By Admin on 12/12/2018

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By Chinenye Nwaogu


On the 7th of December 2018, the Governor of Abia State Okezie Ikpeazu Ph.D. led a delegation of Abia leaders mostly from the host communities of the new Enyimba Economic City Project to the Presidential Villa Abuja to sign the definitive agreement between the federal government, Abia State government and the Enyimba Economic City Development Company. President Buhari and several top federal government officials witnessed the signing ceremony. An excited Buhari praised Governor Ikpeazu for not just midwifing such an audacious project, but also articulating a template that brought the key stakeholders into a functional and successful relationship heralding the signing ceremony.

This is not the first time Governor Ikpeazu will be receiving accolades from the APC led federal government. While in Abia State to launch an ingenious health care initiative –Tele-health, the Vice President had this to say about Governor Ikpeazu. "On each of my visits to Abia State, I see something new, something different and something innovative. I am proud of Governor Ikpeazu and the passion he brings to governance. Perhaps, the greatest thing he has done, in my view, is the wonderful collaboration he engineers between the federal government and Abia State. 
The telemedicine project is yet another of such innovations and it is worthy of note that Abia is the very first state in Nigeria to formally embrace this initiative.

From NPOWER to the School Feeding Program, from power generation and transmission to security and infrastructure, Governor Ikpeazu adopts a bipartisan approach in his engagements with the federal government. He brings an added exciting personal touch to the relationship, which translates, into a stronger relationship between Abia State and the Federal Government for the overall interest of the people of Abia State. I am indeed proud of my friend and brother, His Excellency, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu".

The Enyimba Economic City Project, has been described by columnist as the most ambitious and audacious economic development project going on in Nigeria today. The positioning and master planning of the city was done by some of the bests in the business in the World, Surbana Jurong of Singapore and CBRE of India in collaboration with local firms. The positioning study indicate that Enyimba Economic City will at capacity, provide over 625,000 jobs, urban housing of over 300,000 units, urban population of more than 1.5 Million people. It is projected that the city will provide more than 2,000 industrial/ business units, with estimated annual value output of more than $5 Billion. This project is a well thought out one, combining the clear focus of the private sector and the enabling powers of the Governments at all level. Hence, it will emerge as a one of the most successful Private Public Partnership (PPP) projects in Nigeria. The key pillars of Enyimba Economic City is to create a global business hub that connects the nine (9) Southeast and Southsouth States, build first class infrastructure in the location, including dedicated power and attract economic activities that are mainly driven by manufacturing and supported by other uses e.g. Logistics, Medical, Entertainment, Education, Lifestyle Residential etc. The target is to attract proactively long term local and foreign investments, thereby integrating Nigerian businesses (manufacturing and services) into regional and global supply / value chains.

The choice of the location for the project makes it very irresistible for investors both local and international. According to the team from one of the federal government agencies, during their visit to the site, Enyimba has naturally conferring on it advantages that cannot be found anyother place in Nigeria today. It is on record that when the President visited China, he met with the President of RUYI Group who informed President Buhari of their interface with the government of Abia State and the promoters of the EECDC. Today, the free trade zone license has been issued by the federal government and paid for by EECDC in full. The Governor has designated the place as a Special Free Trade Zone. This projects enjoys the federal government blessing as one of the pillars of its project MINE to support massive industrialization of Nigeria. I am sure these informed the President’s statement when he declared to the audience at the Council Chambers that he was “very impressed” with Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.

At inauguration the Governor declared his unequivocal determination to push for massive economic and industrial development of the state leveraging on existing advantages, structures, potentials and engaging key stakeholders. To achieve this the Governor has demonstrated high dose of statesmanship in engaging every conceivable stakeholder and partner including the present federal government led by the APC. This has resulted into huge benefits and impacts on the lives of the people of Abia State. The Governor has domesticated several initiatives of the federal government, in some cases modifying them to suit our local environment.

At best one would have expected the APC group in Abia state to keep quite if they would not have the maturity to praise this achievement that has continued to change the narrative in Abia for the better. To begin an unsuccessful attack and vilification of the Governor of Abia Okezie Ikpeazu Ph.D. is the worst form of opposition. After reading through the rag tag media response by the Abia APC on the successful signing ceremony at the Aso Rock Villa, one begin to question the motive and rational behind the quest for power by these ill informed minions. Opposition is a key ingredient to a successful democratic experience when it is based on creativity, constructive presentation of alternative ideas that will resolve societal challenges. In this, the Abia APC failed and exposed themselves as self-serving and as a group working against the development of Abia state. I’m not even sure that they read the mood of their party leader President Buhari properly before issuing such demented press release. The success of the EEC project is not just to the credit of the Government of Abia state, but the federal government has much to gain, if the project is successfully implemented. All the key federal MDAs that will support the Abia State government and the private sector in implementing this project have received a matching order from the President to support Governor Ikpeazu to see this dream to fruition. In contrast the Abia APC is busy playing destructive politics with a project with huge potential to turn around the fortunes of the state in particular and the country at large. Did the Abia APC consider the magnitude of economic impact of a project that will provide over 600,000 jobs, with over $5 billion annual turn over. The cultural exchanges, the influx of investors and the value addition this will have on the quality of life of the average Abian especially from the designated areas.

Opposition politics should be development focused, the welfare of the people at all times must be the essence of politics and this is what Governor Ikpeazu has demonstrated. This is what the opposition in Abia should learn from this uncommon leader. Despite being of the PDP stock, the Governor has engaged the APC led-federal constructively for the benefit of the people of Abia State. By doing so, he has elevated politics from the mediocre and pedestrian level to an egalitarian level, which the opposition in Abia have failed to come terms with. He has demonstrated an uncommon leadership capacity hence the peaceful atmosphere that exists in the state. This is the new narrative and a paradigm shift unmatched since the history of the state.



Posted on December, 12 2018

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