Gov. Peter Mbah of Enugu State, has predicted a bright 2024 for Nigeria, urging citizens to keep hope alive, as the gains of some 2023 economic policies would begin to yield fruits in 2024.
Mbah also assured the people of Enugu State of disruptive economic growth in the new year, given the various projects, policies, and laws as well as the state’s 2024 budget rolled out by his administration.
The governor stated this in his New Year message to Nigerians and the people of Enugu State on Sunday in Enugu.
He said: “It is not in doubt that 2023 was a very difficult year for Nigerians, especially given the temporary hardships occasioned by some hard, but inevitable, policies of the Federal Government, such as the removal of fuel subsidy and unification of exchange rates.
“But I am very confident that the gales of inflation, unemployment, and general high cost of living will abate in the coming year.
“The onus is, however, on us, as leaders, at every stratum of government, to intensify efforts and initiatives to not only mitigate the immediate hardships, but also take advantage of the economic policies to put the nation on the path of prosperity.”
Recalling some landmark groundworks done by his administration since its inauguration on May 29, Mbah said he had no doubt whatsoever that Enugu was at the cusp of economic prosperity.
“In the past seven months, we had endeavoured to lay foundations for a new and prosperous Enugu State that would be a premier destination for business, investment, tourism and living.
“We equally undertook monumental tasks that broke decades-old jinxes in some sectors.
“As promised during the campaigns, we were able to deliver potable water to Enugu metropolis in 180 days. We were able to raise water production from an occasional 2 million litres to 120 million litres per day.
“We will continue to address teething challenges like leakages and sabotage while also expanding reticulation,” Mbah assured.
He added that the state took advantage of the Electricity Act, 2023, signed by President Bola Tinubu in June by immediately initiating the Enugu State Electricity Law, which he signed in Sept. paved way for an Enugu electricity market to support the investment and the industrialisation drive.
“We are cashing in on the FG’s economic policies in our quest for foreign direct investment (FDI), hold maiden Enugu State Investment and Economic Growth Plan Stakeholders Roundtable, organising various local and international investment forums to rally investments to the state.
“We have equally fought insecurity, criminality, and agent provocateurs to standstill; hence, today, Enugu is safe and ready for business,” he added.
The governor stressed that his government was currently constructing or reconstructing 71 urban roads in Enugu metropolis and ten other major roads across the state,
This, he said, include 40km Owo-Ubahu-Amankanu-Neke-Ikem dual-carriage way, while the construction of the 10,000-hectare New Enugu City had begun.
“We have already begun the construction of 260 smart schools across the electoral wards to provide modern basic education to Enugu children from creche to junior secondary in addition to world-class 260 Type-2 primary healthcare centres for all the wards across the state.
“In pursuit of ease of doing business, we are automating service delivery across the MDAs, including the Ministry of Lands and Urban Development such that you will be able to process and obtain your Certificate of Occupancy in 72 hours.
“Enugu State, under our watch, is set for disruptive economic growth and 2024 is our year of turnaround, as we work towards creating a $30bn economy in the next four to eight years,” he said.
He, however, assured that his administration would continue to prioritise the welfare of citizens.
“We will sustain our deliberate steps in forms of palliatives, wage awards, planned subsidised mass-transit buses, among others, to alleviate the immediate economic hardships faced by our people.
So, we urge Ndi Enugu to keep the faith even as we count on their support and prayers,” he added.