PRINCE CHINEDU EMMANUEL EMEKA: HIS ACHIEVEMENTS AS THE DEPUTY GOVERNOR OF ANAMBRA STATE:
When he was deputy governor, he highhandedly started Anambra west electrification project in 2003 and completed phase 1 of the project (electrification of Umueze Anam) in 2005 with the help of Governor Chris Ngige.
He also provided several manual boreholes and tap water in Umueze Anam community which are still functioning till date. He facilitated the creation of Owelle, Ukwalla and Innoma Autonomous communities in Anambra west LGA. It is on record that Ikenga created political awareness which the people of Anambra West enjoyed for a very long time. At that time, in Anambra North senatorial zone, only one LGA had a higher registration figure than Anambra West because he always deployed his personal resources to mobilize the people for voter’s registration. Today, with the exception of one LGA, Anambra West is the smallest registered LGA in the state.
He personally facilitated employment of several people in the Local government and State civil service and also got political appointments for Ndi Anambra West. One of the beneficiaries of his appointment was Chief Emma Nnachor of Ifite Anam whom He nominated into the board of federal radio cooperation. It is also pertinent to point out that he appointed the same Chief Nnachor to serve as his special adviser throughout his tenure as deputy governor.
He is the man that conceived the idea of the Sir Odumegwu Ojukwu 3 in 1 complex. The complex was to be comprised of over 200 residential buildings, commercial areas and industrial areas. Through his mastery and lobbying effort, the house of assembly passed the enabling law for the project and construction activities commenced at the project site in Ogbunike before he left government in 2003. Unfortunately, the project was not continued by subsequent governments.
PRINCE CHINEDU EMMANUEL EMEKA helped Anambra state to recover millions of dollars lost in the ADB projects. He achieved this with the help of a prominent traditional ruler who was then a vice president of the ADB. He made sure that contractors from omabala area participated when the recovered funds were used to fund electrification projects. Even then, some towns in Orumba South were electrified for the first time under this initiative.
We must understand that deputy governors have no powers of their own. Infact at the Ikenga was deputy governor over 60% of his collogues were impeached and replaced. The current leader of the PDP in the senate (Senator Enyinna Abaribe) was impeached at that time. But with his wisdom, humility, dedication and political acumen, he not only managed the situation, he mastered the situation very well, at that time, and became one of the few deputy governors in Nigeria that was assigned a specific portfolio. He was in charge of the ministry of local government and chieftaincy matters. In this capacity, He got all the local governments to create a radio communication network (there were no gsm phones at that time) with the state government. He also engaged in manpower development as he arranged for overseas training of the elected local government chairmen. He convinced the state government to carve out an area for local government liaison offices. The aim of this initiative was to help actualize the development agenda for the state capital which then looked like a local government headquarters. The project commenced on a sound footing but was truncated for political reasons by the next government. It is on record that during his time, chieftaincy issues were quickly and peacefully resolved. The Afu Enyi Amalu Enyi helped many communities (especially in Anambra North) ensure that their favored candidates were duly certificated after going through the laid out process. Two examples of this are Igwe Omasi and Igwe Ikem Ivite (Ayamelum and Anambra East LGA respectively). In another case that occurred in Anambra North, the certification and coronation of a first class Igwe would have been derailed but for his diligent handling of the process. Ikenga stood his ground and made sure justice was served. Decorum does not allow that we mention the name of this highly revered traditional ruler.
During that time also, as the deputy governor, PRINCE CHINEDU EMMANUEL EMEKA was in charge of the state boundary commission. He got then President Olusegun Obansanjo to visit Aguleri/Umueri (then a war zone). At great personal risk, He was bold, dauntless that he visited the war ravaged area to ensure that the president’s visit would be hitch free. Even on the process his entourage was attacked but the gallant police escorts with him managed to repel the danger. After that reconciliation He facilitated, there has never been a major breakdown of peace in that area again. Ikenga is a renowned peacemaker!
Various people have laid claims to the Umueze Anam-Kogi road project (even those who were not born at that time) but it is on record that Ikenga Anam supervised the state government committee setup for the project. He received Chief Tony Anineh (then minister of works) and conducted him and the company to the project site for the very first TIME. He arranged for the construction company to enter negotiations with Umueri and other impacted communities. He helped a prominent Umueri indigene gain a long lasting high level employment that very much facilitated the project at that time.
It is not a secret that due to some unfortunate factors, the state government was embroiled in crisis with civil servants. The state government had failed to meet its financial obligations to the workers of the state. When all else failed, Ikenga was called upon to act as chief negotiator to lead the state government negotiating team. The state government team successfully negotiated a way to resolve the crisis with labor. Comrade Charles Onyeagba was chairman NLC Anambra state at that time and led the labor team, Comrade Don Onyeji a renowned media practitioner in Anambra state was also a member of the labor team when a settlement plan was reached.
SOME OF HIS ACHIEVEMENTS AS A COMMISIONER (FOCUSING ON ANAMBRA NORTH SENATORIAL ZONE):
It is important to observe that the primary objective of members of the Governors cabinet (Executive council i.e., commissioners, special advisers, etc) is to help the governor achieve his vision for the development of the state. In this regard, issues are thoroughly debated at EXCO and resolutions reached are the collective efforts of all with the Governor as head. So when a governor does well, his EXCO is deemed to have done well. It does not feel comfortable talking about an incumbent administration. Not only is it inappropriate to do so, there are legal implications to revealing ExCo deliberations. It is amusing that some aspirants in a desperate need to list achievements claim they facilitated this or that project but these strange claims will be quickly set aside by discerning members of the public who understand the workings of government. At best, these people mention the ideas but play no role whatsoever in the processes that lead up to their implementation – that is the exclusive job of EXCO (just like it is the exclusive job of the house of assembly to make laws). In the course of his 4 year service to the state, several people were dropped from the ExCo. Anybody who knows HE chief Willie Obiano will know that he is an achiever who does not tolerate laxity and incompetence in his administration – We therefore proudly state that Ikenga survived all cabinet reshuffles and was the only ExCo member given an award of excellence by the state government at Anambra state 25th anniversary celebrations. He was also given another award for excellent service to the state at the end of his 4 year tenure as commissioner.
Nonetheless, let us give some specific highlights. When the People’s Prince was invited to serve the government as commissioner for public utilities, he made sure omabala area was provided some transformers by the state government. he was able to point out from existing records that previous distribution of transformer exercises did not do justice to this area. For example, Anambra West received 5 transformers in the brief period when he was commissioner for public utilities, Anambra East received 15. Oyi received 9 and Ayamelum also received some transformers. Under the able leadership of His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano, the ministry of public utilities continued the Anambra West electrification project. For example, in Ifite Anam, electricity was delivered at the Rev. Father’s house, the hospital and some other locations at Mmiata. The Governor commissioned the project at that time. Later, the lines were vandalized. We must point out that vandalization of transmission lines in Anambra West and Ayamelum LGA’s is the primary reason why these LGA’s do not have 100% electricity coverage. The ministry also rehabilitated the transmission lines to umudora anam to 99% completion at that time. The ministry observed that the transmission line from Onitsha to otuocha traversed over 50 communities in the state and was indeed the longest transmission line in the state. As a result of this, it was prone to failure. The ministry recommended that the state government should provide another route before he left the Ministry. The improved light we are enjoying today in this area is as a result of the state government providing this new route as recommended by Ikenga.
PRINCE CHINEDU EMMANUEL EMEKA was later redeployed to the ministry of Science & Technology in 2015. In line with HE willie obiano’s vision, the ministry under Ikenga’s leadership sought permission for establishment of an ICT department. This was obliged by ExCO. The ministry quickly developed Anambra state ICT policy, and developed a plan for deployment of ICT infrastructure across the State. Time and attendance machines were deployed in the state secretariat by the ministry. With software internally developed, the newly minted ICT department conducted biometric verification of civil servants and fished out about 800 ghost workers thus saving government millions of naira. It is important to point out that the data gathered in the verification exercise was used to make a case for employment of ndi anambra north (particularly Anambra west, anambra east, ayamelum and ogbaru LGAs) who were grossly marginalized in employment in the state civil service. It is gratifying to note that the State government is now systematically addressing this issue of marginalization in the state civil service.
The following software were developed by the Ministry under PRINCE CHINEDU EMMANUEL EMEKA:
1. Anambra state fool proof receipt booklet. The software which was developed by the ministry was demonstrated to the whole world at the 2016 Smart City conference in the USA. Impressed by our software, Anambra state was selected out of all participating Nigerian states to address the conference. At the time he left, NITDA and Galaxy Backbone had indicated interest in partnering with the state government to roll out the software nationwide.
2. “My Anambra app” available on the google playstore. The software was designed to be a gateway to government services from the convenience of a person’s smartphone. The app is available today in the google playstore.
3. HE Willie Obiano gave a matching order to the ministry to provide a functional website for the state government. At that time, our state website was ranked number 36 out of 36 states. The ministry rolled out a website which immediately ranked 12th in the federation.
4. Anambra state verification of things platform was developed and rolled out. When deployed across the state, this software will enhance IGR collection significantly.
5.The ministry developed a software tool to predict weather for effective planning. The tool is integrated in the upgraded version of “myanambra app”.
6. The ministry technically supervised the roll out of POS as a means of collecting revenue for the state. This was intended to checkmate the activities of fraudsters in revenue collection in the state.
7. Anambra state in a competition organized for the 36 states of Nigeria by the federal ministry of communications came in second to Lagos state in the category of eGovernment implementation. As at the time this feat was achieved, the state government ICT department was barely a year old. In order to win this highly coveted award, Anambra state beat out states like Edo and Rivers that had spent billions of naira on ICT.
Under the visionary leadership of HE Willie Obiano, the ministry engaged the services of a consultant to drive the solid mineral sector. A lot of gains have been made in this regard. characterization of various minerals (such as bentonite, kaolin, etc) were conducted. This area has the potential to create gainful employment for our youths. Before his departure, over 50 cooperatives had been registered in the ministry to participate in the artisanal mining sector.
As a commissioner in the government of HE Chief Willie Obiano, Dr. Emeka was always accessible to his people. Whenever the opportunity arose he helped people to secure employment and government contracts. On several occasions, he participated in negotiations that led to the withdrawal of herdsmen from farmlands in Anambra west and Anambra east Local government areas. He headed a subcommittee formed by the Anambra State Oil & Gas committee to negotiate lasting peace between Aguleri communities in Anambra East LGA and Ibaji communities in Kogi State. Because of his efforts in this regard, tension has been doused in the area and protocols have been established by the communities to forestall future outbreak of hostilities.
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