Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has said that the neglect suffered by rural areas of the state over the years informed the aggressive rural development initiatives by his administration.
Ugwuanyi disclosed this on Wednesday in Enugu during a solidarity visit by the Association of Presidents General of Town Unions in the state.
The state government had recently embarked on a community development initiative termed ‘one community, one project’, among other infrastructural interventions in rural communities.
In the community development initiative, each of the 458 autonomous communities of the state is to get N10 million grant to execute a project of choice in line with local needs.
The governor explained that the efforts so far made by his administration were to open up the hinterlands and give the residents of such areas a sense of belonging.
Ugwuanyi said that the status of Enugu as the capital of Old Eastern Province, Old Anambra State and currently that of Enugu State had seen development skewed in favour of the city.
He said that rural communities had consequently, suffered neglect, adding that there existed disconnect between residents of some local communities was due to lack of access roads.
He said that prior to the beginning of his administration most areas were challenged and some people found it difficult to visit certain areas of their communities.
He commended the presidents general of the town unions for collaborating with his administration to change the narrative by investing in the needs of the people.
Ugwuanyi said that there was no better time to start the development of new cities in the state than now.
The Chairman of the association, Chief Paully Eze, described the governor as an `astute’ administrator that had imparted a worthy political heritage to the state. Eze said that the rural transformation agenda of the governor was second to none, adding that they had to come to pledge the support for his reelection bid.
He said that the N2.5 billion which the state government had so far invested in the pilot phase of the community development initiative had changed the fortunes of the benefitting communities.
The chairman said that they were not surprised of the governor’s political dexterity as he equally had an unblemished tenure in the House of Representatives.
Eze described the governor as a `political tactician’ that had trusted God in all his endeavours.
“We are here to give you our tacit support and have offered ourselves to carry the message of your reelection to the rural communities,” he said.