*EXCO approves more development projects
The administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has approved the payment of 13th month salary for all the civil servants and staff of all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state, to celebrate the forthcoming Christmas with their loved ones.
The decision, part of the outcome of the State Executive Council (EXCO) meeting, was disclosed by the Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Chijioke Edeoga, who briefed newsmen on behalf of the Commissioner for Information, Nnanyelugo Chidi Aroh, who was absent.
It would be recalled that the Ugwuanyi administration has been consistent with the payment of the 13th month salary as Christmas bonus – a gesture the organized labour has described as “unprecedented in the history of Enugu State,” which “we never asked or agitated for”.
Briefing newsmen yesterday, Hon. Edeoga disclosed that the state government, in the spirit of Christmas, has paid the December salary of all civil servants and staff of MDAs in the state, adding that the 13th month salary will be paid “in a few days from now”.
The commissioner, who addressed the press, alongside the Commissioners for Works and Infrastructure, Finance, Chieftaincy Matters and Science and Technology, Engr. Greg Nnaji, Mrs. Adaonah Kene-Uyanwune, Dr. Charles Egumgbe and Sir. Carl Obi Kama, respectively, also disclosed that the council awarded contracts for more development projects worth over N700 million.
The projects, according to him, include the renovation/rehabilitation of Enugu State Judiciary complex, Independence Layout, Enugu at the sum of N189,493,901.89 and construction/rehabilitation of Amutenyi Obollo Afor-Umuenachi Amalla road, Udenu LGA, at the cost of N321,510,780.94.
Others include, access road and landscape works at 1×8 court room blocks A and B, Enugu North, Enugu South and Enugu East Magisterial Districts, for N138,090,832.83 and the ground water seepage control and soil stabilization works at the court premises to cost N59,916,024.00, totaling N709,011,539.66.
Hon. Edeoga further disclosed that the council rewarded the student of Girls Secondary School, Abakpa-Nike, Enugu State, Miss Chidiogo Jane Onoh, who emerged the overall winner in the country of the maiden edition of the essay writing competition of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), with the sum of N250,000.00 and a laptop “to encourage her and other children of Enugu State to strive to excel wherever they are”.
“We are trying to convey the information that there is reward for excellence, there is reward for merit, there is reward for hard work”, the commissioner said, adding that the council equally approved appreciation of some students of the state “who did very well in the National Mathematics Competition in Port Harcourt”.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Sir. Kama, added that the council consequently approved the sum of N250,000.00 and a laptop for the Enugu student that came first in the mathematics competition in Port Harcourt and N100,000.00 each for two other students of the state who took the second and third positions, respectively, stressing that the governor is education-friendly and the decision was “a way of encouraging our students to emulate these ones”.
On his part, the works and infrastructure commissioner, Engr. Nnaji, advised residents of the state to protect the existing road infrastructure during the festive season and “desist from burning tyres on our hard earned roads”.
He pointed out that such acts, usually carried out during the New Year cross-over night and eve of Christmas; destroy the roads, revealing that “our people will move round to apprehend those who will violate this directive”.
In her briefing, the Commissioner for Finance, Mrs. Uyanwune, while applauding the governor’s consistency in the payment of the 13th month salary in the state, confirmed that the December salary has been paid “so that civil servants will have enough time to do their Christmas shopping and meet other financial obligations of the season.
Their chieftaincy affairs counterpart, Dr. Egumgbe, who spoke about the state government’s conventional disposition to the traditional rulers in the state, especially during the Yuletide, stated that the government remains committed to “ensuring they (Royal Fathers) continue to partner the state in the maintenance of peace and security within our local domains”.