For efficient revenue utilization, infrastructure development and focus on the welfare of workers, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has been awarded the Most Efficient Governor of the Year by the Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria (BJAN).
The Award, which was conferred on Governor Ugwuanyi at the annual conference of the Association held at the Nike Lake Hotel and Resorts, Enugu recently, came on the heels accolades from across the country for the several milestones recorded by the administration in Enugu in the areas of infrastructure development and prompt salaries payment in the face of dwindling oil revenue which has challenged most other states in the country.
Commenting on the award, Governor Ugwuanyi thanked the journalists for the recognition and praised the media in Nigeria for their steadfastness in helping to strengthen governance through responsible reportage.
He expressed delight at being so recognized and expressed his commitment to sustaining the development of Enugu State and its people through massive infrastructure development as critical enabler for economic development.
“I must appreciate the thoughts and efforts behind this honour. Since we assumed office on May 29, 2017, our team has challenged ourselves with the task of improving the lot of the state with the intention of leaving it better than we found it when our term is ended. It has not been easy, given the dire economic circumstances we found ourselves in after assuming office. But we realized that we cannot afford to betray the confidence reposed on us by the people by giving excuses. We concluded that as tough as the circumstances might be, with prudence and prioritization, we could achieve a whole lot,” the Governor said.
He expressed the determination of his administration to sustain the infrastructure development in the state to ensure that all sections of the state are opened up for the exploitation of the economic potentials that he hopes will empower the people, adding that with the peaceful atmosphere in the state, there are ample opportunities for improved revenue and foreign investment that will further signpost Enugu as one of the most prosperous in the country.
Ugwuanyi also used the opportunity to praise journalists, who he recognized, have defied the challenging environments under which they work to contribute to national development called on them to continue to place professionalism and truth as prime considerations in the discharge of their duties.
Giving details on why Governor Ugwuanyi was selected for the award, Chairman, Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria, Mr Goddie Ofose said a careful review of the performance of all the governors of the 36 states in Nigeria showed that the Enugu Governor was outstanding in the areas of infrastructure development. He pointed out that given the resources available to the state when compared to others, Governor Ugwuanyi has performed above peers and has lifted the state in many areas.
“We have noted the massive infrastructure development taking place in Enugu. We have also noted the attention to the welfare of workers and observed that Enugu, although not an oil producing state, has not owed workers’ salaries. The accolades from all over the country that followed the efficient utilization of the Paris Fund refund by the government was also a critical factor that earned the award for the governor. It was also important that in the face of all those commendable milestones, Enugu has risen from the sad story of the Fulani herdsmen attack of early 2016 to become one of the most peaceful states in the country,” Mr Ofose stated.
He added that the award has been instituted to encourage responsive governance as a means of deepening the values of democracy and encouraging governors and political leaders towards creatively and responsively managing the affairs and resources of the states they govern for the good of the people.