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Government Lifestyle Politics

Gburugburu at 58: The achievements of a Resource Manager

Nigeria has witnessed social and economic recessions over the past decade, and Enugu, one of its thirty-six states has consequently been affected. However, Enugu State hasn’t been any the worse for it, since she has been blessed with a governor who manages resources, turning crises into opportunities. The achievements of this resource manager will be listed in this article, celebrating his life which has been dedicated to service since his inauguration as governor of Enugu State.

The term, ‘manager of resources’ is not being used to refer to Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for the first time. As reported by Premium Times in March 2018, Okwesilieze Nwodo, the former, governor of old Enugu State has eulogized Gov. Ugwuanyi, and based on his leadership skills described him as a ‘fantastic manager’ of the state’s resources to change the course of his people’s living. This testimony has not only been given by the former governor of old Enugu State but it has been noted that Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, the Spiritual Director of AMEN has given a similar testimony about the governor, saying that ‘Enugu has never had a kind-hearted leader like Ugwuanyi.’ Concerning this also, the National President of the Messengers of Peace Foundation, Dr. Sulaiman Adejoh conferred the award of the ‘Most Peaceful Governor in Nigeria’ on Governor Ugwuanyi for his efforts in ensuring that ‘there is calmness in Enugu State and Nigeria by extension.’ These testimonies and the conferment are well-deserving as well as well-earned when we look into the achievements of the governor.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, a Roman statesman, philosopher, and lawyer who made notable contributions to Roman politics stated that the ‘safety of the people shall be the highest law.’ This postulation of his implies that the highest priority of a good leader lies in their ability to keep the people safe irrespective of the circumstances. Effective practice of democracy is observed in the decisions taken by the governor, whereby it is noted that the people are put first above every other factor. The problem of insecurity has plagued the country, Nigeria, and yet despite the economic recessions and instabilities over the years, a good part of the budget has been set aside to ensure peace and security. An instance is recalled in 2020 when there was a collision between Igbos and Hausas in Nsukka as a result of a misunderstanding. Judging by the history of violent disagreement between the two tribes, this misunderstanding would have led to a bloody clash had the governor not taken strategic steps to quickly compensate the casualties for their loss, rebuilding the vandalized Suya store at University Market Road, Nsukka as well as the mosque at Barracks.

 Another crisis notable mentioned that occurred in 2020 was COVID-19. This plague affected the world’s sociopolitical and economic affairs greatly, yet this governor found a way to manage the resources, ensuring that the workers were paid their salary throughout the period when a seat at home policies was being observed. He also took the necessary measures during this period, employing the services of the police to ensure that the virus didn’t spread like wildfire. 

In an article written by Irene Blinks which was published on Nigerian News on 7th June 2021, the governor listed some milestone achievements he had made within 6 years of his stay in office, and it is observed that these achievements spread across diverse areas of life, from the social to economic aspects. Some of these include: Up to date consistency in the payment of the new ₦30,000 minimum wage and payment on or before the 23rd of every month, implementation of 1,355 projects of various primary and secondary schools in Enugu, rehabilitation of facilities at Ajali and Opi River Water Supply Scheme, ongoing first state Flyover Bridge Project at T-junction, etc. Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s ability to give attention to diverse areas could be attributed to his nickname, ‘Gburugburu’ which eulogizes him as an all-rounder.

Another proof of this nature of his is noted in his constant efforts to address the problems of both the urban and rural areas, ensuring that he bridges the gap between these two, as well as those of the upper and lower classes. Apart from the construction and rehabilitation of roads like Ikem-Neke-Mbu which has been linked to the Udenu local government, he has also gone ahead to begin a project of housing estates that would help salary-earning civil servants fulfill their dreams of being homeowners. Recently, news of the aesthetic stadium being constructed in Nsukka made the headline for weeks, and in addition to that, it was reported by the Vanguard that Enugu State Government has announced its plans to establish a second medical school in Nsukka, seeing the impossibility of extending Parklane to the town. This news has been well-received by all, for it would give medical students doing their internship programs the opportunity to have a place to practice, just as it would reduce the problem of poor medical services in Nsukka. If this project is pushed ahead, and the right technology and medical personnel are invested in it, it would go a long way to maintain good health in Nsukka just as it is in Enugu city.

Based on the above, it is obvious that the projects embarked on by the governor of Enugu State are put into thorough consideration first, and this says a lot about the brain behind this wise and innovative mindset. Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is indeed making waves in his period of governance, managing resources adequately, and carrying out unique projects in broad, diverse areas. He is true, ‘Gburugburu,’ and has earned the right to be celebrated. 

Written by Enema Oluchi

Categories
Government Lifestyle Politics

How Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi led administration unites Enugu youths through sports

It is critical to discuss growth in depth while addressing it. The development of a community is evident when the benefits of that development are felt by all members of that community, and in this feature, we are concerned with the development of sport and its infrastructures in Enugu. Due to the thoroughness of the Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi led administration, Enugu is statistically one of Nigeria’s fastest developing states.


It is so because the administration has seen reasons why this axis should receive equal attention, Enugu state has moved sports and sporting activities to the next level. The current state government, led by Gov. Ugwuanyi Ifeanyi, has recognized the benefits of having a strong sporting system in the state and is committed to its development. All types of sports are included in this equation, from football to volleyball to other organized sporting activities like secondary school state sports competitions.


This government has recognized and adopted sports as a means of involving the youths in important life events. It was a calculated strategy to keep them in check and occupied. With the invents of games Enugu keeps on producing indomitable youths that create a passion for sports. This was stated by Manfred Nzekwe, the Enugu State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, at the inauguration of the State Kickboxing Association board in Enugu, southeast Nigeria. Also, Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi said his administration is focusing on grassroots sports development to engage and employ youths. Ugwuanyi made the remarks during the Nkanu Unity (Football) Cup finals at the UNEC Stadium in Enugu.


Governor Ugwuanyi is so committed to the solitude of the state that he is ready to pay the price for a peaceful stay in Enugu. The Nkanu Unity (Football) Cup Competition is one of the six council areas in Enugu East Senatorial Zone and it was organized by Nkanu Youth Council in partnership with Kanu Nwankwo Football Academy. Mr. Monday Ani, President of the Nkanu Young Council, stated that the competition was organized to bring the youths of Nkanu together. “We also wanted to create a platform for these young football talents to develop and become the next Kanu Nwankwo, Victor Moses, and other big names in the game,” Ani explained.


This is one of the reasons why Nigerian youth have been encouraged to see sports as a unifying force and to take advantage of the opportunities it provides, particularly during the critical era of an economic slump brought on by the Covid-19 Pandemic.
This shows the level of commitment to the youths and it also shows where their interest lies this may be one of the contributing factors why Enugu can not be caught in the web of social insecurities the youths of other states perpetuate. Gov. Ugwuanyi in his fatherly wisdom says “that exposing high-energy youngsters to sporting activities would encourage them to direct their energies into things that would benefit them, their families, and society as a whole.”
There is also a high level of concern shown to secondary school students by this government. The enthusiasm and devotion to sports in Enugu state demonstrates the state government’s concern and interest in secondary school students, who represent the community’s future generation. This group of people will become the next generation of youth in a few years, therefore it is best to get them active and engaged now so that when they reach the age of responsibility and commitment, they will behave responsibly and be committed to something. Introducing children to inter-school sports tournaments and prize-winning sports competitions is one approach to accomplish this.


There is a foundation in charge of secondary school students’ sports activities, and as part of its charitable projects recently, the foundation decided to revive sporting activities in secondary schools by organizing a football competition among all secondary schools in the Igbo-Eze North and Udenu LGAs. The sporting event began on June 17 and featured 30 schools, with Community Secondary School (CSS) Okpo, Igbo-Eze North LGA, and Community Secondary School (CSS), Obollo Afor, Udenu LGA, playing the grand finale, which was symbolically kicked-off by the Governor. CSS Okpo won the median trophy, which included medals and a monetary award, by defeating CSS Obollo 2-1.


This commitment to sports also shows the love of the Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi led administration for an all-around and total development in Enugu as a state. He sees something more when envisioning sports. Tennis has evolved into a game for all people of a variety of cultures, socioeconomic levels, and ages as it is a leisure-time activity with huge health and emotional benefits as well as income generation, according to the governor, who noted that it is one of the most popular recreational and sporting activities in modern society. So I can comfortably stress that the governor’s decision to promote sporting activities in the rural areas is a good development.


As a result, Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration has continued to promote rural development through the implementation of numerous infrastructure projects and the promotion of grassroots sports development to identify and nurture young talents for job creation, socialization, unification, and economic emancipation. Sports, as a social phenomenon, have evolved from their humble beginnings as an amusement and pleasure activity to become a viable and important business phenomenon that can no longer be ignored in any nation’s social, political, and economic context. Many great nations and societies throughout the world have learned that sports involvement is the key to their citizens’ healthy development and have used it to develop their young people. Sporting activities have pervaded Enugu State, as they have in many other states throughout the world, as well as all elements of societal life, including politics and religion.


Still, on the concerns for development, the governor has also invested so much into Sporting infrastructures to show his utmost support and belief in the cause. The governor, represented by his Special Adviser on Project Development and Implementation (PDI), Engr. Dr. Mrs. MaryRose Obiageli Abba, recently inaugurated a standard-double Lawn Tennis Court at the Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area Stadium, Ogrute, Enugu Ezike, in keeping with this vision and commitment to promoting recreational and sporting activities, among other numerous development projects. He sees this sports activity as the right channel for the funds of the state and so does his adviser Engr. Dr. (Mrs.) MaryRose Obiageli Abba as she describes sports as an important social phenomenon in all levels of modern society that can socialize, unify, “prevent and reduce a large number of diseases because it is the most important means of enhancing human health, physical development, and improvement,”.


In his speech during the opening of the sports facility Engr. Itodo, the Chairman of Igbo-Eze North LGA, commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for initiating the sports facility among other infrastructural projects his administration has executed in the council area.


In addition to various infrastructure projects across Enugu State’s 17 local government areas, Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration has focused on grassroots sports development to identify and foster youthful talent for job creation, socialization and unification, and economic emancipation. Not to forget to mention the massive project ongoing in Nsukka presently, Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration is constructing a magnificent and well equipped Township Stadium in Nsukka to promote and encourage sporting activities at the grassroots.


It is to be duly noted that Enugu has significantly developed all-around and sports infrastructures and activities have been given critical attention. The government of Enugu state can be said to be channeling the youths through the right path by sports development.

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Economy Education Government Lifestyle

Covid 19: How Enugu State Government is battling the pandemic

In discussing the issues of Health securities in Nigeria, using Covid-19 as a point of reference, we can say boldly that Enugu has not fallen short in ensuring that Health education gets to all nooks and crannies.

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has shown to be committed to ensuring the health of his people is taken being care of, the evidence of this claim is apparent during the pandemic. The government started with providing some of the necessary major equipment to the government-owned hospitals thereby, making the health security in Enugu state a major priority. Furthermore, we can say that in being certain that Enugu doesn’t fall short of the demand of WHO (World Health Organization) the state was sure to have fulfilled the requirements for the takeoff of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund in addition to payment of the mandatory N100m counterpart fund that will enable the people of the state benefit from health care services under the Universal Health Coverage of WHO, and all this was done under the directive of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. This is not a privilege that every state enjoys but the government of Enugu  has so far make sure that their people are secured health-wise says Mr Uchenna Obi a medical Practitioner.  

At a time when the virus was at its peak, it was disclosed that the government in position provided the needed logistics for administering the Covid-19 vaccines, such as health personnel, security, and storage facilities, and the Commissioner advised the residents of the state not to fall short in obeying other precautionary measures for the containment of the virus such as the use of face masks, washing of hands with soap and running water at prescribed intervals and observing of social distancing.

When it was time for the vaccination, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi led administration rolled the program in four phases, beginning with administering to health frontline workers, elderly people with underlying illnesses, some key stakeholders in the state, and the general public. The process was going to take a lot of able hands and personnel of the medical field, which was why when it came to both educating young undergraduate doctors and post-graduate residencies, the government pushed for the approval to ESUT Teaching Hospital Parklane to absorb 125 internship applicants in different fields of study and 102 Resident Doctors in addition, to continuous recruitment of Consultants in different medical fields, accreditation, and provision of medical equipment to sustain the hospital’s capacity to a high-tech tertiary health institution which will push for the smooth running of the distribution of the vaccines and drugs at large.

Enugu state is known for having one of the best and well-functioning university teaching hospitals. ESUT Teaching Hospital, Parklane, Enugu, has been able to offer undergraduates a well-equipped and convenient environment to conduct all research and apply all practicals that need to be applied. In applying this the education system of doctors is being taken care of, the system also offers undergraduate clinical and post-graduate Residency training for doctors in addition to the delivery of specialist care to the people. The people’s health issues are being taken care of at a minimal amount of money. Enugu state also has a care unit ‘Enugu State Primary Health Care Development’ which also serves the people and contributed to a large extent in helping curb the spread of the virus.

Some stakeholders believe that Enugu state has a security system around it. The government knew ESUT Teaching Hospital, Parklane, Enugu, is a gold mine for both the government and the people if invested in, which was why they went all in for the growth of the teaching hospital. Consequently, the Executive Secretary of Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Ugwu, reassures the people that the agency has the necessary cool-chain equipment to deliver the vaccines to the citizens of the state. All hands have been on deck in the distribution of the vaccines and Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi takes on the role of a leader by taking the vaccine to reassure people that it is okay to take the vaccine which is predicted to cut off Covid-19 spread.

The issue of health is said to be on the priority list in Enugu state. They followed the directives of WHO, who pushed for the implementation of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC), a program that enables all people and communities to use the palliative, curative, preventive, rehabilitative, and promotive health services they need, of sufficient quality to be effective, while also ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the user to go through financial breakdown. The implementation of this noble and people-oriented program of the WHO in Enugu State by Governor Ugwuanyi’s government before many states in the country is a further pointer to the fact that the administration of Enugu state places health a top in its priorities.

Conclusively, we can say that when it comes to the issue of health and health securities, Enugu is delivering and when it is narrowed down to Coronavirus of 2019, Enugu state, and its government made a brave move by pushing for the administration of the drugs, preventive measures and vaccines, of Covid-19 showing truly Enugu state is proudly in God’s hands.

Written by Vera Igwilo

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Government Lifestyle

The Efforts of Enugu State Government on Drug Management

Introduction:

Drug abuse is a serious issue and is fast becoming a menace in many countries who are very concerned especially because of the statistics of young people who are not only exposed to these but use them regularly. Identification of the major causes of this abuse would seem to be a viable solution in handling the matter. Currently, some of the most abused drugs in the country include amphetamine, codeine, tramadol, cough syrup, cocaine, and heroin. And after tons of research, the reasons for the abuse of these drugs included- stress; social, economic, and family pressures, a desire to feel good and to derive pleasure. Among sources of these drugs were fellow drug users, drug peddlers, chemists and pharmacies, and the open market. The most recent statistics given by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) projected that 271 million (5.5%) of the global population aged between 15 to 64 years, had used the drug the previous year. In Nigeria, according to the 2018 UNODC report “Drug Use in Nigeria”- one of the first large-scale, nationwide surveys in the country, reported that one in seven persons aged 15-64 years had used a drug in the past year. This raises a serious concern for the safety of our children and the future of the public at large. A troubling chunk of these numbers revolves around students in secondary school who try these drugs out of curiosity to undergraduates in the tertiary institutions who use these because of peer pressure, to derive pleasure, to stay awake, to fend off restlessness, and to relax. The drug policies and agencies currently in force in Nigeria include the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), the National Agency for Food and Drugs and Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). 

NDLEA and the efforts of the government: 

In 2016, the second year of the new administration, the Enugu State Government pledged to partner with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) as one of its efforts to rid the state of illicit drugs. That same year Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuani, at a book presentation by the NDLEA Commander, Mr. Anthony Ohanyere titled, ‘Terrorism and Illicit Drugs in Nigeria-My Perspective” acknowledged that many youths engage in crime due to dependence on illicit drugs and lauded the commander and his team for their efforts in keeping the state safe.

Some residents argue that the major incidences of mental unsound are shown by the number of mad people on the streets as a product of prolonged drug use. There have also been genuine concerns shown by international bodies.

Recall that in the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message, delivered by Yury Fedotov, Director-General of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), to the second Ministerial Anti-Drug Conference on the Influence of Drugs on Global Security and Sustainable Development, in Moscow, in 2015, the Director said that “Drug trafficking exploits fragile nations and regions.” He added that he was particularly concerned about methamphetamine production, cocaine consumption and trafficking, and heroin use in West Africa. 

And that in both West Africa and the Sahel, criminal groups involved in drug trafficking and piracy in the Gulf of Guinea have joined with terrorists attracted by vast criminal profits. 

Similarly, earlier this year Chairman/CEO of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd) charged Commanders of the Agency to brace up or move out, as charging at the drugs war under his leadership will be like a moving train which will crush anyone who stands on its front.

He said: “We need not be told of the nexus between drug use, crime and criminalities as the exponential growth of the nefarious drug activities can be directly linked to the upsurge in crimes such as insurgency, terrorism, kidnapping, cultism, political thuggery, gangsterism, rape and other maladaptation bedeviling today’s Nigeria”, ringing a familiar tune with the address of the director of the UN of in 2015.

Drugs and Terrorism are intertwined and leave a dastardly mess in its wake on the citizens of any city.

In addition to these the Chairman also hinted at plans to get the government’s approval to carry drug tests on tertiary institutions’ new students, security agencies’ fresh recruits, and all newly appointed government employees in the country which would help to keep drugs off Nigerian streets and homes.

Efforts of the NDLEA

The global prevalence of drug use is 5.6% but in Nigeria, it is 14.4% (14.3 million people). And this is a serious issue with one of the most prevalent causes of abused substances involving codeine and cough syrup with reports showing that on average, 2.5% of women use cough syrup containing codeine, more than men (2.3%) are involved.

And in Nigeria, drug enforcement agencies, like the NDLEA is very active in their efforts to eradicate drug incidences.

The French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Jerome Pasquier, on Thursday, 18th February 2021 paid a courtesy visit to the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency NDLEA, Gen Buba Marwa (rtd) with an assurance that the French government will partner with the agency in its renewed resolve to tackle drugs menace in Nigeria. During the visit, he was informed of sturdy and swift strides recorded in the fight against drugs such as cocaine, cannabis, within the short time that Marwa had been in charge of the anti-drug outfit and the seriousness with which he handled the issues.

In Enugu, the NDLEA has certainly thrived following the governor’s intention to collaborate with the agency.

Shortly after the executive governor promised to stop the excessive use of drugs in the state in 2016, the agency motivated by the governor, according to Mr. Ohanyere led to the discovery of “a clandestine laboratory in Udi local government area”, where “20kg of Amphetamine was recovered”, which he described as “the most dangerous and expensive illicit drug in the world.”

In May, Enugu state Command of the Agency, equally at the weekend raided the Nsukka axis of the state capital where a 28-year-old lady, Ordo Ndidiamaka was arrested with 80.23grammes of cocaine and 3.81grammes of methamphetamine. This is similar to the NDLEA command action in Plateau where freshly baked cakes or brownies made with cannabis Sativa were recovered in addition to 48.726kilogrammes of assorted psychotropic substances according to Vanguard Nigeria, which apart from these pastries, recovered from the three eateries, psychotropic substances also seized from there included: Barcadin Codeine 14kg; Flunitrazapem 355.5grammes; Tramadol 370.1 grams; Exol-5, 30kg; Diazepam 2.5kg and Pentazocine 1.5 kg, totaling 48.726kg.

A month before, In April, according to the Vanguard Nigeria, operatives of the Niger State Command of the Agency arrested a 24-year-old 400-level student of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Abel Godwin Idio for selling two strong variants of cannabis, Arizona and loud, concealed in textbooks. 

The Country’s commander, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd) in his reaction, commended the Plateau, Enugu, and Niger Commands of the Agency for disrupting the activities of drug cartels in their respective states. And lauded their efforts at quenching the drug menace.

The drug menace like a prong that has eaten deep into Nigeria’s social scene would have to be uprooted and extinguished.

There’s still a lot to be done and inclusion in the academic curriculum of every academic level in the country will be s nice way to start as well as regular sensitization of the effects of the drug menace in the country.

The Federal Government should make a more conclusive effort to enforce drug education in the state and sensitize people about the consequences some of which are just enticed by the feel-good effect of some of these drugs.

CONCLUSION

Reports recently ranked Nigeria as 5th in the world with the highest suicide rate of an average of six suicides per month. Substance use has been attributed as a major factor that leads people to commit suicide.

Also, the increase in cases of sudden deaths among youths in the country is reportedly connected to opioid overdose, which is the most common drug injected by youths.

This is similar to the effects worldwide where many international agencies try to handle the debilitating effects of drug use.

The influence of social media and the false glorification of drug use by entertainers has led a lot of young people down the nary road of drug and substance addiction.

The need for quailing the boom of abuse which in partnership with the NDLEA and the different states in the country will bring the drug issue to a conclusive halt.

Sedo Elijah Ebinne writes from Enugu
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Education Government Lifestyle Politics

Gov. Ugwuanyi’s Six Years of Laudable Democracy in Enugu State

The timeless expression that no nation or state has ever achieved virtuosic and remarkable feats without the strenuous efforts of some dedicated, selfless, and goal-driven legends who took upon themselves, the pains and inconveniences associated with the development and holistic transformation of their society is only reiterative, indisputable, immutable and at the risk of repeating the known.

Within the microcosm of their historical epoch, these selfless leaders saw the alleviation of their people’s plights as the ultimate sacrifice and price to be borne by them by all means.

This set of pathfinders are, however, rare to encounter especially in a world distorted with the antics of individualism, capitalism, and commodification of the commonwealth for personal aggrandizement.

The above analytic description is true of the Executive Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyichukwu Ugwuanyi. This is basically true when a critical review of governance is launched into his administrative style of leadership since his ascendance to power as the Governor of the state in 2015.

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Government Lifestyle Politics

How Enugu Neighbourhood Watch is Tacking Insecurity & Curbing Crime

Ugwuanyi inaugurates Advisory Committee on Community Policing

In Nigeria, the prevalence of crime remains a worrisome issue just like in most parts of the world.

Crime is a threat to the public safety, growth and development of a nation. Crime rates vary in different places, and the mechanisms put in place to check the trend and incidence also vary.

The Nigerian Police Force is saddled with the responsibility to combat crime, along with other law enforcement agents established by the law to carry out similar duties in different capacities.

However, with the increase in crime in different communities within Enugu and considering the enormous burden on the police who struggle to manage the inadequacies in accomplishing this task.

It became imperative that the community security services be adopted to complement and assist law enforcement agents to combat crime in Nigeria, hence the existence of the Enugu Neighbourhood Watch as a solution from the Ugwuanyi led government to help manage the expectation of the masses to ensure security and peace.

A Neighbourhood watch programme is about a group of people living in the same area who want to make their neighbourhood safer by working together and in conjunction with local law enforcement to reduce crime and improve their quality of life.

It is safe to say that Enugu state Neighbourhood watch groups under the current administration have been most helpful in maintaining Law and order.

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Economy Government Lifestyle Politics

Enugu State: Good Housing Estate Development or Urban Housing Kitsch?

High Aerial Above Liberty Estate, Enugu

“Lining the edges of the ESBS bus stop are sounds normal to everyone watching- school children rushing to go to class, bus drivers and their conductors speeding on the nary road as if they built the tarmac, petite hawkers selling edibles of colorful wraps, Gala and assortment of soft drinks to nosh on the way to the other side of town.

But what excites me the most is the company of white painted, articulately crafted houses that sit on the side of the road like Indian bridal decorations. All over this city, this land of coal, are various estates like this- houses built together and distinguished by certain aesthetic features. Houses built to suit specific tastes.”

While the soft sounds of work escape the Enugu State News Broadcasting Service building situated close by building, people move about carrying out their businesses.

In the in skirts of ESBS are a lineup of a lot of estates in the Independence Layout Metropolis and these have garnered quite a reputation for being not only very practical but very aesthetically appealing.

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Culture Education Government Lifestyle

Enugu Clean Team Project: The Tripartite Journey

Unity Park, Near Michael Okpara Square Enugu Credit:@CoalCityConnect

Keeping the environment clean is important to being healthy. Many disease-causing germs exist in dirty environments, such as the ones that cause diarrhoea and worm infections. This means that many diseases can be prevented through good personal hygiene, and by keeping the environment clean. 

In the preamble to the 2030 Agenda, world leaders affirmed that they are: “Determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change”, so that it can support the needs of a healthy environment which also means clean surroundings.

In The Beginning

On Friday, 25th May 2018, the Enugu Clean Team Project, a brainchild of His Excellency Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi the Executive Governor of Enugu State was formally commissioned. The project was born from the age-long effort to rescue the human environment that is fast losing its biodiversity to the industrial and technological activities of man. 

The United Nations Goal 11 indicators show that cities will play an important role in achieving the SDGs, the goal states that “A vision for cities has never been more important than it is today’’.

Enugu, a state with a population of 3,267,837 persons as of the last census held in 2006 ( was estimated at over 3.8 million in 2012, 4.4 million in 2016), this is due to factors like high and rising number of tertiary institutions, a relatively active entertainment scene and seeming scenes of a progressive but affordable city. With the surge also comes the need to keep not just the cities clean but also keep the residents healthy, this supports the primary objective of the Enugu Clean Team Project that is a “Cleaner and Healthier Enugu State”.

The Project under the leadership of Very Rev. Fr. Michael Amobi Ogbu was founded on the tripartite benefits of; health, aesthetics and youth empowerment. “In a cleaner environment, there is a reduced risk of epidemic and allied health challenges. Ihe di mma n’anya gbara akwukwo- is an Igbo aphorism that comes to highlight the fact that beauty is nice to behold and appeals to the visual senses.”

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Culture Education Lifestyle

Enugu Literary Society (ELS) hosts two home authors plus an Open Mic!

*Sarah Akpu and Olisaemeka Njoku Star in Enugu Literary Society’s April BookJam*

One has to her Credit 5 full-length novels and other literary works; the other is a prolific Nigerian poet, short story writer, editor and translator. The author of two published works and several unpublished literary works. He is also the creator of the first-ever Igbo language version of Scrabble, which was exhibited at the Nigerian Universities Research Development Fair in 2010.


Both Authors Sarah Akpu and Olisaemeka Njoku will star in the April edition of the Enugu Literary Society’s (ELS) famous BookJam, on Saturday, 10th of April from 2-5pm at the Eastern Library, No 22 Upper North Road 10, Trans Ekulu Enugu.


As always, the BookJam would be preceded with an Open Mic, which provides budding writers, poets and artistes the opportunity to present their poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction, and get instant feedback from the audience.


Since its founding in 2016, the ELS has hosted more than 30 authors and poets in its regular literary feast, the Enugu BookJam & Open Mic. During the Pandemic, the society held its readings Virtually and this is the First BookJam post-Covid!

Categories
Culture Lifestyle

Enugu Tourism Scene

With the number of tourist attractions in Enugu, it is surprising that the Tourism industry in the state is not currently bigger.

This situation is something that the present state administration is trying to fix. In August 2020 there were news reports of the plans to develop a new project in Enugu state called the Gburugburu Wining and Dining in the Sky Project.

According to The Guardian, the project is a result of a conscious effort to reinvent Enugu state as a prime tourist attraction in the country.

By giving this project his approval and his name, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has shown that tourism in the state is something he takes seriously and for many, the hope is that this is a move that will open Enugu up to more foreign and domestic investors/investments, generate more money that will go towards increasing the state IGR and provide jobs for Enugu residents.

Enugu is a beautiful city, rich in history and culture, and has several tourist attractions like the Opi lake complex, Nike lake resort, Udi hills, and many others.

HIKING MILLIKEN HILLS

On that day, we had converged at the Polo Park Mall which was the agreed take off point. After about an hour delay where we ate and networked, the hike/picnic organizers showed up with more hikers.

Around 9 am, the bus finally showed up and we began packing up our stuff only to find out that the bus could not carry us all no matter how much we squeezed and contorted ourselves to fit. After arguing for a while, we eventually had some people take a Keke napep “drop” and the rest of us climbed into the rickety bus, and off we went.

We were dropped off at a point near the Milliken hills and the driver drove off to Ngwo junction where he would pick us after the hike. As the place we were to meet the guides wasn’t far away, we walked there to wait for the rest. It took a while for the rest to catch up so we occupied ourselves goofing around and taking pictures while our guides stared at us bemusedly.

We moved into the forest and started climbing the hill around 11 am. This was my first hike and I was still feeling the novelty as we began the climb, even moving to the front of the line and joining the others as they sang and exchanged banter.

Halfway up, however, the climb became more difficult and I had to stop and catch my breath often, eventually falling away to the middle of the pack. Very soon, I was drinking from the water bottle and cursing my choice of shoes, wishing I’d worn boots instead of sneakers.

By this time, we were nearing the summit and the climb had become so steep that I had to crawl to move up sometimes to the amusement of some of the more experienced hikers who were familiar with the route. Frustrated, I asked how much longer we had to go to get to the summit and hearing we didn’t have much farther to go, I picked up the pace so I could get to the top and rest.

Eventually, we reached the summit and I collapsed to the ground in exhaustion and relief, swearing to the group that this was my first and last hike with them to good-natured laughs all around. After some medical attention to make sure everyone was okay, we tried to find our way to the main road, eventually finding it after losing our way a couple of times. Once there, we paid the guides and set off for Ngwo junction. The walk to where we’d meet the driver was a long one but after the hike up that steep hill, I didn’t mind at all. When we got to the junction, we found that the organizers had fixed the earlier problem and had two buses waiting for us. Soon, we were on our way to Ngwo pine forest.

When we got to the forest, we encountered another problem – some “sons of the soil” who insisted that if they weren’t paid, we wouldn’t have access to the picnic ground despite already paying the elders of the community beforehand.

Despite our anger at the extortion, we raised the amount demanded, and handed it over to them and finally, we were able to spread our mats, lay out the food, drinks and speakers for the picnic to begin.

For the rest of that evening, I and the other hikers had the time of our lives as we ate, drank, played games, and generally had a good time. When it was time to finally leave, we cleaned up the place and took pictures before we got into the buses that took us back to the mall via a different route from the one we used in the morning. It was a worthwhile experience.

Before my trip to Ngwo pine forest, I had once visited the Awhum caves and waterfall and narrowly missed out on a trip to the Akwukwe sand beach. Due to work weeks and busy weekends, my free time to visit more tourist attractions in Enugu has been very limited.  I hope it improves as things normalize.

In these uncertain times, with a pandemic sweeping the globe, tourism is likely low in the thoughts of the majority.

But as unlikely as it seems, there will come a point when a vaccine for COVID-19 will become available and we can resume our routines. When that time comes, I can think of few places I’d rather be exploring in this country than Enugu, the coal city.

With the tourism commitments been explored by the Government, I am hopeful and excited.