GOVERNOR, ENUGU STATE
Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Governor of Enugu State, South East of Nigeria, rose through the business and political mills to attain lofty heights that today stand him out as one of the most popular governors in the country. He was born in Enugu metropolis, the capital of present-day Enugu state, on March 20, 1964 to parents who hailed from Orba in the present Udenu Local Government Area of the state. His exemplary leadership qualities which have continued to endear him to his people and beyond began to unfold early in his life when he attended the prestigious St Theresa’s College, Nsukka, from where he gained admission into the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). From the nation’s foremost university, he obtained a B.Sc. degree in Finance and M.Sc. degree in Marketing (Public Relations) . Governor Ugwuanyi equally holds MBA degree in Finance and another MBA degree in Accountancy from Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT).
Coursing through the proverbial career mills, he rose to become the Chief Executive Officer of Premier Brokers Limited which was the prime Insurance broking firm in the South East zone of the country and owned by the five states in the zone and ACB Bank. Rt Hon. Ugwuanyi has been a team player, bridge builder and peace maker, qualities which have added up with his passion for philanthropy to build him up over the years for humanitarian services and his present political leadership in which he has been severally described as the best Enugu state could have at the moment. He had his foundation as a philanthropist laid as a Rotarian. In 2002, he became the 16th president of the Rotary Club of Emene in Enugu. His exploits as a philanthropist and humanist earned him a rare honour from the people of his native town, Orba, who conferred on him the title of Dunu Gburugburu1 of Orba long before he joined partisan politics.
He was first elected into the 5th Assembly of the Federal House of Representatives in 2003 and he served till 2007, representing Igboeze North/Udenu Federal Constituency. He was overwhelmingly re-elected to the 6thAssembly of the Federal House of Representatives in 2007 and he served for another four years, ending in 2011. Yet, he was once again reelected to the 7th Assembly to serve from 2011-2015. He thus became the longest serving National Assembly member in the Enugu North Senatorial District of Enugu state before he became governor.
As a parliamentarian, he clearly made his mark at the National Assembly, holding leadership positions in vital committees. Between 2003 and 2007, he served as Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Public Service Matters and Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Pensions during which era the revolutionary Pension Act 2004 was enacted. In 2007, he was made Chairman of the House Committee on Marine Transport.
During his tenure as chairman of the House Committee on Marine Transport, the maritime sector underwent a revolution that gave birth to a regime of new legislations aimed at equipping the nation’s marine transport sector in line with what obtains internationally. In view of his diligent performance, he was re-appointed on re-election to the National Assembly in 2011 and thus became the first legislator to hold that position for two consecutive legislative sessions in the history of the National Assembly. While serving as a legislator, he further honed his well-cherished passion for taking care of the less-privileged.
His philanthropic reach spanned scholarships to needy students at all educational levels, infrastructure development in educational institutions and in churches, provision of boreholes to solve the water needs of some communities in his constituency as well as donation of electric transformers to many communities, among many others. He has thus been honored severally by social, religious, and traditional institutions alike.
Governor Ugwuanyi’s popularity rating powered by his disarming friendly mien and humanitarian activities over the years showed clearly in the 2015 governorship election in Enugu state when he won a landslide and devoid of visible rancor in a manner never experienced before in the history of the state.
Meanwhile, his administration since May 29, 2015 has clearly achieved phenomenal landmarks, stunning mileages. set unparalleled records in the annals of governance of states in Nigeria. And indices of these abound, especially in the novel manner Governor Ugwuanyi has continued to warm himself into the hearts of the people by opening his doors at a level no other governor would across the country. In the management of the economy of the state, for instance, he has already earned uncommon commendations for his outstanding frugality, the latest of such coming from the hall of ambassadors of countries serving in Nigeria. They are right. Since assumption of office, Governor Ugwuanyi has traveled abroad only once. And that was when he led his state's economic mission to Dublin, Ireland, a mission that is already yielding visible dividends, especially in the state's education sector. Still along that line, this is a governor in the present day Nigeria who assumed office from his very comfortable background as a three-time member of the House of Representatives but would never travel to Abuja, the nation's seat of power unless there is a compelling need of state function.
Yet, his administration has within so short a time become a lesson in massive infrastructure development that is gradually taking parts of the state by storm and graduating semi-urban areas to new urban areas while effecting a growing mass movement for opening up of rural areas of the state. A few days ago, an impartial assessor, internationally acclaimed as an organization with integrity- a data simplifying civic organization known as BudgiT- named Enugu, Lagos and River states as the only three states in Nigeria meeting their recurrent obligations, especially by paying workers' salaries promptly. for Enugu to attain this Herculian status, the chief driver of her administration certainly must be a rare human with a magical wisdom in economic management. The state has neither oil nor the advantage of hosting industrial clusters, a twin advantage that places the other two states in clear comfort. Hence, in its rarest verdict in recent times on the stewardship of an elected governor in the country, the Nigerian Labour Congress described Ugwuanyi as a governor clearly with a magic wand, singling him out among all the 36 state governors in the country as the best in that wise. Yet, the governor had another feather added to his growing glorious cap when on Saturday, December10, 2016, he was conferred with an honorary doctorate degree in Business Administration by Enugu State University of Science and Technology.
For the amiable governor of the coal city state, Enugu at this very auspicious moment of a people-oriented governance, is really in the hands of God.