Apex Igbo socio-cultural organization Ohanaeze Ndigbo has called on the Federal Government to urgently release funds to the Ministry of Works headed by Senator David Nwaeze Umahi to enable him replicate the concrete road technology in Ebonyi State.
The organization spoke through its Secretary-General Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro on Friday through a press statement made available to journalists in Abakaliki.
According to him, the Minister of Works, Senator David Nwaeze Umahi as a sesoned engineer had all it takes to deliver convincingly on his mandate.
“Ohanaeze Ndígbo has observed with pride, the positive impact, Senator David Nweze Umahi FNATE FNSE has brought to bear on the Ministry of Works. Indeed, this is what happens when you have a square peg in a square hole. This equally is what you get when a professional who has the commensurate administrative qualifications is given an opportunity to get things done.
“Listening to his speeches, his professional competence is evident, as he is in familiar terrain while interacting with fellow engineers on site, like he has done steadily for over three decades.
“His predecessors tried their best. However, “you cannot give what you don’t have”. As an engineer, albeit a civil engineer, Umahi hit the ground, not just running but with a blistering pace. He didn’t have to spend extra time learning the ropes or studying ‘the language of Engineering’
“No matter how long a non engineer works with engineers and other professionals in the Engineering industry, he can never become as competent as them in their field.
“In Umahi’s case, instead of being tutored by the technical staff in the ministry for several months, he fits in seamlessly. In fact, from day one, being not just an engineer but a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers(NSE), whose Infrastructural miracle in Ebonyi is legendary, the engineers and other professionals relate with him like an accomplished colleague. As such, instead of relying on whatever he is told, he engages his colleagues, sharing ideas and selling his revolutionary experiences such as Concrete Road Technology.
“Immediately on assumption of office and in realization of the fact that Nigerians are impatient to feel the positive impact of his principal’s Fresh Hope Agenda, Umahi swung into action, traversing the six geo-political zones of Nigeria to carry out on the spot assessment and field evaluation of Federal roads. From the South West, he moved to the North Central and then the South East.
“Where ever he goes, Nigerians commend the President for the appointment of a competent engineer as Minister of Works since several past administrations appointed just anybody into that all important ministry on the fallacious excuse that professional competence does not matter.
“However, Ohanaeze Ndígbo wishes to appeal to the President to ensure immediate release of funds through a special purpose vehicle to the ministry, in order to ensure that the Ministry’s plan of embarking on large scale road rehabilitation during the forthcoming dry season is not hindered by lack of funds. We are aware of the fact that most Ministers presently face paucity of funds since their predecessors left virtually nothing behind from the 2023 budget passed under Buhari.
“Infrastructural Development is a key driver of economic growth and development due to its multiplier effect across all sectors of the Nigerian Society, especially with regards to cushioning the dire effects of Subsidy Removal. Instead of waiting till a supplementary budget is passed, the Ministry of Works can be immediately funded through other sources such as funding from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation ( NNPC)”, he stated.