Governance is not a rocket science. It comprises attending to the needs of the people today considerably, envisioning and creating a path to more prosperity tomorrow. If leadership provides no pathway in the past, there won’t be headway in the future. Engr. David Umahi has shown an excellent understanding of these intricacies as Ebonyi’s helmsman. Despite the state being one of the youngest in Nigeria and receipt of little federal allocation compared to her south-southern counterparts, he has defied odds to give Ebonyi much facelift obvious to even the poor insight. This is a president Nigerians need in Aso Rock come 2023.
As shopping for a president is ongoing, it is smart to put on our objective cap to look in the direction of a candidate that has proven to develop his constituency using scarce resources. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Ebonyi State received just 136 billion naira from 2015 to 2018 from Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC). This is over three times and over four times less than what some other States got in that same period respectively. Incredibly, Ebonyi can dare to challenge these high-earning states project for project from 2015 to date and even topped them in performance. Engr. Umahi’s proclivity to optimize Nigeria’s dwindling resources at this time is tested and not in doubt.
More so, the Ohaozara-born engineer’s managerial acumen and development-driven spirit are reflected in Ebonyi State’s 2021 “Budget of Latter Rain.” As opposed to trends of recurrent expenditure dwarfing capital expenditure, his vision of a great Ebonyi State distanced him from jumping on the bandwagon. The annual budget of 145.41 billion naira earmarked over 60% for capital expenditure and over 30% for recurrent expenditure. Needless to say, Ebonyi has one of the lowest debt profiles in the federation, NBS records show. This reiterates a commitment to infrastructural development which would position the state as an investment hub. The Ebonyi International Airport close to completion cum commissioning is one of many proofs.
Without sounding hyperbolic, the difference between the outlook of the state before the Umahi dispensation and now is massive. Much thanks to his eagle-eyed inspection of projects frequently; in his signature matching “D” inscribed face cap, colorful long-sleeve shirt, jean trousers, and sneakers, off he goes. Nigeria craves a vivacious president who can demonstrate prudence in budgeting and execution. A president eager to push the country up from a developing to developed status, working indefatigably from day one to the last day in office.
Finally, it is noteworthy that Dubai is swimming in prosperity largely due to purposeful investment in infrastructure, turning her into a Disneyland of the globe. Her leadership created the environment and people all over the world are now paying attention. In fact, Nigeria can profit from David Umahi’s solid engineering background. Dreaming big is his forte. The eagle has landed. Let us make hay while this sun shines.
Francis Nwaze Is The
Special Assistant to the Governor On
Media and Publicity.