Governor Okezie Ikpeazu says massive construction work at various roads around Ndiegoro axis of Aba, including Ngwa Road, Obohia Road and their environs would commence in two weeks as the State has signed funding agreement and paid its own counterpart fund for the N27.4bn World Bank assisted project.
The Governor disclosed this while speaking in a monitored radio interview in Umuahia, the State capital. He informed that the World Bank assisted project would cover storm water management, waste management and road construction and urged those living in the concerned areas to immediately remove anything that will constitute an obstacle to the construction works.
Governor Ikpeazu further stated that he is committed to sustaining payment of salaries in the State as long as the revenue inflow permits even as he noted that the days ahead will be tough as the global economy has been seriously affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic. He equally disclosed that he would take personal steps to ensure that LGA staff are paid their N30,000 minimum wage.
The State Chief Executive who emphasized that the pillars of development of his administration remain unchanged, stated that greater impetus would be given to agriculture. He said the State has remained a pioneer in the promotion and strengthening of SMEs which are now the major suppliers of face masks in Nigeria and Africa in the fight against COVID-19. He also stated that he is emphasizing on vocational education that is based on practicals, saying that post COVID-19 education in the state would focus on educating the mind in a way that the hands would work for improved economy.
Governor Ikpeazu used the opportunity to stress that sensitization on preventive measures against COVID-19 is the responsibility of everyone, from family, the church to traditional rulers among others, maintaining that people should not necessarily wait for any taskforce before they adhere to wearing of facemasks and other COVID-19 protocols. He expressed gratitude to God for His mercies to Abia people so far, especially in nursing back to life, a 72 year old COVID-19 patient who equally had underlying illnesses.
The Governor who further announced that the search for suspected COVID-19 cases in all local governments in the state will commence soon with a view to identifying those who may have been infected, expressed regrets that the pandemic has slowed the progress of work at various project sites although he confirmed that 14 road projects are currently active in the state. He insisted that the earlier the world comes up with a vaccine for COVID-19 the better for the world economy.
Governor Ikpeazu also stated that Abia people will always remain grateful to God for His enduring love and for being the first in the South East to manage a 72-year old COVID-19 patient with underlying health issues back to health and confirmed that the state has recorded 7 COVID-19 cases with 6 currently active.
On the influx of some northern youths to the South East, Governor Ikpeazu said that the South East Governors Forum is committed to bringing to the fore a robust and responsive indigenous security outfit that would be deployed at various forests and strategic boundary points to ensure that criminal elements do not hide in our forests and called on security agents in the state to ensure the enforcement of the President’s order banning inter-state movement.