Sunday, March 21, 2021 11:09 am
By Jeff Ejiofor
A great French philosopher, Luc de Clappiers said that the greatest achievement of the human spirit is to live up to one’s opportunities and make the most of one’s resources. Unarguably, at 57, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi as the Executive Governor of Enugu State has lived up to the above statement by making the most use of the available meagre resources to saliently and quietly achieve great heights in governance. He has recorded great accomplishments within the shortest possible time as the chief executive of Enugu State having tranversed all facets of administrative enterprise. In every human endeavour, leaders have different styles of achieving their goals but what is important is the end result. Ugwuanyi as a child of destiny who began from a humble background has been able to distinguish himself as a silent achiever without the usual media hype politicians are known for. Also, his decision to extend development to rural areas where the majority and less vocal Enugu citizens reside is a clear demonstration of latent style of governance. By that, he has achieved more things than those that concentrated infrastructure in the city centre where the vocal minority easily notice and acknowledge their achievements.
When carefully put in proper perspective, Ugwuanyi’s administration has virtually transformed rural areas in Enugu State into semi urban settlements where access road network and other basic necessities of life are no longer an issue. He has not only patnered with RAMP to open up hitherto unaccessible rural communities across the state, but has also taken health care delivery to the grassroot in order to give rural dwellers a complete sense of belonging. A trip to rural communities across the state will convince any doubting Thomas. One of the greatest milestones in this regard is the connection of the larger part of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area to their headquarters in Umuluokpa which used to require a circuit to make through 9th Mile Corner, Ngwo. We all know how the Milikin Hill and Opi-Nsukka roads were before Gburugburu reconstructed them, and that is how he has continued to identify and fix critical road infrastructure both in the rural and urban areas of the state since the inception of his administration with minimal publicity. He makes no noise about his achievements.
In the area of health care delivery and safety, he has rehabilitated and upgraded all existing primary health care facilities in Enugu State and constructed new well equipped Type 3 Health Centres in seven local government areas. Equally, he has built and equiped with modern facilities, new Fireservice Stations in five local government areas of Enugu State namely, Oji River, Nkanu West, Udi, Udenu and Igbo-Eze North to cater for the safety needs of rural dwellers. Above all, he is currently and quietly building a first class teaching hospital in Igbo Eno, Udenu/Igboeze South LGAs to drive the tertiary health needs of the rural people of Nsukka who usually travel to Enugu, and Ituku-Ozalla for such services. He has also bequeathed a brand new Infectious Disease Hospital at the New Market area to Enugu State.
Apart from his rural development drive which is expected to put a stop to rural urban drift, he has continued to improve the existing infrastructure within the Enugu metropolis. His maintenance culture is second to non as seen in the continous attention to roads in Enugu. He is expanding the city by creating new roads, new settlements, and new markets to decongest the town. A trip to Enugu-Portharcourt Express Way where construction of an ultra modern building material market is taking place with a number of housing estates lined up everywhere, will impress any objective mind. He has adequately kept Enugu clean by transforming the waste management process in the city.
In Education, he has adopted unprecedented proactive approach to reposition the sector. Over a thousand primary and secondary schools have quietly been rehabilitated and furnished with modern learning facilities.Tertiary education has received prompt attention under him with improved infrastructure and academic activities. Most of the institutions that had hitherto carried out partial operations due to lack of full accreditation of courses have now secured full accreditation. To crown it up, he has just secured approval for a federal polytechnic to be sited in Enugu State. This is a feat no previous state chief executive could achieve even with their membership of the ruling party at the center.
In terms of security, Ugwuanyi’s administration has ensured unparalleled security in Enugu State through a multi dimensional approach. At a time security is the worst nightmare across Nigeria, Enugu has remained unprecedentedly peaceful. The pockets of disturbances experienced from criminal herdsmen at the outset of his administration were professionally handled and brought under control. This is also the only time in the history of Enugu State that cult wars have not been experienced in more than six years. He has quietly handled all of that in his usual skilful manner.
In the area of economy and welfare of citizens, Ugwuanyi has done better than all previous administrations in the state. I say this without prejudice considering the fact that Enugu State under him has recorded its highest IGR and was even adjudged as the 5th largest economy in Nigeria which can survive without federal allocation. As regards welfare, this is the only administration that has allowed workers to negotiate their condition of service in line with the national minimum wage since the inception of Enugu State. In the midst of the worst economic recession, he was among the first to implement minimum wage in the country with regular payment of salary whereas so many states cannot even maintain and pay the existing salary structure. The recent launch of HubTech entrepreneuship scheme in strategic centres of the state is another wonderful package designed to increase the technological manpower capacity of Enugu State citizens with special focus on youths.
Under his leadership, Enugu has witnessed unprecedented peace in all facets of life.This is the first time since the inception of the current democratic experiment that Enugu is having a rancour free political environment devoid of political bickerings. There is nothing like intra party feud, executive versus legislature squabbles, or judiciary vs executive mistrust. No acrimony of any kind has been reported within the executive circle as well since he assumed office. Enugu has indeed been enjoying extraordinary peace under his watch and this has engendered economic and social development in the state.
Accordingly, Ugwuanyi adopts all encompassing approach to governance where every sector is givien deserving attention in the interest of the state and its citicens. He believes in a multi facetted developmental agenda considering the social dynamics of our society unlike those who play to the gallery by concentrating on visible infrastructure to the detriment of other sectors critical to the survival of the people they govern. Apart from doing exceptionally well in the area of infrastructural provision, his investment in the social sector is unparalleled in the history of Enugu State. The records are there for all to see, especially the informed and ubiased minds. He is changing the narrative in Enugu State whereby rural dwellers can now feel a complete sense of belonging away from the past when they were almost forgotten. It is however abnormal for anybody to expect one government to solve all the societal problems in one fell swoop considering that government is a continuum. At this juncture, it is imperative to note that no one administration can end all the problems of the society.
In conlusion, It suffices to say that Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi, The Executive Governor of Enugu State, at 57 has bestrode the socio- political landscape and redefined governance in Enugu State taking into cognizance the political dynamics of modern Nigeria. His leadership style of employing diplomacy in approaching issues is legendary and arguably instrumental to his salient achievements so far in life. He is not given to noise making and that informed the reason most of his administration’s giant strides are under reported and difficult to assess in the court of public opinion. However, when the views of Harold Taylor that the roots of true achievement lie in the will to become the best one can become is taken into account, it will then be expedient for every good leader to act according to his nature just as Ugwuanyi is doing. He has indeed attained great heights at age 57 by his disposition of taking things easy, and being benevolent and skilful. Enugu is indeed lucky to have a man endowed with political sagacity of such magnitude as a governor.
Enugu is in the divine hands of God!