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Assessing Gov. Mbah’s ‘Distruptive Development Agenda’ In Enugu

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File Photo: Enugu State Governor, H. E. Dr Peter Mbah

Shortly after assumption of office on Monday, May 29, 2023, Governor Peter Ndubuisi Mbah left no one in doubt about his inclusive development outline which has as its motivation, the philosophy of leaving “No sector of the state economy behind and to reach those behind first”.

Ever since then, the Governor has been pushing this holistic and uncommon development philosophy frontally through massive infrastructural and value re-orientation programme which he carefully encapsulated as “Distruptive Development Agenda”.

At the onset of this rather humongous development revolution, some pessimistic minds wondered how he will be able to climb the mountain in-view of the cloudy and shaky economic fortunes of the country which unfortunately has reduced the value of money available to the government to effectively carry out its statutory functions.

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Another area highlighted by doubting minds is the overwhelming decay in physical and social infrastructure in the state that resulted from years of neglect.

However, as leader that is poised for action and ready to battle all kinds of wind and wave, the Governor rolled up his sleeves and went straight to work without minding the distracting observations, knowing full well that “time and tidy wait for no one”.

Security is key to any development initiative. Aware of this fact, the Governor chose to first address the hydra-headed security challenges confronting Enugu State and its citizens. He attacked and subdued to the barest level the twin problems of kidnapping for ransom and herders invasion of farmlands as well as the monstrous Monday sit-at-home order issued by non-state actors and exploited by gangs of hoodlums that unleashed unimaginable terror on innocent citizens of the state and did harm to the economy.

Today, unlike in the past, government and private business concerns that normally close from dawn to dusk on Mondays in Enugu state now open freely for business without fear or any kind of security threat.

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This uncommon feat by Governor Mbah has attracted numerous recognitions to him from different revered quarters including awards by reputable media houses in Nigeria.

Aside this, the Governor recently launched a twenty billion naira Enugu state security trust fund designed to provide continually logistic, financial and material support to security agencies in the state and further motivate them to perform more creditably.

Governor Mbah in keeping with his campaign promise to provide water to Ndi Enugu within 180 days in office, lifted the burden and stress of daily search for clean and drinkable water from the over loaded shoulders of residents of Enugu metropolis. The fulfillment of the promise came to pass when he commissioned the mega Enugu water scheme at 9th mile Enugu.

Progressively, the feat has reduced significantly, the early morning and evening sights of people scrambling for water for domestic and other purposes in some private water distribution and selling points in Enugu as many of the residents can now access water easily from public water supply system.

This water achievement registered at a record time has been described in different fora by political pundits and analysts as unprecedented and remarkable in the history of democratic governance in Nigeria.

It is expected that all the outstanding issues in the state water supply programme will be addressed in no distant time to enable more of the people to  benefit happily from this democratic legacy.

In modern society, all forward looking and innovative leaders agree that education plays pivotal role in moulding and shaping the mind of the people especially the young ones to solve myraids of development problems that challenge humanity.

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Governor Mbah, being one of such personalities who fully understands that not much development can be achieved in today’s world without sound and qualitative education with focus on science and technology for the citizens, innovatively crafted the “SMART SCHOOL PROGRAMME” for the state.

The educational programme is designed to strategically position Enugu state for global academic competition in the state and produce human resource that can confidently challenge the best from any part of the world in the years ahead. In this programme, children would be born into technology, computer knowledge, artificial intelligence etc. which their peers before now were not privy to such opportunities.

Already, remarkable progress has been made in the actualisation of the project such that the Vice President, Sen. Kashim Shettima, during the recent launch of Light Up South East Initiative in Enugu, made encouraging comments about the programme with an assurance that he looked forward to returning to the state to inaugurate it on behalf of the President. Certainly, this is a milestone record for Enugu State government and its citizens!

The government of Peter Mbah has also placed a remarkable imprint in the transport sector. Renowned economists and development experts argue that good transport system and infrastructure are essential engines for sustainable economic development. This is apparently because of the prime positions they hold in timely and prompt delivery of goods and services.

Conscious of this proposition and the ingrained desire to build the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Enugu State to $40b mark and make the state one of the three top best states in Nigeria, Governor Mbah has been investing massively in road rehabilitation and construction with the hope of opening up the economic and business space in the state. This shall essentially  activate production and make it possible to reach areas especially high agricultural potential communities. Marketing of produce becomes an easy affair for farmers.

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The roads projects are many; which led some commentators to say that Enugu has been converted to one huge construction site. Many of the road projects initiated by government are had been completed or currently at various stages of completion.

With the economic situation in the country today and scarcity of food items that has resulted in evident hunger in the land,  the Governor Peter Mbah administration has taken bold steps to change the narrative in food production and commercial agriculture in Nigeria with the securing of hectares of land for aggressive agricultural activities from different communities in the state.

The government envisages that the programme will not only increase food production for local consumption but for export, as a way of economic deversificaton for the country and boosting its earning of foreign currency.

It will also create employment opportunities for youths especially those with interest in agriculture and, as a result,  end restlessness among some of them,

For Governor Mbah, the centre points of his administration resolves around the welfare of the people, including the all-round prosperity, partnership with reputable private sector to fasttrack the economic growth of the state and its social stability, as well as deliberate promotion of peaceful co-existence in the nooks and crannies of the state.

These development pillars are being pursued by the government because it delivers strongly in the Igbo axiom “Igwebuike” , which means _there is strength in  unity_.

Author: Ugwuona Kingsley Chikodili
Technical Assistant to the Hon. Commissioner for Information and Communication, Enugu State.

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