One good "term" deserves another, so they say in Nigerian politics. And this is why Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi made history in 2019 as he won his second term bid with one of the highest margins ever recorded in the history of governorship elections.
The governor who ran on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled a total of 449, 935 to defeat his closest rival, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Sen. Ayogu Eze who polled a total of 10, 423.
Mid-way into his second term, the Enugu state governor, fondly known as ‘Gburugburu’, has not relented in his unrivalled bid to take the southeast state enviable heights; the heights dreamed by the state's founding fathers.
As Governor Ugwuanyi clocked 57 years of age on Saturday, March 20, it is apt to highlight some of the major achievements recorded by the man who has "carved an enviable niche for himself as an outstanding leader with a unique governance philosophy," as documented by Louis Amoke, the Enugu governor's media aide.
Assuming the mantle of Enugu's leadership in 2015, Governor Ugwuanyi faced headlong the state's economic challenges.
Under his watch, Enugu is now one of the states that depend the least on the monthly federal allocations. In other words, Enugu, which has no oil, can survive without the allocations from the federal government!
Also, Governor Ugwuanyi's sheer determination to alleviate the sufferings of the people and make life more meaningful for them, against all odds, gave birth to his administration’s rural development policy aimed at taking democracy dividends to the doorsteps of the rural dwellers.
Focused on connecting the rural dwellers with the opportunities in the urban centres and vice versa, the Ugwuanyi administration has invested huge resources in road infrastructure, covering about 680km, largely concentrated in the rural areas.
Under Governor Ugwuanyi’s watch, Enugu was also rated as the second most advanced state in Nigeria, on the Ease of Doing Business by the World Bank Group; one of the only three states out of the 36 states of the federation that have fulfilled obligations to their workers (BudgIT).
Enugu is also among the seven states that are solvent with an impressive over 30 percent Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to fund additional economic activities (Economic Confidential magazine verdict).
While other states are having an endless battle with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) as they struggle to implement the new N30,000 new minimum wage, Enugu stands tall among the few states that have commenced the payment.
Little wonder Governor Ugwuanyi was widely adjudged as one of the most labour-friendly governors in Nigeria.
His administration’s prompt and regular payment of workers’ salaries and retirees’ pensions, among other incentives, is highly commendable.
To ease the perenially frustrating traffic gridlock at Abakpa Nike/T-Junction road, the Ugwuanyi-led government has commenced the construction of the state’s first flyover bridge, a landmark project, in the area.
In the health sector, the Ugwuanyi administration has constructed and renovated district hospitals and health centres in the state.
It has massively rehabilitated and transformed the former Colliery Hospital Enugu, with the construction of new structures, which is now designated as the Enugu State Infectious Disease Hospital, for isolation and treatment of patients with infectious diseases.
Ugwuanyi’s administration is presently constructing multi-billion naira Specialist Hospital and College of Medicine blocks for the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Teaching Hospital, Igbo-Eno, Enugu North Senatorial District.
The education sector is not left out. Besides recruiting over 5,000 primary and secondary school teachers, Ugwuanyi’s administration has constructed, renovated and equipped 1,205 classroom blocks and other school projects under ENSUBEB.
It procured and distributed over 50,000 classroom furniture and other learning tools for primary school children and their teachers.
Under the Post Primary Schools Management Board (PPSMB), the state government supplied and installed computers to 200 secondary schools and science equipment to 151 secondary schools; constructed and renovated classroom blocks, offices and hostels, among others. The story is the same in the state-owned tertiary institutions.
Indeed, Governor Ugwuanyi is on the mission to ensure the lofty dreams of the founding fathers of Enugu state become a reality under his watch.