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Economy Government

The Impact of Tax on Enugu State Internally Generated Revenue

According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, a compulsory contribution to state revenue is levied by the government on workers’ income and business profits, or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions.

Taxes generally contribute to the gross domestic product (GDP) of a country. Because of this contribution, taxes help spur economic growth which in turn has a ripple effect on the country’s economy; raising the standard of living, increasing job creation, etc.

The Government of Enugu State also uses taxes as a deterrent for undesirable activities such as the consumption of liquor, tobacco smoking, etc. To achieve this, governments impose high excise levies on these products and as a result, raise the cost of these products to discourage people from buying or selling them. 

In many countries, the three most important areas in tax collection play a major role includes:

Health

Without taxes, the enugu state government’s contributions to the health sector would be impossible. Taxes go to funding health services such as social healthcare, medical research, social security, and ensuring the upgrade of various health facilities across the country.

• Education

Education could be one of the most deserving recipients of tax money. The Enugu State government put a lot of importance on the development of human capital and education is central to this development. Money from taxes is channeled to funding, furnishing, and maintaining the public education system. Since money from these schools is barely substantial, some of these taxes are needed for the everyday running of the institutions.

• Governance

Governance is a crucial component in the smooth running of any affair. Poor governance would have far-reaching ramifications on the entire country with a heavy toll on its economic growth. Good governance, especially in the Coal City State, ensures that the money collected is utilized in a manner that benefits the citizens of the country. The gburugburu-led administration ensures that this money also goes to pay public servants, police officers, members of parliaments, the postal system, and others. Indeed, with a proper and functioning form of government, there will be no effective protection of public interest.

Efforts to improve revenue generation  

According to the chairman, of the Enugu State Board of internal revenue, revenue generated by taxes is limited by laws that define tax jurisdiction for each of the three tiers of government. The federal government spelled out the classes of taxes to be collected by each tier of government that is, federal, state, and local government. The state board of internal revenue is left with the option of perfecting the performance of the existing sources. However, the following measures are being embarked upon by both the state board of internal revenue and the state government. 

  1. Information processing centers have also been opened to process and issue new national driving license.
  2. The state government has opened up new motor licensing offices in each of the 17 (seventeen) local government areas of the state.
  3. The radio jingles of Enugu state radio broadcasting services each time they are about reading the news calling on people to be patriotic, pay their taxes, and join hands in building the state.

4. Tax offices have been opened up in each of the 17 local government areas of the state as well as sub-tax offices. This brings the tax officials close to the taxpayers for an increased revenues generation.

5. Government participation as the major collector of his revenue rather than using contractors has helped in attracting revenue to the government through which tax could be raised by stamp duty and withholding tax.

6. The status of Enugu as a state capital has always attracted a lot of businesses and the environmental friendliness of the state has also attracted multinational companies like Nigeria Breweries which built an ultra-modern brewery of close to 44 billion naira.

7up has also completed its plant and went into production in August 2003. The Guinness Brewery has fenced the large expense of land, an indication that they are getting ready to stake off if not completed by now.

Also in the polo park between IMT and popularly known Celebrity restaurant is a multi million Word Trade Center (Shoprite, and other bigger establishments in it).

  • Pool Betting and Gaining Casino are also contributing to the revenue generation of the state.
  • The popular okada (cyclist) has been scrapped following the introduction of the cool city taxi scheme and Keke Napep to minimize the rate of crimes committed through the use of okada and to generate greater revenue in the state.

9. The government of recent has been encouraging revenue generation by releasing the needed fund for the procurement of the working material.

And with time, revenue yield will increase as we put finishing touches on the system, the chairman of the Board of Internal Revenue Mr. F.O.C. Chime retorted.

 Reports of revenue yield

The Enugu State Government has recorded N7.1 billion as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the first quarter of 2021, a report by the State Ministry of Budget and Planning has stated.

According to the Budget Performance Report obtained on Monday by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu, the figure represents 24.4 percent of the N29.2 billion targeted for the year.

The report stated that revenues from Federal Account and Value Added Tax (VAT) amounted to N13 billion, representing 19.7 percent against the N65.7 billion projection for the 2021 fiscal year.

The revenues show inflows of N20.1 billion within the first quarter of 2021 as the figure represents a 13 percent performance of the 2021 budgeted inflows of N154.8 billion.

It also stated that the aggregate recurrent expenditure within the same time stood at N11.6 billion, representing 16.9 percent performance against the projected recurrent expenditure of N68.7 billion.

“The sum of N9.1 billion was the actual expenditure for personnel. This signifies 23. 9 percent performance when compared to an approved budget of N38.1 billion. “The sum of N1.9 billion was actual overhead spent in the Q1 2021 representing 7.7 percent performance against a budgeted overhead of N25 billion,” it stated.

The report stated that the state government spent N547.8 million in debt servicing and similar transactions.

“This translates to 9.8 percent performance when compared to the budgetary projection of N5.6 billion for the fiscal year,” it stated.

It stated that N3.3 billion, representing 3.3 percent capital expenditure performance was utilized in the first quarter.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in addition to all of these, the first quarter of 2021 had witnessed constant payment of staff salaries and allowances as well as regular payment of the overhead cost to Ministries, Departments, and Agencies.

“The period equally witnessed capital investments which are rationalized within the scope of fund availability.

“The government hopes that there will be a remarkable departure from the first quarter performances in the coming quarters of 2021,” the board stated.

Also, The Enugu State Government recorded N7.1 billion as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the first quarter of 2021, a report by the State Ministry of Budget and Planning has stated.

According to the Budget Performance Report obtained on Monday by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu, the figure represents 24.4 percent of the N29.2 billion targeted for the year.

The report stated that revenues from Federal Account and Value Added Tax (VAT) amounted to N13 billion, representing 19.7 percent against the N65.7 billion projection for the 2021 fiscal year.

The revenues show inflows of N20.1 billion within the first quarter of 2021 as the figure represents a 13 percent performance of the 2021 budgeted inflows of N154.8 billion.

It also stated that the aggregate recurrent expenditure within the same time stood at N11.6 billion, representing 16.9 percent performance against the projected recurrent expenditure of N68.7 billion.

“The sum of N9.1 billion was the actual expenditure for personnel. This signifies 23. 9 percent performance when compared to an approved budget of N38.1 billion. “The sum of N1.9 billion was actual overhead spent in the Q1 2021 representing 7.7 percent performance against a budgeted overhead of N25 billion,” it stated.

The report stated that the state government spent N547.8 million in debt servicing and similar transactions.

“This translates to 9.8 percent performance when compared to the budgetary projection of N5.6 billion for the fiscal year,” it stated.

It stated that N3.3 billion, representing 3.3 percent capital expenditure performance was utilized in the first quarter.

Conclusion

Taxes help raise the standard of living in a country. The higher the standard, the more relevant tax returns are. According to the Vanguard, only 40 million out of the 200 million Nigerians living in the state pay taxes. And this is an anomaly. Consistent tax returns will help the Enugu State government runs its affairs which will ultimately cater to the needs of its tax-paying citizenry. This is because the state government would ensure amenities, quality service delivery, and supply of amenities for the members of the state.

Written by Sedo Elijah Ebinne

Categories
Economy Government Politics

Ugwuanyi’s Infrastructural Development: From housing units to construction of a new stadium

Basic facilities have been installed and constructed in Enugu State over the past decade, ranging from the construction of roads and bridges to the reconstruction of abandoned projects. Although there have also been other contributions in various sectors like education, where the Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board (ENSUBEB) has earned itself access to the Federal Government UBE fund, this article focuses on the infrastructural development in the state. 

At the first swearing-in of the Governor of Enugu State, His Excellency Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, he pushed forward the notion of infrastructural development among other crucial issues as one of his four-point agenda, and notable achievements have been observed since then. Right from the outset, there was a universal approach to the construction of infrastructure which is evident in the construction of roads from Obechara road, Mechanic Village to Opi-Nsukka, etc.

There has also been an extension of Ituku Road, construction of bridges in Nkanu Local Government as well as the reconstruction of Neke-Mbu-Ogbodu-Aba-Obollo Etiti roads. These last connecting roads reduced the cost of fuel as well as time required to travel through these villages. The implication of this is that it fostered a peaceful relationship among these communities since they share a common road. It has been documented that the sum of not less than forty-five billion naira was spent on these roads, further proving that the best has been given to this project.

Similarly, the kind of productive thought put into the construction and reconstruction of roads in these communities was accorded to civil servants, where it was discovered that based on their salaries and responsibilities, a great percentage of them do not have the opportunity to ever own houses and end up paying rent till retirement. Having thought of how this creates both financial and social gaps between the upper and middle classes, the government of Enugu State came up with a way to bridge this gap, finding an answer to this in the creation of affordable housing units for civil servants. As reported by Vanguard on 30th June 2021, Enugu State has partnered with Alpha Mead Development Company (AMDC) to generate 750 housing units for civil servants which were affordable as well as serve as a means to help them fulfil their dreams of owning a house. It is important to note that this is the crucial dream of every hard-working individual.

In fulfilment of this, the Coal City View Satellite Estate was dedicated to giving civil servants and their families a good life, one which is usually only afforded by the rich. This luxurious lifestyle is accompanied by social and economic infrastructures, surrounded by wonderful amenities. In addition to these houses would be the construction of schools, medical facilities, shopping plaza, power supply and electricity which would accord them a stress-free lifestyle. 

It is quite important to note that the choice of Alpha Mead Development Company stems from a deep consideration of the best real estate development company in Nigeria which would have the ability to execute the project. They are the only real estate company in the country certified by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation’s EDGE-Advanced Standards. They are also certified by the ISO and have been known to execute projects properly, developing strong buildings with the best choice of facilities. 

As reported by Punch on 19th July 2021, the State Housing MD explained that another motive in building these houses is that it would aid in decongesting the center of Enugu, extending development to the city outskirts where this estate is located. The Punch newspaper also reported that 1,500 housing units are being developed through the State Housing Development Corporation in three senatorial districts. A payment period of 20-30 years has been planned to be given to the civil servants, to enable them to pay off gradually without feeling the impact. 

The last infrastructural development to be explored in this article is that of the 5000 seat capacity stadium being erected at Nsukka stadium. It has been noted that AstroTurf, Tartan Tracks, and seats have been installed, and the development is already above 90% due to its completion. To encourage grassroots sports development, this stadium would as well attract inter-regional and inter-state competitions in the future, making the Enugu State model and hallmark of excellence.

Written by Enema Oluchi

Categories
Government Politics

How The GBURUGBURU led Administration has pushed Enugu State forward

Introduction

The Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi led administration has seen a paradigm shift from elitist political dichotomy to people-oriented government-led initiatives with the focus of the government being welfare, housing, security, job, and formal democracy. With principled maneuvering of people’s opinions with the government’s well-laid plans, Enugu has reached a peak where it stands on the pedestal of emulation among the six geopolitical Igbo communities in the nation. By breaching the gap between well-being and access to modern and useful infrastructure, the ‘GbuguGburu’ led administration has paved a way for the seismic growth of Enugu’s political stratosphere.

Over the past seven years, since 2015 Enugu has seen tremendous growth and development from various sides. This was championed by the governor and his well-meaning political advisers who through many innovative schemes have placed Enugu as the pinnacle of the east.

Investing in Development Projects

One of the first things the gburugburu led administration did was invest in development projects in several parts of the region. In the meantime, some of the projects already executed include but are not limited to the following;

-The Inyaba Bridge in Naknu East local government area which has provided some “economic links” for the people of Amagunze, Amechi-Idodo, and the people of Enugu East local government area; 

-The Ndemde Bridge in Enugu South local government area; 

-The rural electrification and water projects in Olido, Umuida, and Umuopu in Igbo-Eze North council area; the Ogbaku Road in Agwu; Agbani-Afor-Amuri Road in Nkanu local council; 

-The Iheaka-Ibagwa-Itchi-Unadu-Ovoko Road in Igbo-Eze South council; 

-The Ekochin-Ekeani-Miliken Hill-New Market Road in Enugu North, the 14-kilometer Opi-Nsukka dual carriageway, Enugu State University of Science and Technology Teaching Hospital, Igbo-Eno, 

-The 13-kilometer Abakpa-Emene link, the beautifully crafted Emene-Ugwuomu road, and a host of others too numerous to mention.

Power Rotation

In regards to the appointment of officers, the executive governor of Enugu State has laid a firm foundation for cooperation by grouping his officers irrespective of origin strategically in his executive council. This action has ensured peaceful coexistence among the leaders of the people. According to The Reporter, speaking on this issue, Former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and elder statesman in the state, Chief Dubem Onyia, urged the ruling party of Enugu State to its adherence to upholding the zoning agreement which was entered into at a caucus meeting of shareholders in 2014. In this agreement, the party promised to uphold the rotation of government among the three senatorial zones, a move that was responsible for the election of the present governor of the state. The observance of this condition would safeguard the interests of the people and keep peace and good governance within reach. This strategic power-sharing and action of this government have helped to keep peace and satisfaction of the people within borders.

Development of Rural Areas

Thirdly while focusing on many vast projects in the city, the administration also made a laudable effort in carrying out various projects in the rural area bringing ease from the people living in the affected areas.

In the time since the government came into office, there has been a rural-urban shift. However, the governor curtailed this by the formation of ‘One Community, One Project’ an initiative, he hoped would address one strategic need each community had at a particular time and bring respite to the people. The policy was not just aimed at livelihood but new infrastructures such as new roads, schools, investments in agriculture, and some other useful economic growers to make the rural areas more urbanized.

Moreover, more projects are being flagged off and, indeed, fully executed in non-urban areas. 

Some of these projects include: 

Constructions of Obollo-Eke Junction; Agala-Okpaligbo Junction, Ohom Orba-Amajioka-Umuikeoha-Agu Orba, and Okpu Agu Orba Road in Udenu local government area. 

Worthy of mention also are; the Ogurute-Mkpamute-Igogoro-Ikpamodo-Okpo-Amaja Road in Igbo Eze North, and the Ugbwakwa-Nara-Nkerefi Federal Road which has attracted the Governor’s timeous intervention. 

Available statistical records showed Enugu State under the leadership of Governor Ugwuanyi has completed over 650-kilometer roads just within the space of 6 years without losing focus on other critical sectors in the state.

 And at a time when many economies are thriving, the efforts at political and economic stability in the seven various local government areas of the state is truly laudable.

Security and Wellness

To ensure the security of his people, the executive governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi was one of the first governors to sign the anti-grazing bill restricting grazing herdsmen from coming into the State. The implementation of the bill came timely as the grazing activities usually led to the destruction of farmlands by the cattle during grazing. The bill came into force in September 2021and is the first Eastern State to implement the anti-grazing law initiative. Such audacious moves were also the bedrock of the ban on drugs and substance misuse and the massive anti-drug awareness campaigns carried out after ‘mkpurummiri’-(methamphetamine), became a start and nationwide drug menace in 2021. 

There is no magic formula to these successes only that the government is keen to keep the policies of the states on the rise and in the same tier as many urbanized states in the world.

Quick and Timely Government Action

Most recently the governor was able to respond very swiftly to the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic by the use of media awareness and campaigns aimed at sensitizing people to the dangers of the virus and educating them on ways to prevent it from spreading from one person to another.

The government has been lauded for the swift and timely manner in which it handled the COVID 19 issue and this has brought a lot of praise from both within and around the borders of the state.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that the present government has laid a firm foundation that millennia of governors after can emulate. The legacies of the state which have formed a system of systemized strategic development will outlive the present administration to the next one. With each new dawn, the quiet city on the hill lives up to the moniker-A State in the Hands of God

Sedo Elijah Ebinne writes from Enugu

Categories
Government Politics

Need to Respect Power Rotation in Enugu State

Power rotation, which ordinarily means the ability for the power in government to be in stable and fair rotation either clockwise or anticlockwise in a state either zonally or according to locality. This healthy system of power distribution is that which is solidly rooted in the government of Enugu state and also instrumental in maintaining political balancing in the State since the return of democracy. It has not only given room for the smooth running of government for many decades but also made Enugu state to be perceived as one with transparency when it comes to the running of affairs of the people. It is the kind of power system that gives room for people to be accommodated, and also for those who are not accommodated at that time to have hope of the opportunity to get to them along the way. This ‘hope’ is that substance that brings peace in the heart of citizens to keep them at peace with the government, with the knowledge that the power in government would get to their zones too. 

This power rotation is an issue the Nigerian government as a whole still finds hard to practice and this naturally causes the issue of insecurities from other zonal and tribal bodies. Although Nigeria and Enugu have a common trait that brings them close, which is, that they have different breeds of people which make up their colony. For Nigeria, they deal with different people with different languages, cultures, and religions but Enugu is said to have different kinds of Igbo people which boils down to them having different cultures and believes, however, the Enugu government can handle this with their idea of power rotation. The power is distributed and this gives the people this idea that the power is around their locality or would reach them in a way. 

As at the time Enugu was first separated from the old Anambra State in 1991 to be called its state, it had three Senatorial zones which include, Enugu-east, Enugu-west, and Enugu-north. In dissecting Enugu State as a whole, it is made of seventeen local government areas. These areas are divided into three senatorial and political zones which are; Enugu North, Enugu West, and Enugu East. (Nsukka for Enugu North, Udi for Enugu West, and Nkanu for Enugu East). These senatorial zones are not only just mere political zones, sometimes they are considered cultural zones, even though the cultural zones overflow from one political zone to another. 

The distribution of power in Enugu State began with the administration of Dr. Chimaroke Ogbonnaya Nnamani of Enugu-east (Nkanu’s section) Senatorial District whose tenure in office ran from 1999 to 2007. The next tenure was that of Barr. Sullivan Iheanacho Chime of Enugu-west (Udi’s section) Senatorial District whose term in office was from 2007 to 2015. The present administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu-north (Nsukka’s section) Senatorial District, whose tenure started in 2015 and is expected to end in 2023. Persons among the indigenous people of the three senatorial districts would have been said to have had their fair share of representation at the office since 1999. And not only were persons appointed but zones were the ones allowed to be in power and by this, the people have the feeling that their ‘own’ is in power.

Now, some may argue that the real deal of power rotation has been breached as for the past three consecutive tenures we have had to see the power in the hands of one political party which is the People Democratic Party (PDP), but this cannot stand as an argument as who represent the people are not the political party but the zonal or cultural leaders that’s why it was mentioned earlier that those senatorial zones are not only just mere political zones but they are considered cultural zones. In the Igbo land, it is a known fact that people are more interested in the ‘home branch’ one may be said to belong to besides the political party they support. 

It was also perceived that the loss of power at the National level was a result of the disruption of the rotational system, whereas in Enugu State the party has been consistent with the scheme and as such retained power in the state. This system hence has proven to be useful both to the party (PDP) and the entire Enugu State to ensure an enabling environment to achieve the needed developmental goals of the state. It is also a visible fact that this system doesn’t start and end at the National and state levels. This system though informal is effective in the candidacy of the office of the governor of Enugu State by the PDP, observations also prove that the efficiency of this system made other political parties in the state adopt it.

Vera Igwilo Writes from Enugu

Categories
Culture Economy Government Politics

The Legal Justification of Anti-Grazing Law of Enugu State, Part. 2

In reference to the anti-grazing issue, Section 2 of the Law refers to “moving permit”, which is defined as: “a movement permit issued in the State under the Control Trade Cattle Regulations or a permit relating to the movement of trade cattle issued by any authority having the power to issue the same under any law in force in any other part of Nigeria.”

The expression “any law in force in any other part of Nigeria” in this context, of course, includes the Land Use Act, as previously mentioned in Part 1.

And together, comparatively, these two laws set the stage for restriction of cattle rearing and other land violation matters in the state, except and with express permission by the governor of the state. 

Understand that there Are Laws in Support of Anti-Grazing in Nigeria

Consequently, without any new law banning open grazing, southern governors can assert their authority under these extant laws, including particularly under Section 1 of the Land Use Act, which provides that: 

“Subject to the provisions of this Act, all land comprised in the territory of each State in the Federation are hereby vested in the Governor of that State… ”

The Land Use Act as the principle law of Nigeria dealing with matters relating to land has vested land in the federation under the control of the individual state governors. And for emphasis, this includes commercial and economic activities in the use of the land.  

The Enugu State governor, therefore, has the power to order herdsmen or any other persons carrying on any other business on lands within the territory of the state to apply for a permit or license to do so under the above clear provisions of the Land Use Act. 

And this cannot, in any way, be interpreted as a violation of the fundamental right to freedom of movement.

This is worthy of mention because recently, some opposition has been meted out to the stand of the southern governors’ on grazing in the country.

Asides from the argument that it is the constitutional requirement of Nigerians to have freedom of movement, an assertion which concerning the anti-grazing matter lacks any substance, the Attorney General of the Federation Abubakar Malami(SAN) called the movement of the herdsman ‘customary’ being that this has been their practice for as long as one can remember. 

However, this cannot serve as a justification for the unchecked grazing of the Fulani owned cattle which in addition to being a nuisance and causing loss of property to indigent farmers living in the south and other parts of Nigeria, has become a security issue and object of terror resulting in loss of lives of the farmers on refusal to allow these herdsmen access to their property. 

Customs like these which are not only undocumented as a right or contained in any legal promulgation including the 1999 Constitution, the highest legal document in the federation cannot be allowed to subsist.

The defense of the continued grazing of cattle in unspecified areas of land has brought with it death and destruction and should not be allowed to continue unmitigated.

In light of these developments, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) has sought more time to enlighten its members to stop the practice of open grazing of cattle in Lagos State.

This followed the one-day hearing which was held on Wednesday 8th September, for the anti-grazing bill which is scheduled to be passed by the Lagos State government subsequently. The proposed title of the bill is “A Bill for a Law to Prohibit Open Cattle Grazing In Lagos State, the Trespass of Cattle Land And For Other Connected Purposes” which is intended to stop open grazing in the former capital city of Nigeria.

The breeders association pleaded for more time for the bill’s passing to educate the herders on some new ways to handle their business. The spokesperson, the association’s Zonal Secretary for South-West, Maikudi Usman pleaded for additional time to educate the herders on breeding in one place rather than encroaching on other people’s farmland.

He added that the Lagos State government would however allow the prices of the cattle to be raised to two million naira insisting that the cost of rearing in a single location was more costly.

Regarding this plea, the question however is, “how much would need to be given to stop a practice which has caused untold hardship to indigenous in the country?

Finally, most people are not aware that anti-grazing has already been in the Federation for more than 60 years. This judgment, which was not challenged, was given by Justice Adewale Thompson on 17 April 1969 with Suit no AB/26/66. 

The decision read thus:

“I do not accept the contention of Defendants that custom exists which imposes an obligation on the owner of the farm to fence his farm while the owner of cattle allows his cattle to wander like pests and cause damage. Such a custom if it exists, is unreasonable and I hold that it is repugnant to natural justice, equity and a good conscience and therefore unenforceable…in that it is highly unreasonable to impose the burden of fencing a farm on the farmer without the corresponding obligation on the cattle owner to fence in his cattle.”

“Sequence to that I banned open grazing for it is inimical to peace and tranquility and the cattle owners must fence or ranch their animals for peace to reign in these communities.” -HON.JUSTICE ADEWALE THOMPSON: 17TH APRIL 1969. SUIT NO AB/26/66 AT ABEOKUTA DIVISION OF THE HIGH COURT.

These various laws can serve as a guide to states and be used as precedent when needed in matters relating to anti-grazing laws. The anti-grazing law of Enugu state commissioned by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is among the very few in the southeast and the Republic addressing the anti-grazing issue and should be lauded. And hopefully, it would be instrumental to end the anti-grazing menace that has disrupted the peace, security and economic enjoyment of Nigerians in the state.

Written by Sedo Elijah Ebinne

Check out Part 1 here — https://discoverenugu042.wordpress.com/2021/09/21/the-legal-justification-of-anti-grazing-of-enugu-state-part-1/

Categories
Economy Government Politics

Nigeria at 61: How Rotation of Power is ensuring Enugu’s consistent developmental strides 

Enugu State government recently celebrated thirty years of existence since August 1991. The state has one of the best awesome histories or stories among all the states in Nigeria and the journey of Nigeria 61st Independence brings nostalgic memories of what the people of the state encountered to secure the establishment of the Enugu and celebration of people like C. C. Onoh championing the Wawa movement and the creation of a Wawa state as it was referred to in the past. Enugu has been able to survive and has witnessed successive governments who have championed tremendous economic growth. 

One of the ways by which the state has been able to sustain its tremendous growth and development is by ensuring that there is peace in the state as Peace experts believe is the foremost requirement for any state to witness consistent growth and development. “There cannot be a growth of any form in an environment devoid of peace or an environment suffering from tragic bouts of violence. ” To ensure peace and equity in the state, the founding fathers deliberated and decided to keep to the rotation of power among its component units or zones as it was obtained in the old Anambra State. This, of course, was not only to ensure equity; it was also to ensure that there is consistent peace and development in the state. While in some other states, some sections would feel marginalized. This is not the same with Enugu State. 

Political Stakeholders and leaders of thought through this process ensures the state is kept away from the violence or rancour associated with power thuggery and election of violence. The state might worry about other issues but certainly not the rotation of power among its component units. This has been obeyed since the creation of the state to date. Since the inception of a stable democracy in 1999, there has been a steady change of power from one zone of the state to another. Chimaroke Nnamani of Enugu East was the first governor of the state at the beginning of Nigeria’s fourth republic and he handed over to Sullivan Chime of Enugu West zone and Sullivan handed it over to Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu North zone. Thus, at this point, there has been an unbroken exchange of power 

Each State Government knows that to keep power rotating among the component units and zones in the state means uninterrupted governance and it also means an easy flow of business, less youth restiveness and less political tension means more development and economic stability for everyone. This makes any elected government support the zoning formula or procedure even when there are varying opinions about the zoning. For instance, H. E. Chimaroke Nnamani didn’t let these distractions deter him when he made his government work for the handover of power to Sullivan Chime. The government at that point worked with the political structure of PDP to see that Mr Chime is elected on the platform. Thus, the people continue to live in harmony and there is some sort of fusion or intermingling between politics and governance. Hence, there is little differentiation between the political and governing structure as they are closely linked. This makes it easy for any government in power to use the political structure and achieve the aim of power rotation.

H. E. Sullivan Chime of Enugu West zone was elected in 2007 and he started work immediately. He didn’t let politicking and the party structure distract him that much as provided dividends of democracy to the people, especially the people in the capital city. During his time, the Enugu North zone looked up to receiving the leadership mantle from his government. The zone had good facts as to why they felt their zone was neglected. Most of the previous administrations focused their works and administration on Enugu city or around the city, neglecting Nsukka city and the zone. It was in Sullivan’s regime that there was heightened agitation for the creation of Adada State. However, Sullivan’s government did not give up on the rotational politics instituted by the founding fathers of the state as the government utilized the PDP political structure in handing over power to Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu North Zone. At the point when Ifeanyi was elected in 2015, Enugu North suffered neglect in infrastructure and there was little or no presence of state infrastructure in the zone. Most people of the zone heave a sigh of relief as a citizen of the zone was elected. It meant that the zone would no longer be neglected as it were.

One of the reasons why the Enugu State Government since 1999 has insisted on rotational politics as a system of government is to get development to every zone. Nigerian politics as what is obtained in it is that politicians tend to work more for their constituencies as this plays out in Enugu State as well. Any governor elected tends to work more in his constituency or where he is more familiar with. This makes development and growth spread out in the state and The state develops uniformly this way and no side is ignored.

In this present time, there have been repeated calls by some of the state’s politicians for the cancellation of the unwritten rotational politics and formula of the state. These politicians argue that the right subject or idea should be competency over equitable sharing of power. To them, the state is in dire need of competent hands to take it to an enviable height. Of course, this does not mean that the leaders they have had are not competent or something. The state is performing above average in most indices due to many reasons including the kind of leaders it has had since 1999. 

As H. E. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi government rounds off and looks towards the 2023 general elections, permutations are ongoing on what would play out. Citizens of the state watch wearily as some politicians kick against the zoning or rotational politics formula while some other politicians continue to be in support. There are varying plans and expectations concerning zoning. The first group insists that zoning must be upheld and as that Enugu East zone goes after Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. The second group kicks against zoning and believes everyone should contest on competency ground. The third group believes that if zoning is kicked away it can start from anywhere or anyone from any zone can contest, thus, Enugu North with over 45% population of the state is eligible and can contest.

The Government of Enugu State knows the importance of rotational politics and zoning in the state and knows very well that it cannot be ignored. The kind of politics obtained in the state has made the state extra-peaceful and development-oriented. Furthermore, development is evenly spread and no side is neglected. In the present Enugu, there is development going on everywhere and the government has a good role to play in this. The government knows this fact and would not want to jeopardize the giant strides the state has made this far. 

— Chinweokwu Ukwueze writes from Enugu State.

Categories
Economy Government

How Governor Ugwuanyi’s administration is restructuring Agricultural Development in Enugu State

Nigeria is one of the most populous countries in Africa. With an agricultural economy of $1.5 million, it ranks among the major producers on the continent. However, due to changing demographics and climate change, it has also become one of the most food-insecure countries in the world. To address this issue, Nigeria has implemented policies aimed at agricultural development.  

 Enugu is a state in Eastern Nigeria with a population size of 4 million people. At the present, the state’s agriculture sector employs more than 50% of its population and contributes about 10% to Nigeria’s total GDP according to …….. It is also one of the few states that have developed formal policies for agriculture development. Here are some ways Enugu State is working towards agricultural development.

The Journey so Far 

In recent times, Nigeria has seen a spike in farmer-herder conflict. The rise of farmer-herder violence in Enugu State is more dangerous than the death toll alone because it is frequently exacerbated by emotionally charged factors such as ethnicity, religion, culture, and land. Although farmers and pastoralists have had a long history of rivalry, the current climate of violence is unique in contemporary history. Mohammed NdatsuAliyu, the state Commissioner of Police, has ordered a thorough inquiry into the reasons that lead to farmer-herder confrontations in the state, to apprehend and prosecute culprits.

At the Government House in Enugu, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi recently signed the anti-open grazing bill into law. According to experts, this law has enacted a measure prohibiting open grazing, regulating cattle ranching, and for other related purposes. In August, several communities in Nkanu land, which is part of Enugu State’s East Senatorial District, have been hit by severe rainfall. Following the collapse and washing away of wooden bridges that connected them, certain settlements were shut off from the rest of the state. Farmers in the area lost a lot of money since their farmland and livestock were flooded. As a result, the community addressed Governor IfeanyiUgwuanyi an SOS letter requesting immediate action on the collapsed wooden bridge. Gov. Ugwuanyi utilized the launch of the 5.4-kilometre Amagunze Road, which was funded by a renowned son of the area, EvaristusNnaji to announce that his administration will repair the bridge that connects Amagunze-AmechiIdodo-Oruku in Nkanu East while expressing the readiness of his administration to the development of rural areas he promised that he had left no stone unturned in improving the lives of rural residents.

Meanwhile, Mike Ogbuekwe, the governor’s special adviser on agriculture, has led a team from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Enugu State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to examine the floods in Amaechi-Idodo, which damaged farmlands and fish ponds. Ogbuekwe told community leaders and other stakeholders in the affected areas that their mission was to determine the extent of the flood’s damage, assuring them that their report would be forwarded to the Federal Government, which would send relief materials and assistance to the area’s affected farmers.


The Milestones

Enugu farmers hail Ugwuanyi's interventions in agric | The Guardian Nigeria  News - Nigeria and World News — Features — The Guardian Nigeria News –  Nigeria and World News

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration set out to boost the state’s agricultural industry by providing “seed inputs, infrastructure, and mechanization for nearly 11,000 farmers under the FADAMA III Additional Finance” program.” and “the Commercial Agricultural Development Programme (CADP) provides basic inputs and empowers over 700 commercial farmers and cooperatives throughout the state.”

Other achievements, according to the farmers, include “complete profiling and listing of 1,700 farmers and farmers’ cooperatives under the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS), soon to begin pre-disbursement training,” and “The establishment of an intervention fund to boost agricultural development in rice and cassava production in five local government areas in Enugu State, namely Aninri, Nkanu East, Isi-Uzo, Enugu East, and Udenu, which The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is in charge of this.

When they paid a courtesy visit to the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Matthew Idu, to congratulate Gov. Ugwuanyi on the New Year, the chairman of the AFAN, Enugu State chapter, Chief Romanus Ezeh, praised the state government for “providing critical infrastructure and developing agricultural productivity in rice, cassava, and sorghum in tandem with the African Development Bank.” and “the provision of farm inputs, fertilizers, improved seeds, and agrochemicals to over 2000 Rice and Cassava farmers under the COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (CARES).” The AFAN chairman stated that the farmers were “certainly, extremely proud to be involved with the huge strides,” and advised all of their members to prepare for the upcoming farming season, noting that the state government will provide them with even more help.

In a meeting between the Enugu State Government and teams from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other relevant stakeholders, Mr Tony Ifechukwu, Special Adviser to the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, revealed the State Government has given consent to CBN to resuscitate state-owned agricultural industries that have been dormant for some time. The CBN reiterated its commitment to making the state economically competitive, noting that there are discussions between the central bank and the state’s Technical Committee on Privatization and Commercialization to revive the agricultural factories. 

Recently, during a press conference in Enugu, the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s (IFAD) Enugu State Coordinator Mr Edward Isiwu, stated that food production has increased significantly and that this was possible through the Organization’s capacity building for rice and cassava farmers and, other interventions. He said that “the organization’s goal was to make Enugu the hub of Nigeria’s staple and cash crops”, while also requesting media support in the endeavour to use the two key crops of rice and cassava to alleviate hunger and increase the state’s economy. provides basic inputs and empowers over 700 commercial farmers and cooperatives throughout the state.”

Other achievements, according to the farmers, include “complete profiling and listing of 1,700 farmers and farmers’ cooperatives under the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS), soon to begin pre-disbursement training,” and “The establishment of an intervention fund to boost agricultural development in rice and cassava production in five local government areas in Enugu State, namely Aninri, Nkanu East, Isi-Uzo, Enugu East, and Udenu, which The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is in charge of this.

When they paid a courtesy visit to the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Matthew Idu, to congratulate Gov. Ugwuanyi on the New Year, the chairman of the AFAN, Enugu State chapter, Chief Romanus Ezeh, praised the state government for “providing critical infrastructure and developing agricultural productivity in rice, cassava, and sorghum in tandem with the African Development Bank.” and “the provision of farm inputs, fertilizers, improved seeds, and agrochemicals to over 2000 Rice and Cassava farmers under the COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (CARES).” The AFAN chairman stated that the farmers were “certainly, extremely proud to be involved with the huge strides,” and advised all of their members to prepare for the upcoming farming season, noting that the state government will provide them with even more help.

In a meeting between the Enugu State Government and teams from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other relevant stakeholders, Mr Tony Ifechukwu, Special Adviser to the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, revealed the State Government has given consent to CBN to resuscitate state-owned agricultural industries that have been dormant for some time. The CBN reiterated its commitment to making the state economically competitive, noting that there are discussions between the central bank and the state’s Technical Committee on Privatization and Commercialization to revive the agricultural factories. 

Recently, during a press conference in Enugu, the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s (IFAD) Enugu State Coordinator Mr Edward Isiwu, stated that food production has increased significantly and that this was possible through the Organization’s capacity building for rice and cassava farmers and, other interventions. He said that “the organization’s goal was to make Enugu the hub of Nigeria’s staple and cash crops”, while also requesting media support in the endeavour to use the two key crops of rice and cassava to alleviate hunger and increase the state’s economy.

The Way Forward

The agricultural sector’s importance in Nigeria is reflected in its high part of GDP in most states, as well as the even higher amount of employment in rural regions, in terms of commerce and trade. While the total value of agricultural output has increased significantly over the last decade, the state’s annual increases in food costs have resulted in unequal success in eradicating hunger in Enugu.

In light of agriculture’s clear role in addressing the challenge of eradicating hunger and improving food security, Gov. Ugwuanyi has remained committed to his vision of building Enugu State by contributing to and providing infrastructure, increasing agricultural productivity, alleviating poverty, and improving the livelihoods of rural households.

While public investments in infrastructure, research, and extension are important, creating an enabling environment that encourages private investment and job creation in both the farming and non-farm sectors will have significant payoffs, allowing the state’s economic transformation to proceed smoothly. The effective implementation of investment initiatives at the state and local government levels will help Enugu state achieve its hunger elimination goals and ensure food security.

Written by Nwusulor Alexander

Categories
Government Politics

Power Rotation in Enugu State: Going Beyond Democracy

Democracy is seen as a system of government, in which the ultimate political authority is vested in the people, based on the majority rule, with the rights of the minority protected. The dictionary defines it as the ‘government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.’ However, in a case where the rights of the minority are merely being ‘protected’ and the same majority keeps having the opportunity to rule based on their population, then it could be seen that the most effective approach to representing everyone is through power rotation, and this is an unwritten rule in Enugu State government.

Rotation in government involves turn-taking in power, a system that ensures that in a particular state, country or community, every zone is represented periodically. It usually works in places divided into regions, preventing a particular region from being marginalised. In Enugu State which is divided into three senatorial zones: Enugu-North, Enugu-West and Enugu-East, this rotational method has been employed since its inception in 1991 and has maintained peaceful governance for two decades.

While Democracy, the system of government practised in Nigeria ensures majority rule and minority rights, it does not make provision for a minority rule as well, which from historical experience always leads to rebellious activities from the minority. Instances are properly drawn from Nigeria herself, where during the reign of President Goodluck Jonathan, the Niger Delta was given close attention, compensated for the pollution and other damage caused by oil spillage in their land and water. Comparing the Niger Delta at that time, to the subsequent years when they had no one to represent them gives the proper answer.

In Enugu State, before the governorship of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Enugu-North while awaiting their turn in the power rotation felt neglected in the allocation of resources and started to clamour for Adada state, where they hoped to have their government and solve the problem being faced. However, as soon as they became represented in 2015, the difference became clear as it could be observed in the reconstruction of roads and other projects embarked on by the current governor. 

The argument of meritocracy overpower rotation has been tackled so many times, with the point that rotation of power in government does away with the focus on who merits it, and advocates for regionalism and sheer sentimentalism. However, it is first of all important that the structure of the State as well that of the country are closely examined. Nigeria is a country made of different ethnic groups, just as Enugu State is made up of different senatorial zones. As Olu Fasan writes in Vanguard, power rotation is inevitable until Nigeria is restructured. This is because the political structure of the country entrenches a historical power imbalance in which one ethnic group dominates the other. 

Had this rotation of power not been the unwritten norm in Enugu State since its inception, it would have been facing the same problem as well. Now, in Enugu State, we do not talk about a group or a zone dominating the other since everyone is equitably represented with time. The importance of this power rotation could be likened to the need for the installation of traffic lights for diverse roads which come together to meet at a point of intersection. These three different zones are made up of different people with various cultures and dialects, although united by one government. The need to place a turn-taking rule is very important, just as they need to prevent accidents from occurring is a dire need which traffic lights fulfil. 

However, it is quite important to note that irrespective of power rotation being observed, it is laced with meritocracy as well, because the different zones are not represented by anyone who declares their intention, but produce individuals well-fitted for the job of serving the people. A tour to the last decade of Enugu State is proof of this, the physical beauty of the state speaking for itself. The governor who has sat in power in the past ten years, Barr. Sullivan Chime and Barr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has both proven that meritocracy is considered within the zone, that the people are properly represented by the right individuals whose major concern is to serve them.

The organisational structure of rotation of power in Enugu State has over the years ensured a smooth transition of power, adequate representation of the masses, taking the minority into the same consideration according to the majority. It has gone beyond democracy to accommodate the people.

written by Enema Oluchi

Categories
Economy Government Politics

Enugu joins Lagos as States with Impressive IGR, grows 27% of Federation Account Allocations (FAA)

Understanding Internal Generated Revenue – IGR

According to the IOSR Journal of Economics and Finance, internally generated revenue (IGR) is revenue generated by local governments within their jurisdiction. The ability of local governments to make money internally is one of the most important considerations in forming a local council. Note These imports from various sources within the territory are PAYE, road taxes, direct valuations, fines, licenses, investments and include taxes such as royalties and fees for government assets. Internally generated imports (IGRs) are primarily generated income within the Federation of Nigeria, regardless of the share of income earned in the federation’s account. 

 The economic struggle continued and new demands were raised for the Nigerian government to diversify its economy in the oil and gas sector. Unfortunately, Nigeria’s reliance on its oil sector is critical, and the impact of Nigeria’s declining oil imports is damaging with repercussions beyond the federal government. Experts believe that state governments, which rely primarily on statutory allocations from federal accounts, have found that their ability to provide the most basic public services (education, health, etc.) 

 Considering Nigeria’s severe economic downturn caused by falling oil prices in the international oil market. The federal quota accruing to the state has significantly reduced the previous level. Oti, Odigbo and Odey (2016) stated that the instability of oil revenues from the oil market is one of the main causes of concern about the state’s reliance on federal revenues. Therefore, state governments seek ways to increase internally generated income to increase coalition quotas. Dang, Bako and Ishiya (2015) recently confirmed that mobilization of federal accounts was hardly sufficient to meet the country’s immediate needs. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the state government to internally seek ways to mobilize more internally generated revenues.

Enugu state’s IGR keeps growing

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), The Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) at the State level for the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) fell to N612.87 billion between January and June 2020 compared to N693.91bn recorded in half-year (H1) 2019. This indicates a negative growth of 11.7 per cent year-on-year. While revenue from taxes accrued to the sum of N528 billion (86.28 per cent), revenue from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) alone represent 13.72 per cent of the total half-year IGR.

The decline economist believe is due to the effects of the covid-19 pandemic on the various states of the federation, as they were forced to implement lockdown protocols to curb the spread of the disease in the country.

 Similarly, on a quarter-on-quarter basis, the Q2 2020 IGR figure for states and FCT declined by 26.5 per cent to N259.73 billion in Q1 2020 from N353.14 billion recorded in Q1 2019. Comparing the Q2 2020 figure to the corresponding quarter (2019), the IGR had dropped by 33.63 per cent from N391.32 billion.

The severe impact of the coronavirus pandemic has brought to bear an adverse effect on the revenue generation power of the Nigerian government which over the past months has recorded a tepid growth in its total collected revenues across the states of the federation.

This is why there were jubilations when the fifth Annual States Viability Index, ASVI of The Economic Confidential report declared that Enugu has an IGR of N23bn compared to Federation Account Allocations (FAA) of N87bn representing 27% joining Lagos as one of the ten states with impressive IGR. Other states in this category include Ondo, Rivers, Ogun, Kaduna, Oyo and Anambra. The index carefully and painstakingly computed proved that without the monthly disbursement from the Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC, many states remain not viable, and cannot survive without the federally collected revenue, mostly from the oil sector.

What does this mean for Enugu State?

Mr Iheanyi Igboko, the Director Centre for Memories Enugu says “means that Enugu state is starting to create a more entrepreneurial/ Business-friendly environment” this welcoming feeling is what keeps ensures steady flow and exchange of market. Among other things this flow needs to be studied that way, both the people and the government can understand the factors at work. Enugu state is one state in the southeast that can boast of a viable Small Medium Entrepreneur Centre, measurable Technological innovation, the sustained university community and an emerging entertainment scene.  

According to Victor Ejechi a Data Analyst with The Cable Newspaper It also means that Enugu State can become like Lagos if only they will still look inward and take the opportunity of other means to create revenue in the state, which in turn will increase the IGR of the state.  

Enugu can be a self-sustaining state says Mr Chima Ozuzu, the Assistant IT Audit Manager PwC. “it also means Enugu has diversified its revenue-generating channels beyond traditional sources that are impacted by Covid -19. For investors, it shows that there are a variety of viable business types.

Written by Alexander C. Nwusulor

Categories
Economy Education Government

The Economic future of Enugu Youths

The future, they say, belongs to the youth, hence the saying that young people are the leaders of tomorrow.

With the above quote, how prepared is the future of Enugu state?

Enugu state has a youthful population “Enugu State had a population of 3,267,837 people at the census held in 2006 (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.

Bearing in mind the available statistics, one would ask what the forecast is for the economic future of Enugu hopeful. In past administrations, there have been efforts to groom the potential that the state holds economically.

With its conception in 2005, the MSME policies facilitated the need for state SME centres. The intention was to provide a one-stop-shop for resources and aid needed by small business owners all over Nigeria. The initiative was welcome, and the agency was set up in Enugu, known as the Enugu SME Centre.

Since its inception, they seem to have had little to no effect on the young ones till recently.

But the question remains, what is the economic future of the youths in Enugu state?

The present administration has pioneered a new direction for the Agency, its target being the growth of a knowledge-based and technology-friendly economy. Part of this strategy was to push for PPP-powered and a triple helix model of development.