(Ihechinyere Chigemeri-Uwom, NAN)
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia on Tuesday expressed the commitment of the state government to implement its long-term development plan to engender sustainable socio-economic development.
Ikpeazu made this known during the presentation of the Abia long term Development Plan to the state government by members of Abia Technical Support Team at the Government House, Umuahia.
He said the state government would expedite action to ensure the success of developing the plan and its purpose.
“I strongly believe that problems can be properly solved through proper research and planning. Whatever it will take to achieve sustainable growth based on home-grown plans will be adopted by the state government.
“Anything that can be done to engender social development across the various strata of the society is welcome. This government will do everything to commit itself to this plan,” he said.
The governor said that state government had initiated various programmes and policies to tackle any issue that was an impediment to sustainable economic growth in Abia.
Ikpeazu added that the development plan would be published in Igbo language to enable the residents to be active players in the implementation of the development plan in the state.
He said that the state government was desirous to transform the state into a strong economic hub, with a strong visibility in the world market in the garment and leather sector.
Ikpeazu commended the Abia Technical Support Team for its efforts, adding that a platform would be created for the team to give its inputs in the implementation of the plan.
Earlier, Dr Dara Akara, the Executive Director of Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta, said that the state long term development plan was a product of elaborate interactions with stakeholders.
Akara said that the plan was a representation of the dreams, aspirations and interests of the people of Abia.
He said that the idea of involving stakeholders in the process was centered on facilitating a successful implementation of the plan.
Akara said that the development plan had been structured to guide the state government to achieve systematic growth to attain sustainable development.
He urged the state government to “produce the plan in local languages, take steps toward making the state safe, inject technologies in the implementing the plan.
“Monitoring and evaluation are very crucial in the implementation of the plan as they will enable the state government to record success in developing the state.”
The Executive Secretary of Abia State Planning Commission, Mrs Nnenna Chikezie, said that the development plan was made up of 12 thematic sections, covering education, infrastructure, health, oil and gas.
“The vision and dreams of the people of Abia has been collated and articulated in the draft of the Abia Long-term Development Plan.
“This plan has gone through independent assessors and the gaps found in the draft plan have been filled after a closure meeting,” Chikezie added.