Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia state governor, says his administration will pay more emphasis on infrastructural development in Aba, commercial city of the state.
In a documentary by The Osasu Show, hosted by Osasu Igbinedion, Ikpeazu said his government has come to realise that to drive growth and economic development in the state, factors that facilitate trade and commerce must be given priority.
He said the state government had inaugurated 35 commercial roads, 15 internal roads.
He added that the roads have drainage and street lights to curb flooding and help extend business hours.
“Abia state represents the face of the new Nigerian economy where small scale enterprises will drive growth for our youth,” Ikpeazu said.
“Our desire to create prosperity for Abia state and bring development for our people started for this administration long before the elections when we crafted and encapsulated the pillars of development that would drive economic renaissance of our state.
“In terms of roads, we are exposed to about 120 roads and we have completed and commissioned about 35 of them.
“We have laid very serious emphasis on Aba because we think that if you get Aba right, then you have gotten Abia right. We think we can generate enough IGR from Aba that will enable us develop other areas of our state.
“The roads in Aba are designed to link or give us access to commercial roads. There are 12 0r 13 markets in Aba so we decided to tackle roads that lead to these markets.
“Before now, it took several hours to get to Aba. We understand that psychologically, people are averse to traffic jam and would keep them away from going to do business there.
“I remember five clusters of road which we are doing in Ndegoro. Ndegoro had not seen roads in 60 years but we are giving them cement roads with street lights. We have done about 15 internal roads. We have currently embarking on what we call ‘operation no pot holes’ for all the streets in Aba.”
Eziuche Ubani, Special adviser to the governor on works and implementation urged residents of the area and other people to bear with the govenrnment during the process of reconstruction.
“Most of these projects were conceived when I was commissioner and there is a story that runs through them. Before now, we have been known for trade and commerce,” Ubani said.
“We want to be able to get Abia people to trade and export to other countries based on what we produce here and you can’t do thta without works and infrastructure. And time is very crucial to this.
“For you to have shorter turnaround time, it is necessary to have good roads and infrastructure so you don’t get stuck in traffic. Aba deserves this because of where it is situated.
“I know that some of the things we are doing are causing some bit of discomfort. I appeal to Aba people and those who don’t live here to just trust us.”
One of the residents simply identified as Ugonma lauded the effort of the governor, while urging him to do more.
“I have been here for seven years. This flyover started early this year,” she said.
“Our governor has done very well, if not for another thing but for the drainage. We have seen a lot from his government and he should continue doing great things.”