Ben Ezechime, Enugu
The Govery of Enugu State, Mr Peter Mbah, has urged Nigerians to work together for the country’s peace and development, saying national interest must always take precedence over every other interest and consideration.
Mbah, who also stressed the importance of quality education to nation building, equally commended Nigerians for their resilience in the face of socio-economic challenges.
He stated these in a statement he personally signed and released on Sunday through his Senior Special Adviser on Mainstream Media, Mr Dan Nwomeh, in commemoration of the nation’s 63rd independence anniversary.
The governor expressed strong conviction that the country would emerge from the present difficulties stronger and more prosperous.
Mbah saluted the nation’s founding fathers for their doggedness, patriotic zeal, and lofty visions for Nigeria, urging all tiers of government to work together to reorient the country towards the path of recovery in all sectors of national life.
He said for the country to reach its full potential as a prosperous nation and the true giant of Africa envisaged by the founding fathers, it must prioritise education as the cornerstone of nation-building.
He added that it was for this reason that his administration was overhauling basic education in the state, including the ongoing construction of smart schools in each of the 260 wards in the state.
“On behalf of the government and good people of Enugu State, I salute all Nigerians on the occasion of our 63rd independence anniversary.
“On this historic occasion, I will especially want to congratulate the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR as well as the 36 state governors and indeed all Nigerians.
“The struggle for independence was not an easy one but our founding fathers prevailed. Likewise, I have no doubt that we will ultimately emerge from the present socio-economic difficulties stronger and more prosperous.
“It is achievable if we all work together irrespective of political affiliations as well as ethnic and religious backgrounds,” he stated.
Mbah said the administration was committed to urgent policy reforms in education, healthcare delivery, infrastructure, human capital development, and poverty eradication to chart a new path for socio-economic development.
The governor said the state government was sustaining the dreams of the nation’s founding fathers through deliberate socio-political and economic reforms presently being undertaken.
Mbah stressed that Enugu state had no business with poverty and assured that the state was on its way to sustainable economic prosperity given the short, mid, and long term reforms and foundations being laid by the administration.
“We are rewriting our history in a way that had never been imagined before in the history of the state. Ours is to play leadership role by thinking out of the box and doing things differently.
“That we are presently doing, and let me reassure people of Enugu that we will not rest on our oars until we grow our economy to the projected 30 billion dollars, transform social services, and kick poverty out of our state,” he said.
Looking at the huge successes achieved in the education sector, the governor declared that basic education in the state must not only be offered with quality assurance but must also come with no cost implications for parents.
He explained that the pilot project of the basic smart schools was on the verge of completion.
“In line with our Social Charter with the people of Enugu state, we did promise them that we were going to build them a kind of education where our children could compete globally, and that every child must have access to free and quality education.
“On our assumption of office, we spared no time in putting our tools to work. Today, we are almost done with the first of 260 models schools proposed for each ward in the state.
“They will be compartmentalised into crèche, nursery, primary and junior secondary school. In doing this, we identified the need to include students with special needs, and provisions have been made for them.
“The smart school is to have the right infrastructure installed in them with a functional clinic, ICT centre, e-library, science laboratories for both primary and junior secondary schools, tech laboratory, centre for robotics, studio and interactive boards,” the governor said.
He hinted that the government had identified the need to have one million litre underground storage water in aid of a clean and safe learning environment for the children across the 260 smart schools in the state, which they would build in the next four years.
“In line with the global concern over the environment, we are resorting to renewable energy as an alternative source of energy for these schools,” he added.
The governor further noted that his administration was being aggressive in the healthcare delivery system across the state, adopting the telemedicine initiative and the right equipment to build a virile and healthy workforce.
He assured that every resident of the state, irrespective of location, would have access to well-equipped medical facilities, which the government had started implementing.
On his ongoing welfare programmes on the social service sector, Mbah maintained that a deliberate step was being taken on human capital building that “will train our youths, empower our women and bridge the gender economic gap.”
This, he said, would also lift the vulnerable from the pit of poverty and create a livable and secure society.