OUR TOMORROW WILL BE BETTER THAN OUR TODAY
2016 NEW YEAR BROADCAST DELIVERED BY DR. OKEZIE IKPEAZU, GOVERNOR, ABIA STATE ON FRIDAY, JANUARY 1, 2016
MY GOOD PEOPLE OF ABIA STATE!
It is with gratitude to God for the privilege of beholding a new year that I address you today to formally welcome you into the year 2016.
For us in Abia State, the year 2016 is our year of consolidation and progress. It is a year in which some of the seeds we planted at the inception of this administration will start bearing fruit and it is the year in which we shall move forward, free from all distractions.
Just yesterday, I presented before the Abia State House of Assembly, the Abia State Budget for the year 2016 captioned â€˜The Budget of Restoration Through Enterpriseâ€™. In the said budget, I highlighted the key areas our administration plans to focus on in the year 2016 to bring about the much-needed socio-economic development of the state.
As you all are aware, the nation is experiencing some financial difficulties at the moment which is constraining the finances of both the Federal, State and Local Government Areas. That notwithstanding, our administration will do everything within its powers to shield the people of Abia State from the effects of the harsh economic realities in our nation today.
I am aware that some of my colleague-Governors are calling for the reduction of the minimum wage paid to workers as a way of saving government revenue. I wish to state categorically that Abia State will not deduct a kobo from the wages we are currently paying our workers. Already, we pay one of the highest minimum wages nationwide and we are determined to sustain that legacy.
That being said, we all have a role to play in ensuring that Government continues to serve you efficiently and effectively. I call on Abians and all those doing business in Abia State to be diligent in paying their taxes. I have no doubt that we can all see the works being done in the State in the areas of Road Construction, economic development, social services and other critical sectors of the state. With the drastic reduction in the allocation we are receiving from Abuja, the only way for us to sustain the tempo is by harnessing all available revenue windows and strengthening our Tax Collection Processes. It is in recognition of the important role taxes will play in our economy going forward that I constituted an IGR Committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Ude Oko Chukwu, a Chartered Accountant. I am aware that the committee through the Board of Internal Revenue has introduced some measures aimed at collecting all taxes due to government. I am therefore throwing the full authority of my office behind the improved IGR Drive and wish to request that we all cooperate with the Board of Internal Revenue and her appointed agents for the good of Abia State.
Distinguished Abians, despite our challenges, I see a beautiful tomorrow. We are on course and together, we shall all be here to witness a new Abia with new opportunities and better investment prospects.
It is very imperative going forward that we eschew all divisive tendencies that do not help our collective aspirations in any way. We are all in Abia State together. If Abia State makes progress, we will all be a part of the progress. Let us therefore join hands with and support the Government to move Abia State forward.
To all those who suffered loss, misfortune and cause of sadness in 2015, my prayer is that the year 2016 will wipe your tears and give you reason to laugh. All we have to do is believe in the validity of our dreams and aspirations and hold unto God, in whose hands our collective destinies lie.
My good people of Abia State, I implore you to walk confidently into the New Year. Our tomorrow will be better than our today. Together, we shall all have cause to give Glory to God in the year 2016.
I thank you all for listening and I wish you a very successful 2016.