Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Former Director, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, Mr Frank Nweke Jnr, who is the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, for Enugu State, has promised to strip Enugu the toga of “civil service state” and make it a major economic hub if voted into power in 2023.
The former Minister for Information who made the promise Wednesday night while featuring on Ikengaonline gubernatorial town hall meeting series, regretted that successive administrations in the state had failed to tap into the abundant economic potentials in the state.
He said that if given the opportunity to preside over the affairs of the state, he would take advantage of the strategic location of the state as a gateway to other states in the South-East as well as link with the North, to make it a “trans- loading hub” in the country.
The governorship hopeful further promised to take advantage of the population density of the state and high number of tertiary institutions to put in place conducive atmosphere and incentives to attract investors.
Nweke Jnr. promised to unlock the economic potentials of Enugu State through deliberate investment in the power sector.
He said that the abundant gas deposit in the state which was confirmed recently when an institution in search of table water struck the gas belt about 1000 feet in the ground and gas flared for about two months before it was brought under control.
The APGA governorship flag bearer said he would also focus on expanding the state for the emergence of satellite towns to decongest the metropolis and fast-track development of the rural communities.
Nweke decried infrastructural decay in the state, regretting that most of the facilities put in place by past administrations had been left to deteriorate by the current government.
He regretted that critical investments by the late Premier of the Old Eastern Region including the Presidential Hotel, as well as the International Conference Centre by the administration of Chimaroke Nnamani among others, had been abandoned and allowed to waste.
The former Minister said that “Enugu has now become the pothole capital of Nigeria,” until recently the State Government began to patch them after much criticisms by the opposition.
He expressed dissatisfaction over the economic backwardness of Enugu State, promising to change the narrative if given the opportunity.
He promised to handle in a transparent manner all the financial dealings in the state if elected governor by promising to do what has never been done in the past, which is publishing monthly allocations received.
“I will publish monthly allocations received; if you like call it radical transparency.”
Nweke also promised judicious management of his security votes and deployment of same for security purposes.
He promised to publish his security votes and how it is deployed for accountability.
He argued that a transparent leader has nothing to fear by making his security votes public except one wants to hide under security vote to perpetrate fraud.
“How does disclosing how much a public officer receives as security vote endanger public safety and the chief executive?
“Under my watch it will not happen; every kobo received as security vote must be made public,” he promised.