Respite has come within the firmament of Enugu-East Local Government Area and beyond following the resolve of the new council Chairman, Hon. Alex Ugwu, to complete the abandoned secretariat to apart from giving the people value for their resources, is aimed at bringing back the Third Tier of government on the path of self-sustainability, FRANCIS IGATA writes.
Situated within the precincts of the headquarters at Nkwo-Nike, Enugu-East Local Government Area, the secretariat which was abandoned over six years ago by his immediate predecessor, was designed as a one-stop-shop for all administrative conveniences aimed at entrenching efficiency in the delivery of services to the people and its clients.
Lying on a prawling 1,000 square meters space, findings at the headquarters indicate that the councila��s boss, Hon. Ugwu, had upon assumption of office, embarked on an inspection tour of the edifice to ascertain the integrity quotient of the structure and determine immediate areas of intervention.
Rolling up his sleeves, the chairman according to a reliable source, quickly instructed the finance division of the council to set aside N5 Million monthly from its income for commencement of work to complete at the seemingly abandoned secretariat.
Barely four months in office, investigations at the site have shown that windows have already been installed at the front wing of the building, while plastering of internal walls are on-going at the site. Further revelations proved that the chairman had equally disbanded all rogue revenue officials who operated in the past administrations of the council, with a view of injecting sanity and civility in the council that constitute one of the three local government areas that makeup Enugu, the capital city of Enugu state. It is expected that the secretariat would be ready for commissioning before 12 months. And this had brought shine on the faces of the council residents and businessmen plying their trade there.
A visibly elated client, Paul Agbo, who operates a building material shop at the Ugbene 11, Timber Market, said: a�?The new chairman has by this singular gesture shown that he is bent on running a responsive government. That building was abandoned by his immediate predecessor for six years. Those who had conceived the secretariat wanted to put in place a befitting edifice that can serve as secretariat to house all the paraphernalia of government in the same building.
a�?The idea is to bridge the gap of shuttle from one point to the other each time the need arises. With the operation of the secretariat, man hours which would have been lost shuttling from one point to the other would have eliminated. You will notice also that once the secretariat comes alive, there will be improved efficiency in service delivery by the council. As you know, the council is one of the three that constitute Enugu capital and so, a lot of expectations rest on its massive shoulders.
a�?You cannot be telling people to fulfill their civic obligations by paying their taxes when you are operating from shanties tagged offices at council headquarters. If his predecessor had lifted a finger towards the completion of the building, the story would have been different today. This type of leadership is what we crave for and should be encouraged for higher leadership challenges. He has started well, so he will end wella�?.
John Agbo, a native of Umuewene, Iji-Nike equally applauded the council chairman, just as Martha Njeze, a petty trader intoned his applause. She noted that it was shameful that the council never had a befitting secretariat since its establishment, adding that a�?it projects the council as inferior to others but with this work, the prestige of the council is being boosteda�?.
Sylvanus Okoye, a civil servant, who resides at the area, noted that what the current administration has decided to do, shows that they are conscious of how people would assess their level of seriousness to achieve milestones in the council. He noted that the absence of a befitting secretariat in the past, did not project the past leaders as serious-minded people, especially given the huge amount of money they were generating in addition to the federation allocation that comes in monthly.
With the current temp of work, there is no doubt that Hon. Ugwu is set to place his name on marble and should be succeed, he would have set the standard on which his peers and successors would be placed.