INFRASTRUCTURAL REVOLUTION IN ABIA; A PATHWAY TO ECONOMIC RENAISSANCE



By Adimchinobi Onyenso

 Availability of enough infrastructural facilities is indeed one of the indices for rating the socioeconomic advancement of any society. Little wonder much emphasis is usually placed on it by serious administrations. Be that as it may, there is the need for the different tiers of government to invest heavily on infrastructure as it is sure bait to attracting investors and tourists alike.

Good road network, for instance enhances commerce, industry and Agriculture. So the agricultural produce from the far flung rural areas can be taken to the urban areas where it is better priced.

Under this Governor Okezie Ikpeazu's administration, social infrastructure is receiving the required boost. It is of note that this administration met a huge infrastructural decay; as such Governor Ikpeazu folded his working sleeves to reverse the downward trend.

Aba, the economic melting point of the East had hitherto suffered undue neglect. Today, the present administration has reversed that trend also.

The Government projection on road construction kicked off with construction of adjoining roads such as Ukaegbu, Umuola and later others like MCC-SAMEK, Osusu roads among others, to ensure seamless vehicular movement to the markets and the bustling city centres, a development that has greatly alleviated the sufferings of motorists eve when there are traffic jams.

The second was the building of major roads to the markets such as Faulks and Eziukwu roads among others to enhance trade and commerce as Enyimba city is renowned for her large and busy markets. The third was the building of major entrances to the city centers such as Portharcourt and Aba-Owerri roads. The fourth was opening up the linking roads between Abia and other States such as Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi, and Anambra States targeted at increasing the inter-state movement, trade, commerce and social relations.

Also, the federal Government has continued in earnest to build the Enugu-Portharcourt Express road to Aba and from Aba to Portharcourt with quadruple carriage ways. That is not all. The Federal Government is building another federal road from Owerri to Aba which invariably will help people coming from the Lagos axis to have easy access to Aba city center to patronize made in Aba goods.

Even the abandoned Federal roads in the State, under the watch of Dr. Okezie ikpeazu are not being left out of this infrastructural revolution being witnessed today. With respect to that, while flagging off for construction, one of the federal roads in Abia State, the Governor stated that "it is not just the federal people in Abuja that use the road rather our people here in Abia", hence the attention being accorded to those roads by the State Government.

In addition, the present visionary administration introduced the rigid pavement technology into the construction of roads in Abia State. This is on realization of the importance of constructing very virile and durable road networks with grade ‘A’ construction companies such as Setraco, Heartland, Arab contractors etc on different sites. Thus, today in Abia, the emphasis is to construct roads that will outlast this administration.
The State Government is constructing an overhead bridge at Osisioma junction, Aba in God's Own State which is nearing completion which also is adding to the aesthetic values of that environment. It is strongly believed it will be the answer to the reoccurring traffic gridlock being experienced along that route.

One distinctive feature of the roads constructed by this administration is that it comes with drainage and street lights. The essence of emphasizing on drainage is that flooding in Aba seemed to be intractable hence the need to channel the rainwater appropriately. The Ifeobara basin which also serves as a collation center for all rainwater within Ariaria Market is aimed at making the flooded areas free and dry even in the rainy season. With the 6 sub-pumps laid underground from the pond, the water in the pond is channeled directly to the waterside river banks. The Street lightening will engender night life and stem insecurity.

The economic implication is that such activity has, and is greatly boosting trade and commerce which the city is renowned for, with the attendant attraction of investors.
Abia is a commercial hotspot and there is the need for timely information to prospective investors so as to ease doing business in the state.

This is one of the reasons the present administration established the Abia Investment House, to help facilitate business deals within a twinkle of an eye. Abia today is sure footed for investments.
It is crucial to state that uninterrupted power supply and proper distribution, is indispensable in ensuring stability and friendly industrial cum commercial environment in pursuance of this laudable project.

The State Government has entered into partnership with Geometrics and Chinese power firm to generate enough power to the State to advance the made in Aba initiative of the State Government.
Infrastructure is very critical to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu's led administration and much is been done across the three senatorial zones of the state to bring about infrastructural face-lift with its attendant economic benefits.

First, adequate infrastructural facilities in terms of roads and sophisticated edifices attract investors in the State for more cash inflow, all round growth and progress. Secondly, adequate infrastructure will help to create more job opportunities for the teeming Abia citizens since more business developments come alongside infrastructure.

Added to the above is the fact that adequate infrastructure presents a leverage and a pedestal for other economic and non economic activities within the State to thrive.
Aptly put, the level of infrastructural development within a given locality determines the extent to which other State governments, non-governmental Organizations and International Organizations are willing to partner the State. This is especially so, because none of these institutions is ready to partner or deal with an entity which has no vision, progress or direction.

Above all, all hands must be on the deck to support the infrastructural revolution in Abia already championed by the current administration. That way, the dividends of democracy will never elude Ndi Abia again as was the case in the past.

Onyenso, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Umuahia   

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