Other Side of Good Governance Tour

| February 19, 2013 | 0 Comments

The National Good Governance Tour (NGGT) moved to the South -east, with Abia State as the first port of call. The three-day event that took off on Thursday January 16 ended on Saturday January 19. Led by the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, the membership of the team was drawn from top management of the Federal Ministry of Information and a wide spectrum of civil society groups, including the Media (print, electronic and social media), organized labour, National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) and some presidential aides.

During a visit to Governor Theodore Orji, Maku emphasised that the media tour was a non-partisan initiative endorsed by President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Economic Council (largely made up of the 36 States Governors), in order to promote a national conversation on development and good governance. He said the visit will afford the team a first-hand knowledge and make an on-the-spot assessment of the projects embarked by the federal, state and local governments. And then, the business took off in earnest.

On Thursday, the team was accompanied by Governor Orji to the project sites at the Abia State Diagnostic/Dialysis Centre; the double 4-storey civil servants secretariat (the first high rise building with elevator in Umuahia); the new High Court Complex; the new government house; the new industrial market; the gigantic edifice for the State Environmental Protection Agency; Women/youth Development Centre; the new office complex for effective constituency outreach at the State House of Assembly and the new 48-room office accommodation for the State radio and television stations.

The project inspection was wrapped up with a foundation stone laying ceremony of the Universal Basic Education Board and JAAC Secretariat. The team also had a live interaction with the people of Abia on the State Radio and Television Stations.

On Friday, the team was accompanied by the Deputy Governor, Sir Emeka Ananaba to two project sites in Umuahia before it left for Aba- the commercial nerve centre of the State. The projects are Amachara Specialist Hospital and Ohiya Power Station.

Although, the Power Station was built by the Federal Government, Abia State Government considered it fit and recently evacuated the electricity generated for increased power supply to Umuahia and its environs. At Aba, they visited the projects sites of Geometric Independent Power Plant at Osisoma with a link road built by the State Government; the newly rehabilitated NNPC depot at Osisioma; the Federal Government’s National Independent Power Plant (NIPP) Alaoji; Aba/Owerri Road and Port-Harcourt Roads reconstructed by the State Government.

The next day, Saturday, the team visited the fifteen thousand lock-up stores under construction to decongest and relocate the Isi-Gate Market that is presently occupying a strategic place in Umuahia city centre. The field outings and projects inspection ended at the Umuahia North LGA Headquarters where the NGGT caught a glimpse of the transformations going on in each of the 17 LGAs across the State.

At the Michael Okpara Auditorium where Citizens’ Forum or Town Hall Meeting was organised, turned out a garland of kudos for the governor as journalists and the civil society groups passed their verdict.

Responding, Governor Orji said security remains a priority in his development agenda and commended President Jonathan for responding expeditiously to rescue the State from the marauding kidnappers and dare-devil criminals. He spoke on his tuition-free primary and secondary education; youth empowerment through the provision of brand new vehicles, tricycles for transportation and payment of monthly stipends to 4500 youths as a boost to education and vocational trainings and ASOPADEC interventions in rural roads, water, electricity, education and youth empowerment.

The Governor also stunned the audience when he not only refuted assumptions that his projects are concentrated in Umuahia but also reeled out facts to support the claims that government had invested more in Aba than any other place in the State. He said the Aba-Owerri Road and Port-Harcourt Road gulped a whopping sum of N1.8 Billion and N1.7 Billion respectively, apart from the recent award of contract for a rehabilitation of 16 internal roads in Aba.

There is no gainsaying the fact that Abia State is on a path of progressive self-renewal which marks a radical departure from the previous regime.

* Nnadozie Okpara, a civil rights activist, wrote in from Aba







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