2023: Ekweremadu Vows To Transform Enugu

Former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has unveiled a master plan on how he hopes to transform Enugu State if elected governor of the State in 2023.

Ekweremadu spoke in Enugu at the weekend during a consultative meeting with the media and unveiling of “My Agenda: A Pathway to Building a New Enugu State”,

He, however, noted that although it was the first time he would be giving details of his agenda for Enugu, the event was “not a governorship declaration event or any declaration for that matter, but only one of our several ongoing consultations with various critical sections of the society”.

The lawmaker, who recently beat 21 other governorship hopefuls to emerge winner of an opinion poll on the Enugu governorship conducted by Afri Forecasts, said time was ripe for him to avail Enugu of the knowledge, experience, and contacts he had acquired over the years in order to transform the State.

“Enugu State gave me huge opportunities to serve as pioneer Council Chairman of Aninri Local Government Area, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Secretary to the State Government, five-term Senator, three-term Deputy President of the Senate, Deputy Speaker and Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament. I have served on a number of important committees and in several global positions.

“In the course of this journey, I have met world leaders, business leaders, and made friends in both the private and public sectors of the national and global economies. I have had the opportunity to understand how states and nations are transformed. A good example is a city like Dubai, the UAE, which was a desert, but has now become the world most digitalised city and a global investment hub. I have an insight into the economic transformation taking place in Rwanda and Ghana.

“As a Senator, I worked hard to put forward necessary bills and motions on constitutional amendments, security, education, economy, health and electoral reform, that have impacted and are still impacting positively on the well-being of our people. I have initiated and completed many life-changing projects in our communities, beyond my constituency, in the very important areas of water, road, educational infrastructure, health, power, and many more.

“I always wish I could do more. I have the will, but the means are limited. I am limited to what I could mobilise as a legislator in developmental projects and programmes. At this point, therefore, I believe it is time to focus on Enugu State and Enugu people without whom I would not be who and what I am today. The governorship of Enugu State will offer me a good platform to serve our dear state more and better.

“If elected Governor, I will utilise all the experience, friendship, partnership, and global contact acquired over the years to transform Enugu State to a model state”, he said.

He pledged to address the problems of industrialisation, road infrastructure, perennial water scarcity in Enugu, insecurity, youth unemployment, among others.

“We will build at least two industries in each of the 17 local government in four years.

“We will engender One Local government One Product according to comparative advantages.

“Regarding roads, we will build super highways from Enugu city to Ebonyi, Abia, Benue, and Anambra borders. We will construct a ring road to connect all local government areas in Enugu State.

“We reduce youth unemployment by 70% in four years.

“We will create jobs for our young men and women in tourism, agriculture, industry, ICT, etc.

“We create enabling environment for the youth to thrive in the private sector and also mainstream our young men and women in governance.

“On insecurity, we will provide digital security network to secure our citizens and residents throughout Enugu State.

“We will set up an efficient state-funded security outfit that can respond to an emergency in 10 minutes, create Enugu State Identity Database as well as Security and Public Safety Coordination Centre”, he stated.

The senator further unveiled plans to end the perennial water scarcity in the Enugu city and environ, by restoring pipe borne water by build dams and rehabilitate existing water sources, pipelines.

On good governance, he said: ”We will introduce an annual State of the State address, ensure open and consultative governance, independent and efficient legislature and judiciary, 24/7 service provision through a well-designed e-government. Importantly, our government will ensure non-interference with local government funds.

“We will ensure prompt payment of salaries and retirement benefits. We will ensure equal treatment to all”.

Ekweremadu unveiled plans to ensure statewide electricity coverage, extension of electricity supply to every possible home and restore vandalised lines, security of electricity lines and infrastructure going forward, building of large-scale renewable energy and mini grids for our remote communities.

On education sector, he said public primary and secondary schools would be consolidated, while the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) would be upgraded to a degree awarding institution with an Ivy League status.

Although the IMT has accredited degree courses, it only runs them in conjunction with the University of Nigeria Nsukka, as the awarding institution.

On tourism, he said beside building recreational facilities and hotels, “Government will consciously organise events that will bring people to Enugu State all year round; Enugu will be built into a medical tourist centre where people from far and near will be encouraged to seek medicare in Enugu State at our proposed Health City”.

In the area of agriculture, he unveiled plans to promote the production of crops of high demand in the international market, provide lifestyle agriculture to make farming attractive to the young people, and create access to funds for farmers.

“We will work to see to the local production of farm inputs like fertilisers and chemicals, he added.

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