Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu has revealed that the state is working towards becoming economically independent and no longer reliant on the monthly allocation from the federal government.
With dwindling oil revenues adversely affecting government at the centre, state governments are challenged with developing alternative revenue sources other than that from the federal government.
Governor Ikpeazu disclosed that within the last one year, the state has worked seriously to develop other alternative revenue earners that would form the main revenue stream for the state, while the federal allocation would only serve as a compliment.
Addressing pressmen in Lagos, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Godwin Adindu, said to achieve the goal, Governor Ikpeazu has focused more on the areas where the state has comparative advantage such as agriculture, commerce and trade, craftsmanship and human capital development.
Mr Adindu explained that the strategy of Governor Ikpeazu has been to create the enabling environment and also develop the sectors that would boost and sustain the state’s economy such that in a short while, it would become self-sustainable and independent from the federal allocation cheque from Abuja.
Adindu also revealed that the Governor had embarked on some strategic developmental projects some of which include the Obiaku City Port in Ukwa East, initiated to link Aba to the sea and provide a great economic boost to Aba as the commercial hub of the South East, as well as the Market Development Programme targeted towards rehabilitating the markets as a strong revenue earner for the state.
According to Mr Adindu, the Ikpeazu-led government has also led a campaign for the development of artisanship ingenuity in Aba and the standardisation of Made-in-Aba products, which climaxed with a business summit in Aba and the “Made in Aba Trade Fair” in Abuja.
“We take the Made-in-Aba concept seriously. The artisans were sponsored to Turkey to understudy the processes that would make them manufacture good quality products that are enduring.
“Shoes made in Aba can be sold in shops in the United Kingdom, the United States and other western countries where Nigerians were fond of acquiring such products.”
The government has also focused its attention towards the resuscitation of two moribund industries in the state, Golden Guinea Breweries in Umuahia and the International Glass Industry in Aba.