Ebonyi Commissioner Hails Umahi Multi Facet Achievements As Christmas Approaches
By Chinwe Imo-Eze Onwosi
Commissioner For Trade and Investment, Barr Chioma Jennifer Nweze, has hailed Umahi for his achievements in the state as year 2021 rounds up.
Barr. Nweze said Engr. Umahi whose state receives least federal allocation but has developed and transformed all facet of Ebonyi.
The commissioner highlighted achievements of the state governor while addressing newsmen at Ochudo centenary city, Abakaliki, Ebonyi state capital.
The Trade and Investment Commissioner who noted that the achievements are enough to celebrate Christmas in ecstasy as she went down memory lane on the landmark projects of the state governor and pointed out that Governor Umahi would do well if voted as president come 2023.
She pointed out that “The landscapes have been so utterly transformed in so little time as the slice of South Eastern Nigeria called Ebonyi state. The terrain itself, until half a decade ago, was mocked as the dust of the nation. Visitors who dared venture into it ended up with a bitter taste in their mouth. The Abakaliki I knew could not even boast of one standard tarred road. The state was lying prostrate in utter ruins. Then came the Umahi magic in 2015.
“Governor David Umahi, who was proclaimed winner of the April 11, 2015 governorship race by INEC and subsequently sworn in in May, as third civilian governor of the state, was instantly confronted with raw wounds of underdevelopment across the state. Every sector of the state’s economy was yearning for equal attention and nourishment.
She further emphasized that despite the earlier national recession that greeted the Umahi led government, the Governor never relent in his infrastructural development with continuous initiation of various road network in every communities in the state.
“Sadly, the governor upon assumption of office inherited the wreckage of what proved to be the worst global recession since the 1930s. The world’s economy was plunging like a runaway bobsled. But Umahi never despaired as he immediately swung into action to first redeem the battered status of Abakaliki as a state capital; constructing and reconstructing roads, opening up suburbs and improving sanitation. For the first time in the history of the state, glamorous flyovers and water fountains were seen springing up on daily basis as if they were thrown down from heaven.
“Avalanche of major road projects were awarded across the senatorial zones of the state without minding whether they were federal or state roads: Amasiri-Okposi/Uburu road, Amasiri-Amangwu/Owutu Edda road, HillTop-Agbaja-Nwofe road, Nkwoagu-FUNAI-Ndufu Echara Ikwo road, Nkalagu-NIGERCEM-Umuhuali road, Abaomege-Ukawu-Ugwulanwu/Okposi road, to mention but a few. Quality work resumed in a swoop, dotting all parts of the state so much that Ebonyi has since then, remained a huge construction site.
The Trade and Investment Commissioner,Barr Nweze hinted that the beauty of the urban streets is a clear evidence of the transformation prowess of the divine administration of the state Governor.
“Since July 2015 till date, several streets and locations across the state have been agog with activities. For the first time in living memory, the dust symbol of Abakaliki vanished. It is a wonder that people can now ply through the old meat market axis and nod their head in contentment.
“Within few months of his ascension to power in 2015, over 50% of urban roads were remodelled and asphalted with concrete pavements. Part of the success story in road infrastructure included, Water works road, Ogoja-Onuebonyi-Rice Mill Road, Gunning Road, Afikpo road, New market road, Nkaliki- EBBC-EBHA-Abakaliki LGA road and the famous Hossana park.
“Construction of key city roads within the Abakaliki metropolis flew with astonishing speed, as attention was equally given to Hossana street, Jos, Nwodo, Mbieri, Awolowo, Nsugbe and Uga streets, as well as Ezza road, Hausa quarters, Udemezue street, just to mention a few. In the rural areas, the government was equally working on construction of 15 kilometers of road per local government.
She, however, enumerated the economic importance of the street lights stretched from Onuebonyi junction to Oruoke Onuoha, and described them as the common gift for entire Ebonyians.
“The year 2015 also came wrapped in rainbows for fun seekers and night crawlers with the amazing return of night life in the state capital as street lights were seen adorning the roads within and outside the capital city.
“Before now, criminals had taken advantage of the darkness in Abakaliki town to unleash terror on law-abiding residents. There were waves of armed robbery cases and women dared not venture out of their homes once it was dark for fear of rapists. For a while, criminals virtually laid siege to Abakaliki, even carving out “territories” from part of the city with audacity. This affected nightlife as many people had to hurry home before darkness fell. The introduction of streetlights not only expelled these shady elements from the state, it also opened the floodgates of a city lifestyle that was hitherto mission inconceivable in Abakaliki.
Inspite of these far-reaching milestones, Governor Umahi was still poised to use all the tools in his leadership kit to cause more significant changes.
She appreciated the encompassing feat of the state governor in the area of agriculture, noting that the one man, one hectare policy would remain a milestone in the history of agro business in the state.
“In August, 2015, the Governor convoked a colloquium on Agriculture to determine areas the state has comparative advantage and to collate the opinions of stakeholders regarding the three pronged policy thrust of the government on Agriculture, which are Mechanization of agriculture, Commercialization of agriculture and Professionalization of agriculture; which translated into the famous one-man, one-hectare programme of the state Government. The colloquium later birthed a brand new agricultural revolution policy drafted for consideration by the Executive Council as well as the Ebonyi State Rice Revolution Strategy of 2017 which has shaped various agricultural interventions.
“Governor Umahi also rolled up his sleeves to beat the monstrous giant of economic recession by instituting a 13th month salary package for workers in the state in the midst of the global crunch. Salaries were paid before 20th of every month while those of teachers were paid before the 15th of every month.
While other governors were still struggling to establish an identity in 2015, Chief Umahi had swung into action to build formidable structures in all the nooks and crannies of the state. His Divine Mandate platform, a vehicle which has driven his Davidic mission went about doing good and in no time, became a movement that won many coverts.
The governor’s 2015 successful intervention mission had set the stage for the blockbuster projects that have kept all eyes riveted to Ebonyi state. His rock-solid performance has validated the burst of enthusiasm that greeted his ascension to power. Ebonyi is now the infrastructural showcase of South East region. And 2015 was the momentous year the historic story of the New Abakaliki began” she added