By Ekene Agbor
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has performed the ground breaking ceremony of an auxiliary office complex for the State House of Assembly.
Performing the foundation laying, in a colourful event witnessed by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi and other 23 members of the House, Gov. Ugwuanyi stated that the befitting office complex, covering 3,500 square metres, at the premises of the Enugu State Parliament Building located within the three Arms Zone of the Independence Layout, Enugu, is “the audacious infrastructural improvement” to the historic public structure since its initial construction.
The governor, who disclosed that his administration had undertaken a series of renovations of the state legislature’s complex to improve the operating environment, added that the aim of the new office complex was to ensure that the state parliament was well equipped and motivated for efficient delivery of its legislative mandate in a conducive working atmosphere.
He said that the commencement of the project was consistent with his administration’s policy of building capacity of the state public institutions to equip them for improved service delivery, stressing that “the Enugu State House of Assembly, the second arm of government in our constitutional democracy, is a critical public institution”.
Gov. Ugwuanyi explained that the new office complex for the State House of Assembly, comprising of two floors, has a total of 29 offices for members and their support staff, with two functional court yards and an interactive Speaker’s Chamber housing a befitting conference room and other ancillary facilities.
Stating that his administration has made concerted efforts in providing the needed infrastructure for the State Judiciary in keeping with its avowed commitment to development of state public institutions, Gov. Ugwuanyi pointed out that it undertook extensive renovation of the State Judiciary Headquarters complex; construction of one new High Court, 11 Magistrate Courts, two Open Registries, permanent site of the State Customary Court of Appeal Headquarters, and thirty-four model Customary Courts, two in each Local Government Area.
The governor further disclosed that his administration also provided soundproofed generators for the High Courts as well as Judges’ residences, among others.
“Our administration certainly respects the interdependence of the three arms of government. The other sectors of governance have also enjoyed significant boost in their infrastructure”, he said.
“The Enugu State Parliament/Legislative Complex succinctly tells the Enugu story. Enugu became capital of Eastern Region after Nigeria’s independence in 1960 (1960-1967), East Central State (1967-1976), old Anambra State (1976-1991), old Enugu State (1991-1996) and new Enugu State (1996 till date).
“The old Eastern Nigerian Parliament Building, located in the State Secretariat, gave way to the present Enugu State Parliament Building following the construction of the latter which commenced in 1963 in response to increasing number of Legislators beyond the Chamber capacity of the former. Ever since it came into use, it has housed the state level parliament through a succession of territorial adjustments as mentioned above”, the governor explained.
Responding, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ubosi, on behalf of the members and staff of the House of Assembly, thanked Gov. Ugwuanyi for his administration’s laudable vision in transforming the infrastructural deficits in the legislative complex, such as re-roofing of the building, furnishing of the hallowed chamber including the installation of digital microphone, landscaping, remodeling of the entrance gate and rehabilitation of the access road, among others.
The Speaker said that the governor’s intervention has guaranteed a conducive environment for them to effectively discharge their responsibilities.
He stated that the edifice is of international standard and will enhance their service delivery to the public, when completed, stressing that “the Enugu State House of Assembly will not take this kind gesture by His Excellency for granted”.
On his part, the State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Greg Nnaji, assured the governor and members of the House that the project will be delivered in record time in line with the specified standard for public buildings and practice of engineering across the world.