Developing Abia State: Dr. Ikpeazu and The Benefits of Critical Thinking, By Ikechukwu Iroha
One of the reasons stated for my choice of candidate during the 2015 Abia State gubernatorial, was my conviction that Aba holds the development of Abia State and we needed an "Aba man" to develop Aba. It is said that, understanding a problem forms part of its solution.
We needed someone that was already a part of the movement to make Aba clean.
I have personally toured some of the sites in Aba where construction works are ongoing.
The geographical setting of Aba makes it a strategic place for businesses. Raw talents, good products, large markets, access to customers etc all combined to give Aba the needed attributes of a good business setting.
A serious Govt like the one Dr Okezie is spearheading will definitely leverage on such advantage.
To say Aba suffered a total neglect from previous governments is to call a spade by its name.
To further paint a picture of where Dr Ikpeazu took off from, Aba was a pigsty.
No, he didn't have to complain no involve on a blame game. Once a good leader takes over the mantle, he/she will look forward to achieving great things. Character and critical thinking are part of what education teaches. A PHD holder understands that.
The truth is, major part of Abia State internally generated revenue comes from Aba. We must feed the fowl that lays the golden egg.
The Governor by fixing Roads at Ogbohill axis has increased the inflow of investments from the neighbouring Akwaibom State. Despite a federal road, he saw the need to build drainage systems at Aba- Owerri road to control flooding that affects the city.
The Governor, who also patronizes Aba made products, is urging the Federal government to consider an era of Aba made military and paramilitary wares . In a situation of economic recession, a serious government looks inwards for what can be locally made so as to improve on the economy with our money distributed within the country. Abia State has a comparative advantage in the area of garment making.
The Governor recently signed a Memorandum of understanding with Turkish Government to train about 50,000 artisans in the field of Garment and leather making. The agreement covers provision of automated machines that could improve the quality of products.
Not only that our IGR will increase considering the huge fund from defence budget when Federal government eventually considers Governor Okezie's ideas, our businesses will gain a global recognition. Dr Ikpeazu believes that Nigerian population is an advantage to us as the markets and people give bigger room for large scale production.
We must also understand the state of Aba before Dr Okezie took off. It makes it difficult to right the wrongs within a space of 15 months. The Faulks/Uratta/Ariaria road has been a hook in the throat of almost every government in Abia State right from the military regime.
Every Governor in Abia State had previously worked on the road with no success recorded. Like I always argued, it will take only an 'Aba man' that understands the history of the road, to get it right.
No wonder, under Dr Ikpeazu’s , the road plan covers the deflooding of Ifeobara basin near Ukwu-Mango to Aba River, which was the factor that made it difficult to achieve success on the road.
Glass industry and other factories in Aba will serve the needed purpose of employing large number of people while providing raw materials to other companies. Dr Ikpeazu has assured that his Government will revive some of the moribund industries in the State.
Golden Guinea Breweries Plc is at the final State of revitalization and the contract for rehabilitation and renovation of Enyimba Hotel has been awarded to Swiss hotels by the Aba chamber of commerce. The purpose is clear, to bring back Aba and make it that economic hub of West Africa we all crave.
Oil price at the foreign market cannot determine the pace of development in Abia State. Abia is on the right pedestal. Despite the economic recession in the country, Abia is still undertaking capital projects. Dr Ikpeazu already planned ahead of time by cutting his allowance and that of his appointees by 50%, thereby saving extra fund to deliver dividend of good governance to Abians.
The Governor understands that for people to continue paying taxes, the government must give them value for their commitment (quid pro quo) Roads, industries, grants .....value for commitment.
Abia State is also a centre for sports no wonder the Governor is working on improving the state of Enyimba Stadium. Tourism, sports development, employment opportunities are all benefits of such venture.
To further take advantage of the sector, Dr Ikpeazu considered the need for the construction of proper sport arenas and such arenas or complex should be fully equipped with the right sport equipment.
Dr Ikpeazu's administration recorded a milestone in that regard. As a leader that has full grasp of the impact of sports in the development of the State, he gave approval for the award of the reconstruction of Enyimba International Stadium and Umuahia Township Stadium pitches.
With Contract awarded for the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba, to Monimichelle, a sports Facility construction firm. Work is underway.
The contract so awarded is for the construction of FIFA approved 100% Geo-Tech synthetic grass pitch especially as Enyimba is always on the International scene.
Dr Ikpeazu has restored the confidence in the area of public private partnership. It's a product of integrity of the pilot that determines the level of commitment of private individuals to partner with the Government in building and developing the State. A practical demonstration is the commitment of over #200 million by an Abian to assist the govt in building a road at Umunneochi. It's also a call to other Abians to eschew bitterness and join Dr Ikpeazu to develop Abia State.
.....By Ikechukwu Iroha