He became governor of Enugu State in 2015 when Enugu’s purse grew leaner and Nigeria’s economy was in recession as federal allocations dwindled to an all-time low – a major setback his predecessor, Mr. Sullivan Chime acknowledged during a thanksgiving Mass to commemorate the end of his administration.
His administration was receiving less than 30% of federal allocations the previous administration received due to the nation’s economic downturn occasioned by the nose-dive of oil prices in the international market.
Notwithstanding this, it was up-to-date in the payment of the new N30,000 minimum wage and its consequential adjustment to the state civil servants – a huge burden on the state’s lean resources.
At the peak of nation’s economic recession between 2015 and 2016, he was able to pay workers’ salaries when 27 states of the federation could not pay, let alone embark on capital projects, as state governors resorted to bailout funds unlike their predecessors who had access to crude oil funds which enabled them to execute capital projects.
He is the only governor in the history of Enugu State to witness two national economic recessions within five years of his administration, and also witnessed the enervating #EndSARS protests, the novel COVID-19 pandemic, security challenges, among others, which brought major setbacks to the actualisation of his lofty visions for the state, as contained in his well-spelt-out four-point agenda (manifesto) of seamless continuity and consolidation.
With Enugu State’s huge monthly wage bill to be serviced in spite of the state’s limited resources following the status of its capital, Enugu, as the historical capital of Southern Nigeria, Eastern Region, East Central State, old Anambra State, old Enugu State and present Enugu State, his administration has been dutifully committed to payment of great number of retired pensioners from other South East states who served the old states with Enugu as their capital and still receive their monthly pensions and other retirement benefits from the coffers of the Enugu State government. What a huge financial obligation eating deep into the state’s meager resources!
He is the first governor of Enugu State since 1999 to lead the state on the platform of a political party (Peoples Democratic Party, PDP) that is in opposition to the political party at the national level (All Progressives Congress, APC). What an obvious disadvantage, vis-à-vis setback in terms of federal government patronages and considerations.
In keeping with his inaugural address in 2015, his administration has championed an unprecedented rural development drive, concentrating development more in the rural communities than in the urban areas to strike a balance and give the rural dwellers, who are equally bona fide citizens of Enugu State but were hitherto neglected for a long time, a sense of belonging.
Also in keeping faith with his promises in his inaugural address to pay a special attention to rural development “because majority of our people live in the rural areas”, and to equip and modernise Nsukka – a University town founded over half a century ago, his administration executed most of its development projects in Nsukka zone and rural areas, while deploying the state’s meager resources to execute and maintain new and existing facilities in Enugu urban respectively, such as the first flyover bridge to be constructed by the state government, located at T-junction, Nike Lake Road.
After Zik of Africa (Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe) who attracted the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) to Nsukka, he is the second person to bring a university to Nsukka zone, the State University of Medical and Applied Sciences (SUMAS), Igbo-Eno, Enugu State.
He also attracted a federal polytechnic to Nsukka zone, in Ohodo, Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area, transformed the university town of Nsukka with a befitting State Secretariat Annex, Conference Centre, 5,000-seat Township Stadium and network of roads fitted with street and traffic lights including the state-of-the-art 12km Opi-Nsukka dual carriageway with underground drainage system, the 31km Udenu Ring Road, modern educational and health facilities, among numerous others.
He is the man behind the listing of Enugu as an oil producing state, a lifeline for the incoming administration.
He is one unique, humble and God-fearing leader who has entrenched enduring peace in Enugu State and maintained a peaceful relationship with his predecessors and other leaders of political, religious and traditional institutions.
He enjoys an uncommon harmonious working relationship with the state workforce and the leaders of the organized labour from the inception of his administration – a feat that was never experienced in the past.
Cut to the bone, this is the brief story of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State as he circumspectly comes to the concluding phase of his administration, amid local, national and global governance challenges.
Consequently, the governor’s worthy stewardship, sheer dexterity and commitment to the progress of Enugu State in spite of all these challenges are highlighted below, placing him in the court of justice and posterity:
• Rehabilitated and remodeled the ancient, historic and undulating 11km Milliken Hill-Ngwo-9th Mile road
• Constructed the first flyover bridge by Enugu State Government located at T-Junction, Nike Lake Road, Enugu
• Constructed the 12km Opi-Nsukka dual carriageway with underground drainage system fitted with street and traffic lights up to University of Nigeria (UNN) gate
• Constructed the Ebonyi River Bridge, Ikem, Isi-Uzo LGA;
• Constructed the 31km Udenu Ring road with two high-tech bridges, Udenu LGA
• 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 (Earthwork) 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 (Earthwork) 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 in Nsukka town
• Reconstructed the Post Office Roundabout-Odenigbo Roundabout -Ogurugu Road-Ikenga road in Nsukka town
• Reconstructed the Obechara Road Junction-Umunkashi- Mechanic Village-Ikenga Hotels Junction road in Nsukka town
• 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-Umanu 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 Eneja 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; IMT Boulevard, Phase II; Prof. Ofili Ugwudioha Street, Independence Layout, Enugu etc
• 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)
• Reconstructed the 5km University of Nigeria Nsukka (New Gate) by Nru Junction – 9th Mile-Makurdi expressway
• Constructed the 2.35km access road to Legacy Estate, Trans Ekulu, Enugu
• Reconstructed the Agbani Road (from Police Detective College – Garki Flyover by Enugu Port Harcourt Expressway;
• Ugbaike, Enugu Ezike – Obollo Afor link road with smart solar streetlight
• Eke Amala – Otukpo Old Road; Amadi – Agbougwu-Amajioke road
• Umuokere – Igugu Road, Phase 1, Udenu LGA
• Construction of Eke Likke – Iheaka Junction – Amagu Uwani – Ekoyi Iheaka -Uhunuowerre – Iheakpu Awka road in Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area (ongoing)
• Reconstruction of Ibagwa Junction-Itchi in Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area (ongoing)
• Construction of road network in the Crystal Court estate beside NTA premises, Independence Layout, Enugu (Ongoing)
• Constructed access road and internal road network in the House of Assembly Layout behind ENHA, Independence Layout, Enugu
• Asphaltic concrete road and drainage system on the road to Udenu LGA
• Spot improvements of urban roads within the EnuguMetropolis
• Emergency erosion control and protective works at Atavu Stream, Amaechi – Amodu – Umueze Road, Nkanu West LGA; Neke/Mbu – Ogbodu Abba/Obollo Road at Chainage 3+210 in Isiuzo LGA; Asata River, Lagos Street, Enugu North LGA; Agu Orba and Imiliki Etiti in Udenu LGA; Ogui River at Works Road, GRA; University Road, Nsukka; Works Road at Works Layout, GRA amongst others
• Constructed the Mission Junction – Owolloti – Ogoma Ring Road (Phase II), Iwollo Oghe, Ezeagu LGA amongst others
• Swamp reclamation at 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
• Constructed the first phase of the Enugu State Secretariat Annex in Nsukka satellite town
• Remodelled the old Premier Lodge into Zik Centre (an ultra-modern tourist centre today) in honour of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, first Premier of Eastern Region
• Constructed a befitting conference centre at Nsukka adjacent to the State Secretariat Annex 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 Township Stadium, Nsukka
• Constructed 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;
• Constructed 10 units of Executive Guest House at the Old Government Lodge, G.R.A, Enugu, for routine guests of the state government
• Constructed the first Christian Chapel of Worship at the Government House, Enugu
• Remodelled the Old Government Lodge, GRA, Enugu and constructed an Annex
• Constructed a befitting Banquet Hall at the remodelled Old Government Lodge, GRA, Enugu
• Constructed 24 units of Guest Flats at remodelled Old Government Lodge, GRA, Enugu
• Reconstructed and rehabilitated the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Building, Enugu
• Construction of Nsukka Press Centre at Nsukka Local Government Area
• Construction of Enugu State Fire Service Headquarters as the 1st Headquarters for the Service at Ogui Road Fire Station by Otigba Junction to enhance the fire response capacity of the Service
• Renovation of buildings (blocks A and B) at the Enugu State Marketing Company Limited
• Constructed/reconstructed INEC Office Buildings at Awgu, Udenu, and Independence Layout
• Procured 140 pieces of Waste Bins to replace old ones scattered across the Metropolis to enhance the cleanliness of Enugu City
• Provided transformers for Awha Ndiagu Community in Ezeagu LGA; Igga Community in Uzo Uwani LGA; Odume Sub-station, Agbudu Udi LGA; Agamede Isienu, Amutenyi Obollo; St. Patrick’s Parish, Ohom Orba, Udenu LGA; Abakpa Cantonment Water Works; Mary Agro Farms Udi, Udi LGA; Abakpa Military Cantonment Waterworks, amongst others, to ensure and enhance power supply to the communities and facilities
• 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 N5 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
• Intervened and integrated faith-based rural health facilities into the Free Maternal and Child Health Programme
• Constructed 7 units of Model Type 3 Primary Healthcare Centre in 7 LGAs
• Ongoing construction of 3 additional Model Type 3 Primary Healthcare Centres in 3 LGAs
• Upgraded and rehabilitated the General Hospital Ogrute, Enugu Ezike, and Nsukka District Hospital, among others
• Massive construction of a Teaching Hospital for the newly licensed State University of Medical and Applied Sciences (SUMAS), Igbo-Eno
• Constructed and equipped 2 nos. 12-classroom faculty buildings, 2 nos. 10-classroom faculty buildings and 2 nos. Medical and Applied Sciences (SUMAS), Igbo-Eno
• Constructed two-block of student hostels with 120 bed spaces at SUMAS, Igbo-Eno
• Provided 10 industrial water boreholes with overhead tanks and external electrification engineering services at SUMAS, Igbo-Eno
• Constructed a Specialist Hospital in Igbo-Eno and re-designated it as SUMAS Medical Centre
• Construction of Cottage Hospital with isolation wing in Awgu, Oji River, Ogrute (Enugu Ezike) General Hospitals, and also in Orba, Udenu LGA
• Constructed, landscaped and equipped the Amenity Facility at Enugu-Ezike General Hospital, Ogurute, Igbo-Eze North LGA.
• Constructed and upgraded the Accident & Emergency building of the ESUT Teaching Hospital, Parklane, Enugu to a 2-storey building, furnished and put to use
• Procured equipment such as Laparoscopic machine, Cardiotocography & Ultrasound (CTG & USS) machines, Feto-maternal patient monitor, among others, for ESUT Teaching Hospital, Parklane, Enugu to enhance the capacity
of the hospital in diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and antenatal care
• Successfully launched the Universal Health Coverage Scheme through the Enugu State Agency for Universal Health Coverage to enable the delivery of free healthcare to vulnerable persons, with a target to enroll all Enugu State residents into the Scheme
• Monthly release of capitation fund to 161 accredited Primary Health Centres across the 17 LGAs for the provision of free healthcare to 42,000 registered vulnerable, physically challenged and indigent persons in the State
• Registration of 145,000 vulnerable persons representing 3% of Enugu State population for healthcare priorities for 2023 under the Universal Health Coverage Scheme
• Efforts currently geared at increasing the number of accredited Primary Health Centres to ensure that every Electoral Ward has a Primary Health Centre providing free services for vulnerable persons
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 (then) 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
• 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
• Established the State University of Medical and Applied Sciences (SUMAS) which is to commence academic session soon
• Recruited over 7,030 primary and secondary school teachers
• Executed over 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)
• Provided 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)
• 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 infrastructure 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
• Notwithstanding the consistent and timely releases of monthly subventions for smooth running of other State-owned Tertiary Institutions, namely the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT); Institute of Management and Technology (IMT); the Enugu State College of Education Technical (ESCET); and the Enugu State Polytechnic, Iwollo, these Institutions have continued to witness various degrees of interventions in the provision of infrastructure, teaching, learning, laboratory and workshop equipment for the purposes of programmes accreditation, teaching and learning. Aside these, (6) programmes including Nursing; Midwifery; Physiotherapy; Community Medicine; Family Medicine; and Paediatrics have been accredited in Enugu State University of Science and Technology Teaching Hospital, Parklane, while a School of Entrepreneurship has been established in Iwollo Polytechnic
• Enhancement of civil servants’ welfare
• Among the first to implement the N30,000 new Minimum Wage in Nigeria with its consequential adjustment
• Regular payment of workers’ salaries and retirees’ pensions before the end of the month
•Regular promotion, training and retraining of workers
• Paid 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 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
• Training, employment and deployment of Community Policing Constabularies
• Construction of the 76 Police Mobile Force Squadron Facility at Ekwegbe, Igbo-Etiti LGA, with the construction of the Commander’s House, Deputy Commander’s House, 2km Perimeter Fence, Parade Ground, Sickbay with basic furnishing, canteen, access roads, Quarter Guard and car parks; Borehole and water reticulation; supply and installation of external electrical engineering services infrastructure, installation of all-in-one 80 watts Solar Street lighting.
IMPROVEMENT IN WATER RESOURCES:
• Rehabilitated facilities at Ajalli and Oji River Water Treatment Schemes which have consequentially improved the supply of water to Enugu metropolis and its environs.
• Rehabilitated the 9th Mile Crash Borehole programme powered by solar technology which produces over 10,000,000Litres (10,000 cubic meters) of water per day into the daily water supply to Enugu metropolis. The rehabilitation was planned as a stop-gap measure to mitigate the water supply problem in the State metropolis before the AFD-funded 3rd National Urban Water Sector Reform Project (3rd NUWSRP) comes fully on stream.
• Procurement and installation of new pumps at Oji Water Scheme that has resulted in the production of 30,000,000 Litres (30,000cubic meters) of water per day to Enugu Metropolis.
• Completion of the rehabilitation of Boreholes at Nsukka which has increased water supply by over 10,000,000Litres (10,000 cubic metres) of water daily.
• Pipeline network extension works to Justina Eze Street, Oloto Street, Techtonics Road, Umudiaka Community, Umuoyo Community, Amukwa Community, Ezema Nru Road, Mkpuruikwere Community, St. Theresa’s Road, Chinedu Ugwu Street, Eziama/Edem Community have been completed.
• Rehabilitation of 2 Nos. boreholes at Lejja (Ejuona and Akaibite Communities) in Nsukka LGA.
• Construction of 2 Nos. Solar-Powered RSI Inverter Borehole at Obollo-Afor, Udenu LGA.
• Provision of Commercial Capacity Borehole at Mary Agro Farms Udi, Udi LGA.
• Constructed, for the first time, 5 ultra-modern Fire Service Stations across the 3 senatorial districts of Enugu State, after 56 years of their previous existence
• Constructed an ultra-modern and befitting Head Office of Enugu State Fire Service in Enugu.
• Procured five (5) IVM fire-fighting trucks for the five ultra-modern Fire Service Stations
• Recruited 66 firefighters to the workforce of the state fire service and provided them with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for safety, etc.
• Donated and installed different types and sizes of fire extinguishers in all major markets in Enugu State as part of proactive measures towards safety of life and property of the traders and the public.
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
• Constructed a befitting headquarters (building) for Enugu State Multi-Door Courthouse in Enugu named after Hon. Justice Raphael Chikwe Agbo of the Court of Appeal
• On-going Construction of 2 (nos.) High Court of Justices at Nike, Enugu East LGA and Orba, Udenu LGA.
• Construction of Two (nos.) Exhibit Storage Facility, one at the Magistrate Court premises and the other at the High Court of Justice Premises, Enugu, which have reached an advance stage of completion
• Constructed and equipped a Judiciary Health Clinic to carter for the health care needs of our valued Judges and other staff located within the High Court premises Independence Layout and manned by Doctors and Nurses of the State Health Management Board
• Provided various sums of financial support to the following respected institutions, such as the Nigerian Bar Association, Enugu State branch for the completion of the roofing of the New Bar Centre, Enugu and enhancement of facilities at the Justice Chima Nweze Moot Court, Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus; Students Auditorium and Lecturers’ Quarters at Augustine Nnamani Campus of the Nigeria Law School, Agbani, to improve teaching and learning of the Law profession.
• 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
• 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).
• Secured fully funded postgraduate scholarships for Forty (40) Enugu State students to study in various parts of Europe, America, Australia and Asia through the Mentorship Masterclass of Enugu State Scholarship Scheme and Loans Board, valued at over Three Billion Naira (N3,000,000,000.00).
• Provided, in addition, One Million Naira each to the 40 students as international travel allowances to enable them depart Nigeria to their various schools overseas to ease the financial burden on parents/guardians in providing education for their children, grant the less privileged the opportunity to go to school, and encourage students to work hard.
• 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.
• Established 2 Tech Hubs and Youth Innovation Centres at Independence Layout, Enugu North LGA, and in Obollo Afor, in Udenu Local Government Area with several students passing through the Hubs equipped with skills in Product Design, Front and Back End Development, Digital Marketing, Data science, Gaming and Animation, and Cybersecurity amongst others. As at today, some of the graduated students have already been poached by local Tech Start-ups and Companies.
ENUGU STATE SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES (SMEs):
The Enugu SMEs Centre under Governor Ugwuanyi’s administration initiated a sustained and radical transformation that ensured that Enugu youths are equipped with 21st century high income skills that provide pathways to employability and entrepreneurship development.
The SMEs Centre instituted the innovative Human Capital Development Loan, a zero interest loan to enable unemployed and underemployed to access technical and professional training with job access or entrepreneurship support upon completion.
The Enugu State SMEs under the scheme consummated the following programmes:
• Enugu Tech, a certified training on Programming and Product Design, preparing our youths for globally sought-after tech skills
• Enugu Youth Empowerment Scheme, a certified training in high income digital marketing skills
• Enugu Cybersecurity Learning Programme (EDAT), a certified training programme on globally relevant cybersecurity skills as a means to combat poverty, cybercrime and unemployment
• Enugu Data Analytics Training Programme (ECSL) that trained Ndi Enugu youths on core Data Analytics competencies delivered through a project-based learning approach that provides a solid post-training path to encourage the participants to become fast-rising data talents for both local and global organisations
• Enugu SMEs Construction Artisan Training Programme that provided youths with high demand construction skills for employment upon completion
• Enugu Auto Revamp Innovation Training Programme (AITP) that provided comprehensive training in all aspects of auto body work including auto painting, surface prepping, metal works, interior finishing, among others;
• Enugu jobs initiated in partnership with private sector players like Capitis Global and Jobberman Nigeria to provide a job portal for Ndi Enugu to get access to jobs here in Enugu and outside Enugu
• Enugu Wi-Fi project, a Municipal Wireless Network, offered by independent data resellers deployed in Enugu State, Nigeria, that is a low-cost paid secure Wi-Fi connection sponsored by Enugu State government, through the Enugu SMEs Centre
• Enugu SMEs Hardware Garage Training (ESHG) Programme which provided the youths with first-hand technical knowledge in building of inverters, installation of smart solar home systems, and the general operations and maintenance of power, mobility manufacturing, computer-controlled systems, and agricultural technologies
• Enugu SMEs Access to Capital Programmes, such as the Enugu SMEs Business Support Cash Advance Programme and the Enugu Micro Credit Lending Programme, which helped to resolve the number one problem of entrepreneurs – availability of capital.
• 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• Trained 520 youths from the 260 Wards of the State in new techniques and acquisition of skills in agricultural value chain in CSS Global Integrated Farms, Keffi, Nasarawa State as part of the strategy to develop farmers and improve food security in the State
• Heavy investment in Basic Agricultural Education to inculcate the culture of farming in the early lives of our younger generation, achievable through the provision of irrigated and non-irrigated School crop farms as well as construction/reconstruction of poultry and animal houses for rearing of chicken and animals in Primary and Basic Secondary Schools in selected LGAs of the State, which are ongoing
• Holistic investment in the production of both livestock and crops support to 275 farmers, under the APPEALS Productivity Enhancement, with improved inputs and technologies under the Commodity Interest Group with a total sum of One Billion, One Hundred and Seventy-One Million, Seventy-Six Thousand, One Hundred and Fifty-Six Naira, Sixty-Two Kobo (NGN1,171,076,156.62) within year 2022
• Construction of 15 nos. Aggregation/Cottage Processing Centres, under the APPEALS Infrastructural Development, which are at various level of completion in Udenu, Isi-Uzo, Ezeagu, Uzo-Uwani, Aninri, Nkanu-East, Nsukka, Udi, and Enugu South LGAs
• Supported 295 rice farmers and 98 cassava farmers with 11,800kg of Faro 44-Rice Seed, 4,900 Cassava bundles, 78,600kg of NPK fertilizer, 29,500kg of UREA, 393 litres of Non-Selective Agro Chemical and 393 litres of Selective Agro Chemical for both wet and dry season farming in the 2022 production cycles, under the IFAD/ENVCDP programme
• Also through IFAD/ENVCDP, supported rice and cassava processors and producers including Women and Youths with processing and production equipment including ultra-modern rice milling machines, rice haulers, destoners, bag sealers, weighing scales, cassava graters, dewatering press, hammer mills, nutrient-dense equipment, thresher and Winnowers, tricycles, (13Hp) power tillers, Seed Planters, and Water pumps for dry season rice farmers.
All these are in addition to the gains recorded with the Agro Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project, the FGN (Federal Government of Nigeria)/IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) / Enugu State Value Chain Development Project (ENVCDP), and ATASP-1 in the past two years.
ENUGU STATE CARES PROGRAMME:
The Enugu State Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (CARES) Programme is an emergency operation built on existing delivery platforms of Community and Social Development Project (CSDP), FADAMA and Enugu SME Centre. The programme is designed to restore the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable, maintaining food security, and facilitating recovery of MSMEs in response to COVID-19 induced economic crises. Within year 2022, the sum of Five Hundred Million Naira (NGN500 million) was distributed to the delivery platforms using the following percentages 32.7%, 34.11%, 30.34 and 2.7% for CSDA, FADAMA, Enugu SME Centre and State CARES Coordinating Unit (SCCU) respectively. Achievements thus far includes:
• CSDA: On-going construction & renovation of health centers, water borehole and school blocks in 5 (five) intervention LGAs of Udenu, Nsukka, Igbo-Eze South, Ezeagu and Udi.
-Supplied 10,486 different agricultural inputs comprising of cassava stems, rice seed, pepper seed, fertilizers, liters of herbicides/insecticide to 630 participating farmers across the 5 intervention LGAs of Aninri, Udenu, Ezeagu, Isi Uzo, and Nsukka.
-Supplied 2,227 agricultural production and processing assets comprising of 1,984 Personal Protective Equipment, 160 Knapsack Sprayers; 3 Mini rice mills, 16 Cassava graters, 35 water pumps, 15 multi-purpose grinders, etc. to 560 farmers in the 5 intervention LGAs of Aninri, Udenu, Ezeagu, Isi Uzo, and Nsukka.
-Built the capacity of the benefitting farmers on the use of the acquired assets and best agronomic practices, group dynamics, record and basic book-keeping, etc.
• SME: Over 10,000 applications from Small and Micro firms for Operations and IT Enhancement Grants have been received, awaiting vetting and disbursements.
• Site and services at 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.
• 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.
• Inaugurated the Enugu Industrial Park – FTZ (ENPOWER Free Trade Zone) at the 9th Mile Corner, Enugu, known as Lion Business Park, modeled after the Dragon Market in Dubai.
• Gov. 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 utilisation of the bailout funds (Senate Verdict)
• Enugu 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.
Louis Amoke wrote in from Enugu.