Wages of civil servants not paid, school attendance by children of the state less than 50%, no roads, no economy yet with their eyes open the House of Assembly approve the hugh sum of N2.5bn for a church. Constitutionally Ngeria is a secular state, no state religion.
Ebonyi State House of Assembly has approved the sum of N2.5 billion to the State Government, for the construction of the first phase of Ecumenical Centre in the State.
The approval followed the request from Governor David Umahi to the lawmakers urging the House to approve the fund to enable the Government embark on the construction of the Project.
Presenting the Governor’s letter during a special session of the House on Thursday, the leader of the House, Hon Joseph Nwaobasi, described the request as a welcome development and urged his colleagues to grant the approval.
Various lawmakers made their contributions either in support of the request or against it.
According to the House leader, “The initiative would draw majority of the citizens closer to God and when the centre is completed, an individual experiencing any difficulty would easily turn around and access the centre and ultimately the problem would be solved.”
In his submissions, the lawmaker representing Ezza South Constituency, Hon Chris Usulor however called for caution stating, “Though I am not against the construction of a worship place for God, it would be better the funds were channelled towards improving the welfare of the masses.
“If this funds were channelled towards improving the lives of the people, it would go a long way towards cushioning the effects of recession the country is facing, the state is already saturated with churches.”
Hon Usulor continued, “We should take things easy, this is not a priority now, I think that before the expiration of the tenure of this administration, the Centre would be taken up in phases,” he cautioned.
In his submission, the Speaker of the House, Hon Francis Nwuruku noted that the state government had initiated various empowerment programmes both in agriculture, economic empowerment, social investment programmes among others.
According to the Speaker, “The reconstruction of 13 General Hospitals to meet up with best international standard is in progress among others,” he concluded.
When the Speaker put the motion for the approval to vote, it was unanimously adopted.