In the Bible, God promised to exalt the humble. This often-ignored divine promise is fully manifesting in the life of Engr. Fidelis Nweze who is largely seen as “a young man with adult head” in Ebonyi State. Born on 5th June 1974 in the pastoral community of Okoffia, Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Nweze’s educational career started in Central School, Onueke and spanned through Ezza High School, Amuzu to the prestigious Enugu State University of Science and Technology, ESUT, where he bagged a Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.) degree in civil engineering in 2003. As a man who does not take half measures, Nweze put further finishing in his qualifications through registrations with professional bodies like Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN; Nigeria Society of Engineers, NSE; and Nigeria Institute of Civil Engineers, NICE. Armed with those academic and professional laurels, Nweze, a typical homeboy, set out to conquer and recreate his world for the benefit of mankind, not with mundane arms, but with the triune virtues of humility, diligence and charity.
Nweze, a first-class patriot who seemed to have chosen the civil engineering profession because of his desire to build his rural Ebonyi State, ignored mouth-watering job offers from blue-chip construction companies in preference for the job of a civil engineer in the fledgeling Ministry of Works in Ebonyi State. Therein, he fully deployed his leadership skills to motivate his team; his target-driven passion to project designing; his humongous energy to project construction; his infectious charisma to supervision of structures; and his overflowing humility to correcting derailing subordinates. Consequently, he shuttled from the drawing board to project sites in order to ensure proper implementation of projects. Soon, Nweze’s humility, diligence and charisma transformed him into a Midas of sorts. It was this busy schedule which earned Engr. Nweze the sobriquet, “The Ant”, that equally endeared him to the eagle-eyed Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Nweze Umahi. Umahi who was Nweze’s senior professional colleague appointed Nweze as the Commissioner for Works and Transport in Ebonyi State in 2015. With this particular appointment and Umahi’s revolutionary blueprint for infrastructural development in Ebonyi State, ebullient Engr. Nweze was set on a trajectory of positive exploits through which both the narrative and terrain of Ebonyi State would be changed for better. Engr. Fidelis Nweze has succeeded in efficiently and practically interpreting Governor David Nweze Umahi’s vision for the road sector of Ebonyi State. Nweze has broken all records of achievements of all previous commissioners for works in the history of Ebonyi State put together. Even though Engr. Nweze is blessed with oratory, he truly behaves like the ant: He works round the clock quietly and allows his accomplishments to do the talking.
So far, the total number of roads and bridges built by Engr. Nweze under Governor Umahi’s regime is greater than the total number of roads and bridges built by all the previous administrations in Ebonyi State put together. In the same vein, the cumulative distance of the roads built by Engr. Nweze under Umahi’s Divine Mandate administration has doubly exceeded that of the previous administrations put together. Beyond these, it is on record that all Ebonyi roads sit on rigid pavement. Three twin overhead bridges have also been constructed by Governor Umahi in Ebonyi State through the same ministry on which Engr. Nweze superintends. In fact, Nweze’s time as Governor Umahi’s commissioner for works marks a watershed in the chart of road sector development in Ebonyi State because it is characterized by a radical, courageous, futuristic and frugal approach to road sector development which is envied by some states and admired and copied by many other states of the federation and even the Federal Government. The fact that most of these roads are done by direct labour due to the economic shape of the State speaks volumes of the promises a civil engineer governor and his committed lieutenant hold for a rural State.
The transparency slant which has attracted accolades to Umahi’s administration debuted in Engr. Nweze’s ministry. He was the first commissioner in Umahi’s administration and in the history of Ebonyi State to publish a coherent and comprehensive list of the names, locations, descriptions and respective costs of all the projects done in his ministry. However, it must be acknowledged that for these feats to be achieved, Engr. Fidelis Nweze and his boss literally became quality assurance supervisors who sleep and wake up with measurement tapes and other quality and quantity confirmation gadgets. Their schedule of project inspection is as unpredictable as Christ’s second coming. Engr. Nweze and his boss are wont to break away from executive council meetings, State functions, private engagements, foreign trips and even night rests to inspect projects in Ebonyi State! The overriding joy is that every kilometer of road done in Ebonyi State under Engr. Nweze’s meticulous watch, is made to last for half a century and so saves a lot of funds for the present Ebonyi generation and posterity. Nweze’s goodwill has made him a crowd-puller in Ebonyi State and serves as a support-enhancement fillip to the political project of his boss, Engr. David Nweze Umahi. A group, Ezza Nation For Dave Umahi 2019, which Nweze coordinates is the umbrella political support group of Ezza Ezekuna people. Recently, Ezza Ezekuna people donated an ultramodern zonal campaign office, campaign buses and electronic election monitoring devices to Umahi’s re-election project through the group. With the total mobilization of the support of Ezza Ezekuna people who constitute 31.2 per cent of the total voting strength of Ebonyi State for Umahi by Nweze in liaison with other Ezza Ezekuna stakeholders, the group’s slogan that Umahi’s victory is “assured” cannot be faulted.
Beyond the virtues of humility and diligence, Engr. Fidelis Nweze is a creative and courageous charity worker whose humongous investments in mankind is yet to be equaled by his contemporaries. In pursuit of his career in giving, Nweze has always sought and succeeded in improving the status of his beneficiaries without subjecting them to the harassment of camera lenses. For Engr. Fidelis Nweze who is largely regarded as “an unconditional giver”, anything that cannot be given quietly is lost because according to him, “in charity work, the dignity of beneficiaries must be guarded jealously”! Behind the camera, Nweze has built homes for numerous families; given out private educational scholarships to many students; taken up medical bills of many indigent patients; and given out over fifty cars and hundreds of motorcycles to people who are not necessarily connected to him. Added to these, Nweze has given seven-digit financial support to many youths, women, men and families across Ebonyi State and beyond to enable them start or stay in business.
At 45, charismatic Engr. Fidelis Nweze has given over 4500 persons in different locations reasons to happily praise God for bringing them across Engr. Nweze’s path. One can safely say that through silent selfless giving, Nweze has made more converts to God than scores of evangelists put together; yet, he is unrelenting. True to God’s settled Word, humble Engr. Fidelis Nweze’s coasts, status, rank, integrity and goodwill have been upwardly mobile inspite of petty envy and peer group jealousy. Nweze as a human phenomenon personifies the future of Ebonyi State and the “can-do” spirit necessary to harness our human and material resources and stoke Ebonyi State to full dazzle. Engr. Fidelis Nweze, a husband of one wife, is married to the love of his life – Chinwe; and the union is blessed with promising children. Nweze who has severally won Ebonyi State Merit Award medals enjoys reading, badminton, volleyball and jokes. From all indications, the best of jolly good Engr. Fidelis Nweze is yet to come.
By Monday Eze,