Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has said his administration is according priority to the construction of a dry port in Ntigha, Isialangwa North Local Government Area of the state, even as he underlined that the state will no longer embark on airport project just because others are doing so.
The Governor said when completed, the dry port will help in facilitating ease of doing business in Aba and the state at large.
The governor made this known during a zoom meeting organized by journalists in the state under the aegis of Abia Media Forum.
The Governor said, “we are looking at viability here, economy is key. Only about 5% of our population have interest in flying while the other 95% use road to move their goods and services.
“We must look at the needs of our people before embarking on any project”, he said.
He also stated that his administration is prioritizing the needs of the people in terms of infrastructure development of the state.
According to him, resources of the state must be properly channeled to address fundamental needs of the people.
The governor also said his administration is working closely with sister States to address the issue of insecurity in the region. He reiterated the importance of the Ebubeagu Security outfit and said it would help address the security challenges faced in the region. He informed that the idea behind the Ebubeagu Security outfit is to collaborate and maximize the comparative advantage in each state of the region, enable the region procure modern technology to facilitate monitoring of movement of persons, and to effectively tackle the challenges headlong. Dr. Ikpeazu said the launch of the new security outfit couldn’t have come at a better time and that the State already had in place the Homeland Security Unit with a mandate to protect lives and property of people of the State.
While stating that the state was deepening the Ebubeagu security outfit by recruiting at the ward and community levels citizens who would help in the area of information and intelligence gathering at the grassroots level, the State Chief Executive said “the State will soon organize a stakeholders forum which will have in attendance all stakeholders in the security sector.
“We are bringing together stakeholders in the security sector to help us evaluate the template we have; this will enable us tackle the security challenges we are faced with. Our target is to create a security architecture robust enough to secure our state.”
While addressing the issue of criminal herdsmen in the State, the Governor said his administration took proactive measures by enacting a bill through the State Assembly to ban open grazing in the State. This he said has helped the state in addressing the issue of herders and farmers clashes in the State.
“We have a law on open grazing. Aside Benue State, Abia was the first to pass the Anti-Open Grazing law in the country. We are tackling criminal herdsmen from other parts of the country and sub-region. We are enforcing the law”, he said.
He called for the decentralization of the nation’s security architecture and the creation of State Police to enable states tackle their peculiar challenges.
While reiterating the need to address the issue of perceived injustice in the country, the Governor said there are complaints of injustice, lopsidedness in appointments, lack of consideration of the feelings of those occupying the Nigerian territory in critical decision making of the country etc, he called for inclusiveness in the appointment of personnel: For example, in our security architecture of the country, the southeast doesn’t have any security representative in the security council meeting. There is a need to have an all inclusive government in order to assuage the feelings of those agitating.”
Governor Ikpeazu used the occasion to reiterate his government’s mission to leave Abia State better than he met it. “I want to be remembered as someone who came and tackled intractable issues; I want to be remembered as the Governor who tackled unworkable roads like Faulks, Ama Ikonne, and the governor who added to the road infrastructural stock of the state.
“Most of the roads we constructed are still standing and would stand the test of time. We have affected positively all facets of state infrastructure: education, health care, road, agriculture, SME, etc. Our aim is to leave the state better than we met it,” he concluded.