Enugu: Ugwuanyi sets new agenda for robust economic growth

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…Tasks key policy makers on fresh development plan

…As UNICEF commends his initiative

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has disclosed his administration’s plan to adopt new strategies towards stepping up actions that would meet the developmental needs of the people of the state.

Gov. Ugwuanyi stated that his administration has in the last three years raised the bar in both infrastructural and social development, which has left indelible marks on the citizens of the state, as well as entrenched peace, political stability and good governance. He said that these were actualized through boosting of the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) base.

The governor, who spoke during a one-day retreat for all key policy makers of the state organized by UNICEF in partnership with the state government pointed out that the programme was “designed to review the Policy Thrusts of Sectors in Enugu State” with a view to guiding the development of an Economic Blueprint and Growth Plan for the second tenure of his administration.

He explained that “This Growth Plan is indeed, a vision for the future of Enugu State, as it will state what we intend to achieve in the next 4 to 5 years”, and appreciated members of the state’s Economic Advisory Committee for facilitating the retreat and for the selfless service they have continued to render to his administration in the form of advice.

Speaking, the representative of UNICEF, Mrs. Zuby Okolo, commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for his administration’s commitment to the rapid socio-economic development of Enugu State, saying that the initiative will “address strong development issues in the state”.

Gov. Ugwuanyi further explained that his administration has in the past three years developed and reviewed the state’s Medium Term Implementation Plan (MTIP) and Sector Plans to ensure proper alignment of policies and budget, stating that the government “has decided to develop a growth plan that will sustain our efforts towards making Enugu State one of the four most economically and self-sufficient states in Nigeria”.

According to him, “We have boosted the IGR base to provide more funds for capital development in the state; built and rehabilitated key infrastructure; empowered our youth and women; secured lives and property of our people to ensure peace and political stability; improved institutions and systems for quality service delivery; secured the future of our children; fought against social discrimination and corruption as well as prudently managed the lean resources of the state”.

Gov. Ugwuanyi, who expressed gratitude that “God has truly been wonderful to us”, revealed that the new development plans will in addition to what have been achieved, focus on poverty reduction/wealth creation; healthy and productive citizens; highly educated and skilled workforce; youth empowerment and employment”.

Others include, “urban/city renewal/upgrade; peace and security; citizens with the right attitudes, aptitudes and values; responsive, inclusive and accountable governance and economic /fiscal expansion”.

To achieve the above goals, the governor disclosed that his administration intends to adopt the strategies of “improving urban/rural infrastructure; upgrading more rural communities to urban status; increasing agricultural productivity; making Enugu State an investment destination; promoting early childhood education; promoting science, technical and vocational education”.

The strategies also include, “promoting effective waste management/renewable energy; developing a robust health system; promoting housing development and urban planning; improving institutions and systems for good governance; increasing investment through PPP for expanding the IGR base of the state, and promoting technology based courses in our Tertiary schools”, among others.

While expressing confidence that his administration will achieve the goals, since it has placed Enugu State in the hands of God, Gov. Ugwuanyi charged the key policy players, such as members of the State Executive Council; Permanent Secretaries; Heads of state’s Agencies and Institutions, to bring to bear their expertise and experience towards the actualization of the laudable programme to meet the emerging needs of the people of the state.

Other speakers at the event, namely the Chairman of the Enugu State Economic Advisory Committee, Prof. Monsignor Obiora Ike and a member of the Committee, Chief Loretta Aniagolu, also emphasized the significance of a new robust economic development blueprint for the governor’s second term in office.

They equally commended the governor for his outstanding achievements in office so far and urged the participants to take advantage of the retreat to make meaningful contributions towards the rapid growth and development of the state.

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