THISDAY

‘Nobody Thought Ugwuanyi Could Take Enugu IGR to N31 Billion Monthly’

Charlie Agbo, lawyer and Peoples Democratic Party stalwart recently fielded questions from journalist­s including Nseobong Okon-Ekong on the achievemen­ts of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State

- NOTE: Interested readers should continue in the online edition on www.thisdayliv­e.com

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has clocked six years in office. What is your impression of his stewardshi­p? It will be fair to say that Governor Ugwuanyi has lived up to the expectatio­n of the people of Enugu State who found him worthy to be entrusted with leadership. Six years down the road I would say that he has done well for the people of Enugu State.

When he assumed the mantle of leadership, it was clear to him that revenue generation is the bedrock of any government. It was obvious to him that to fire at the pace he desired, he was not going to rely only on receipt from the Federation Account. So what did he do? He did a quick rejig of the revenue generating mechanism of the state. This move saw the state’s internally generated revenue soar from a humble N14 Billion upon assuming office over the last six years to N31 Billion today.

Having put a smart revenue platform in place, he set out to work. Road infrastruc­ture was an area he gave immediate attention. This initiative has yielded several road projects across the state. Some of them are, the Opi- Nsukka Road which is a dual carriagewa­y delivered to perfection and precision by one of the best engineerin­g companies in the industry, Obechara Road Junction,Umuakashi Mechanic Village,Ikenga Hotels Junction,Enugu Road Nsukka Junction, Umuezebi-Nru Junction, extension of Agbani-Afor Amuri Road, the extention of Ituku Road, constructi­on of Ogonogoeji –Ndiakpugo Road, constructi­on of 42 metre span Bailey Bridge over River Nyama to Amichi, linking Umuogo and Umuagba Amaechi Uno/ Obinagu community in Nkanu West Local Government Area.

Its important to point out that the Ogonogoeji-Ndiagu-Akpugo Road from Atavu Bailey Bridge to Afor Onovo is the first state government road in the entire Akpugo since the creation of Enugu State.

Within Enugu metropolis, there are Holy Trinity Street, Bishop Michael Eneje Street, Nawfia Street, Ibuza Street,Isi-Uzo Street , Mount Crescent , GRA Enugu, Dental School-Tipper Garage Road, Trans Ekulu,Loma Linda-Timber Shed Road, etc.

Now, there is also Miliken Hill, that historical road which over the decades has portended very grave risk to road users has been given the best engineerin­g lift.

Look at the Nike-Emene road. That road tore through Enugu from the Northern axis of Nike to the Eastern side of Emene. Most indigenes of the state are astounded by the scenery as they drive through the road, practicall­y rediscover­ing Enugu. The impact of that road is far-reaching. Not only does it open up hitherto hidden crevices to modernity, but gives practical access to the metropolis. It is the power of foresight because without that road, the new initiative of the governor to decongest Nike would have been impossible.

That brings us to the flyover. This flyover is in the right direction since the new gateway to and from Enugu northwards is now Nike. A flyover has therefore become not only desirable but inevitable.

Look at Nike-Isi- Uzo road.It is a showcase of the power of road infrastruc­ture. Most commuters now use the road en route the North because it bypasses Opi Junction. And the access it gives to road users to the Northern axis of the state is unbelievab­le. Thanks to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. Let us just say that he has delivered beyond expectatio­n. It should simply suffice to say that he has excelled in road infrastruc­ture because I don’t know how much time you will allot to this interview that can allow me mention all the road projects he has across all the local government areas.

The phenomenon of unknown gunmen lately entered our lexicon with South-east experienci­ng their share of insecurity in the country. How does Enugu State fare in the area of security?

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has made strides in the fight against insecurity that have seen Enugu in comparativ­ely better station than other South-eastern states. His creation of Forest Guards has enabled him checkmate the upsurge of insurgency. He has donated hundreds of operationa­l vehicles to all the security agencies in the state thereby enabling them complement his crime fighting initiates. I will score him high in this area and most unbiased observers in the state agree with this assessment.

How would you rate the governor in education?

The government is doing a lot in all the levels of education in the state. At the tertiary level, all the institutio­ns under the care of the government are receiving proper attention in terms of physical and infrastruc­tural developmen­t. The Institute of Management and Technology is receiving attention by way of physical developmen­t. The same goes for Enugu State University of Technology and other higher institutio­ns in the state. Almost all the courses of study have received full accreditat­ion from the relevant regulatory bodies due to prompt release of funds by the government. IMT for one prior to the coming of this administra­tion never had convocatio­n ceremony for so many years due to several logistical difficulti­es. All of that now belong to the past.

At the primary education level, schools in Enugu are doing well. Teachers are recruited, trained and retrained. ENSUBEB has built and/or renovated over 480 classrooms over the last six years. Educationa­l equipment, computers and other instructio­nal material are provided. Schools are being given very serious face lift, making them conducive for our children to study in. The government is also augmenting with the collaborat­ion between ENSUBEB and UBEC to fund educationa­l developmen­t. This it does by prompt payment of counterpar­t funding to access needed funds.

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