If human capital monitoring, management, and development is the fulcrum on which development index is hinged, then Ebonyi State, under the current administration has fired the right shots on target – human capital development.
Governor David Umahi has not taken contrary posture on these all-important areas of governance, even as he has set mechanisms in motion towards the attainment of the right manpower to coordinate affairs of the state in whatever capacity.
Governor Umahi is aware that the world over, human capital development plays a critical part in the development of any nation, the reason being that humans are key actors in every state project. Human capital development is the tripod on which all other subsectors subsist.
Whether physical facilities or what have you, humans are critical stakeholders. Armed with the fact that it is the development of manpower that birth other critical infrastructures, Ebonyi State Government initiated various projects geared towards developing human resources.
Umahi is fully aware that poor human capital development is largely responsible for the snail speed of growth of any nation. When the infrastructural and human capital are both strengthened, other areas will fall in shape.
An uninformed citizen will be unable to engage in critical thinking with a view of promoting sound policy framework for the state.
Every responsible government develops the infrastructure and human capital, fail to do this suffers other subsectors -management of aviation facilities – educational institution and other complex undertakings.
Of course, the trite assessment of developed economies is infrastructure and human capital hinged.
Ebonyi state has fared better in this area. It is safe to posit no country can be said to be developed when human capital development is an all-time low. This underlies the huge investments of the state government in this area.
Beneath good roads, flyovers, bridges pedestrian crossing, shopping mall, and other facilities, is human capital development. On several fora has Governor David Umahi made public his policies towards developing the human resources of the state citing years of neglect and servitude the state was subjected to, as reasons.
In the areas of infrastructural development, none argues against Umahi’s interventions. From urban renewal, constructions, and rehabilitation of existing internal roads, to the construction of new roads especially in the suburbs. This is even as the Ecumenical Centre, Shopping Mall located at the city center qualifies for internationally renowned facilities.
The airport, Olympic size stadium, flyovers, Waste Management Plant, Ebonyi Salt Development Project, and other industrialisation drive of government are signature projects that Governor David Umahi administration is associated with.
This is where the Governor, Engr. David Umahi has unarguably fared better. One common feature of his administration is massive human capital and infrastructural development. The Umahi government is said to be standing on dual ideology – human capital and infrastructural development. This is even as one finds it difficult to distinguish Umahi’s Midas touch in the twin areas.
On May 29, 2015, that the Umahi’s administration was installed, one cannot say, the state has not recorded significant milestones in human capital development of the state.
Umahi is a dogged developer of human capital. Various mechanisms to develop human capital are fully functional. How?
Between 2015 to this period, many programs of government have been successfully executed.
Empowerment of 400 Ebonyians in Lagos and Onitsha with Tricycles at the cost of 263,200,000. This program was introduced by the Governor to change the lives of Ebonyi youths who are hawking in the cities for better. If a careful analysis is done, one will observe that number of Ebonyi youths hawking in major cities has declined greatly.
The Governor, Engr. David Umahi in his committed effort to keep alive indigent women that lost their husbands, introduced a program for the widows – 300 widows selected across the 171 wards in Ebonyi State are paid monthly while many others have been built bungalow for through the office of the first lady.
The waste to wealth recycling plant and shopping which are both in advanced stage of completion promised to employ above 7, 000 Ebonyians in a short time from now.
Ebonyi citizens with different forms of physical disabilities have been receiving stipends and periodic support and empowerment through the department of Welfare and Religious Matters.
The Traditional Rulers across the 140 Autonomous communities have also gotten their own blessing. The coming of Governor Umahi was followed by a 500% allowance increment and brand new SUVs. A gesture this institution cannot forget in a hurry.
Governor Umahi encourages what he calls the second address; he urged the women to engage in profitable ventures to make them stabilize. In 2019, he approved the release of the sum of N150, 000,000 for the empowerment of the Market Women to augment their entrepreneurial efforts.
To encourage education and lessen the burden on parents, the governor approved a reduction of Ebonyi State University fees by 10,000 with an understanding with the students that the practice of cultism will no longer be seen in the school premises.
Water is life; before the coming of governor Umahi, the water system in the state was in a total coma. The reticulation was poor but Umahi has changed the narratives. No more guinea worm as it used to be – Umahi is about to complete 5 water schemes across the state which will unarguably make water available across the state.
To alleviate the poverty level of the state, the Governor introduced the ‘one-man one-hectare’ program – this improved the economy of the state by getting everyone into farming. None was exempted, civil servants, public servants, cooperate and individual bodies were provided supports in the form of loans for their farming.
It is worthy of note that Ebonyi state is the first in Southeast Nigeria to commence the payment of Civil servants the N30,000 minimum wage. So far, the EBonyi State government does not owe anyone salary as payment of salaries comes on or before the 15th of every month.
The Ebonyi State Stimulus Program was informed by the urgent need to improve human capital development. Over 45,000 sons and daughters of Ebonyi State with zero consideration to the location were targeted. This arguably is the largest empowerment program of any state government in the post-Independence Nigeria.
In a related development, the Millionaires Club initiated by Governor David Umahi was knotted to the development of men that have exited the average theatre. True to the philosophy behind its establishment, it has not lived below billings – many have benefited from these gestures of government.
The governments also disbursed another whooping fund to 40,000 artisans of Ebonyi State extraction resident in Lagos and Port Harcourt.
In the area of human capital development, Governor Umahi dwarfs contemporaries -making it difficult to believe reports from some quarters of abysmal performance in these critical areas of governance.
Francis Nwaze, Special Assistant to Ebonyi State Governor Media and Publicity Writes From Abakaliki