Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State says he is overwhelmed by the three-year scorecard his administration recorded under harsh financial periods.
Ugwuanyi said this when he addressed the people of Enugu State during the 2018 Democracy Day at Okpara Square, Enugu, on Tuesday.
He said that the promises he made during his inauguration on May 29, 2015 had looked vague and unrealisable due to the huge debt profile of the state as at the time.
The governor, however, said that with aggressive revenue drive and prudent management of available resources, his administration had held unto its dreams.
He said: “The laudable goals we have achieved appeared impossible at that time owing to the realities on ground: huge debt profile of the state pressing down our neck and huge salaries and pension arrears confronting us.
“All these were in the midst of economic crunch and depleted revenue from the centre. Our promises then appeared vague, but we held unto our lofty dreams.”
Ugwuanyi said that the determination to succeed prompted his administration to modernise the revenue collection process of the state as well as block leakages.
He said: “Following these reforms, our internally generated revenue hit N22 billion in 2017, the highest by Enugu in a single year since 1999.
“Today, the results we have on ground and the progress we have made in the last three years bear us out that with God all things are possible.”
The governor said that his administration had set out to build a state where security and peace were the order of the day.
He said that apart from partnering with the security agencies to create a peaceful environment, his administration was also getting the youths engaged through job creation.
He said that the health sector of the state had come alive with the construction of district hospitals and training of 400 volunteer workers for health intervention programmes in rural communities.
The governor said that doctors, nurses and allied workers had also been employed in the sector.
Ugwuanyi said that the agricultural sector of the state had also been active with several rice farmers receiving assistance from the government, which had improved yield in the state.
He expressed gratitude for what he called the overwhelming acceptance of his administration by residents of the state.
He said: “As we embark on the last lap of this tenure, be rest assured that we will never let you down. With God ordering our steps, we will continue to put efforts at ensuring that the common good remains our watch-word.
“Let me on your behalf congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari, members of the National Assembly, the judiciary and other state governors on this occasion.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the highpoints of the event were parade by the Enugu State Command of the Nigeria Police Force, musical renditions and cultural displays.
The theme of the celebration in the state was ‘Festival of Gratitude and Praise’.