A GLIMPSE OF ENUGU’S PROGRESS: ACCESSING GOVERNOR PETER MBA’S FIRST 100 DAYS IN OFFICE
BY EMMANUEL CHIDERA AMOKE
Yesterday being the 6th of September marked the first 100 days of Governor Peter Mba’s administration in Enugu State. So far, we have witnessed the administration’s activities and her substantial strides towards improving the lives of Enugu’s citizens. However, it has not been without its fair share of controversies and challenges. Let’s take a closer look at some of the achievements and setbacks during this crucial period.
One of the foremost issues tackled by the new administration was the issue of insecurity, particularly the proscription of the Monday Sit-at-Home order. The government demonstrated commitment to eradicating this from the state, stating how much it stunted the state’s economic growth. This proscription which did not come without criticisms has since led to significant progress in restoring normalcy within the state.
To reinforce security, partnerships with various security forces, including the Nigeria Police and the Army, were established. The administration had also launched the Distress Response Squad, alongside the procurement of new vehicles. This is expected to enhance security mobility. Furthermore, in his “100-Days-in-Office” Speech, the governor revealed his plans to introduce a comprehensive CCTV camera network. Through this, he plans to ensure 24/7 surveillance across the state.
The Energy Sector
A landmark achievement within the first 100 days was the signing of the Enugu State Power Law. This law aligns with the Electricity Act of 2023, granting the state regulatory power to establish an Enugu State Electricity Market. This initiative, complete with a well-structured market design and active participants, is aimed at attracting investors and advancing power generation and distribution throughout the state. This is a critical step towards industrialization because, “there can not be a sustainable industry without affordable power supply “
Promoting Efficiency and Transparency
Efforts to increase revenue generation and improve government efficiency are well in motion. The government has so far undertaken a comprehensive review of operational processes in critical MDAs and begun automating key functions. This includes an AI-powered process to generate Certificates of Occupancy within 48 hours, enhancing land transaction revenues. Also, the administration has set up an ultra-modern and intelligent government website which currently houses the data of at least 11 MDAs.
Attracting Private Capital
Governor Mba delivered on his promise to convene an investors’ roundtable within his first 100 days in office, drawing global investors and development partners. Notably, this gathering, which occurred on September 1, enjoyed the participation of esteemed institutions like AfDB, AFREXIM, FCDO, and the World Bank signifying the administration’s commitment to attracting private capital. Efforts to rejuvenate relationships with key development partners like the World Bank and AFD have started paying off. Currently, it has paved the way for fresh funding opportunities aimed at improving agriculture, livestock productivity and boosting the economic capacity of women within the state.
The administration’s dedication to the agricultural sector’s growth is evident with the formation of the Enugu State Agricultural Land Bank. This initiative aims to set aside 300,000 hectares of land for agricultural use. It is significant to note that it is already in progress in her partnership with willing communities. Additionally, the Cassava to Ethanol program has commenced in several areas. A partnership with Biosources & Technologies Limited aimed at boosting the bio-economy sector.
Fostering Fiscal Synergy Between all Tiers of Government
In a recent statement by the SSG of the state, the administration disclosed its plan to augment Local Government Areas’ capital projects by a substantial 60%. This is aimed at facilitating grassroot development across the state.
Prioritizing Pension and Gratuity Payments
In his first one hundred days in office, the governor has addressed outstanding pension and gratuity payments while revising pensions and gratuities for local government workers and primary school teachers. Plans to adopt the Contributory Pension Scheme are also in motion.
Improving Waste Management
Taking into account past criticisms of waste management in the previous administration, Governor Mba has revitalized the Waste Management Agency (ESWAMA) to tackle waste disposal issues. Substantial progress has been made in clearing major collections of uncleared refuse across various parts of the state. Specialized refuse compactor trucks have also been introduced to ensure that efficient waste removal is sustained.
Reviving Rangers International FC
In a bid to touch every area lacking efficiency, the administration’s efforts to reinstate Rangers International FC’s home ground at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, marked by the re-laying of the playing surface, are nearing completion.
Challenges and Controversies
However, it’s important to note that these achievements have not come without challenges. The administration had initiated a forceful clampdown on protesters during the administration’s fight against the Monday Sit-at-Home order. That led to injuries and loss of lives, raising concerns. The government faced criticism during these times, proof that progress is often accompanied by staunch challenges.
In conclusion, the first 100 days of His excellency Governor Peter Mba’s administration in Enugu State have been marked by significant achievements and a vision for the future. While challenges have arisen, his commitment to improving the lives of the people and driving economic growth has been quite remarkable.
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