Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has reaffirmed his belief that he will leave a better Abia that would be reckoned with at the end of his administration.
The Governor stated this while interacting with newsmen and his media aides at Government House, Umuahia.
The interactive session which is a regular engagement of the Governor was an opportunity to keep the media abreast with his achievements, especially his administration’s five development pillars and enablers with emphasis on Agriculture, Health and road infrastructure.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who explained that his administration is open to constructive criticisms said “comments and criticisms that are friendly helps to sharpen us and make us better as a people”.
On Agriculture, the Governor revealed that the Abia Poultry Cluster initiative which would soon be opened for business will be located across the three geo-political zones and is in response to findings that young people who go into poultry farming do not sustain it, owing to lack of adequate knowledge and support.
The poultry cluster, according to him, will “bridge the gap” with the provision of adequate facilities including veterinary care for the birds and classroom for mentoring of participants on the nitty gritty of the business.
This he also said will “ensure sustainability and make Abia a poultry village in the Southeast, and also improve the skills and interests of young people in poultry farming to tackle perennial unemployment challenge in the state”.
The cluster, he further revealed, will have a processing line for the marketing of the birds.
The three major reasons for the establishment of the cluster according to Governor Ikpeazu is to “minimize casualties and losses, sustain interest of the young ones in poultry farming and advancement of skills in poultry farming”.
In 2018, the Governor hinted that his administration will launch the state’s “cassava programme” Having taken into consideration, the issues and challenges around improved cassava production. The average farmer would be made available with a pro vitamin A stem as take off which would be processed later by the state government.
One of the advantages of the “cassava programme” is to establish a starch processing plant where starch based products including noodles would be produced.
He said government is almost concluding plans with the investors. The Governor however, revealed that the basic challenge with mushroom farming is storage but enjoined youths in the state to get involved to make the needed difference.
On Road infrastructure, the Governor informed that “Operation one Local Government, 10kilometre road initiative” and “one ward,one project “would be further expanded to ensure even rural development.
He said the town unions presidents and other critical stakeholders would identify projects that will be done in their wards.
The Governor added that the dry season window presents an opportunity to conclude with some ongoing projects across the state noting that all road contractors have been asked to return back to site and hasten their pace of work before the rain sets in.
He reassured residents, business owners and motorists at Port Harcourt Aba that work will begin in earnest on the road which is expected to be a six lane road with 2 dedicated to BRT buses for ease of transportation in the city.
The Governor also explained that talks are on with Cross River State Government to link up both states for economic advancement through Arochukwu, revealing that a cement manufacturing company is expected to soon take off from Arochukwu.
Speaking on health, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu explained that four Secondary health centres have been renovated across the state with resident doctors to ensure efficiency and prompt attention to emergency situations, with four others expected to be ready soon.
Also a specialist hospital for mother and child care to be managed by Abia medical practitioners in the diaspora would be functional in Umuahia soon. This is to deal with maternal and child mortality issues in the state.
Dr. Ikpeazu also highlighted that all civil servants working in the MDAs in the state have been paid their December salaries, while pensioners and teachers have also received some months, explaining that the state is not relenting at its efforts of dealing with the salary situation of workers in the state and assured that the disbursement committee for the Paris Club Refund will soon announce how many additional months teachers and pensioners will receive.