Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State has informed the recently appointed Chief of Staff, Barr. Victor Udeh and other Special Advisers that their tenure in office would be judged by their performances and what they can offer the state.
Udeh, a former Commissioner under Chimaroke Nnamani, was prosecuted with Mbah and the late Sam Ejiofor by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for multi-billion naira fraud between 2007 and 2013.
They later settled through a plea bargain.
During the swearing-in of Udeh and others, the governor said this on Thursday during the swearing-in ceremony of Barr. Udeh, as Chief of Staff, and six other Special Advisers were appointed to assist his administration in delivering on his promises to the state’s people.
While congratulating the new appointees, the governor charged them to brace up for the challenges ahead and face the task of crafting out deliverable strategy as time was already running against the high expectations of the people who voted en masse for him, stressing that their appointments were carefully made based on their qualifications, skills and character needed for the jobs.
“We pointed out to Ndi Enugu, even during our campaign, that we would need to seek out the best to achieve these lofty ideas. And that is why we are here today to show to them that I do not doubt at all the fact that you are eminently endowed with the right skills and the right character. You are manifestly qualified also to hold these offices which you have been appointed to,” he added.
Governor Mbah added that the only way to grow the economy exponentially and eradicate poverty in the state was by doing things differently, being innovative and accepting responsibility. He said that their swearing-in ceremony would be a social performance contract with him.
He further urged the appointees to work as a team by deploring their expertise in their respective fields and training to ensure that his promises to transform the state are achieved within the timelines set out for them.
“Let me start by congratulating this group on your appointment to serve. I also want to commend the profundity of thought that went into your selection decision. I want to commend the stellar image that you bring to the leadership of Enugu State.
“The Chief of Staff has just said something that struck the cord that we have a social contract with the people of Enugu State. So what we are witnessing here today is that I am also entering into a social performance contract with you people. As you know, there is no way that we can achieve all that we have promised the people of Enugu without your input; and you know the people are pregnant because we made humungous promises to them by expressing a massive vision of what Enugu could achieve under our watch.
“We cannot grow our economy exponentially, and we cannot eradicate poverty just because we wish it or just because we have expressed it. We have to craft the right strategy, and most importantly, we would need the right human resources to take our people to the destination we promised.
“We are all today at the threshold of history, and I want you to know that this is a social performance contract that we are signing with you today. What we said to the people of Enugu is not vague at all. We have not only told them about our destination but also given them measurable indicators of when those things will be realised. And that is the same way you will be measured because you are now going to be with me in the forefront. We are all going to work together to take Ndi Enugu to that destination. I have signed off with them.
“I can only pray for the Solomonic wisdom and energy; as you know, Enugu people are not giving us breathing space because I have started receiving text messages from them as a reminder of how many days remain to give them water. I have just been reminded it is 157 days. And that is how it has been across all the sectors you will head. We believe that what we have done is to seek you out from wherever we could find you, and we have no doubt that you have the competence to lead our people to where we have promised them we are taking them to,” he further said.
The governor also reiterated his resolve to create a better future for the young by rolling out programmes and policies that will integrate them into the digital age of globalisation.
According to him: “We are talking about an emerging future. We are talking about the future where our young people will be equipped with the right skills but above all; they’ll be able to play in those spaces where we have digital economy, robotics, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, crypto economy, fintech, cyber security, e-commerce. So that is the future we want to take these young people to, and we believe that with the skills we have assembled here today, we have no doubt that tomorrow is indeed here.”
Speaking earlier for the newly inaugurated appointees, Udeh, the Chief of Staff, expressed their appreciation to the governor for scouting for them out of the vast pool of experts to work with his government.
He promised that they would spare no time putting up their think cap to ensure that the vision and mission of the administration was actualised to the people.
“Your Excellency, on behalf of myself and my fellow appointees, I thank you immensely for this honour and privilege of appointing us from the vast human resources available in our dear state and the country.
“Your Excellency, we recall that in the course of your electioneering campaign, you made some offers of what you are going to provide to the people of Enugu State as encapsulated in your manifesto in the areas of education, justice, health, agriculture, infrastructure, technology, provisions of social resources such as water, environmental sanitation, among others. It was an offer that you made to them, and I know as a lawyer, you made that offer to them, and they accepted by voting you into office as the Executive Governor of Enugu. So, there was an offer; there was an acceptance. So, we have a social contract between you and the people of Enugu State.
“I want to assure you of our individual and collective agreement to assist you in performing your part of this contract so that the breach will not be from you. We can assure you that we will do everything within our powers to ensure that you succeed in performing your part of this contract so that there will be amity and the people will resoundingly revalidate your mandate when the time comes,” Udeh added.
The Special Advisers sworn in by the governor included Prof. Linda Obiamaka Egbo, Special Adviser, Public Financial Management, Barr. Osinachi Nnajieze, Special Adviser, Legal; Arinze Chilo-Offiah, Special Adviser, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; Dubem Onyia (Jr), Special Adviser, Donor Relations; Mike Ogbuekwe, Special Adviser, Agriculture; Osita Onuma, Special Adviser, Digital Transformation, Technology, Innovation, Industries of the Future and Industrial Strategy.