The Ebonyi State Government on Thursday approved N380.1 million towards repositioning some key sectors of the State, particularly health, agriculture, sports, power, commerce and industry.
This was revealed during a joint briefing to journalists at the end of the State Executive Council meeting in Abakaliki by the concerned Commissioners and other principal officers of Government.
Speaking on health, the Commissioner, Dr. Daniel Umezurike, said the Council has approved N79.8 million for the equipping of the State School of Nursing and midwifery in Uburu, Ohaozara Local Government Area to facilitate its accreditation and commencement of academic activities.
The sum, according to Umezurike, would be deployed in providing befitting library, modern laboratory, demonstration room, as well as a 32-seater Coaster bus for the students and one Hilux Van for the provost of the college among other facilities.
The Commissioner recalled that the school, which started from the old Abia State in 1992, remained abandoned since 1996 when Ebonyi State was created, until recently when Governor David Umahi took up the initiative to resume work on the project and completed it to serve as a training ground for middle level manpower to drive the State’s health sector.
He lamented that Ebonyi State is the only State in the South East that does not have a school of nursing of its own.
The Commissioner explained further: “Work was stopped while the school had not actually started.
“Since then, no meaningful work has been done in that school.
“Ebonyi State is the only State in South East that does not have a school of nursing.
“This Governor, upon assumption of office, has sworn that there is no meaningful project that would be left abandoned in the State as long as it will impact positively in our lives.
“So we commenced the rehabilitation and completion of this project.
“So far construction work has reached final stage but for academic activities to start, some of the learning facilities must be provided so as to have quality products from that school and that school is about the best school of nursing in the whole federation.
“Today, the intending students will heave a sigh of relief because when these items are provided, the Nursing Council will be invited for accreditation visit from Abuja and we are hopeful that it will pass because of this support.”
In the area of Agriculture, approval has been given for upward review from N52 million to N140 million the contract sum for the installation of a second fertilizer blending plant to complement the existing one in the State.
The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Umahi, Prof. Ogbonnaya Chukwu, who stated this, said the amount would cater for the expansion work and other requirements for the second plant building to house the second fertilizer plant, adding that the repositioning of the fertilizer company is imperative as it was the only one in the whole of the South East.
The SSA, who doubles as the General Manager of the State fertilizer Blending Company, further explained that the machines imported from China were already on ground in the State, adding that starting from August 13, the Chinese engineers would be arrive to commence installation.
Further on Agriculture, the Principal Secretary to Umahi, N. Nweke, disclosed that emanating from the Governor’s recent business tour of China, the State Government has initiated a Memorandum of Understanding with a reputable Chinese company expected to attract the establishment of 10 hectare pilot project in irrigation, 100 hectare full irrigation project and the establishment of Irrigation Pipe Production Factory in the State.
Nweke noted: “Exco discussed extensively the memorandum and cane up with a number of recommendations, which would be communicated to the Chinese partners, of which their response would culminate into the final MoU to be signed in the State.”
Meanwhile, the State Executive council has also approved N52.3 million for sporting activities in the State.
Briefing journalists on executive resolutions concerning his Ministry, the Sports Commissioner, Charles Akpuemika, said part of the amount would be invested in the re-introduction of school sports from primary through junior secondary to senior secondary schools in the State.
He added that the first edition of David Umahi Tertiary Institution Games, which would engage all the tertiary institutions in the State, would take part of the approval, while the first divine mandate super cup that will commence from the 171 wards through the 24 constituencies, terminating at the State level, would also be sponsored from the fund.
The date of commencement of these tournaments, according to the Commissioner, would be made known to the press very soon.
Similarly the State Executive Council has approved about N160 million for construction of Solar Power House and Solar Panels to be installed at eight strategic locations across the State to augment the inconsistent electricity from the National Grid.
According to the Commissioner for Power, Emmanuel Uguru, the solar power equipments would be installed in the interim at the State School of Nursing in Uburu, Umunaga town road; school of health Technology, Ezzamgbo; Onicha Palm; Ministries of Power and Health at the Centenary City; and the State College of Education, Ikwo as well as the Ebonyi State Broadcasting Corporation, Abakaliki.
Uguru added: “Each of the structures would cost about N23.9 million, while the panel would cost about N7.7 million.
“The approval was for the Ministry of Power to advertise a tender and follow the contract by due process.
“The panels had already been procured from China and will soon arrive the State.”
Other areas where newsmen were briefed included education, where the government had concluded plans to renovate 171 dilapidated primary Schools across the 171 ward in the State; and Commerce and Industry, where an Executive Committee headed by Moses Ogodo Ali was set to work out ways of revitalizing the State Pipe Production Company for optimal production.