Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, in continuation of his administration’s “One Community, One Project” scheme on Monday handed over cheques of N5 million each to another batch of 171 autonomous communities that have met the requirements for the release of the funds to carry out development projects of their choice.
The scheme is an extensive rural development initiative of the Ugwuanyi administration aimed at ensuring that development reaches the 450 autonomous communities in the state, with a dedicated sum of N10 million for each community to address her pressing and peculiar development needs.
Consequently, the State Executive Council approved the scheme and earmarked the sum of N2.25 billion for 450 autonomous communities in the state as the first tranche of the N10 million for every community for the execution of development projects of their choice. Recently, N5 million was disbursed to 118 autonomous communities that had then fulfilled the requirements for the release of the funds.
Last weekend, Gov. Ugwuanyi was at Ibagwa Nike, Enugu East Local Government Area to inaugurate projects executed by the community with the first tranche of N5million, which was earlier disbursed to 118 communities.
In a related development, Traditional Rulers from Udenu, the council area of Gov. Ugwuanyi, also on Monday paid a solidarity visit to the governor at the Government House, Enugu, where they reaffirmed their earlier endorsement for his re-election in 2019.
The Royal Fathers, who were accompanied by the Presidents-General of the Town Unions and political office holders, among other stakeholders, commended the governor for his peace and good governance initiatives as well as his giant development strides across the state, declaring: "We are proud and solidly behind you and Udenu LGA is also behind you".
Presenting the N5 million cheques to another batch of 171 communities, the governor commended “the communities that have so far used or are using their own funds to execute meaningful projects for the benefit of their people”.
He expressed confidence that the new set of communities that received their funds, would equally deploy the resources judiciously for the satisfaction of the yearnings of their people, adding that “the remaining communities will also receive their own funds” as soon as they meet the requirements.
Gov. Ugwuanyi, therefore, reiterated that the scheme was aimed at “promoting participatory democracy and extensive rural development in the state as well as the involvement of all communities in the implementation of government policies and programmes”.
While thanking the people of the state, who he described as “the true heroes of democracy” for their overwhelming support and cooperation, the governor reassured them of his administration’s commitment to entrenching good governance.
He said: “We will not relent in our efforts until our promise to take visible and sustainable development to all corners of the state is fully realized”.
Earlier in his remark, the state’s Accountant-General, Sir Paschal Okolie, stated that the government carefully designed laid down procedures for the judicious utilization of the money for the purpose it was meant for.
Sir Okolie disclosed that the state government in keeping with its hallmark of prudence, accountability and transparency, had set aside the N2.25 billion approved for 450 autonomous communities as the first tranche of N5 million for every community, saying: “The cash is ready for collection”.
Responding on behalf of other Traditional Rulers and the autonomous communities in the state, the Vice Chairman (Enugu North), Enugu State Traditional Rulers Council, Igwe R.N.S Ezeh, thanked Gov. Ugwuanyi for the people-oriented scheme, describing it as first of its kind in the history of the state.
He said that the Royal Fathers have endorsed the governor for second term, declaring that there is no vacancy in the lion building in 2019.
Gov. Ugwuanyi, while granting audience to his Udenu kinsmen, thanked the Royal Fathers for the endorsement, noting that such support coming from them was significant and inspiring.
The governor appreciated the people of Udenu LGA for the existing peace in the council area, which he disclosed "made it possible for us to achieve what we have achieved".
"Over 95% of Enugu State people support what we are doing as a government and we will not take such support for granted", Gov. Ugwuanyi said while urging his kinsmen to continue to remember him in prayers.