By Samson Ezea
Government and governance are not only about providing basic infrastructure, peace and security which Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration has provided for Ndi Enugu in quantum, especially in the long neglected rural areas. They also entail catering for the immediate welfare of the people and impacting directly on their lives in several ways, and not about catering for the wellbeing of the privileged ones or those in government. They are indeed about giving everyone a sense of belonging and responsibility in the affairs of the state and encouraging those with exceptional talents or potentials to excel and add value to themselves and the society at large.
As a personality that has always had flair for philanthropy, details and understands the little things that matter in the society and to the people, Enugu state Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi had since assuming office in 2015, consistently and sincerely demonstrated knack for fishing out, supporting and encouraging budding talents in the state without minding their states of origin, religion or political leanings.
Governor Ugwuanyi, who usually meets and interfaces with these talented kids through periodic tech fairs that are organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology at Michael Okpara Square, Independence Layout, Enugu, has continued to motivate, encourage and propel them to the next level with his administration’s unflinching supports.
In addition to the above, his administration established two Enugu State Tech Hub and Youth Information Centres in Enugu and Obollo to provide opportunity and enabling environment for the budding youths in the state to continue to sharpen, improve and expand their knowledge and keep tab on modern Information, communication and technology innovations. Under Ugwuanyi’s administration, many dilapidated and moribund technical schools have been rehabilitated, equipped with material and manpower resources.
In continuation of his wonderful and appreciable work in this direction and keeping faith with strong belief in human empowerment, Governor Ugwuanyi recently offered scholarships, up to University level, to the Enugu and Anambra-born young students of Government Technical College (GTC), Nsukka and Enugu, Master Emmanuel Maduabuchi Chukwu and Master Chukwuebuka Udoye, who locally manufactured two aircraft (helicopter and jet fighter) and an MP3 radio set, respectively, in the state.
The Governor announced the scholarships when he received the two students at the Government House to appreciate their talents, skills and sheer dexterity in promoting technology-based innovation in the state.
In addition, the governor gave the inventor of the two aircraft, Master Chukwu, an indigene of Nnewe in Aninri Local Government Area of Enugu State, the sum of N1 million, and N500,000.00 to the student of GTC, Enugu, Master Udoye, an indigene of Aguata in Anambra State, who produced the MP3 radio set, to enable them advance their inventions.
Expressing his delight, Ugwuanyi disclosed that he is very proud of the students and the many feats the educational system has brought to Enugu State since the inception of his administration, stressing that “all the money being spent in education is a worthy investment”.
Appreciating the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Uche Eze, the Executive Chairman of the Science, Technical and Vocational Schools Management Board (STVSMB), Dr. Gabriel Ajah, the Principal of GTC, Nsukka, Peter Ugwuokpe, and other stakeholders in the education system for the achievements being recorded in the sector, Ugwuanyi requested the Commissioner to immediately present to the State Executive Council (EXCO), a memo for the approval of the sum of N100 million for the construction of more classroom blocks in Government Technical Colleges (GTCs) in the state.
The governor equally directed the Executive Chairman of STVSMB, Dr. Ajah, to apply for the sum of N50 million for the construction of more technical workshops in GTCs Nsukka and Enugu, and also request for employment of additional technical teachers, for the EXCO’s approval.
“I am proud of all of you; I am proud of the education system in Enugu State; I am excited. The young student from Anambra State, we give you N500,000.00 and scholarship for manufacturing a radio set in our state”, Gov. Ugwuanyi said.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Eze, applauded Gov. Ugwuanyi for the premium his administration places on education in the state as well as his gesture to meet with the students to encourage and appreciate their talents.
“We are so happy, and we appreciate this honour given to us to come and make this presentation. Your Excellency, your schools are working; this is just one of the many things that are going on in our technical colleges. Thank you for encouraging our young talents. This is part of the legacies you are leaving behind for posterity”.
Responding, the two students, Chukwu and Udoye, expressed their deepest joy and gratitude to Gov. Ugwuanyi for honouring them, adding that the encouragement and support from the governor, which they never expected, will spur them to fully actualise their dreams. They asked God to continue to bless the governor.
Although the duo of Udoye and Chukwu were the latest beneficiaries of Ugwuanyi’s largesse in the area of talents supports and encouragements, it would be recalled that on May, 26, 2021, Gov. Ugwuanyi rewarded winner of the 2020 edition of the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs’) national mathematics competition for girls, Miss Chinwe Mary Blessing Onodagu.
Miss Chinwe, an SS1 student of Federal Government Girls’ College, Lejja, Nsukka Local Government Area, Enugu State, and from Aku in Igbo-Etiti LGA of the state, was crowned the “Nigerian Mathematics Queen 2020,” in March, 2021, in Abuja, after emerging the overall best student in the mathematics competition among Nigerian girl students.
Receiving the SDGs’ award winner at the Government House, Gov. Ugwuanyi congratulated her for making Enugu State proud, describing her “a special gift and blessing from God”.
The governor first thanked God for the feat and went further to commend her parents and the entire management of the school, stressing: “I can confirm that Federal Government Girls’ College, Lejja, is a success story”.
Gov. Ugwuanyi therefore announced a cash donation to the girl for achieving the feat and another donation to the school to encourage them to produce more award winners. The governor equally gave her scholarship.
Responding, the visibly elated ‘Queen’ expressed gratitude to Gov. Ugwuanyi for the recognition, saying: “I am very happy; I pray that God will continue to help him (Ugwuanyi) in all he is doing. He will be prospering in everything he lays his hands. I am also thanking God for making it possible for me to emerge the winner of the competition. I am equally thanking my parents and the school. I am hoping that more students will get this kind of opportunity”.
On her advice to other students, Miss. Chinwe said: “If you read hard and pray hard, your dreams will come true”.
With this kind gesture which has continued to come consistently, Gov. Ugwuanyi has apart from motivating and encouraging the beneficiaries to aspire for more feats, has also relieved their families of the financial burden of cartering for their academic pursuits.
On this note, Ndi Enugu can not thank Gov. Ugwuanyi enough for his disposition to aggressively encourage talent development Enugu State, just as the youths of Enugu are also urged to redouble their efforts at self discovery and development.
…Ezea writes from Independence Layout, Enugu.