The tasks before Gov Ugwuanyi
SIR: Having stepped into Enugu State’s cockpit of power, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi needs to hit the ground running. The challenges awaiting him are enormous, just as the expectations of the people are high. The governor will be under considerable pressure to deliver on his campaign promises. His ability to rise above partisan politics to appoint a cabinet of result-oriented, competent hands who would help him drive development process would be a veritable yardstick for measuring his determination to succeed. He should be wary of surrounding himself with a coterie of courtiers who often advise wrongly, based on their selfish interests. He has to work hard to, among other things, prove his critics (who insisted that his candidacy was driven by sentiments rather than reason, and that he had done nothing on record to support his aspiration) wrong.
During his massive campaigns, the governor met the people in their diversities. He came across dejection and abject poverty. He saw abundant human and natural resources. He should harness these potentialities for the benefit of the people.
On their part, Ndi-Enugu having endorsed former governor Chime’s work by an overwhelming majority, also have abiding faith in the four-point agenda – the vision and governance philosophy enunciated by Chime, which Governor Ugwuanyi has also adopted as his mantra: Continuity and Consolidation – building upon the gains of the four-point agenda.
Governor Ugwuanyi should focus on programmes to boost agricultural production and processing by establishing large demonstration farms in each of the 17 local councils in the state. Government can buy many tractors that would be made available for hire at subsidised rates to farmers. Rural development (electrification et al), establishment of clusters of cottage industries in local councils and the revamping of some abandoned ones should be part of the strategy. At least one industry should be planned for each of the 17 councils; and ongoing ones should be completed.
The abject poverty in our rural areas and the visible under-development cannot but reveal the level of mismanagement in most of our local councils. If Ugwuanyi can make meaningful progress and without delay carry out reforms in the local government system with a view to plugging financial wastes and restoring discipline, many of the requests during the electioneering will benefit from the ripple effect of macro economic growth and development. It will create new jobs, provide opportunities for people to engage in small scale businesses and make agriculture more attractive for job seekers. This is without prejudice to the reconciliation among the people in view of the political crisis engendered by the struggle for power during the last general election. The governor may do well to promote greater transparency in the handling of government business. This is more so, where limited resources can impede the ability of the governor to meet all his promises. Here, prudence and the need to set priorities are highly required. Luckily, Governor Ugwuanyi is no stranger to arduous challenges. As chairman of House Committee on Maritime, he has shown through commitment, prudence and social engineering his capacity to excel in whatever task he is assigned.
Ugwuanyi would make a difference if he brings his private sector initiative, the same passion he has applied in overseeing the maritime these years, to bear on the affairs of Enugu State.
Charles Anekwe, Nsukka, Enugu State