Governot Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia state has reiterated the government’s commitment to sustain socio-economic development through implementation of improved policies and programmes in 2020.
Ikpeazu made this known in his New Year message to the people in Umuahia on Wednesday.
The governor said that 2020 had provided an avenue for a new paradigm in Abia and there were finance and logistics modalities to increase infrastructure development.
“We are also working toward the completion of the processes required for the draw-down of the African Development Bank facility that will enable the revamp of infrastructure in the state.
“This year, we will continue to partner with the World Bank through NEWMAP, RAMP and other intervention programmes by sustaining the payment of counterpart funds to ensure continuation of these projects.
“We will intensify pursuit of ongoing partnerships to ensure that the Enyimba Economic City project is realised. It is expected that the first phase of construction of the project shall commence shortly,
“It is in collaboration with our private partners and anchor tenants. We have no doubt whatsoever that the project will succeed,” Ikpeazu said.
He described the agricultural sector as a key pillar in Abia development agenda, saying that the government would intensify support for marketing and primary production of agricultural produce.
He urged the people to invest their resources in the state, as the gesture would enable its economy to grow faster and transform it into an investors’ haven.
Ikpeazu said that the state government had mandated relevant agencies to expedite action in improving its capacity to advance Made-in-Abia products in the global market.
He expressed delight over the successful revitalisation of Golden Guinea Breweries Plc, saying that plans were ongoing to facilitate the restoration of other moribund industries in Abia.
He, however said the state government was mindful of the challenges faced by pensioners and had made efforts to address pension and other debt arrears.
“This is also evidenced by the fact that we have started paying our pensioners from December 2019, while working out modalities to clear arrears that predate our administration.
“I have also received the report of the committee set up to advice on modalities for implementing the new minimum wage in the state.
“I wish to announce that Abia will, effective January 2020 pay its workers the new minimum wage,” Ikpeazu said.
The governor said that the state government had reengineered its financial sector to function optimally in 2020, to ensure that all civil servants and pensioners receive their emoluments every month.
He said that Abia Government would sustain its capacity building programmes for teachers through continuous training and retraining on core subjects to improve education standard and raise the enrolment in public schools.
“We are undaunted by the challenges faced in building the state that we will all be proud of. These challenges provide for us, platforms which we will climb to get to the heights we aspire,” Ikpeazu said.
He appreciated the people for their support and reaffirmed commitment to collectively work and build the Abia of their dreams.