Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has pledged the commitment of his administration to the resolute implementation of the Abia State Long Term Development Plan.
Governor Ikpeazu who stated this when he received in audience a delegation of the Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND) who were at the Government House, Umuahia, to submit the draft scheme for the Plan.
The Governor said as a strong believer in the Plan, he strongly reckons that problems must be diagnosed and solved empirically, pointing out that he dreams to see Abia become a strong economic hub through the Enyimba Economic City project.
He also said that his government will take steps to get the Plan working as well as strengthen the State’s path to sustainable growth through homegrown plans, stressing that such will be one of the major interventions of his administration.
The Governor further emphasised on the need for the interest of people to be captured and challenged the implementers of the Plan to be more committed and resilient, revealing that his ambition is to have an Abia that its GDP will be higher than the national average.
Speaking, the Executive Director PIND, Dr Dara Akara said that the Foundation is a social enterprise established by Shevron Nigeria in 2012 focusing on Development across the Niger Delta region through a multi-sectoral approach.
He said that PIND is committed to supporting the state through close partnership with the Abia State Planning Commission, adding that the 2020-2050 Long Term Development Plan of the state is produced by Abians for Abians to guide in the future development of the state and will outlive the present administration.
He further said that it is important for the government to adopt a demand-led approach in implementing the Plan, maintaining that the issues of access to lands for agricultural purposes, multiple taxations, security among others should be considered to engender development and promote a stable environment.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary, Abia State planning Commission, Dr Mrs Nnenna Chikezie, said that the work plan had twelve thematic areas including Education, Infrastructure, Health, Gas and Oil, adding that stakeholders from the three senatorial zones of the state made their inputs towards the production of the Abia State Long Term Development draft.
Giving an overview of the programme, the DG Abia State Quality and Marketing Management Agency, Barr Sam Hart, said that PIND which is responsible for the development in the nine Niger Delta States held the Niger Delta development forum where Abia emerged as the state with the best development plan in 2018 prompting the resolve of PIND to partner the state in the development of the long term development plan.