INFRASTRUCTURAL REVOLUTION IN ABIA STATE: IKPEAZU’S GOOD LEGACY.
By Kingsley Maduforo
Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porrass in their book entitled “Built to Last” took eighteen truly exceptional and long-lasting companies and studied each of them in direct comparison to one of its top competitors. They examined the companies from their very beginning to the present day – as start-ups, as mid-size companies, and as large corporations. Throughout, they asked: “what makes the truly exceptional companies different from the other companies and what were the common practices those enduringly great companies followed throughout their history?” This book provides a master blueprint for building organizations that will prosper in the 21st century and beyond.
The Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, may have gone through this book before setting a roadmap for his infrastructural revolution in the state immediately he assumed office. Unarguably, Gov. Ikpeazu’s superior performance in infrastructural development is attributable to the gradual and tireless efforts he devoted at the onset to understudy the infrastructural decay in the state he inherited. Before now, there was lack of long term strategic thinking for infrastructural network by previous governing bodies.
While physical, social and economic infrastructure are the essential ingredients for the success of a modern economy, they also foster a country’s economic development and prosperity. Investment in infrastructure contributes to higher productivity and growth as much as it facilitates trade and connectivity, and promotes economic inclusion.
Gov. Ikpeazu, on the entrenchment of peace and good governance in Abia State in spite of the country’s daunting economic challenges, has maintained his longstanding vision, integrity, inclusiveness, accountability, transparency and prudent management of resources. The feats he has achieved in the provision of critical infrastructure across the state has promoted rural development, qualitative and affordable education, healthcare delivery, regular payment of workers’ salaries, innovative and robust investment drive, peace and security, among others. His productive efforts have been acknowledged and applauded by people both within and outside the state.
Indeed, investment in infrastructure by the Ikpeazu-led administration is one of the main mechanisms to lay a solid foundation for the next generation to come. Extensive and efficient infrastructure is critical for ensuring the effective functioning of the economy, as it is an important factor that determines the location of economic activities.
Gov. Ikpeazu and his economic team have provided well-developed infrastructure that reduces the effect of distance between states, integrating the national market and connecting it at low cost to markets in the state. In addition, the road network in the state has led to economic growth and significantly reduced income inequalities and poverty in a variety of ways. As a key driver for progress, infrastructural development happens to be a critical enabler for productivity and sustainable economic growth. Comprehensive infrastructural projects support communities and build business opportunities, including improving agriculture/farming. Abia farmers can now transport their agricultural produce conveniently and access markets outside their communities easily.
In other words, market accessibility and trade network can be greatly expanded through quality infrastructure. The connectivity will also lower the production cost and shorten the distance between buyers and producers, thereby eradicating the “Middle Man” concept. This will also allow room for farmers and other villagers to start small and medium enterprises and will also lead to the building of entrepreneurial capacity for farmers.
Gov. Ikpeazu has vowed that his administration will deliver and complete all projects initiated in all communities irrespective of their political affiliation before the end of his tenure. His economic policies will stimulate job creation, enhance foreign direct investment and improve productivity and tax revenue in the state.