A message of love and care; a message of a promise of better days ahead; and a message of double assurance that we have the determination, the will and the commitment to meet allthe challenges that may confront us in the coming year.
We are entering the year 2017 with an assured hope for positive changes. Assurances of total turn around in all areas of our individual and collective lives.
As a government, we are thankful to God that Ebonyi is among the few states of the federation where civil servants went home with their salaries from January to December and are paid by 15th of every month. We have even done more than that by paying 13 month salary to all civil servants. This we have done for two years running.
That Ebonyi is counted among the few states that do not owe salaries is not only remarkable, it is a testimony of rare ingenuity on the part of my administration.
As we begin 2017, the story will not change.
It is equally worthy to note our achievements in the area of Agriculture, the health sector, and road construction in the year just ended. The opening up of our rural villages through massive road construction and street light projects across the three senatorial districts is eloquent testimonial of our successes within our 18 months in office.
In the capital city Abakaliki, urban renewal and beautification were given priority through streetlights and road rehabilitation/construction.
Agriculture is one area we have regained national prominence and accolades even from Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari. It is a thing of joy that Ebonyi is now a reference point in terms of Agriculture. I am highly glad that Ebonyians keyed into our vision to make Agriculture our principal income earner. We will not lose our focus and vision in this area in 2017.
We cannot be talking about achieving self-sufficiency in agriculture without opening up our local roads for effective and efficient evacuation of farm produce to our urban markets. Thus this year 2017, we shall strive assiduously to ensure commencement of work on the Abakaliki Ring Road which cuts across most of the Local Government Areas in the state.
In 2017, we shall take our rural electrification project to all the three senatorial districts. Health and Education sectors will not be left out. They will witness quantum leap in terms of improvement in facilities, manpower and of course, performance.
Our intention is to make life in our villages comfortable. By this, we will be able to keep the youths at home where they can engage in noble ventures, especially agriculture.
To fight poverty in 2017 and effectively too, we shall continue with our empowerment programmes. More of our youths must be engaged through deliberate empowerment policies of my government. The women will not be left out. We shall empower the women in several ways to ensure they are engaged in productive ventures.
In the area of security, my government is awake to the challenges of securing lives and property in the state and will remain so ever. Ebonyi is no longer a safe haven for kidnappers and armed robbers. I am glad to tell Ebonyians that throughout the Yuletide, there was no news of kidnapping or armed robbery in any part of the state.
I welcome you to 2017. A year of greater hopes and harvests of love, wealth and goodwill for all Ebonyians.
God Bless You. Have a prosperous and Joyous New Year.
*Engr. (Dr.) David Nweze Umahi, FNSE, FNATE
Governor of Ebonyi State.