By Iyke Ogbonnaya
I recall a recent publication, authored by T.A. Orji on the stimulating role of infrastructure in driving investment. He pledged his determination to religiously pursue same in Abia State.
As the governor’s resolution constantly, resonates the disclosure is that he has not derailed. The utmost importance of flushing out human headaches propelled the onslaught on kidnapping and every semblance of crime in Abia State.
Abia has comparatively become a safe haven for investment, having refused to tolerate and or allow a relapse to the frightening Somali past, which traumatized the people and business. Scarcely had the people exhausted the consummation of that security vista when the gubernatorial stewardship of T.A. Orji landed them light. Let there be light and the lingering mystery of Ohiya Power Station was demystified to evacuate power to the people. Hotels of prestigious class and relaxation spots of note are sprouting like mushrooms in strategic corners of the state.
I can say for the umpteenth time and without fear of contradiction that T.A Orji inherited a rather hollow state lacking in identity. The reliable measures instituted by government are rapidly correcting the sorry past of the state, and Abia has T.A Orji to appreciate for this paradigm shift.
The attendant success story of Abia State Specialist Hospital Aba & Umuahia provided the magnetic referral, which the state is flaunting to accommodate others. The Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Centre is about to surpass its current and essential capacity to diagnose and treat delicate health situations to the treatment of eye related ailments and administration of kidney dialysis. The Amachara annex is playing host to new and modernized buildings preparatory to the commencement of Child Care Center. Me-Cure Health Services of India, partnered in the success story of the Specialist Hospital through the provision of facilities for a Comprehensive Diagnosis, obtainable any where in the world. The State of Abia, had earlier partnered with Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for the construction and dedication of Health Centres exceeding 210 located in all the nooks and crannies of the three geo-political zones of the state.
With the recent desire of Americare U.S.A to build an International Hospital at Obuaku in Ukwa west local Government Area in Liaison with Abians in diaspora, Abia will soon become an International destination in the treatment of varied health situations. Beyond the health care sector, the receptive and convivial environment prevalent in Abia state is attracting other blue-chip investors’ majority of who have signed a memorandum of understanding with the state government. Strategic sectors necessary for stimulating the economy will essentially benefit in this regard.
In the petroleum sector, Alkamali Petroleum of Dubai triumphed over fellow competitors to secure government’s nod in the signing of Memorandum Of Understanding (M.O.U) to facilitate their genuine desire to build a Petroleum Refinery at Owaza the oil enclave of Abia State located in Ukwa-west local Government area.
The mass employing capacity of this sector will essentially depopulate the labour market in Abia State when Alkamali comes on stream.
In something similar to that, the return of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (N.N.P.C) Osisioma depot is praise worthy development. Activities have since picked up and comatose allied businesses are springing back to life. These healthy developments will positively rub-off on the concerted war against crime and social vices. Banks are streaming back to the depot, the consequent of which is that more hands will be conscripted to manage money and facilities.
Beyond the petroleum sector, the government of Abia state is encouraging investment in the huge and mass-employing cement sector. Juno-hermes is pioneering that initiative and is poised to tap from the abundant presence of lime stone at Arochukwu in actualizing that dream.
I am particularly glad to reveal that the deceptive and lackluster approach of elf riel in the quest to re-build Abia palm at Ohambele in Ukwa-east Local government Area has been halted. Government is aware of the inherent potentials prevalent in the Palm Oil Business. To that effect, the new services of a Malaysian firm will hopefully restore the palm oil bliss of the State instituted decades ago by the legendry Michael Okpara of blessed memory. Government is racing to reverse the largely un-tapped quarry deposit at Lokpa in Umunneochi Local Government Area. Consequently an Irish firm is leading the pact to stimulate the extraction of chippings for several construction initiatives.
The housing sector is evidently not left alone, given that several mortgage firms are already pitching their tents in the State. Aso Savings and Loans are powering the on-going Ochendo Housing Estate, located at Ohiya neighbourhood in Umuahia South Local Government Area. Slogani properties had earlier kick started the construction of Diamond Estate at Umuobia in association with Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.
The Management of Daar Communications Plc, Operators of Ray Power F.M and African Independent Television were on hand to Parley with the government of Abia state. The result of that overtures, is that Ray Power F.M is already on the airwaves of Abia State testing their transmission stations.
Pall Mall is driving Shop Rite to Abia State. To that effect, the South-African giant in chain stores has consented to the strategic suitability of Old Garki which government provided for a first class shopping mall.
This investment traffic will positively rub off on the political and socio-economic indices of the state in the long run. Abia under T.A Orji is beginning to feel the real taste of focused leadership.
Iyke Ogbonnaya, a current affairs analyst, wrote in from Umuahia.