Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has assured his citizens that the state would soon become economically prosperous such that the dwindling federal allocations would no longer have negative effect on the state’s operations.
He noted that the state has worked seriously in the last one year to develop the key enablers that would form the mainstay while the federal allocation would come as an additional support. This was disclosed by Mr. Godwin Adindu, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor while addressing the media in Lagos on the one year scorecard of his administration. He explained that Ikpeazu has emphasised on the areas where the state has comparative advantage such as agriculture, commerce and trade, craftsmanship and human capital development. Adindu noted that the governor has deployed prudence and judicious management skills to achieve so much in the first one year, especially in the area of infrastructural development.
He said; “This has taken a greater share of the governor’s attention in the last one year and this is happening at a time when our federal allocation has come down from about N4 billion to N1.8 billion, while our wage bill is about N3 billion.”
He added that the strategy of the Ikpeazu-led government has been to create the enabling environment and then develop the sectors that would boost and sustain the Abia economy such that very soon Abia would no more be completely dependent on the cheque from Abuja.
He pointed out that the governor has embarked on some strategic development programmes with his eyes set in the distant future, stressing that it included the Obiaku City Port in Ukwa East, which was initiated to link Aba to the sea and provide a great boost to Aba as the commercial hub of the southeast, as well as the market development programme aimed at revamping the markets as strong Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) base for the state.
He stated; “One strategy was to separate the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Now we have the Ministry of Commerce as well as Ministry of Trade and Investment, with the latter focusing on market development and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.”
The CPS noted that the state government has actively constructed 66 roads across the three geopolitical zones of the state with 27 fully commissioned, adding that Governor Ikpeazu had to deploy the high cost-intensive cement/rigid technology on five roads in Aba to sustain their load bearing capacity and maintain quality.