Service (ESIR), was in furtherance of the state government’s efforts in cushioning the effect of the pandemic on the residents.”
He stated that the governor also approved a 50 per cent discount on all assessed capital gains tax (CGT) till December 2020, as well as 50 per cent discount on all personal income tax assessment (PITA) issued to owners of schools and hotels for year 2020.
“The governor ensured that the state became the first to implement the new minimum wage in Nigeria. Enugu has remained regular in payment of workers’ salaries as well as payment of the 13th month salary to workers as Christmas bonus.
“In order to prevent fire disasters during the harmattan season, the government acquired four rapid response vehicles and a 12, 000-litre capacity water tanker for the State Fire Service to aid operations of the fire fighting agency in the state,” he said.
The governor was also lauded, having invested much in sporting activities, which saw Rangers International Football Club of Enugu lifting both the 2015/2016 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) title after 32 years and 2018 AITEO Cup after 35 years.
A resident of the state, Mr Sylvester Chima commended the state government for its focus on delivering quality education to the students.
Ugwuanyi is said to have facilitated the procurement and distribution of 22,150 lockers and 22, 150 chairs for primary school children, 1, 228 tables, 1, 228 armchairs and 2, 456 armless chairs for the teachers, as well as 1, 130 marker boards for teaching and 1,960 ceiling fans, for conducive learning environment.
“There have been massive construction and reconstruction of classroom blocks, offices and hostels in the secondary schools across the six education zones of the Post Primary Schools Management Board (PPSMB); construction and renovation of more classroom blocks; recruitment of more teachers and many more,” he said.
Many of the residents have praised the governor for embarking on tourism development projects as a conscious effort to reinvent Enugu as a prime tourist attraction in the country.
Some of the roads constructed and rehabilitated by the administration are Milliken Hill-Ngwo-9th Mile road (11km); Opi-Nsukka dual carriageway (12km); Udenu Ring road (31km) with two high-tech bridges; Ebonyi River Bridge, Ikem among others.
As learnt, the state government has given the health sector a considerable attention in the last few years. The areas of interventions included the completion of Enugu State Medical Diagnostic Centre; construction and renovation of district hospitals and health centres in the state, especially in the rural areas under the primary healthcare programme; and many more.
As the Chief Security Officer of the state, the governor is said to have stepped the security apparatus in all the LGAs in Enugu.
In paving the way for peace and development, procurement and donation of 100 units of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) patrol vans with communication gadgets to the security agencies have been linked to Ugwuanyi’s administration. He has also reportedly engaged 1, 700 forest guards; purchased 260 security vehicles for their community policing operations; distributed 260 motorcycles and 300 bicycles to the 260 electoral wards in the state.