Governance Report (GR) is a research and fact-based governance organization that Observes and Reports activities of governments and governance across the African continent for the advancement of public good. In line with our mandate of holding leaders across-board accountable on behalf of the people, we have decided to create a dedicated special platform to report on the performance of Nigeria state governors on an ongoing basis, in different sectors, and rank them according to their performance.
With this, we hope to engender public debate, media intervention, and a positive competitive spirit among the governors that may lead to better results for the public good.
This month we are looking at how the governors have performed in the area of infrastructure development in their various states.
The reports will be published weekly according to the six geo-political zones. This week we are publishing that of South-East governors.
Summary: The people of the South East seem not to be interested in how they are governed and have completely refused or lack the will to hold their governors accountable
Except for Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state, there is a complete mismatch between the amount of money each governor has received, within the length of his stay in office and what is on ground
The people of Abia State, particularly appear to be sedated by an unknown substance in the midst of criminal reign of decay
Abia State – Okezie Ikpeazu
The governor is in his second term and unfortunately, he is towing the path of his predecessor, former governor Theodore Oji who was a poster child of governance decay. Under their watch, Abia state has not had it rosy in the area of infrastructure.
One major project of the current governor is a tiny flyover that he started some years back, at Osisioma in Aba, on Enugu – Port Harcourt expressway, which the contractors are experts in disappearing act, they appear for one month and disappear for six or seven months, only to re-appear and disappear again. The governor promised that the project will be ready for commissioning by December 2020, but by our last check it does not look like the project is nearing completion.
There is also an ongoing perennial drainage work on Aba-Owerri road in Aba; this particular project appear to lack both a beginning and an end.
But he has something in his favour; he has constructed some rural roads in Isi-Ala Ngwa and Obi Ngwa and some street roads he rehabilitated in Umuahia the state capital and also the Owerrinta-Egbule-Mbutu Bypass. He constructed classroom blocks in some schools.
Talking about Aba, this city is the commercial heartbeat of the state, but somehow the governor has excluded the great Enyimba city, (a place that was once the pride of the southeast in terms of commerce) and every other part of the state for that matter from any and every form of significant infrastructural development. Aba-Ngwa is literally moribund and it is interesting to note that the governor hails from Ngwa.
During the course of preparing this report, a government official spoke to Governance Report on a condition of anonymity concerning infrastructure development in the state. He wondered where all the allocations and other monies that accrue to the state monthly go to because there is nothing on the ground to show for it. However many people suspect that there are very powerful interests in the state that the governor probably remits some portion of the monthly inflow to.
The current administration in Abia has not shown a commitment to the infrastructural development of the state, some residents that spoke to GR believe he is not interested in investing in infrastructure of any form in the state.
Verdict – Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu is on RED on infrastructure development at the time of this report; however his performance in this area will be observed and reported periodically.
Anambra State – Willie Obiano
It was said that former governor Chris Ngige, did a lot in the state in the area of infrastructure development especially on roads, he built quality roads. Peter Obi came in and almost did wonders in Anambra state. He touched virtually every sector in the state, in fact, most of the infrastructure you see in Anambra state today whether, in education, health, roads happened under Peter Obi.
But the current second-term governor, Willie Obiano, for whatever reason, refused to tow the path of his two predecessors in the area of infrastructure development, he did not even bother to maintain the ones built by the former administrations. Most of the roads in Awka, the state capital are not usable because the current governor refused to maintain them. The three flyovers in the state capital and some other road infrastructure were started and paid for by Peter Obi but were completed during the tenure of the current governor.
The residents we spoke with said that the governor has done nothing to develop the state in the area of physical infrastructure, except in Anambra East, his home local government, where he is constructing some roads especially in his Aguleri community, where he is also building the new airport. It was also said that a couple of times, he gave twenty million naira to each community in the state to use for whatever development project they desire.
Overall, the residents said that the governor did not pass his infrastructure development examinations.
Verdict –Governor Willie Obiano is on BROWN on infrastructure development at the time of this report; however, his performance in this area will be observed and reported periodically.
Ebonyi State – David Umahi
Dave Umahi is a second term governor and under his administration, a state that was hitherto the most backward in the southeast is now regarded as one of the fastest-growing economy and the most conducive environment for investment, and tourism due to the level of infrastructural development
The governor has done kilometers of concrete roads with a likely life span of 25years in each of the 13 local government areas with bridges, more kilometers of concrete roads within the satellite and urban towns, and also has constructed several kilometers of Federal Highway within the State
Apart from dualizing the Abakaliki/Enugu and Abakaliki/Afikpo Federal roads, the State Government also dualized several kilometers of roads along the locations of each of the ten flyovers constructed in the state.
He has built numerous beautiful round-about, installed Closed Circuit Television CCTV Cameras, as well as street lights scattered in virtually all the streets of the capital city.
Today Ebonyi is the state with the highest number of flyovers after Lagos and Abuja
The governor has also done very well in other areas; he has built the new Ebonyi international market in Abakaliki, he has built shopping malls and other world-class facilities including government offices, he has also renovated the stadium and parks too.
He has completed and commissioned the best cross-denominational ecumenical center in the whole southeast and the Ebonyi state airport project is in progress.
But what is puzzling is that the state receives about the lowest federal allocation in the whole of the south and is one of the poorest states in the country, we also gathered that in a bid to cut down on the cost of the projects, he uses direct labour but employs the services of highly qualified engineers, sometimes expatriates to supervise the projects.
For anyone who knew Ebonyi State and in particular its capital Abakaliki, the transformation under Umahi can only be described as breath-taking.
Compared to the resources available to him, Governor Dave Umahi has played above his league and won convincingly. He is an exceptional governor in the area of infrastructure development.
Verdict – Engineer Dave Umahi is on GREEN on infrastructure development at the time of this report; however, his performance in this area will be observed and reported periodically.
Enugu State – Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi
Intentionally or unintentionally the second-term governor has failed to give Enugu, the capital city, the needed developmental boost that befits the capital of the South East region. Most of the infrastructure projects you will see in Enugu today are the ones done by former governor Chime.
Apart from the construction of few kilometers of roads in Abakpa axis, an ongoing Ugwuaji Road construction, upgrading of Okpara Square forest into a tourist center, construction of a few bus-stops, rehabilitation of street lights, low-quality pedestrian bridges at Ogbete, Mayor and Gariki, and the rehabilitation of very few portions of roads mainly in GRA and Independence Layout, the capital city has not seen any other facelift with regards to the road network and physical development.
However, the Governor has done relatively ok in the area of physical infrastructure development in rural areas. He has exhibited some level of commitment in ensuring that the administration meets the real infrastructure needs of the rural people.
For instance, he has constructed at least a kilometer Road with good drainage system in all the communities in the state.
The governor also has in his favour, the rehabilitation of Milken Hill Road and construction of 9th Mile Bypass Road, reconstruction and dualization of Opi-Nsukka Road and other internal Roads in Nsukka town.
It is alleged by the residents of the state that the governor is in the business of land grabbing and conversion of public schools and other public lands into private properties with the help of Enugu State Housing Corporation.
Verdict – Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is on AMBER on infrastructure development at the time of this report; however, his performance in this area will be observed and reported periodically.
Imo State – Hope Uzodinma
The current governor of Imo state, Senator Hope Uzodinma has been on seat for one year, following a controversial Supreme Court ruling. In that one year, he has not done anything significant in terms of infrastructure development in the state, from what GR saw in the state and interviews with some residents, it seems the governor has been making only promises, which one resident termed ‘Hope Uzodimma’s government of empty promises’’.
It was reported sometime last year, that the government of Imo state has awarded the construction of Owerri-Orlu and Owerri-Okigwe roads to Julius Berger, but up till now, there is no sign of any construction work on those roads.
All the infrastructure projects, started by Emeka Ihedioha, especially in the area of roads, none were continued by the current governor.
A gigantic structure called Somto hospital built by Rochas Okorocha, the former governor of the state was pulled down by the current governor and the government gave reasons why they did so, but the citizens were not happy with the development, according to them the structure was built with Imo public funds and the governor has no valid reason whatsoever to destroy it, more so when he has not built anything himself.
The residents complained that they expected that by now, the governor would have started work on some major roads in the state that have become death traps. They mentioned the Owerri-Orlu, Owerri-Okigwe, Owerri-Mbaise and Okpala-Aba branch roads.
It is worthy of mention that the administration of Rochas Okorocha was not fair to the people of Imo, in the area of road projects, because some of the roads mentioned above and all the roads he built in the state, have not only failed completely and become impassable and death traps in less than four years, they have become a source of sorrow and pain to the citizens and residents of Imo state. A classical example is the Owerri-Orlu road leading to his hometown Ogboko. The people of the state indicated they are eagerly waiting to see the quality of projects the current governor will deliver to them, whenever he decides to start working.
But all hope is not lost as the current governor has something in his favour; He has rehabilitated some roads within Owerri metropolis and also there is an ongoing redesign of some round-about within the city.
Overall the feedback is unsatisfactory as the governor has not done anything significant in his one year in office as it relates to infrastructure development in the state and the consensus among a majority of citizens who spoke to GR is that either the governor does not know what governance is or he is not taking it seriously.
Verdict – Senator Hope Uzodinma is on RED on infrastructure development at the time of this report; however, his performance in this area will be observed and reported periodically.
1. Governor Dave Umahi – Ebonyi
Unfortunately only Dave Umahi made it to this ranking
1. Governor Okezie Ikpeazu – Abia
2. Governor Hope Uzodinma – Imo