By Ihechinyere Chigemeri-Uwom
Umuahia, – Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia says the state government has evolved programmes and policies which will be applied in the agricultural sector to stimulate agro-industrial revolution in Abia.
Ikpeazu made this known on Saturday night while interacting with newsmen at the Government House, Umuahia on the performance of his administration so far.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ikpeazu was re-elected for a second term in office.
He told journalists that enhancing agricultural productivity in the state remained one of the primary focus of his administration.
He said: “We are going to increase our tempo in agriculture because we intend to stir up an agro-based industrial revolution in Abia.
“We want to improve the economy of each local government council in Abia by establishing cottage processing mills for rice, cassava and oil palm,” he said.
Ikpeazu, who inaugurated the Acha Rice Mill in Isuikwuato council area on Saturday, said that the state government was committed to improving the welfare of the people and enhance food security in the state.
He said that government was working towards building an agro-allied industrial estate to make Abia a value addition hub in agriculture.
Ikpeazu also said that government intended to facilitate an increase in oil palm production by raising three million Tenera seedlings to be distributed to farmers.
According to him, “Abia government is working towards establishing a cassava economy by acquring a processing plant that would process cassava tubers to starch of pharmaceutical grade.”
He said that government spent N48 million to train 200 youths in modern agricultural methods and techniques, which would be a critical propeller of its development agenda.
On Education, Ikpeazu said that the state government had successfully built 340 new classroom blocks in 2018 and was focusing on building the capacity of teachers in state-owned schools.
He said that a Continued Education Center had been built for teachers and that efforts were being made to ensure that teachers in Abia would be Information and Communication Technology compliant.
The governor further spoke on security in the state, pointing out that his administration had established a robust security architecture to tackle any security challenges in the state.
He said that government was working towards installing a tracking system that would be used to ensure that crime was reduced to the barest minimum in Abia.
Ikpeazu said that the administration had been able to complete 77 of the 130 roads listed for construction, promising that the ongoing ones would be completed.
“People may think that we are slow but I want to ensure that we build long lasting infrastructure,” he said.
He also spoke on the Enyimba Economic City, saying that the project had been covered by law of the state House of Assembly and would be realised through Public Private Intitiative.
The governor further spoke on government’s efforts to add value to shoe production in Aba.
He said that the machinery for the establishment of an automated shoe factory in Aba had been purchased and waiting for installation.
He expressed his determination to make Aba “the hub for shoe manufacturing in Nigeria and Africa.”
He said that government had trained 30 persons to enhance their capacity in shoe making, adding that an automated shoemaking company, in partnership with Brazil, was in the offing.
He said that the firm to be called NiBra shoe factory would provide job for at least 6000 Nigerians.