Quality Leadership and Good Governance: The Ugwuanyi Example

By Dr Luke Mgbor on 11/05/2021

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Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi
Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi

According to Andrew Heywood, Leadership can be understood either as a pattern of behaviour or as a personal quality. As a pattern of behaviour, leadership is the influence exerted by an individual or group over a larger body to organize or direct its efforts towards the achievement of desired goals. As a personal attribute, leadership refers to the character traits that enable the leader to exert influence over others; leadership is thus effectively equated with charisma.

Some virtues of leadership include mobilization and inspiration of the people, unifying and encouragement of the people towards the same and desired direction and strengthening the people by establishing a hierarchy of responsibilities and roles towards achieving desired objectives.

On the other hand, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, defines good governance as an essential complement to sound economic policies central to creating and sustaining an environment that fosters strong and equitable development. It is also defined as a way of measuring how public institutions conduct and manage public affairs and resources respectively.

Undoubtedly, the Enugu state government under the able leadership of Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi possesses all the attributes inherent in quality leadership and good governance under her exceptional democratic dispositions, demonstrated in her policies and actions. The State Government is presently an example of a rare blend of sound leadership and good governance.

The Governor has been able to demonstrate leadership through his style of governance when properly weighed side by side with his contemporaries across Nigeria in the context of the present harsh economic and socio/political realities of our time.

Consequently, let me demonstrate some of the outstanding traits of Governor Ugwuanyi’s administration in Enugu State that exemplifies quality leadership and good governance in line with its all-encompassing four-point agenda.

Participatory governance and mobilization of the people is unarguably a major attribute of Ugwuanyi’s administration which involves the inclusion of stakeholders in all major decision processes of his government. He is among the few governors that seek the consent of local government stakeholders before appointing commissioners or taking any major decision that concerns their representation. He consults widely and allows the people to choose who to appoint into his cabinet or represent them at any level of government within the purview of his constitutional role as a Governor

Very importantly, it is a fact that transparency is the hallmark of Ugwuanyi’s government as he encourages policy implementation to be subjected to public debate and scrutiny. For example, he will always seek the consent and opinion of community leaders before releasing money to them for the implementation of major projects in their communities. Enugu people are eulogising his transparent and open-door style of leadership; people have testified that he is tops in adopting and applying such a transparent and open-door policy direction. His humility is so amazing that he is one Governor people can reach on the Phone no matter their status.

Indeed, the Governor is a master in consensus building. Nobody will accuse him of anything like unilateral decision making. His quest for consensus has in fact made some of his critics raise eyebrows about his leadership style which they say is too simplistic. It is a well-known fact that the imposition of candidates obtainable in other places is not acceptable in the Enugu state.

Even local government chairmanship candidates usually emerge at the instance of the people through lobbying and consensus without the usual Governor’s interference. This ultimately leads to free and fair elections at the local government level in the State.

Obviously, transparent and participatory leadership which Ugwuanyi’s administration is undisputably known for is behind his “bottom/ top approach” to Developmental projects for all the 17 local governments in the State. People’s opinion has always determined the direction of most of his policies and actions over time. For instance, he instituted a policy of one local government, two projects worth 250 million Naira in each of the 17 LGAs of the state and transparently allowed the citizens to make choices of preferred projects according to their comparative advantages. He also instructed the LG chairmen to ensure accountability in its implementation whenever the resources are made available.

Many institutions in the country have made bold pronouncements that Enugu State is one of the most accountable states when it comes to judicious use of the bailout funds. The State is indeed second to none in the management of scarce resources in Nigeria. Key evidence of good governance.

Without a doubt, quick intervention on major issues is a fundamental aspect of Ugwuanyi’s government. He was quick to end the excessive abuse of power on motorists and citizens by some overzealous staff of some government agencies; especially during his first year in office, which is a clear manifestation of his unique style of leadership.

Today, Enugu is home to all, as both ndi – Enugu and visitors are happy with the numerous social amenities provided all over the place, like the Exotic City bus stops, relaxation centres; worthy of mention is the new Unity Park, opposite the Michel Okpara Square and several other life enhancement centres scattered across the State.

Civil Servants in the State will never forget the Ugwuanyi administration for the prompt payment of salaries and 13th month despite the harsh economic conditions in the country.

Effective and efficient discharge of duties has become the strength of Ugwuanyi’s government and it has led to several feats as rated by many independent bodies. Good examples are the rating of Enugu State as the second most conducive state in the ease of doing business in Nigeria and, one of the most peaceful states in the country by both local and international agencies. The records are obvious and clear for all to see apart from its practical impact on the economy of the state adjudged as the largest in the South East.

Equitability and inclusiveness by the Ugwuanyi administration are legendary. As a matter of fact, his administration has pursued a policy of even distribution of projects, developmental infrastructures and academic institutions across the three senatorial zones of the state. He has been able to live above primordial sentiment in his choice of appointments and project distribution. This trait made him the first Enugu Governor in recent times to appoint principal officers from every Senatorial District. This trait is also evident in the siting of critical infrastructures in every part of the State; which is a reflection of his exemplary nature. He has a broad-based outlook on everything which includes not concentrating his policies on one sector of the economy. Governor Ugwuanyi or Gburugburu as he is fondly called refused to be lured into facing only one sector, rather he tries to touch every sector of the economy. For instance, his administration is into roads and bridges, electricity projects, Women and Youths empowerment through partnerships with the World bank, massive investment in Agriculture; especially the APPEALS/ World Bank Group agricultural loans to farmers for rice, cashew and chicken farming; plus human capital development, security and general welfare.

Adherence to the rule of law is also legendary in Ugwuanyi’s government. He is one Governor that accommodates all shades of opinion. His government guarantees total freedom of speech and separation of power. There has been a harmonious relationship between the three arms of government since the inception of his administration. He has always allowed them to operate freely within the ambit of the rule of law.

Even critics attest to Man’s simplicity, open-mindedness and goodwill for all.

Interestingly, fellow Governors in contemporary Nigeria accepts that Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is one of their best. In the midst of today’s challenges, he has managed to steer the ship of Enugu State to one of the most thriving and peaceful states in Nigeria, and we should appreciate and applaud him.

Thus, one can boldly say that Enugu State is in the hands of God!

Posted 11/05/2021 5:56:07 PM

 

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