The Challenges Before Umahi's New Team
Following the successful second-term inauguration of the governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Nweze Umahi, on 29th May, 2019, the governor painstakingly empanelled a new executive council which was inaugurated on Wednesday, 7th August, 2019. The newly inaugurated Commissioners in Ebonyi State and their portfolios are:
1. Engr. Ude, Uche - Power and Energy.
2. Chief Inyima, Sunday Elechi - Housing and Urban Development.
3. Comrade Egba, Jonah - Solid Minerals Development
4. Chief Njoku, Donatus - Commerce and Economic Development
5. Dr. Odo, Stephen - Education
6. Mr. Uhuo, Kenneth N. - Information and State Orientation.
7.Mrs Okah, Chinwe Deborah - Budget and Planning
8. Engr. Nweze, Fidelis Kings - Infrastructural Development.
9.Barr. Nwobo, Emmanuel Ikechukwu - Special Projects.
10. Barr. Okoronkwo, Samuel - Local Govt and Chieftaincy Matters.
11.Barr. Orji, Uchenna - Human Capital Development
12. Dr Umezurike, Daniel - Health
13. Dr Nwangele, Sunday - Grants and Donor Agencies.
14. Barr. Mrs. Obaga, Elizabeth - Culture and Tourism
15. Chief Nome, Ogodo Ali - Agriculture
16. Mrs Ogbuewu, Rebecca - Women Affairs and Social Development.
17. Prof. Chukwu, Ogbonnaya - Finance and Economic Development.
18.Hon. Akpuenika, Charles - Youths and Sports Development
19 Hon.Okoro, Emegha Stanley - Peace and Security
20. Dr Ugbala, Kenneth Igwe - Secretary to the State Government and Coordinating Commissioner ministry of Border Peace and Internal Security
21. Engr Abara, Ogbonnaya - Works.
22.Engr. Okah, Uchechi Wendy - Water Resources.
23 Barr.Ekuma Nkama, Joseph - Investment and Abuja Liaison.
24.Barr. Ofoke, Cletus - Justice and Attorney General of the State.
25. Hon. Ezeali, Ukie - Project Monitoring
26.Hon. Oshibe, Moses - Lands and Survey
27.Hon.Uguru, Emma - Environment.
As it stands now, the enlarged Ebonyi State Executive Council is made up of 26 commissioners, 14 senior special assistants to the governor, and 34 special assistants to the governor. This, without the governor's principal officers, amounts to a 74-member executive arm.
Given the high-profile development slant of Umahi's administration as evinced by his overcrowded first-term scorecard, members of Umahi's new executive council are challenged to take the development of Ebonyi State a notch-higher by breaking or surpassing the impressive developmental records of the first tenure. They should not allow the euphoria of the eventful first term becloud or overshadow the second term because every tenure shall be assessed by posterity according to its achievements. This wake-up call is necessary in view of the facts that majority of the members of Umahi's new team were major actors in his first tenure; and many of them are retaining their previous portfolios.
In specific terms, while Ebonyi people expect Governor Umahi and his team to complete the Abakaliki Ring road, airport, overhead bridges and stadium projects on time, they crave for more attention to Ebonyi South Ring road, rural roads in Ndaburu-Ebenyi, Inikiri and Ugoeze Effium, Inyere and similar communities as promised during the campaigns; the biomass gasification power project, rural electrification and reticulation of water to rural communities. Other areas where Ebonyi people expect frank attentions include the Agricultural revolution with emphases on subsidizing land preparation and provision of produce storage and processing facilities as well as farm settlements; effective take-off of the industrial clusters in all the districts with effective incentives for SMEs and the effective take-off of the waste re-cycling plant at Umuoghara; establishment of pivot schools and secondary health facilities in places like Effium; and the sustenance of the security of lives and property which Ebonyi people enjoy.
In addition, solid mineral communities and informed Ebonyians expect Ebonyi State Government to create a programme for shaft mining with incentives to encourage all miners to acquire proper mining equipment within a stipulated time. This, in addition to a sincere green life programme for Ebonyi State, will protect our people from the dangers of surface mining and save the beautiful environment which nature bestowed on Ebonyi State from the ongoing destruction in the name of surface mining.
As I congratulate Governor David Umahi and his new team, it suffices to state that these are sure ways to practically achieve Governor Umahi's unhidden desire to create for Ebonyi people alternative routes to wealth other than politics.