By Ewa Innocent,Abakaliki
The National president of Nigerian Union of journalists(NUJ), Deacon Chris Isiguzo, has commended governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state, for his infrastructural development which he said, has changed the face of Ebonyi state.
Deacon Iziguzo, who spoke during the Ebonyi state revised budget preparation and public participation citizen Abakaliki,the Ebonyi state capital looks like Beijing or somewhere in London or Dubai.
His words, “Your excellency, I must make this observation, last night, when I arrived at the state with my team, I didn’t know if it was by happenstance or a deliberate design, we just went around the state. The chairman (NUJ, Ebonyi State Council,comrade Tony Nwizi) led us around the state capital, I must say I saw a new Ebonyi State very clearly. Going around the bridges, the flyovers and of course, the nightlife. It was as if somebody was in Beijing or somewhere in London or perhaps, in Dubai.
“I must say that in that score, you have done very well. When you were reading out your speech,you made reference to the importance of infrastructural development and that from what I have seen so far, shows clearly that you so much invested in that regard and I can tell you that in spite of the fact that when you look at the federal allocation from the rear, Ebonyi State takes the lead from the list of those who receive a very poor allocation.
“But I can tell you from what I have seen this afternoon, I have had the opportunity of interacting,staying at very close quarters,with your colleagues (other Governors) across the states, I can tell you that, you have substantially done well in the areas I have mentioned and the people of Ebonyi State have not made any mistake in having you as their leader at this particular point in time.
“Your Excellency, let me make this very clear, the media is not just about criticizing the government, it is also in our lifestyle to do so constructively, and objectively. We are of course,institutional partners, the media and government, and not antagonists to ourselves.
The NUJ President described people’s participation in the reversed budget of Ebonyi state for the 2020,enunciated by governor David Umahi as a unique feature in democratic governance.
“Your Excellency, this is quite commendable, making the people to be part of the system of governance. I would also expect that their participation will not just end at the point of making input to the proposed reversed budget, they should also go a step further to participate in monitoring this budget.
“It is also important you put in place a citizen committee that will be saddled with the responsibility of monitoring the budget. It could be every hundred days,they will supervise to monitor achievements you have recorded, as regard the reversed budget proposal.
In their different remarks, Commissioners in the line ministries, including, Barr. Uchenna Orji, Commissioner for Information and state Orientation, said governor Umahi, has done tremendously well, especially in the area of Infrastructural development and human capital, adding that the interactive meeting was to get inputs from the citizenry for the reversed Ebonyi 2020, budget occasioned by coronavirus pandemic.
Governor Umahi on his part, thanked the NUJ president, Deacon Isiguzo, for not hiding the truth, stressing that his administration has done its best and will never be afraid of criticisms from the opposition. He however, advised that one should be very careful not to make statements that could spark war in the society.
Meanwhile, Ebonyi state government has reversed the state 2020 budget by 26 percent, following the ravaging coronavirus pandemic. To this effect,the budget has been reduced from N178.366 billion to N131.847 billion.