GOV. IKPEAZU’S FIRST 100 DAYS IN OFFICE: THE MATTERS ARISING
By Kingsley Maduforo
The first hundred (100) days of the second tenure of the governor of Abia State, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu is a record of milestones in developmental progress. Abians within these one hundred days have witnessed appropriate improvement in all social, political and economic conditions. The quantitative and qualitative development in human capital (income and education) levels as well as physical capital such as infrastructure (utilities, transport, telecommunication) are highly commendable. The governor, due to his superlative performance, has received series of appreciation from critical stakeholders and sectors in the state.
For instance, infrastructure which is an important component of the economy and a common tool used for development has received a boost within his first one hundred days in his second tenure in office. It is a global factor that infrastructure is of great importance in a global economy where economic opportunities have been increasingly related to the mobility of people and freight, including information and communication technology. A relation between the quantity and quality of infrastructure and level of economic development is therefore apparent.
High density infrastructure, especially roads, and highly connected network of social amenities are commonly associated with high levels of development. When transport systems are efficient, they provide social opportunities and benefits that result in positive multiplier effects such as better accessibility to markets, employment and additional investments. When transport systems are deficient in terms of capacity and reliability, they can have an economic cost such as reduced or missed opportunities and lower quality of life.
The governor of Abia State, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, who has pledged his administration’s relentless effort in the pursuit of the ideals of sustainable development is building a lasting foundation for future generation of Abains. Gov. Ikpeazu in these first one hundred days of his second term delivered a good number of roads. For instance, the brand new 22km Obikabia-Umuene Road is just one of the roads. This brand new road links the two local government areas of Obingwa and Isiala Ngwa South. Also, palliative remedial works have also been carried out on many of the bad roads in Umuahia and Aba preparatory to when the contractors handling them fully will return to site as soon as the rain abates. With the work going on at Aba-Owerri Road in Aba and the use of Cement Rigid Pavement Technology to handle the road menace, the road would surely last. The 12 inches thickness of the concrete underlay this administration is pilling on the perennially bad portion of the road before the final asphalt overlay, indeed, attests to the good intentions of Gov. Ikpeazu for Abia State.
The light up Abia innovative has impacted positively well on many of the major streets in both our major cities, especially Aba and Umuahia. This initiative has extended business hours, security and general aesthetics in our cities. It is on record that 1,000 streetlights have been installed in Aba and Umuahia in the first phase and similar number will soon be deployed to cover all dark spots within the major cities in the state.
The cardinal objective of Gov. Ikpeazu in his second term is the completion of all the projects that he began in his first term while laying foundations for sustainable job creation for the teeming youths in Abia State.
In Abia today, the Enyimba Economic City Project, a novel idea of Gov. Ikpeazu’s administration, is the greatest policy thrust of this present administration which when kicked, is estimated to create over 700,000 jobs in the next ten years. This will revive the economy of both the state and the entire South-East and South-South region. Recently, the governor revealed that the Federal Government has already bought 20% shares of the multi-billion naira project because of its economic viability.
The managerial expertise of Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu to handle the affairs of the state has not only put the infrastructural and economic development of the state on a right footings but has also posted remarkable achievements in the education sector of the state by placing Abia on the number one ladder in WAEC examination in Nigeria for four consecutive years.
Kingsley Maduforo is a Media/ Political Analyst.