Governor Okezie Ikpeazu Set To Commence Airport, Dry Port Development In Aba

In a bid to re-establish Abia heritage as a commercial hub of the South East, the state government has disclosed plans to commence operations in Aba dry port and the development of an airport.

The state government made this known, weekend, in Lagos, at the unveiling of the “Abia High Level Economic Development Blueprint,” which is subject to every 100 days evaluation.

The Head of Abia State Economic Advancement Team (ABEAT), Sam Hart, said strategic efforts were ongoing to engage private concessionaires to ensure the commencement of operations in Aba dry port.
Hart, who is the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, also hinted of a collaboration with the Federal Government to leverage Imo River and Aba for creation of a seaport, as well as plans for the development of Abia airport in which opportunities are opened for public private sector partnership (PPP). He, however, hinted that to achieve the Abian growth model of becoming “the premier destination in Nigeria and Africa for investors and tourists, the government was strengthening its capacity in focusing on agriculture, commerce, oil and gas, education and industry.

Hart stated that in commercialising Abia, the government was involved in capacity building in institutionalisation of Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), while Bill for Abia State Marketing Board was passed last week to help find market for crops, thereby taking them off farmers and arranging for buyers.

The SSA to the governor hinted that the government was developing strategy for growing its internally generated revenue (IGR) currently from N400 million to N1.5 billion, thereby optimising the various funding avenues open to the state. He disclosed that the state has saved over N160 million due to the implementation of staff verification exercise via biometric validation of staff of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to eliminate ghost workers, and as well as offsetting outstanding salaries of workers till June.

Head, Advocacy/Public Commission, Sub-Team of Abia State Economic Advancement Team (ABEAT), Chinenye Nwaogu, explained that on industrialisation, the government would explore the PPP funding models to “prioritise the development of building 24 major roads for easy movement of goods, promote development of affordable housing and strengthen the 710 government-owned healthcare centres across the state for adequate and efficient healthcare services to the citizenry.”

According to him, the state wants to drive education targeted on employment thereby making Abia an education hub as the government promised to offer N100 million incentives for every university set up in the state by private individuals. On security, he said the government would create “secure oasis” as hub for leisure and business across the state in addition to securing transport corridors, even as plans are ongoing for transformation of Aba River waterfront into a tourist attraction.

Source: IgbereTVNews