The Oasis Reporters
November 21, 2022
By Dr Chidozie Obodozie
When a mention of Enugu state, Nigeria is made in the media, lots of insinuations, innuendos and undercurrents play out, especially in the social media about the unassuming and modest Governor of the State, Governor Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi.
The gap-toothed, ever-smiling and comely Governor of the Coal City State means different personality to different folks. Just like the different persons touching different parts of an elephant will describe the gargantuan animal based on their perspective of it, the personage of the governor democratically elected is not different from the elephant syllogism – Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is the elephant of Nigeria’s political space.
The case with Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Gburugburu as he is fondly called, is that of a celestial kismet that cannot be undermined regardless of whatever shenanigans, whether ethereal or terrestrial done to circumvent it. His becoming the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) eventual candidate in the 2015 gubernatorial election in the State was purely divine. There is no denial of the incontrovertible fact that Enugu State is one of Nigeria’s best-kept secrets with gold mines and fortunes.
The Governor has in the last seven (7) years turned around, and still improving, the fortunes of the State.
The emergence of Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi was a blessing in disguise to Enugu people as he swung into action immediately he was sworn into the office by following up on a blueprint inherited from his predecessors that would put the State on a path of steady progress. His landmark achievements can be seen in security, economy, finance, investment drive, infrastructures, health, education, politics, Diaspora engagement, women
empowerment among others.
One of such is infrastructure which this first part of this series will focus on.
Before he assumed office, a number of road infrastructures were in place but not adequate enough to meet the needs of the people and residents and also visitors to the state.
Today, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has changed the infrastructure narrative.
To list but a few ; the massive infrastructure development embarked upon by the Ugwuanyi administration has indeed opened up the state to other parts of the country as travelers now find it easy to navigate in and out of 5he state and come and do their businesses and also have quality leisure time without fear of insecurity.
Insecurity , nonetheless, is another high point of his administration as he has always provided the adequate and needed logistics support to the security agencies to ensure the safety of lives and properties. But that will be discussed in the second part of these series.
One sector in the State which has received a huge commitment from the State Governor is the health sector. Quality healthcare has enjoyed tremendous support from Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. Aside from the completed state-of-the-art Medical Diagnostic Centre in the State that will arguably become the best in the country, lots of other health benefit programmes have been going on in the State, one of which is the Healthcare concept that has been applauded as one chef d’oeuvre intervention health scheme across the Federation.
The Healthcare revamping was an intervention mechanism introduced to help pregnant women and nursing mothers. The former Minister for Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole described the scheme as one of the best healthcare policies in the country at large as it were. The program has made it possible for pregnant women to have access to no-cost medical services across the State.
This was conceived to confront the huge number of child and maternal deaths which was prevalent not in Enugu State but across the country. This is notwithstanding the provision of free maternal and new-born healthcare services including referrals where and when necessary.
The Governor Ugwuanyi-led administration in Enugu State has embarked on a massive revamp of the entire health paraphernalia of the State some of which include renovation, remodelling and re-equipping of existing Primary Health Care Centres (one per Local Government) with solar-powered boreholes and electrification to help the success of the Healthcare Programme.
Some of the other intervention programmes of the Governor include but are not limited to the following;
Constructed/rehabilitated over 780km of roads across the state, mostly in the rural areas.
Constructed the first flyover bridge by Enugu State Government located at T-Junction, Nike Lake Road, Enugu
Rehabilitated and remodeled the ancient, historic and undulating 11km Milliken Hill-Ngwo-9th Mile road.
Constructed the 12km Opi-Nsukka dual carriageway up to University of Nigeria (UNN) gate
Constructed the Ebonyi River Bridge, Ikem.
Constructed the 31km Udenu Ring road with two high-tech bridges
Rehabilitated the Iva Valley roads in Enugu North LGA
Constructed the 8.8km Nkalagu-Eha Amufu road in Isi-Uzo LGA, neglected for over 35 years
Constructed the 26.66km Ukpabi-Nimbo-Ugbene Ajima-Eziani road in Uzo-Uwani LGA (RAMP-2)
Constructed the 22.443km Neke-Mbu-Ogbodu Aba-Obollo Etiti inter-community road linking Isi-Uzo and Udenu LGAs (RAMP-2)
Constructed the 16km erosion ravaged Eha-Ulo/Eha-Etiti/Eha-Ndiagu-Mbu road and 24km Premier Junction-Umabor-Mbu road (RAMP-2), covering 40km, being constructed across thick forests and difficult terrains.
Constructed 8.580km road project linking Ihe with Ogbaku Town in Awgu Local Government Area (RAMP-2)
Constructed the 13km Nike Lake junction-Harmony Estate-Amorji Nike-Adoration Pilgrimage Centre-Orie Emene road linking the ever-busy Abakpa Nike with Emene satellite town in Enugu East LGA
Reconstructed the Nike Lake Road and Abakpa Nike Road in Enugu East LGA.
Constructed the Amaeke-Ngwo-Nsude-9th Mile and Amankwo-Amaeke-Amah Brewery Junction-9th Mile bypasses in Udi LGA
Reconstructed the Airport Roundabout/Orie-Emene/St. Patrick’s College/Eke-Obinagu Road in Enugu East LGA
Reconstructed the Enugu Road (Nsukka) Junction-Umuezebi-Nru Junction-University Gate road, the Post Office Roundabout-Odenigbo Roundabout-Ogurugu Road-Ikenga road and the Obechara Road Junction-Umakashi-Mechanic Village-Ikenga Hotels Junction road, all in the University town of Nsukka.
Constructed the 8.2km Inyi-Akpugoeze road in Oji River LGA
Constructed the Ituku Road in Awgu LGA and the Amurri road in Nkanu West LGA
Simultaneously executed 35 grassroots development projects across the 17 LGAs
Rehabilitated urban and rural roads in Emene, Abakpa-Nike, 9th Mile Corner and the University town of Nsukka
Rehabilitated more internal roads in the University town of Nsukka, covering over 11km, namely Aku Road, Echara Road, Beach Junction-Unanu Road, New Anglican Road, Amaobi Road, New Market- Aludele – Eruchara Road, Sen. Fide Okoro-Amaeze- Saint Theresa’s- Anglican Road, Justina Eze Street, etc.
Rehabilitated the old UNTH-Bunker road, Enugu; constructed the Holy Trinity Street -Bishop Michael Eneje Street, Independence Layout; Mount Crescent, GRA; Orofia Street, off Nza Street, Independence Layout; Dental School-Tipper Garage road Trans Ekulu, Enugu; Ugwuaji-Loma Linda-Timber Shed road, Maryland, Enugu; Nwafia Street, Independence Layout; Mbanefo Street, New Haven; The Secretariat Road, G.R.A; Court Avenue by new State Secretariat; Ibuza Street at Independence Layout; Isi Uzo Street at Independence Layout; Owerri Road; Poly Clinic Road, Asata; Carter Street, off Ogui Road, etc.
Ongoing construction of a network of roads with drainage system at GRA, Enugu (Justice Nwazota-Ilogu Close Road with a spur to Works Road Layout, GRA, Enugu)
Renovated the House of Assembly Complex
Rehabilitated and re-asphalted the popular Michael Okpara Square, Enugu
Completed the new Lion Building, Government House, Enugu, with additional works such as landscaping and installation of floodlights and security lights
Renovated the Deputy Governor’s office, Abuja Building, parking lots, among others, within the premises of the Government House, Enugu, among others
Intervened in the completion of the International Conference Centre, Enugu
Constructed the first phase of the Enugu State Secretariat annex in Nsukka satellite town
Constructed a befitting conference centre at Nsukka adjacent to the State Secretariat Annex (ongoing) comprising multiple halls, other indoor activity hubs and recreation facilities such as adult and children swimming pools and Lawn Tennis Court.
Constructed ultra modern 5,000-seat capacity Township Stadium, Nsukka
Completed and inaugurated the massive Unity Park, formerly known as Forest Reserve, Enugu, to serve as a tourist attraction and a place for relaxation and recreation
Construction of 10 units of Executive Guest House at the old Governor’s Lodge, G.R.A, Enugu, for routine guests of the state government
Constructed the first Christian Chapel of Worship at the Government House, Enugu
Remodeling of the Old Government Lodge and construction of Annex, GRA, Enugu
Construction of 24 units of Guest Flats at Old Government Lodge, GRA, Enugu
Uncommon rural development policy, concentrating more infrastructure in the rural and long-neglected communities, such as simultaneously executing 35 grassroots development projects (completed) across the 17 LGAs and the N10 million “one community, one project” scheme in each of the 471 autonomous communities in the state
Completed the state-of-the-art Enugu State Medical Diagnostic Centre, Enugu, and handed over to the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) as “Medical Diagnostic and Oncology (Cancer) Treatment Centre, Enugu” to provide comprehensive medical, diagnostic and oncology (cancer) treatment services to the people of Enugu State and beyond.
Construction and renovation of district hospitals and health centres in the state, especially in the rural areas under the primary healthcare programme
Upgraded Udi District Hospital and Poly Clinic, Asata to General Hospitals, after their rehabilitation
Constructed new buildings/remodelled the Colliery Hospital Enugu now known as the Enugu State Infectious Disease Hospital, Enugu, for isolation and treatment of patients with infectious diseases.
Launch of the Universal Health Coverage
*Intervened and integrated faith-based rural health facilities into the Free Maternal and Child Health Programme
Massive construction of 7 units of Type 3 Primary Health Care Centre in 7 LGAs, and upgrade and rehabilitation of the General Hospital Ogrute, Enugu Ezike, and Nsukka District Hospital, among others.
Ongoing massive construction of a Teaching Hospital for the newly licensed State University of Medical and Applied Sciences (SUMAS), Igbo-Eno
Ongoing construction of 2 nos. 12-classroom faculty buildings, 2 nos. 10-classroom faculty buildings and 2 nos. 8-classroom faculty buildings, for the State University of Medical and Applied Sciences (SUMAS), Igbo-Eno as well as two-block of student hostels and industrial water borehole projects, etc.
Constructed a Tertiary Hospital in Igbo-Eno, Enugu North Senatorial District, to serve as one of the facilities for State University of Medical and Applied Sciences (SUMAS), Igbo-Eno
Construction of Cottage Hospital with isolation wing in Awgu, Oji River, Ogrute (Enugu Ezike) General Hospitals, and also in Orba, Udenu LGA
RESPONSE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC:
Released N350 million to the state’s COVID-19 Multi-Sectoral Rapid Response Team
Establishment of Isolation and Treatment Centres for COVID-19 in Nsukka and the ESUT Teaching Hospital, Parklane, Enugu
Equipped the ultra-modern Enugu State Medical Diagnostic Centre and designated it as an isolation and treatment centre
Approved welfare packages for all health workers in the state as incentive to battle COVID-19
Purchased two additional ambulances and one incident vehicle
Enforcement of the Presidential directives on nationwide curfew and inter-state movement restriction order.
Rehabilitation of facilities and provision of essential supplies in 34 health facilities across the 17 LGAs, to scale up delivery of linked services and preparedness against community spread of COVID-19 pandemic by the Enugu State Save One Million Lives (SOML) Project.
Life assurance policy for frontline workers
Distribution of palliatives to persons, vulnerable groups, poorest of the poor and religious groups.
Granted tax relief and incentives to tax payers in the state to cushion the adverse economic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on residents, especially ordinary masses.
Enhancement of civil servants’ welfare
Among the first to implement the new Minimum Wage in Nigeria
Regular payment of workers’ salaries and retirees’ pensions before the end of the month
Payment of the 13th month salary to workers as Christmas bonus
Payment of 54 percent equity contribution for 100 lucky civil servants who won the 100 units one bedroom apartments at Elim Estate, Enugu through open lottery.
Procured and donated 100 units of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) patrol vans with communication gadgets to the security agencies to aid their operations
Employed 1,700 Forest Guards, first in the South East geo-political zone
Repositioned the Vigilante/Neighbourhood Watch groups and purchased 260 security vehicles for their Community Policing operations.
Procured and distributed 260 motorcycles and 300 bicycles to the 260 electoral wards in the state, to complement and facilitate the operations of the Forest Guards
Construction of the 76 Police Mobile Force Squadron Facility at Ekwegbe, Igbo-Etiti LGA
Procured five (5) IVM fire-fighting trucks for the five ultra modern fire service stations across the three senatorial districts of the state, newly constructed by Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration, after 56 years
Recruited 66 firefighters to the workforce of the state fire service and provided them with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for safety, etc.
INTERVENTIONS IN THE STATE JUDICIARY:
Constructed the first Enugu State Customary Court of Appeal Headquarters complex in Enugu
Construction of 14 new court buildings and open registries in the judicial divisions and magisterial districts across the state
Construction of 34 modern Customary Courts across the state, two (2) per LGA
Massive renovation of the State Judiciary Headquarters complex, Enugu
Renovated the former DAD Building Enugu and converted same to the State Ministry of Justice Headquarters
Establishment of Multi-Door Court House in Enugu, among other interventions
Recruited over 7,030 primary and secondary school teachers
Executed 1,355 verifiable projects in various primary and secondary schools across the 17 Local Government Areas of the state under ENSUBEB and PPSMB, in line with the administration’s vision to improve the learning condition of the students.
Procured and distributed 22,150 lockers and 22,150 chairs for primary school children, 1,228 tables, 1,228 arm chairs 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 (under ENSUBEB)
Procured and distributed 12, 480 writing desks and chairs for primary school pupils in the state and 868 tables and chairs for teachers to improve the standard of learning (ENSUBEB).
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)
Supplied Science equipment to more than 151 secondary schools (under PPSMB)
Supplied and installed computers to 490 secondary schools (under ENSUBEB and PPSMB)
Converted 1,000 volunteer teachers to permanent staff and release of all outstanding arrears of promotion to date (under PPSMB)
Initiated a process for the construction and renovation of more classroom blocks
Ongoing construction of the state-of-the-art administrative building of the first degree-awarding institution in Education in the South East zone, the Enugu State University of Education in Ihe, Awgu LGA, established by Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration to serve as a centre for training of teachers for primary, secondary and tertiary education.
Massive infrastructural development and upgrade of facilities in the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu, including construction of four massive academic buildings and other structures, to address the challenges associated with shortage of classrooms, laboratories, studios and offices.
Transition of IMT into a degree-awarding institution and the holding of its first convocation, after 11 years as well as the rehabilitation of the school’s internal roads, Administrative Block, Mass Communication Block, Engineering Blocks, among other buildings.
Numerous education transformational interventions in other state-owned tertiary institutions, namely the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT); the Enugu State College of Education Technical (ESCET); and the Enugu State Polytechnic, Iwollo
Empowered 3,600 traders with N50,000 each under the Enugu State Traders Empowerment Scheme
Empowered 750 youths in skills acquisition under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) programme
Offered scholarship to 680 indigent engineering students of Enugu State Polytechnic, Iwollo, Ezeagu L.G.A. and the IMT, Enugu
Awarded scholarship to 22 post-secondary school indigent students presently studying at Mewar University, India
Engaged 1000 youths to clean up the state, under Enugu Clean Team Project, with additional 1000 workers underway
Granted Bursary allowance to 246 students of the state at the Nigeria Law School.
Ongoing mentorship programme for youths of Enugu State – admissions and scholarships have already been secured for seven persons with full funding into some of the best universities in the United States of America (USA), through the State Scholarship and Education Loans Board (ESSELB).
Waived the payment of Personal Income Tax as well as Market Tax, for all traders in the major markets of the state, since the inception of the administration, in May 2015, with the firm resolve to sustain the pro-poor policies till the end of the tenure.
AGRICULTURE, WATER, HOUSING, INVESTMENT PROMOTION
Procured twenty (20) tractors for Mechanized Agriculture
*Launched the Coal City Rice, Enugu – a highly sought-after staple in the South East and beyond
Approved the establishment of two World Bank projects, namely IFAD and APPEALS programme for women and youths agricultural empowerment and pays the state’s counterpart funds regularly.
Rehabilitated facilities at Ajali and Oji River Water Treatment Schemes which has consequentially improved the supply of water to Enugu metropolis and its environs
HELIU Residence project – a world class Residential Estate with infrastructure worth N25 billion embarked upon by the state government in partnership with Fit-Consult and China Shenyang International Economic and Technical Cooperation Limited, Shenyang, China through Public Private Partnership (PPP) to provide quality and affordable houses to address the accommodation deficit in Enugu because of high inflow of people into the state.
Site and services of Valley Estate, GRA, Enugu; WTC Estate; Victory Estate; Trinity Estate; Fidelity Estate adjacent to the popular Ebeano Tunnel with massive erosion /flood control work, Diamond Estate, Rangers Estate, among others.
The Enugu Industrial Park – FTZ (ENPOWER Free Trade Zone) at the 9thMile Corner, Enugu, to be known as Lion Business Park, modeled after the Dragon Market in Dubai.
Governor Ugwuanyi’s love and support for sports 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
Rated among the 1,000 cities in the world with the most impressive and vibrant startup ecosystem by StartupBlink, a Swiss-based research hub that publishes an annual global startup index,
Rated among the six (6) economically viable states in Nigeria that can survive without federal allocations, by Economic Confidential.
Rated as the second most advanced state in Nigeria on the Ease of Doing Business by the World Bank Group.
9th best performing state in terms of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the year 2019.
Best state in the judicious utilization of the bailout funds (Senate Verdict)
Enugu is listed alongside Lagos and Rivers as the only three states out of the 36 states of the federation that have fulfilled obligations to their workers (BudgIT).
Listed among the seven states that are solvent with impressive over 30 per cent Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to fund additional economic activities (Economic Confidential magazine verdict).
The fifth most competitive state in Nigeria, according to the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria
The third most debt sustainable State in Nigeria
The first state in Nigeria to publish its Audited State Final Account for consecutive three years.
First in the South East geo-political zone and ninth in the country based on IGR as against Federal Allocation.
One of the twelve states in Nigeria that can survive without federal allocations.
AND STILL COUNTING…
One would ask if these achievements is what this writer describes as a few but then with benefit of hindsight, the reader would understand that it can be described as a few given the fact that Governor Ugwuanyi is a modest man who rarely likes to blow his own trumpet but instead gives all glory to God who made it possible for him to be able to live up to his promises to Ndi Enugu. Hence the slogan- Enugu in the hands of God.
These projects as listed as they say these days in politics can be verified and should anyone choose to disbelieve its existence , the response to that doubt is – Go and Verify!
More will be outlined in the part 2 of this series about Enugu state and the achievements of the Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi led administration in the last 7 years.
Dr Chidozie Obodozie is a political analyst and writes from Enugu.