In continuation of its massive infrastructure rehabilitation campaign in Enugu State, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration yesterdayapproved contracts for the reconstruction of various road projects, mainly in Enugu metropolis at the sum of over N1.4 billion.
Addressing newsmen after the meeting of the State Executive Council, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Greg Nnaji, who was accompanied by his counterpart in the ministries of information, education and commerce and industry, Mr. Ogbuagu Anikwe, Prof. Uchenna Eze and Barr. Sam Ogbu-Nwobodo, respectively, identified Asata, Iva Valley, Maryland and G.R.A, among others, as areas where the projects will be executed.
Engr. Nnaji disclosed that the council approved the reconstruction of St. Michael Catholic Church road , Asata and the extension of the Timbershade-Lomalinda Estate road (phase one) to Ugwuaji to serve as another gateway to Enugu from Port Harcourt expressway as well as ensure free flow of traffic.
He noted that the road was considered because of its economic importance to the state, adding that also awarded for reconstruction was the Iva Valley link road, beginning from Camp 1 of Old PRODA site to the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway.
The works commissioner stated that the council also awarded contract for the rehabilitation of the NBL/Aqua Rapha road section at 9th Mile Corner in the Udi LGA, explaining that the road was specially designed to ensure that it was sustained. “It is a very peculiar road and engineering discussion had to be taken because of the wheel load of trailers that ply on it. It was a special design, stone base was introduced and there is an indicated lane for the trucks to park without interfering with the flow of the traffic going in and out from the Ezeagu area”
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Eze said that the council approved the recruitment of 700 additional teachers for the Universal Basic Education Scheme to fill the gap created by deaths and retirements within the past one year.
Prof. Eze further stated that 42 teachers passed on while a total of 797 primary school teachers retired, thus necessitating the request for new recruitment, recalling that the state government recruited 1,320 teachers in 2016 for primary schools in the 17 local government areas of the state.
In a related development, the council also approved the request by the Science, Technical and Vocational Schools Management Board (STVSMB) for an extension of time to continue physical payments of teachers’ salaries by cheques. The measure, according to the Education Commissioner, will help the Board fully authenticate the workforce and consolidate on savings to government through unclaimed cheques, which are being returned to the treasury following exposure of unverified, retired, and dead staff that were hitherto accommodated in the payroll.
The commissioner who further disclosed that the confirmation of actual staff strength has made it possible to deliver efficient service through effective monitoring and control, said that the council also approved N37.2m for purchase of instructional materials such as desktop computers, laptops, marker boards and chalks for primary schools in the 17 local councils.
On the Enugu State Traders Empowerment Scheme, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Barr Ogbu-Nwobodo announced the council’s extension of the programme till next year with some modifications aimed at enhancing the goal of the scheme.
The council according to the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Anikwe equally approved the installation of 24-hour power supply through solar technology to all 45 divisional police stations in the State. The measure, he said, is meant to assist the police overcome the difficulties that officers experience, especially at night in the various stations. He stressed that “most police officers on night duty find it difficult to recharge their phones and other essential working gadgets due to poor supply of electricity”
“The Council subsequently approved two types of power lighting systems for each of the 45 police stations in Enugu State, as follows: Simple but steady solar power supply units to be installed in police reception and charge offices and to be used for illumination, for charging phones, and for powering other essential working tools such as television sets and fans; and solar powered street lamps within the premises and approaches to be installed in each of the 45 police stations to help monitor movement into and out of their precincts”, Anikwe explained.
On cabinet changes, the Information Commissioner noted that the governor approved a minor reshuffle of his cabinet, by assigning the newest member of the cabinet, Barr Peter Okonkwo to head the Housing Ministry, stating that former Commissioner for Housing, Hon. Ogbo Asogwa was moved to the Ministry of Labour and Productivity while Hon. Asogwa’s counterpart in Labour and Productivity, Mr. Emeka Okeke, was asked to head the Ministry of Chieftaincy matters.