It was celebration galore yesterday among civil servants in Enugu metropolis, Enugu state as Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi made historic,
presenting keys to 100 housing units to 100 junior civil servants in the state who had won the facilities through an open ballot exercise.
The governor had initiated the gesture and his administration paid over 30 percent equity contribution to the developers of the Elim
Estate, where the houses are domiciled to enable the lucky beneficiaries to acquire the 100 housing units. It is the first time
in the history of the coal city state that a government would dole out this kind of largess to junior public servants.
Visibly satisfied and elated Governor Ugwuanyi spoke on the occasion of the presentation of the houses to the beneficiaries, saying that
“this is a very auspicious and historic occasion. We are indeed here to celebrate the goodness of the Lord to the people of Enugu State.
“You will recall that on the 29th of September, 2015, we took the unprecedented step of conducting an open lottery for civil servants
from grade levels 1-10, in respect of 100 units of one bedroom apartments at this very Estate. “A hundred lucky civil servants thereafter emerged as winners of the lottery and, having paid the over 30 per cent equity contribution that we promised for each of them, we are here today to formally hand over to them, the keys to their apartments. “This event is in accordance with our promise to deploy government
resources and services to create fair and equal opportunity for every willing citizen, to make a living, create wealth and enjoy life in a
peaceful and secure environment”, he told the jubilant gathering at the estate venue of the handover ceremony.
He further recalled that the gesture “is also a reaffirmation of our commitment to improving the welfare of workers in Enugu State and to
the provision of affordable housing for all Enugu citizens”.
Governor Ugwuanyi used the occasion to commend the leaders of the organized labour in the state as well as workers for cooperating with
his administration in the past year, especially in the face of the present economic difficulty. “As I congratulate the beneficiaries, I wish to use this opportunity to once again thank the organised labour and workers Enugu in State in general for the support, understanding and cooperation that they have continued to extend to my administration especially in these times of severe economic challenges.
“We want to reassure you that we will continue to work within our means to address issues affecting the welfare of workers and to ensure
that industrial peace continues to reign in Enugu State.
It was an occasion when the governor received avalanche of commendations from stakeholders including the workers who reaped the
benefit finally yesterday, Chairman of COPEN Group, Rev. Ugochukwu Chime, whose company are the developers, the state Head of Service,
Mr. Chidi Ezema, who praised him for doing for workers in the state what no other administration has attempted to do by providing junior
workers a concrete opportunity to own their houses within Enugu metropolis.
While the developer said the governor’s down-to-earth exemplary leadership in manner spheres has become unprecedented in the history
of the state, and lavishly endears him to the hearts of the people, a jubilant state commissioner for Housing, Charles Ogbo Asogwa, an
engineer, said that “this novel accomplishment is remarkable and memorable in the history of the state.
“It is, indeed, the first time the state government is acquiring housing units for the lowest cadre of civil servants”, said the commissioner.
And on their part, the beneficiaries who spoke to newsmen through Mr. Peter Odo, a driver on grade level 3 said, “we have seen a governor
who likes ordinary people from his heart and God will continue to bless him and his administration. “He has done for us what nobody will have agreed to do for us. Who would have given me a house, a flat as my own in Enugu capital here?”, he queried rhetorically.
Governor Ugwuanyi later cut the tape to symbolically open the 100 housing units for the benefiting workers after also symbolically
presenting the keys to their apartments to them And as he did these, he also recalled that the state was ready for investment: “As we declared during the recent Oganiru Enugu State investment summit, Enugu State is now ready and open for business. We will eagerly welcome partners in every sphere of business and development and spare no effort to ensure that our aspirations to build a more prosperous and economically secure Enugu State.