Wednesday 15 July 2015

All Abia Indigenes This Is For You!!

Lol I know its a long essay but y'all should better read it for a good Abia. *wink* Enjoy!!!

Despite every genuine effort by the previous governments to develop Abia State in all its ramifications, especially the immediate past administration of Theodore Orji, many see Umuahia, the state capital as a glorified village. This is largely because the city has not really kept pace with other areas in terms of development.
It is in Umuahia, especially Afara area that one can still see mud houses still standing side by side with modern houses. Most of the structures in some of the motor parks and markets still exist in the Umuahia metropolis look dilapidated and rusty and are the opposite of structures that should be found in a state capital.
Added to this are the bad roads in Aba – the commercial city and throughout the state, and to get Aba right as the governor has started already, the government should not forget the federal government roads. Visitors and residents today assess Abia State as well by the bad roads, including the federal and state roads, because only few people can distinguish between the roads.
The immediate past administration of Orji was in haste to develop the state after years of neglect by the administrations before his, and went on to lay a solid foundation as exemplified in the numerous projects he embarked on till the end of his term. If others who governed Abia State in the past did half of what Theodore, the state would not have lagged behind in terms of development.
However, today, with the effort of Orji’s administration, the state has a diagnostic centre, an international conference centre, a new secretariat, new Government House though yet to be completed, high courts in Umuahia and Aba, International Market in Ubani and industrial markets in Umuahia just to mention a few. These are not other interventions in agriculture and education as well as in tourism development. The government also embarked on road projects in Aba and Umuahia and some other parts of the state.
For many Abians, these interventions by the last administration were not enough, arguing that more could have been done, especially in Aba the commercial city as well as in opening up rural roads to foster inter-community and state communication and interactions. 
Ironically, Governor Ikpeazu, who had commenced some road constructions in Aba, recently, is aware of the tasks ahead to refocus Abia State. The burden is heavy when the general paucity of funds in the country is put forward. It will, therefore, require creativity and ingenuity on the part of the leadership to achieve this, and fortunately the governor is not unaware of the challenges.
Ikpeazu had wanted and advocated for an economically vibrant Abia State with strong institutions, open, transparent and inclusive governance, to guarantee high quality of life for the citizens, leading to sustainable development.
He also knows that to transform Abia State into a functional private sector-led economy, creating opportunities for her citizens, improving the quality of their lives and shaping the state into a regional entrepreneurship hub through good governance, there must be an appropriate development and environmental sustainable policies.
“My commitment is to serve God and humanity. Therefore, I am driven by a strong determination to achieve results. In this regard, I am propelled by the fundamental needs of our people. I believe that to successfully achieve this, there is need to consult and involve a wide spectrum of our society.
“I think through issues and consult appropriately before arriving at decisions. I appreciate intellectual discussions and contributions. I encourage people to express themselves, share their opinions and ideas on issues of interest to our society. Most importantly, I take responsibility for every action and inaction under my watch.
“I am a team player. Together we can achieve a lot. Therefore, the cardinal questions on my mind while handling assignments are: how best do we identify and galvanise the best hands within the community to work with? How do we collectively push the frontiers of development and achieve expected results?”
Incidentally, Abia the people are not asking for too much. All they are asking for is good roads: be it federal or state, opening up of rural areas to interconnect the cities and local governments, while doing this, other existing infrastructure are given adequate maintenance. The people are also asking and demanding creation of jobs though the revival of moribund industries as well as creating hubs for artisans like shoe and leather bag makers. That way give, Aba made products some semblance of international quality.
Service to Ikpeazu is second nature and he has antecedents as he had served the Abia State government for over a decade as an active participant. He also believes in the continuity or rendering quality service to the people of the state. He is convinced that lack of continuity and shared vision have been central to the slow pace of development in most parts of Nigeria and believes that a strong thread linking past and present leaderships in a state like Abia is indispensable if a new government of the state must fast track development in all spheres.
“This can only be achieved if a succeeding government makes it a duty to leverage on the foundation and vision for good governance already laid by the preceding administration. I shall therefore be driven by the philosophy of Abia con-solidarity.
He also believes that “the Abia project is a collective responsibility in which everybody has a role to play, so we can proudly say, this is where we met our state and this is where we have taken it, giving God the glory and the people credit. I am young, vibrant and enthusiastic. I have the energy and capacity to pursue the dreams of our founding fathers and aspirations of our people. I have the experience in governance and a track record of bridge-building and cementing relationships.”
Ikpeazu has further come to the understanding that industrialisation has historically been a core driver of modernisation and job creation, and the private sector as the platform that drives the industrialisation. Hence he has committed himself to developing the state’s economy, applying the most strategic economic anchors. This includes systematic consultation with the organised private sector to promoting a private sector-led Abia economy and identifying and addressing the binding constraints to private sector growth in the state.
Others are through the establishment of a functional small and medium enterprise (SME) centre to render critical, non-financial business, development and support services to aspiring entrepreneurs and existing SME business operators; establishment of an SME Fund under public-private partnership. This, according to the governor, shall be aimed at addressing the challenge of finance access faced by aspiring and operating entrepreneurs in the state.
Another economic plank is by overall improvement of the Business Environment (BE) in Abia State. Conscious of the fact that economic growth and development do not happen in a vacuum, he reiterated the need to muster the political will to design and enforce appropriate public policies required to ensure an enabling business environment.
This being achieved, he should pursue vigorously, the consolidation of the effort in reforming and streamlining the state’s tax regime to check multiple and unapproved taxation, while enhancing the internally generated revenue of the state.
The axiom, “get Aba right and Abia is right”, shall continue to be the pivotal development philosophy and the nexus upon which to hinge development policy for Aba. Aba, home to virtually all Abians, Ndi-Igbo and with a strong attachment to many others has already begun to witness re-development that will see it emerge as a modern commercial hub with urban renewal and city upgrading, functional infrastructure, stable power supply, reliable and decent public transportation system, urban traffic management system, structured and planned industrial layouts, clusters and parks, which will release her revenue potential that can be leveraged upon to develop the rest of the state.
Aba, with its strong entrepreneurial setting, attracting business operators from across the nation and most ECOWAS countries, has the potential to become a commercial and entrepreneurship hub of West Africa as a result the Ikpeazu administration has promised to enhance the international marketing opportunities for “Made in Aba” goods and services by ensuring quality control and showcase the “Made in Aba” brand in economic capitals of the world.
As part of the Aba re-development project plan, the government plans to undertake the establishment of Obuaku Industrial zone, with the components to include, but not limited to, a seaport and housing estate. This is so as the administration also pursues the enhancement of the peoples’ access to quality and affordable healthcare.
Ikpeazu, in doing all these, should also not forget the proposed airport, an idea the last administration conceived. With over 300 primary health centres and functional general hospitals in the state, including the 100-bed wards built and equipped by the past administration. “We shall integrate the vision of the present government by linking the Primary Health Centres (OHCs) to general hospitals and the tertiary health institutions.
These are what the people of Abia State are asking for and these are the ordinary things a government is meant to provide for the people. Abia people are therefore waiting with enthusiasm for the scientist in government, who is at the saddle of the state government.

Culled from This day news...