After series of negotiations and meetings personally led by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, the long awaited MOU between the Abia State Government and the UN- HABITAT for the preparation and implementation of Structure Plans for Aba, Umuahia and Ohafia was signed on Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya.
Governor Ikpeazu dispatched a strong delegation from the State Ministry of Lands, Survey and Urban Development to Kenya to tidy up the work and sign the agreement on behalf of the State Government.
The delegation was led by the Honorable Commissioner in the Ministry, Barrister Suleman Ukandu, the Permanent Secretary, Her Excellency, Mrs Joy Ezinwanyi Nwakanma, MNI, Special Adviser to the Governor on Urban Development/President of the Nigerian Institution of Town Planners, TPL Lekwa Ezuta and the Director of Town Planning in the Ministry, TPL Dr. Lawson Ananaba.
The signing of the MOU was done at the official residence of the Nigerian High Commission to Kenya and the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN-HABITAT, Ambassador Sheidu Omeiza Momoh. The Ambassador also witnessed the signing of the agreement as well as the Honorable Minister of State for Works and Housing, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry signed on behalf of the State Government while the UN-HABITAT Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Naison Mutizwa-Mangiza signed for the UN-HABITAT.
The last of the meetings prior to this final stage was hosted by Governor Ikpeazu at the Abia State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja two months ago.
By the signing of this agreement, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, known as the UN-HABITAT will collaborate with the Abia State Government in preparing and implementing Structure Plans that will guide the sustainable growth of Aba, Umuahia, Ohafia and other urban centers in the State. They will also support the state with technical advisory services to enable the state plan ahead of development in order to manage rapid urban growth and capacity building of institutions, agencies and officials involved to enable them discharge their duties more effectively. In particular, the UN-HABITAT will aid directly in the urban renewal of Aba, the commercial hub of the State.
This project will formally take off in 2020.
The signing of this MOU is historic as this is the first time the Abia State Government will enter into this kind of comprehensive agreement with any agency of the United Nations for the development of a sustainable plan for regeneration of our major cities.
This is yet another direct result of the Ikpeazu administration’s push for the improvement of the well-being of the people of Abia State.
The outing in Nairobi, less than one month after the successful Boardroom outing, led personally by the Governor in Pretoria, South Africa where several deals were struck for the Enyimba Economic City Project is a clear evidence of resolve of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s global and futuristic approach to governance.
Expressing delight at this development, Dr. Ikpeazu stated that “one of my key priorities as Governor is to lay solid foundations that will make for the sustainable growth of our state, way beyond my tenure”.
According to the Governor, “one notable factor that has slowed down our pace of development has been the near absence of long term sustainable development plans. Leaders at all levels must look beyond their limited terms of office, see into the future and put in place plans and strategies that successive administrations can build on. We must shift emphasis from temporary applauses and become futuristic in our thinking as a people”.
“This is the philosophy behind my approach to governance. This is why I am passionate about the Enyimba Economic City Project. This latest MOU with the UN-HABITAT is yet another push by our administration towards building a stronger and better future for our people. The results may not show immediately but in the years to come, our people will benefit from this. Our government will provide the UN-HABITAT with all the necessary support required to successfully execute this project because we understand the benefits it will bring to our state”. The Governor concludes.
Onyebuchi Ememanka, Esq
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.
26th November, 2019.