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Alleged Delisting of Enugu City from World 100 resilient Cities: I stand with Ugwuanyi



By Ujunwa Eze

Marcus Tullius Cicero, the Roman politician and lawyer, who served as consul in the year 63 BC., must have seen the future with his wise saying, thus, “As fire when thrown into water is cooled down and put out, so also a false accusation when brought against a man of the purest and holiest character, boils over and is at once dissipated, and vanishes and threats of heaven and sea, himself standing unmoved”.

This assertion is most appropriate to describe the morbid assertions ridiculing the leadership of Enugu State lead by His Excellency; Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi over the alleged delisting of Enugu City from among the world 100 resilient cities. In honesty, a few clicks of the keyboard show City is conspicuously missing in the list of the Foundation’s World 100 Resilient Cities.

Recall, the Enugu City was enlisted in 2014 by Rockefellers Foundation which bequeathed the State of certain statuses to source funding for its numerous projects.

First, instructively, the State has maintained a leading position in infrastructural development, in spite the meagre finance at its disposal. The present government has not only maintained the infrastructural development grids in the State, it has gone ahead to redefine grassroots participation in projects development.

So, when the Social Media Political Analysts begin to question: ‘What has the State government been doing?’ or ‘The State Government should better start explaining why the City was delisted by Rockefeller Foundation’, my usual answer is that you don’t shave a man’s head in his absence. Why do I say that? Rockefellers Foundation has not come out to give categorical or official report on reasons for removing the City from the map.

Secondly, I strongly disagree with critics in some quarters who argue that lack of infrastructural development was the main reason for this action. Only this December 2017, and in continuation of its massive infrastructure rehabilitation campaign in Enugu State, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration approved contracts for the reconstruction of various road projects, mainly in Enugu metropolis at the sum of over N1.4 billion.

The State Government identified Asata, Iva Valley, Maryland and G.R.A, among others, as areas where the projects will be executed even as the State Executive Council also approved the reconstruction of St. Michael Catholic Church road , Asata and the extension of the Timbershade-Lomalinda Estate road (phase one) to Ugwuaji to serve as another gateway to Enugu from Port Harcourt expressway as well as ensure free flow of traffic.

The roads are been considered because of the economic importance; while the award for the reconstruction of Iva Valley link road, beginning from Camp 1 of Old PRODA site to the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway.

The Council also awarded contract for the rehabilitation of the NBL/Aqua Rapha road section at 9th Mile Corner in the Udi LGA. Ekochin-Ekeani- New market road reconstruction is nearing completion.

Thirdly, one outstanding testimony working for this Government is its refusal to align with the league of phantom project awarding governments as evident in some States today! In the first 365 days in office, this government unveiled 100 projects running into billions of naira. And who is told these were possible at the time recession was knocking on the doors; oil revenue was depreciating, even the IGR wasn’t at the level expected because the purchasing powers of the citizens became depreciated too. The State didn’t even bother to increase taxes like their counterparts did.

Fourthly, I choose to stand with a Government that is humane, down to earth and grassroot development oriented that ornamented and/or sugar coated governance meshed in avarice for stealing.

Fifthly, and on education, the State is warming up to recruit additional 700 teachers for the Universal Basic Education Scheme to fill the gap created by deaths and retirements within the past one year. The State Government recruited 1,320 teachers in 2016 for primary schools in the 17 local government areas of the state.

To strength and ensure efficient service delivery through effective monitoring and control, N37.2m has been approved for purchase of instructional materials such as desktop computers, laptops, marker boards and chalks for primary schools in the 17 local councils.

Sixthly, since it introduced Enugu State Traders Empowerment Scheme, traders (in their hundreds) have benefited from this gesture. Interestingly, extension of the programme has been granted till next year with some modifications aimed at enhancing the goal of the scheme.

Seventhly, and on security, the Government recently approved the installation of 24-hour power supply through solar technology to all 45 divisional police stations in the State. The measure will definitely assist the police overcome the difficulties that officers experience, especially at night in the various stations.

The State Executive Council subsequently approved two types of power lighting systems for each of the 45 police stations in Enugu State, as follows: Simple but steady solar power supply units to be installed in police reception and charge offices and to be used for illumination, for charging phones, and for powering other essential working tools such as television sets and fans; and solar powered street lamps within the premises and approaches to be installed in each of the 45 police stations to help monitor movement into and out of their precincts.

As learnt, issues around environmental sanitation are been tackled head-on. Recently, there has been refuse overflow with the State capital littered with wastes. Actually, I expected the State Governor to sack the entire management of ESWAMA! Yes, it is either they work assiduously to address the heaps of stenches defacing the State or chicken out of the system.

While I was contemplating on this measure, news filtered in that Governor Ugwuanyi has taken the bull by the horn. The brightness of the State is restored and many who have come home this yuletide season can attest to this. The magic applied to rid the State of refuse is a topic for another day.

In essence, I want to call the good people of Enugu State to support this government so we can move forward. I believe that Rockefellers Foundation might have its reasons for delisting the State from the group; at the same time, we have to hold our peace till the State gets to the root of the matter.

It will do us no good in joining the bandwagon of ‘lie-dispensers’, propagandist and political opportunists who are hell-bent on wrestling power from the incumbent administration and thus install their poverty-sharing party on us. God forbid! Enugu State remains in the safe hands of God!

Ujunwa Eze, sends her articles from Ezeagu, Enugu State is on a critical mission; to objectively and honestly represent the voice of ‘grassrooters’ in International, Federal, State and Local Government fora; heralding the achievements of political and other leaders and investors alike, without discrimination. This daily, digital news publication platform serves as the leading source of up-to-date information on how people and events reflect on the global community. The pragmatic articles reflect on the life of the community people, covering news/current affairs, business, technology, culture and fashion, entertainment, sports, State, National and International issues that directly impact the locals.

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CBN confirms Emefiele’s Resignation As Cardoso Assumes Office



Olayemi Michael Cardoso who was recently nominated by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as the acting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN on Friday, September 22, 2023, pending his confirmation by the Senate. A statement released by the apex bank says Cardoso’s assumption follows the resignation of the immediate past governor of the bank, Godwin Emefiele,

The statement added that the Deputy-Governors-Designate of the bank have also assumed duty, in acting capacities, sequel to the formal resignation of Mr. Folashodun Shonubi, Mrs. Aishah Ahmad, Mr. Edward Lametek Adamu, and Dr. Kingsley Obiora as Deputy Governors of the CBN.

‘’Dr. Cardoso and his colleagues subscribed to the relevant oaths of office at a brief ceremony held at the Bank’s Head Office in Abuja, on Friday, September 2023, and have since settled down to the task of administering monetary and financial sector policies of the FederalGovernment.”

An Economic and Development Policy Advisor, Financial Sector Leader, former Chairman Citi Nigeria and Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget in Lagos, Cardoso brings over three decades of managerial experience on board. He is an alumnus of Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom, where he studied managerial and administrative studies. He also holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School, United States of America.

It will be recalled that Dr. Cardoso and his colleagues were appointed to their respective positions at the Bank on September 15, 2023, subject to their confirmation by the Senate.

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Federal Government To Stop Fuel Importation In February 2024 – Minister Of State For Petroleum Resources



The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Oil, Heineken Lokpobiri has said that the federal government will stop fuel importation in February 2024.

Speaking during a working visit to the Port Harcourt Refining Company in Eleme, Rivers State, Lokpobiri stated that Port Harcourt refinery would commence operations before the end of 2023, precisely in December, while Warri refinery which is also undergoing rehabilitation and will start refining petroleum products by February.

The Minister who expressed happiness with the level of work done at the Port Harcourt refinery, said the $1.5bn rehabilitation work will ensure that the facility refines up to 60,000 barrels of crude per day when completed by the end of 2023.

Lokpobiri said the essence of the inspection was to ensure the timely rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery and the completion of other refineries in the country at the scheduled dates.

The Minister said;

“The essence of today’s inspection is to come see the extent of work done at the Port Harcourt Refinery and we are happy with the level of work done here.

“From what we have seen here, we believe the project will be completed as scheduled. The Port Harcourt Refinery will come on board fully by the end of this year, 2023. Warri will start operating by the first quarter of next year and then, Kaduna will come on stream towards the end of next year.

“The Port Harcourt Refinery when completed is expected to produce about 54 to 60 barrels per day, while Warri refinery when it comes on stream by February, 2024 will produce 75 barrels of oil per day. If we add that to Dangote refinery we will be able to stop fuel importation and Nigeria can now have the benefits of full deregulation.

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CBN Suspended Governor, Godwin Emefiele Opts For Plea Bargain In Court Case



The suspended Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has reportedly opted for plea bargain.

The Nation reports that as part of the out-of-court settlement terms, Emefiele will forfeit any illicit funds and questionable assets traced to him. It is however not certain if any illicit fund has been linked to him.

The report adds that Emefiele will also step aside as the CBN governor to enable the government to appoint a substantive holder. It was also gathered that Emefiele and his relations will withdraw all matters in court.

On Wednesday, August 23, an Abuja Court struck out a suit filed by the embattled CBN governor challenging his detention. His siblings – George and Okanta – withdrew the two suits they filed against the Department of State Service (DSS) and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).

Some highly-placed Nigerians were said to have interceded for Emefiele to make government accept the plea bargain offer. The turn of event on his trial was said to have both “legal and political tones to avoid anything which may have negative impacts on the economic agenda of the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”

Emefiele is standing trial for alleged violation of the procurement law to the tune of N6.9 billion.

A source was quoted as saying Emefiele was worried about the likely dragging of his trial for years, as and members his family weighed all options and settled for plea bargain. They added that the Federal Government’s legal team and Emefiele’s lawyers were perfecting the terms of settlement.

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