100 Days: Abia On Right Track – Ikpeazu | Independent Newspapers Limited
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100 Days: Abia On Right Track – Ikpeazu

Posted: Sep 10, 2015 at 3:57 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Valentine Amanze, Lagos

Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has stated that his administration was developing the state rapidly and wholestically.

He explained that the approach was necessary to meet the expectation of the people, who voted for the government.

The governor stated these, while presenting the state government’s scorecard after 100 days in office via his Chief Press Secretary, Godwin Adindu, in Lagos.

Ikpeazu, who at inception of his administration outlawed addressing him as His Excellency, said that he was in a hurry to develop the state.

He said that aside massive road projects ongoing in the state, his government has not ignored the importance of agriculture, education, tourism, security and generally youth empowerment to drive the state economy.

Ikpeazu said that already, the state government has rolled out a scheme known as Education for Employment, which would reactivate vocational education in Abia, in addition to e-Learning.

The purpose of which, he said, was to create avenue for self-employment.

The governor also revealed that some youths had been given

aptitude test for the programme, while massive rehabilitation of four most dilapidated schools in each of the 17 local government areas had been completed.

Besides, the governor disclosed that through his   Youth for Agriculture Programme, 40 youths are to be trained at the Songhai Farms in Porto-Novo, Republic of Benin annually, explaining, “It’s a train-the-trainer initiative in the entire agricultural value-chain.”

He also said that the state government has prioritized the dredging of the Aba River for environmental protection, while pensioners had been verified and their pensions were being paid straight into their accounts.

The governor, who reinstated

sacked non-indigenes in the state civil service, has also enhanced security with the return of soldiers in the state.

Meanwhile, the state government has declared its readiness to boost the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from N500 million to N1.5 billion.

Ikpeazu said that the targeted revenue was possible with a crop of dedicated workforce.

Besides, he pointed out that the state government has engaged

reputable consultants to harness the huge IGR, which was going into the pockets of fake revenue agents.

He also said that he was working with a new economic blueprint, which was being boosted through the establishment of Abia State Economic Advancement Team (ASEAT).

The governor however declared that the era of multiple taxation was over in the state, stressing that he was making efforts

at harmonization of taxes and levies by checkmating the activities of touts

and illegal agents in the revenue drive.

“We have also blocked leakages and drain pipes through which government finances are being siphoned.

“We have cut down on the governor’s entourage; cut his salary by half.

“We have a new body – Integrated Payroll Verification System (IPVS); and the state is currently conducting staff auditing to ascertain the actual strength of the workforce,” he said.

Ikpeazu pointed out that the War Against the Ghost Workers Syndrome was still ongoing in the state, stressing that with such measures the state was on the right track.

Ikpeazu promised that the state would make more efforts on the development of Aba, the commercial nerve centre of South East.

According to him, “Aba is being transformed to a city of basic modern amenities; restoring order and sanity in building of shops, kiosk, office and residential buildings.

He explained that the goal was  to make Aba the SME capital of Nigeria.

On the houses being demolished in Aba by the state government, he explained that they were built in unauthorized places, stressing that such structures were blocking drainages.

He warned that owners of such structures would not be compensated.