In furtherance of efforts to advance his administration’s rural development agenda as well as strengthen the relationship between the government and the 458 autonomous communities in Enugu State for effective representation and full implementation of government’s decisions and policies in every community in the state, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on Wednesday inaugurated Community Liaison Officers to help drive the vision.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Gov. Ugwuanyi said that the exercise was also in line with the desire of his administration to promote participatory democracy at all levels and bring government and governance closer to the doorsteps of the people of the state.
The governor stated that the newly inaugurated Liaison officers would serve as “direct and uniform” link between the autonomous communities and the state government and guarantee inclusiveness, participation and equitable development, adding that they were selected following due consultations with stakeholders.
He maintained that his administration is in “constant and continuous consultation with stakeholders on virtually all issues of governance”, disclosing that the government has been transforming the lives of the people in “unprecedented” ways through aggressive and well-coordinated rural development policy that has brought quality roads, electricity, water and other amenities to the rural communities especially the long neglected.
Gov. Ugwuanyi therefore, explained that the new liaison officers would assist propel his administration’s rural development programmes to communities, especially those that have no effective representation at the state government level, stressing: “It is certainly the first time that such a measure would be taken by government in the history of Enugu State”.
The responsibilities of the officers, according to the governor, include: “to supply accurate information, answer questions and clear doubts relating to government policies, projects and activities in their respective communities; ensure timely submission of reports to relevant MDAs and in prescribed formats, on the response of the people of their communities to government policies, projects and activities; ensure appropriate and timely collation of data on the needs of their respective communities for onward transmission to the relevant MDAs with a view to promoting the state government to attend to such needs promptly but subject to the availability of funds”, among others.
In his remark, the Chairman of the Enugu State Traditional Rulers Council, Igwe Amb. Lawrence Agubuzu thanked the governor for the vision and commitment to rural development, describing the initiative as “a special covenant between the state government and the traditional rulers of the autonomous communities”.
Amb. Agubuzu expressed delight that the decision has given the traditional rulers and their communities a sense of belonging and involved them actively in the governance of the state, declaring the monarchs’ support for the governor and his administration.
He said: “We had received promises that the traditional rulers will be part of government; that we will be involved in what is going on in Enugu State. But today, we have seen it in concrete action and not words. So, Your Excellency, we thank you. The people of Enugu State are here and solidly behind you”.