*Vows to aid implementation
Emmanuel Ifeanyi, Aba
Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has received the draft plan for the state’s long-term development plan. This is even as he pledges his commitment to the implementation of parts of the draft plan during his tenure.
Receiving the draft plan from a delegation of the Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND) at the Government House, Umuahia Tuesday evening, Ikpeazu said his administration will commit itself to seeing the Abia Long-term Development Plan through.
New Telegraph reports that in November 2018, Abia State emerged as the South East winner of the zonal-wide development planning competition organised by PIND, the European Union, and Market Development in the Niger Delta (MADE).
Ikpeazu said that with his background as a scientist, he strongly believes that problems must be diagnosed and solved empirically, pointing out that he dreams to see Abia become a strong economic hub through the on-going Enyimba Economic City (EEC) project in the nearest future.
He said that his administration will take steps to get the plan working as well as get the state on the path of sustainable growth based on a home-grown plan, stressing that such will be one of the major interventions of his government.
PIND said that Abia State Long-term Development Plan is considered novel because it moves beyond a “Project mentality” (incrementally growing on the number of projects), achieving instead, large scale, sustainable system change
Dr. Dara Akala, the Executive Director PIND, who spoke on behalf of the delegation, said that the organisation is focusing on development across the Niger Delta region through a multi-sectoral approach.
Akala said that PIND is committed to supporting Abia through close partnership with the state planning commission, adding that the 2020-2050 long-term development plan for the state is produced by Abians for Abians to guide their development.
Dr. Mrs. Nnenna Chikezie, Executive Secretary Abia State Planning Commission, said that the work plan had 12 thematic areas including Education, Infrastructure, Health, Oil and Gas.
Chikezie added that stakeholders from the three senatorial zones of the state made their inputs towards the production of the Abia Draft Plan.
New Telegraph reports that aside Abia State, PIND worked with the Cross River State government to develop and launch the 30-year Cross River State Growth and Development Strategy in 2018.