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EXCLUSIVE: Gov. Francis Nwifuru’s Administration Is Focused To Get It Right – An Interview With The Ebonyi State Commissioner For Works And Transport

EXCLUSIVE: Gov. Francis Nwifuru’s Administration Is Focused To Get It Right – An Interview With The Ebonyi State Commissioner For Works And Transport


Engr. Stanley Lebechi Mbam is the Ebonyi State Commissioner for Works and Transport. Prior to his appointment as Commissioner, he had served in the previous administration as Special Assistant on Projects. In this interview with Pacesetter, he opens up on the projects ongoing in Ebonyi state by Governor Francis Nwifuru’s administration.

Let’s get to know you. Before you became Commissioner for Works, what have you been engaged with?


My name is Engr. Stanley Lebechi Mbam. I am a Fellow of the National Association of Technical Engineers otherwise called FNATE in brief. I have been practicing privately as a Civil Engineer since after graduation from the tertiary institution and had been engaged with some private firms. In the administration of the immediate past governor, Engr. David Nweze Umahi, I once served as the general manager of Ebonyi North Construction Company. I served well and was subsequently appointed Special Assistant to the Governor on Projects. These offered me an opportunity to serve. As a Special Assistant to the Governor on Projects, I was actively engaged in almost all construction works of the then governor, from scratch to finish, including the much vaunted flyovers, bridges and roads in Ebonyi State. Of course, you can understand with this, I was part and parcel of the Ministry of Works and Transport earlier than now. From serving as Special Assistant on Projects, I was found worthy to be appointed as Commissioner for Works and Transport by Rt. Hon. Bldr. Dr. Francis Nwifuru, my governor and boss.

How did you meet the Ministry? What were things like when you took over?

Like I said, I was already part of the ministry prior to my appointment as the Commissioner. I knew the workers and the works. I knew the departments, the units and their heads. The engineers were my colleagues and friends, some being my senior colleagues. It was just like an internal posting and things were perfectly in order. The ministry was in good shape, although in line with the People’s Charter of Needs of Governor Francis Nwifuru, we had to put new things in place for enhanced service delivery. We made the office more conducive through certain renovations. So, basically, I’m not new to the ministry and I have enjoyed and I’m still enjoying a great working relationship with the ministry’s staff.


What new achievements can be credited to you within these months of your leadership? Give us a list of the ongoing projects in the state.

We have achieved a lot within about seven months because the Executive Governor of the State, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Bldr. Francis Nwifuru, in line with the People’s Charter of Needs is very anxious and desirous to move the state to the next greater level. He is on the fast lane to fulfil his campaign promises. The Governor did not waste time in calling the shots. We began with the renovation of some internal roads within the Abakaliki metropolis. These are verifiable. We moved on to extend and expand into some areas that have never been touched in the past, including newly opened areas within the capital city. We have ongoing projects along the agro market. We also captured rural roads to enable our farmers bring out their produce to where the final consumers can assess them. We have an ongoing 22km road in Ezzagu-Ezillo, internal roads within Oferekpe-Agbaja community, Okposi-Uburu axis, there’s another at Afikpo, yet another at Ogbaga to Nwofe road, the low lift road which leads to our low water facility that the governor is trying to fix so that we can have water in the capital city. The road leading to the Ezillo water scheme is also ongoing. We are also constructing bridges to curb flooding within the capital city. Some bridges like Nkwogu Street Bridge which collapsed as a result of landslide is receiving optimal attention. There’s a two-span bridge within the Agbaja internal community, and so on. I can tell you that as we are talking, over fifteen road projects within the urban and rural areas in the state which were initiated by Governor Francis Nwifuru immediately he assumed office have been 100% completed while many are speedily ongoing. 

In the transport sector, the Ebonyi Transport Company, EBOTRANS, has been receiving attention. When we came on board, we found out that there was a serious shortage of vehicle for the transport company but we have been able to procure more vehicles for their operation. We are also opening up more parks to maintain better services within the capital city. Equally, we have the CGNC buses which we deploy in conveying our civil servants from their homes to their places of work at no cost to them. Our ministry takes care on the maintenance of the vehicles.

These are just for my ministry and not the entirety of the projects the governor has begun and completed in the other ministries. 


What is the expected delivery time of projects in the state?

Yes, some of the interventions going on within the capital city have a timeline of two to three months for completion while some have already been completed. The bigger projects will be completed in line with the contract agreement. Some will be completed within twelve months and others a little above twelve months.

How does the government of Rt. Hon. Francis Nwifuru hope to finance most of these projects?


The governor is a prudent manager of resources and he has started well. We are not afraid whether he will deliver or not. He has always told us that he will not borrow a kobo for all the projects that will be executed under his administration. He doesn’t want to build up debts for the state and our unborn generation. I have great confidence in the governor that all the projects must be in standard specification and no contractor will have any reason to regret for any job well done.

In the governor’s Budget of Innovation and Progress, your ministry got the highest allocation with the sum of N21.946 billion which is about 10.75 percent of the total budget. What percentage goes to works and what goes to transport?

Transport is an integral part of works and the state government is so concerned about its “People’s Charter of Needs” mantra which seek to better the lots of the electorates and you can agree with me that transportation is one of the most vital aspect of livelihood without which, the people cannot reasonably coexist. Obviously, the works/infrastructure arm will take a larger chunk. With some of the projects that I have listed, you will find out that the money allocated to us in the budget will not even be enough. On the other hand, if we should procure vehicles and employ personnel to handle without fixing the roads and creating possible linkages to make movements easy for the vehicles and road users, we may not get it right. Therefore, much as the government of Ebonyi is interested in bringing sanity into the transport sector in order to ensure security and safety of the people’s lives and properties, it is difficult to determine in a twinkle of an eye the amount that should be allocated to any department but I want to assure you that any fund made available to us will be used judiciously for the good of the masses. 

What more should the governor and people of Ebonyi expect from you and your ministry?

I will continue to serve with diligence and God’s grace. I am also praying to Ndi Ebonyi to be patient with us. Even if we miss it at any point, the good news is that we are focused to get it right. Like my governor will always say, “We will not rest until we get it right”. So, definitely the good people of Ebonyi state are assured that Gov. Nwifuru’s administration is on the right track and the evidence is everywhere.

Let’s end the interview with the politics of Ebonyi State. Seeing Gov. Nwifuru’s settled victory at the Supreme Court, what are your thoughts? Do you think those of the opposition party that challenged his nomination in court will be willing to work with him?

The victory from the tribunal to the Supreme Court was a victory for the entire state with no exception. The people of Ebonyi State spoke and the courts have affirmed it. The Governor believes so much in the rule of law. For people to seek redress in courts of competent jurisdiction was normal and the Governor has nothing against them. He had equally extended hands of fellowship to them and invited them to join hands in moving the state forward. Understandably, not all members of the opposition will accept his hands of fellowship but if they can, it will be for the good of Ebonyi State. I want to once again congratulate Governor Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru, the Onwa Oferekpe for the victory and remind him that it was God’s making and not human. He should now put behind him all the stress and keep his focus on the good things he has started doing for the state. He is lucky that greater percentage of Ebonyi people are with him. They love him and they pray for him. Those prayers can never be in vain. We are confident that his administration will put smiles on the faces of the people.


Contents provided and/or opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of The Pacesetter Frontier Magazine or any employee thereof.

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