Full Text of Press Conference By Coalition of Civil Society Organisations Endorsing Ugwuanyi for Second Tenure

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A group of civil society bodies under the aegis of Coalition Of
Nigeria Civil Society Organisations For Good Governance (COCSO) on Thursday in Enugu tipped Governor Ifeanyi Uguanyi for Second Tenure, itemizing some of the achievements of the governor.

Find below the full text of the briefing held at the Pool Side of the Hotel Presidential, Enugu:

TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE COALITION OF NIGERIA CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE (COCSO) ON THE OCCASION OF THE ENDORSEMENT OF RT. HON. IFEANYI UGWUANYI FOR A SECOND TENURE AS GOVERNOR OF ENUGU STATE HELD AT THE POOL SIDE, HOTEL PRESIDENTIAL, ENUGU, ENUGU STATE ON NOVEMBER 15, 2018 AS DELIVERED BY THE CONVENER, CHIEF WILLY EZUGWU

 

ONE GOOD TENURE DESERVES ANOTHER

 

Protocols

 

Gentlemen of the Press,

 

On behalf of the members of the Coalition Of Nigeria Civil Society Organisations For Good Governance, I welcome you all to this very important press conference on the state of our dear state, Enugu State.

 

Following developing political trends in the country and in Enugu State in particular, it became necessary to publicly take position on fundamental issues in our state today.

 

As we are all aware, one of the major challenges in Nigeria today is lack of purposeful leadership. Over the years, Enugu people have never asked for too much from their leaders beyond provision of the basic things of life, especially shelter, infrastructure, quality education, security of lives and property as well as conducive environment for businesses to thrive.

 

It was in view of the need for good governance to ensure delivery of these basics needs that the good people of Enugu State in 2015 chose to elect His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as the as the executive governor of Enugu State.

 

We needed a pragmatic leader who can be a true friend of the people. In line with these basic expectations of the people, on the historic occasion of his assumption of office on May 29, 2015, Governor Ugwuanyi in his inaugural address promised to work assiduously towards entrenching peace and good governance in the state despite that the country was undergoing economic recession with poor revenue from the Federal Government.

 

After our assessment of his performance in the last three years and half, we are convinced that it will be proper to openly register our support for the re-election bid of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

Arriving at this decision was challenging because the civil society is known for its non-partisan posture.

However, as a coalition with special interest in good governance, the numerous landmark achievements of the present administration in Enugu State since Governor Ugwuanyi took mantle of leadership have left us with no option than to make this public statement in support of his re-election bid next year.

 

Like a man on a rescue mission, the governor (on assumption of office)  immediately embarked on aggressive infrastructural development across the state with unique focus on opening up rural areas, where the majority of the people reside.

 

Today, we enjoy security of lives and property and our people can go about their farming and other businesses without fear.

 

Within the last three and half years, it will be difficult to itemize all the achievement of the Governor Ugwuanyi administration as the people have experienced remarkable infrastructure revolution, with the state spending over N45 billion on road construction and rehabilitation across the state, covering no fewer than 300 kilometres.

 

To mention a few, the Enugu State government has simultaneously carried out construction and reconstruction of over eight massive road projects in 9th Mile Corner, Nsukka, Abakpa Nike and Emene, among others.

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The government has successfully delivered on two 9th Mile Bypasses in Udi Local Government Area, which now serve as alternative roads for travellers from the Northern parts of the country to Onitsha and western states.

 

The Agbani-Amurri road in Nkanu West LGA, has been newly constructed. It is important to note that this community has never experienced any form of development on its land in the past 100 years.

 

The Ogonogoeji-Ndiagu-Akpugo road (from Atavu bailey bridge to Afor Onovo), in the same council, which has a historic and symbolic attraction as the first state government road project in the entire Akpugo zone since the creation of Enugu State.

 

Other projects are the Ngenevu road, which was constructed with the provision of two 500-KVA transformers, the Iva Valley; the Ugbodogwu, off Phase 6 Trans Ekulu; the Ogwuagor, Abakpa Nike, Emene, etc.

 

In Eha-Amufu, Isi-Uzo Local Government Area – another long neglected agrarian community has witnessed massive reconstruction of 8.8 kilomters of the Nkalagu-Eha Amufu road, after over 35 years of neglect.

 

There are also the Holy Ghost-Ogbete Main Market road, Enugu, the Nike Lake road and Abakpa Nike road in Enugu East Local Government Area, which were hitherto a nightmare to residents and travelers, who usually got trapped in traffic for several hours because of their deplorable conditions.

 

The Opi-Nsukka Dual Carriageway in Nsukka Local Government Area, was delivered with the state-of-the-art facilities befitting a University town and the second largest city in the state, to enable it compete favorably with other University towns in attracting technology and knowledge-based businesses and other industrial support ventures.

 

The Ogbaku road in Awgu L.G.A (one of the 35 simultaneous development projects) that was constructed on a difficult terrain that is both hilly and undulating. The New Market-Milliken Hill-Ngwo-9th Mile road that now serves as an alternative gateway into the city of Enugu, from Onitsha-Enugu expressway as well as the Ebonyi River Bridge construction in Isi Uzo Local Government Area, which is nearing completion and would connect adjoining communities to Ikem, the headquarters of the Council, among others.

 

It is remarkable to note that 56 years after three fire service stations were built in Enugu State, then Eastern Region, Gov. Ugwuanyi ventured into constructing five new ultra-modern fire service stations across the three senatorial zones, strategically located in Four-Corner, Ozalla, Nkanu West LGA; Ogrute, Igbo Eze North LGA; 9thMile Corner, Udi LGA; Orba, Udenu LGA and Oji, Oji River LGA.

 

The administration has, in addition to many ongoing projects in the state, completed works on projects started by the previous administration, including the state-of-the art Enugu State Diagnostic Centre, the first of its kind in the South East geo-political zone, established to create hospital chains to make Enugu the preferred destination for receiving high quality and affordable healthcare delivery in the country.

 

The state government has introduced a programme on road maintenance in Enugu metropolis tagged: “Operation Zero Potholes”. It has also been consistent in the maintenance of street and traffic lights as well as other facilities such as the bus-stop shelters.

 

In addition to this, 1000 youths have been recently recruited under the Enugu Clean Team Project to enhance and sustain the State’s rating as one of the healthy and cleanest cities in the country.

 

In attempt to diversify the economy to improve the living standard of the people and economic fortunes of the state, the governor initiated the first ever Enugu State Investment Summit christened: “Oganiru Enugu”, and have showcased the economic potentials of the state to woo investors.

 

Today, a Chinese Investment Company, Lion Business Park Limited, entered into a business engagement with the government to establish an industrial market on 2000 hectares of land located in the proximity of 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, with the formal presentation of N300 million to three communities of Ogwofia Owa, Enugu Eke and Akama Oghe by the company as agreed compensation.

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There is also 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.

 

Through the Enugu State Housing Development Corporation (ESHDC) the Ugwuanyi administration has actualized the site and services of the following houses estates: The Valley Estate, GRA, Enugu; the WTC Estate, which has 22 number of two-bedroom flats newly built by the present administration; the Victory Estate; the Trinity Estate; the Fidelity Estate adjacent to the popular Ebeano Tunnel which has undergone massive erosion/flood control work, among others.

 

As a government committed to the welfare of its civil servants, 100 lucky workers under grade level 1 to 10 won one-bedroom flat each at Elim Estate, Enugu, through an open lottery system which enabled them to become proud landlords after Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration paid 54 per cent of the equity contributions. With regular payment of workers’ salaries on 23rdof every month and the recent 13th month salary paid to all civil servants including the Local Government Staff as Christmas bonus, it is also on record that the administration of Gov. Ugwuanyi has, within three years in office, recruited the highest number of primary and secondary school teachers ever in the history of the state to improve the quality of education in the state.

 

Also committed to ensuring qualitative education under a conducive environment, the state government within its first year in office constituted an administrative committee on full and proper execution of Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board (ENSUBEB) projects, headed by the Deputy Governor, Her Excellency, Hon. Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo.

 

The committee in line with its mandate ensured that over 276 primary and secondary classroom blocks were constructed and renovated. The state government also provided 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. State-owned higher institutions have not been left out.

 

The governor in his concerted efforts to reposition the foremost Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu to transit into a degree-awarding institution, recently approved N810 million in addition to over N200 million expended for upgrade of infrastructure in the institute. The Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT); the Enugu State College of Education Technical (ESCET); and the Enugu State Polytechnic, Iwollo, among others, have also been benefitting from the government’s educational transformation programmes.

 

On empowerment, Gov. Ugwuanyi recently launched the repackaged widely cherished Enugu State Traders Empowerment Scheme designed to assist genuine traders in the state, who won the monthly open raffle draw with the sum of N50,000 each to grow their various businesses.

 

The re-launched scheme, which costs the government the sum of N120 million annually as against the initial N60 million, was equally raised from 100 beneficiaries per month to 200 at the same rate of N50,000 per beneficiary with an increase in number of participating markets from 37 to 54, to give more traders, especially those in the rural areas, better chances of participation.

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The administration recently empowered 750 youths selected from the 17 Local Government Areas, who attended a one-year free vocational training organized by the state government under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) programme, to assist them start-off their various businesses.

This gesture did not only earn the governor commendation from the federal government as the SDGs friendly governor, other states were also asked to emulate him. The N10 million “one community, one project” scheme of Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration has also recorded a huge success in expanding development to the frontiers of the rural areas – an initiative that has made it possible for communities that had never experienced any government presence to benefit, accordingly.

The state government has so far donated 40 brand new patrol vans to the State Police Command to enhance their security operations in the state.

 

As a prelude to the second anniversary of the Governor Ugwuanyi administration, the governor revitalized the Neighbourhood Watch Association with the launch of the Enugu State Security Trust Fund to galvanize resources and provide the enablers that will ensure that the vigilante groups are well equipped to effectively complement the efforts of the Nigerian Security Agencies.

Consequently, Security Vehicles and Motorcycles were presented to strengthen their efficiency in combating crimes at the community level. In addition to the completion of the Enugu State Diagnostic Centre, under primary healthcare delivery the government is constructing and renovating district hospitals and health centres in the state especially in the rural areas such as the poly clinic, Asata, Enugu and Udi District Hospital.

 

The state government also approved the monthly contribution of N8.5 million as counterpart fund for the Free Maternal and Child Health programme designed to provide primary healthcare to pregnant women at the grassroots and children under the age of five years.

 

Determined to ensure that residents of Enugu enjoy adequate water supply, the government provided the fund to rehabilitate the facilities at Ajali and Oji River Water Treatment Schemes. This decision resulted in the recent improvement in the supply of water in Enugu metropolis and its environs. Gov. Ugwuanyi- the jinx-breaker, through his sheer dexterity and commitment to the success of the Enugu Rangers International Football Club, the Pride of Ndigbo, ensured that the club won the 2015/2016 Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) title after 32 years in the wilderness without a trophy.

All these landmark achievements, too numerous to mention, have earned the peoples’ governor chains of endorsements for re-election in 2019 from all spheres of the society, including the religious institution, the entire PDP family in the state, leaders and members of opposition political parties, traders, civil servants, artisans, transporters, proprietors and teachers of private schools, Local Government workers, and pensioners, among others.

Flowing from Gov. Ugwuanyi’s financial background and commitment to public expenditure management, the following outstanding ratings and commendations have ensued from the Senate on the judicious utilization of the bailout funds; the BudgIT report, which listed Enugu, Lagos and Rivers as the only three states out of the 36 states of the federation that have fulfilled obligations to their workers, paying salaries and pensions promptly.

 

Enugu State has been transformed in every area and we have no reason not to urge the people to re-elect the performing governor next year to continue the good work he is doing.

 

Governor Ugwuanyi is a promise keeper and a second tenure for the people’s governor will ensure better life for Enugu people.

 

We therefore urge Enugu people to massively vote Gov. Ugwuanyi as one good tenure deserves another.

 

Chief Willy Ezugwu

Convener.

 

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