Enugu – The Enugu State Executive Council has approved the expedited completion of the long abandoned International Conference Centre (ICC), the Hotel Presidential, and other revenue-generating and recreational infrastructures in the state.
Recently, Civil Society Organizations in the State, especially the Dan Ukwu Leadership Foundation (DULF) had launched a campaign aimed at getting Governor Mbah to complete the ICC abandoned for over 18 years, noting that the “abandoned projects syndrome” needed to be checked by present administrations in Enugu State and beyond, in this era of heightened economic hardship and paucity of funds.
Briefing newsmen on Friday, shortly after the weekly State Executive Council meeting which was presided over by the Deputy Governor, Barr Ifeanyi Ossai, at the Government House, Enugu, the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Barr. Ugochi Madueke stated that the decision to revisit and complete all abandoned projects in the state, despite being capital intensive, was for the benefits of the citizens and in fulfilment of the governor’s promises to make the state attractive to investors, migrate it from public service to private sector driven economy and create employments for the residents of the state.
According to her, the abandoned ICC is an “iconic project”, that on completion, would not only address the needs of the residents of the state but would also provide opportunities for people, associations, organisations and professional bodies to host their annual conferences and general meetings considering the aesthetics and hospitality of the state.
“The ICC has a 3,000 seater auditorium, a 1,500 seater secondary event venue, and a 500-seater dome with world-class facilities and security infrastructure. We also have shopping facilities, recreation areas, an amusement park, among other entertainment facilities. “The ICC, as you and I know, will address the dire need for a world-class conference centre in Enugu, not just for Enugu, but the South-East and by extension the country as a whole. It will make Enugu an international city, especially with the international airport that we have. It will provide a major attraction to organizers of major conferencing events, such as the Nigerian Bar Association, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, etc,” Barr. Madueke stressed.
She further called for support among citizens for the project and other ongoing projects in the state, saying the administration was determined to turn the fortune of the state around for the good of the citizens.
On his part, the Commissioner for Water Resources, Dr. Felix Nnamani, said the EXCO also gave an approval for independent power plants at the 9th Mile crash programme and further extended it to the Oji River water scheme to enable adequate generation and reticulation of water to the people. He said the volume of water needed for daily consumption by the residents had already been met through the efforts of the governor, adding that many households and parts of the state had started testifying to the flow of water.Dr. Nnamani, who pleaded with some parts of the state that had been experiencing unstable water supply to be a little more patient, explained that the team of engineers were test-running the existing water lines to enable them replace damaged pipes that could not withstand the pressure of the water. He also noted that new pumps and different water stations were being fixed to reticulate water to parts of the metropolis, assuring that the project was on course to meeting the 180 days target. “I keep getting reports from different places that they now have water, they are celebrating that the Governor is a talk-and-do governor, that there’s water everywhere. The Trans-Ekulu area doesn’t have water yet. But that’s as a result of the ongoing construction there. “For other areas we have the plan; the concept of the government is that no citizen should have to go beyond a five-minute walk to a water source in their residence,” the commissioner stated.
Dr Nnamani equally explained that the administration of Governor Peter Mbah has intensified efforts for the replacement of old and broken pipes and extension of new waterlines in areas without pipes for reticulation of water in line with international best practices.