Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, said his target is to ensure the state depends on internally generated revenue (IGR) rather than on federal allocations from Abuja, by the end of his tenure in 2023.
“I want to see is an Abia State that is capable of surviving on its internally generated revenue (IGR) without necessarily waiting for what is coming from Abuja. I want Abia State to be a major player in terms of leather and garments in Nigeria. I want a situation where we will create a manufacturing platform, creating a mini Dubai where people come and begin to manufacture things. For the first time, we have provided that enabling economic environment, where people can manufacture and export; for me, that is a major achievement and I am grateful to the Federal Government for cooperating with us and seeing our vision,” he told Daily Sun in an interview.
He promised to address the pending pensions arrears in the state, but blamed the civil servants for complicating the issue.
“I have not abandoned those arrears. I have decided to pick them up, but I’m not going to pay unless I see the worker and he tells me what he does. We are tackling the pension issue, but the authors of the pension problem in Abia State and, elsewhere, is the pensioner and the civil servant. The pensioner was a civil servant yesterday. Who works in the pensions board? Who are the people who decide who is a pensioner or not? Who are the people who put in the name of a dead pensioner and collect the money? That is why, today, you find people who are due for retirement and they ask for an extension, so that they can train a successor.”