Thursday 7 May 2015

Enugu residents expectant on Ugwuanyi

ENUGU—Barely weeks to the May 29 handover date, residents in Enugu State are expectant that the incoming administration of Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi would impact positively on the people in order to alleviate their sufferings. South-East Voice spoke to a cross section of residents who charged Ugwuanyi to focus on key sectors of education, health, workers welfare and employment.


Mr. Okey Agbo, a resident said,”the standard of education in state has declined drastically. At the tertiary level, Enugu State did not fair well under Chime which accounted for the withdrawal of accreditation on the Institute of Management and Technology,IMT, four years ago, by the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE.
‘’The institution was then notorious for admission racketeering, outrageous turn out of National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, members, marks-for-money, harassment of female students by male lecturers among others.
“At primary and secondary school level, the Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board, ENSUBEB is currently facing a N3.6 billion contract scam probe by the state House of Assembly. The contract was for prefabrication and renovation of 500 schools in the state.
“The incoming government should check the activities of lecturers in the tertiary institutions in the state. They have entrenched this money-for-marks syndrome or payment in kind by female students.
However, Mr Amaechi Ukwuani, lamented the practice by most public, private and missionary hospitals which demand money from patients in times of emergency before medical attention.
According to Amaechi,”I had a terrible experience when my pregnant wife was to give birth. She was to be operated upon. The missionary hospital demanded for an outrageous amount of money before she will be operated. The incoming administration should check such excesses to enable those in critical condition access medical attention.
Workers’ welfare
Mr. Chkwumaife Nze, out-going Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Enugu State chapter, appealed to the incoming administration to negotiate with the union for enhanced salary and allowances of workers in the state. Nze spoke against the backdrop of subsisting suit filed by the out-going Governor Sullivan Chime-led administration against the union over the implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage.
He said,” the minimum wage is not what one can settle in court but what you negotiate with labour. We are expecting enhanced salaries and allowances from the incoming administration. “The incoming administration should look into the backlog of arrears of gratuity owed primary school teachers, Water Corporation and Daily State staff among others.
“The Housing scheme which is in place now should be expanded to enable more teachers benefit. “The incoming administration will do well if it reduces the high school fees paid by students in tertiary schools to enable the children of workers access education which is the hallmark of any government tackling poverty, insecurity and unemployment.
“The idea of engaging auxiliary teachers in the state should be jettisoned by the incoming administration. It should employ experienced teachers who will boost standard in the education sector.”
Ndubisi Eze, who was visibly close to tears as he spoke to South-East Voice regretted that the out-going government did not do enough to create employment for teeming graduates being churned out from the many tertiary institutions in the state.
He said,”I know somebody who participated in the Songhai graduate initiative drawn from the 260 communities in the state. The government had prior to their trip to Porto Novo, Benin Republic for the six months training, promised to engage them in the agricultural sector in line with the spirit of the initiative.

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