By KINGSLEY MADUFORO
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, in his effort in tackling the age long infrastructure decay in Aba, the ancient city, with particular reference to the dilapidated road network of the commercial city, is in conformity with his five cardinal policy thrust of turning the state around. The strategic importance of road infrastructure can hardly be over emphasized because good road network is the livewire of any economic system, as aspirations, goals and destinies are actualized with the free flow of men and materials along the roads. As such, it is needless to say that poor road network locks out the economic potentials of a nation or a state as was the case with Abia State before Gov. Ikpeazu assumed office.
Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu has chosen road infrastructure as a critical road map towards recovering the Abia economy that is gradually heading to abyss. His obsession for quality road infrastructure, with specially greater emphasis on Aba is predicated on the fact that Aba is the goose that lays the golden egg hence the urgent need to mitigate her years of neglect. Moreover, Aba represents the resilience and enterprising spirit of the Igbo nation and serves as point of convergence. Above all, Aba has provides the highest market for the South-East and South-South geo-political zones in the history of commerce in Nigeria. This high market index of the city is further complemented by the high level of creativity for which it is noted. This informs the measures Gov. Ikpeazu has taken in building and rebuilding of road infrastructure in all parts of the state, thereby attracting both local and foreign investors and making it a driving force for Abia economy.
The zeal, determination, passion and commitment demonstrated by the present administration led by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to give the citizenry good motorable roads as well as engender economic activities in the state, especially in Aba the commercial hub of the state, is highly commendable.
The Ikpeazu road construction and rehabilitation revolution has indeed turned the state into a huge construction site where caterpillars, bulldozers and other earth moving equipment are at work round the clock. The governor is using cement technology or what experts call ‘rigid pavement technology’ to construct 80% percent of the roads in Abia. Right now, over 124 roads spread across the three geo-political zones in the state have been delivered and a good number of roads are still under construction with good drainage network.
According to Gov. Ikpeazu, his administration is engaging in this kind of high quality road network to ensure a lasting legacy so that in the next 20 years the roads will still be active and functional.
The effort towards restoring the dwindling economy of the state was well calculated by first addressing the unhealthy road network in the state and it has put the state on a stronger economic footing. The state has become a virgin land for investment, the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMSEs) are regaining their strength back in the state especially the city of Aba which is the commercial hub in the state and our youth are getting employed and engaged meaningfully.
This is a call for all to demonstrate genuine commitment to turn around the economic fortunes of the state for the good of the citizenry and we can only achieve this by supporting Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu’s transformation agenda. The governor has shown capacity in managing the state’s resources and the testimony is there for all to see.
Kingsley Maduforo writes from Umuahia.