Recently, the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, said his administration has spent over ₦5 billion in touching the lives of the people of the state.
Umahi stated this on a Friday during a Christmas visit to the Alex Ekweme Federal Teaching Hospitals, Fetha One and Two, and the Mile 4 Maternity Hospital in Abakaliki.
Although the governor did not explain how the money was spent, he noted that the sum was expended by the local and state governments.
“Between the Local Governments and the state, in this December alone, we have spent over N5billion. When we didn’t have the money, we had to borrow because touching people like this gives me a lot of joy,” Umahi said.
“So when few people are saying there is no empowerment, don’t mind them. This is the real empowerment, to set the patients free, to set the poor free, to set the oppressed free, that is the real empowerment.
Indeed, it is either the governor did not really understand what he was saying or that he deliberately decided to lie.
If we must go by Governor Umahi’s words, the 5billion naira was spent within one month to empower the people of Ebonyi State.
If this is understandable, then, it means that traders, Artisans, students, civil servants, and indeed, every citizen of the state should feel the impact of 5billion empowerment programme.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics and the National Population Commission, the population of Ebonyi State was projected to hit 3,221, 800 by 2020
If we go by the above figure, it is taken that each citizen of Ebonyi State will smile home, approximately with the sum of N1.552 Million to either support their Business or farms.
Away from the above shocking revelation, if the governor decides to focus on non working population of the state, each non working citizen will go home with not less than N3.62 Million to start buisness or venture into agriculture or any other trade of choice. Non- working population of Ebonyi state, according to the National Bureau of Statistics constitute 83.49 percent.
There is no doubt that if Umahi injects N5billion in Ebonyi market, the entire state will burst into robust economy as every nook and cranny of the state will feel the impact. Unfortunately the reverse has been the case.
THE TRUE SITUATION IN EBONYI NOW.
It is no longer news that Ebonyi could be comfortably nicknamed the “Hunger Hub of the Nation”. Every family in the state eat from hand to mouth as commercial activities in the state was forced to go under as a result of unfriendly policies of the Umahi Administration.
For instance, issue of capital flight constitutes 60 percent of the Ebonyi Economic woes. All materials for major projects such as roads and bridges are sources from outside the state.
Cement and roads are purchased on the order of the state government from outside the state even when there is a Building Materials Market in the state.
It might interest you to know that Ebonyi has the largest Quarrying Industrial Cluster in Nigeria which is capable of supplying chippings all over the country. Unfortunately, the governor , instead of patronizing the local content, has brought chinese Engineers to manage his own Quarry where all stones and chippings are sources for projects.
Despite these teething challenges, the governor has continued to impose heavy tax on traders. A case in point now is the imposition of compulsory payment of N1 million per each shop owner in the Abakaliki Building Materials Market.
The governor had relocated the market to a new site with only land space provided, traders were asked to build the shops themselves. Meanwhile, the old market was purchased by the traders.
EBONYI STATE UNIVERSITY UNDER LOCK AND KEY.
One wonders the wisdom and truth behind Governor’s Umahi’s claim that his administration has spent N5billion ” touching the lives of the people”. It is on record that both academic and non academic staff of the Ebonyi State University have been on strike since January, 2020 for non payment of salaries.
As it is now, there is no hope in sight that with ASUU Strike being called off , the students of the University will resume lectures.
Instead of seeking amicable solution, the governor has threatened the chairman of ASUU-EBSU of “Occupying his home”
So, the question is, where did Governor Umahi spend the N5billion he claimed was for the Empowerment of Ebonyi people?