A SPEECH PRESENTED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, CHIEF T. A. ORJI (OCHENDO), GOVERNOR ABIA STATE, ON THE OCCASION OF THE GRAND FINALE, CELEBRATION OF THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CREATION OF ABIA STATE, HOLDING AT THE UMUAHIA TOWNSHIP STADIUM, ON THE 8TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2011
DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!
We are gradually coming to the end of our week-long celebration of the 20TH Anniversary of the Creation of Abia State, and the 100 days in office of our new Administration. Just this morning, I made a State Broadcast to Abians on our journey, so far, and what beholds all of us, in taking our dear State to the next level.
This afternoon, we have witnessed all those activities and cultural celebrations that distinguish us, as Abians. In all these activities, including our music, one can never stop admiring in awe, the great energy and resolute resolve, displayed by our people in all their involvements. Such energies and ingenuity are what make us distinct as Abians, and we should all endeavor to translate them into other facets of our lives.
As we conclude this grand finale of our celebration, I enjoin Abians to carry forward, this great energy and enthusiasm that characterize our people, and harness them into achieving a more robust socio-economic drive of Abia State.
Abians are a great people, with a unique culture, and these are the very spirits that propelled the founding fathers of this State, to agitate and to secure the recognition and eventual creation of Abia State, as a unique State.
We should all join hands to maintain our uniqueness, and our peopleís characteristic drive for excellence and great achievement.
Our Government is very determined to do whatever it takes to move Abia forward, and I call on all Abians, to join our Government, so that we can reverse the many losses of the past, and quickly build the New Face of Abia.
With a re-kindled integrity in our lives and in our conduct of State affairs, our Government has already commenced the laying of a strong foundation for the future of Abia State. In this regard, old and obnoxious habits, including unplanned structures, that come with them, will have to give way.
I am aware that these new changes will carry with them some pains and inconveniences, but I plead with Abians, to accept our new direction and its desirable pains of growth, for the greater good.
When I took office for this second tenure as your Governor, my resolve was to depart from the ad-hoc tendencies of past governance, so that we can lay a sound foundation for the socio-economic development of our State. In the past hundred days of this new Administration, we have set for ourselves, new visions and new goals, and the results are already beginning to show. These include:
1. We have embarked on the creation of a more secured and sustainable environment for the economic growth, investment, and promotion of the ingenious entrepreneurship of our people, and where the protection of our citizensí lives and property is dominant. We have created synergy with the Military Barrack in Ohafia and the Naval Base in Owerrinta, to provided logistic support to enable these Forces to back the preservation of security and combat crime in our State. This is because we believe that
development can only thrive in the atmosphere of peace and tranquility.
2. We have commenced the capacity building of our major workforces, to improve ability to implement Governmentís laudable programmes. That is why in the first 100 days, our Administration moved forward to re-craft and fine-tune our visions, as well as equipped our key officers, Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries, with the requisite training and knowledge required to drive a modern economy and the vision of the State. We have equally empowered them with the resources they require to perform optimally.
3. We have also embarked on the massive renewal of our Urban and Rural dwellings, and infrastructures. In the first 100 days, we have embarked on massive road-infrastructural development, especially the recovery of bad and damaged roads in Aba and Umuahia. Our road construction efforts in our cities
and in the rural areas will be speeded up as the rains recede.
4. Our Urban renewal process has also necessitated the removal of illegal structures to create conducive environments for dwelling and for attraction of both local and foreign investment. Towards this, in the last 100 days, our Government purchased a number of Heavy Duty Compact- Refuse Collection Vehicles to assist in cleaning up our environment. Our main goal is to establish a Waste-to-Wealth Industry that will recycle and convert our refuse to fertilizer and gas energy.
5. Our Government is resolved in making Abia State a preferred Educational Tourist State. Towards this, we have made attempts to upgrade and maintain our educational infrastructures, and improve standards. In the past 100 days, we have thoroughly re-organized the Governing Bodies of our Institutions and other Educational Services, so that they focus on our new
directions, towards greater efficiency. Recently, we laid the foundation stone for the construction of an International Conference Center, with the aim of positioning Abia State, for knowledge tourism, and a more investment friendly State.
6. Our Government is focused on the industrialization of Abia State, through the promotion of Public-Private Partnership. Our goal is to build at least, one operational industry in all the 17 Local Government Areas of our State, with a major focus on Agricultural services, Food Packaging, Energy production, and Hospitality Industries. While we also intend to recover old and ailing industries in our State, it is our goal to expand and develop new cities, beyond Aba and Umuahia, and do so through, industrialization and creation of new markets.
7. Our Government is vigorously, involved in providing support to the Geometric Power Incorporated and the National Integrated Power Project of the Federal Government, located in Ala-Oji, so that they can achieve their projected dateline to deliver un-interrupted 24 hours power supply to Abia State and its environs. When this happens, many of our Small and medium Scale Industries in the State will grow and create jobs. It will also boost our plan to build an Industrial Park in Aba City, to encourage the polling together of resources, to support the sagging entrepreneurship of Aba-made goods, and their return to international fame.
8. Job creation for our teeming population of the unemployed, is at the core of all the efforts we are making to re-position Abia State as a sustainable growing economy. This will be aided through our other job opportunities in our State Civil Services, which is presently being overhauled and repositioned.
I have tried here to reel out our vision and plans for Abia State and what we have so far accomplished in the past 100 days, just to inform Abians that our Government means well for Abians, and we will certainly prove this by the achievements we make in all sectors of our economy and in your lives, in the near future. We will equally improve the working conditions of our State work-force and pay the approved minimum wage for workers.
Our Government is sworn to doing everything to ensure that Abia State, at 20years and above, will have the requisite landmarks and achievements worthy of celebration. But I cannot stop challenging our people to be law-abiding, to be patient and support Governmentís efforts, as well as be good citizens,that pay their taxes and other approved levies, so that we can build the Abia State of our dream.
I will continue to appeal to your patriotism, patience and understanding, so that our State will prevail, and attain the dreams of our pioneering founding fathers, who made all the contributions and often, took the painful blows, so see Abia State created, as Godís Own State.
Some of these gallant patriots and founding fathers, will be honored in a gala night, which follows, this evening. Our aim is to create ICONS of our State, who should be worthy of your emulations.
I challenge all Abians to rise above the problems and travails of the moment, and not be limited, in the making of your marks and in writing your names in the sands of Abia times.
I thank all those who have made this grand finale a huge success. Yours is a labor of love and duty, and certainly, Abians appreciate you! And for all those that have attended here, I also thank you very much. My prayer is that, we summon the courage to translate the lessons of today and all our celebrations in this 20th anniversary, to the strengthening of our resolve to do greater good for Abia State, and to be the Change Agents that we collectively desire.
THANK YOU, AND MAY GOD BLESS ABIA STATE.