Ebere Uzoukwa Ph.D
During the electioneering campaigns of the Governor of Abia State, His Excellency, Dr. Alex Chioma Otti OFR, the ex-bank chief unambiguously communicated his genuine intention to rebuild Abia State in all sectors and spheres of the economy. The rejuvenation of Enyimba city, the hitherto economic hub of the South East and Soth South regions of Nigeria; provision of the business-driven enablers that will again attract investments and rekindle industrialization and other social activities expected to recreate economic viability and prosperity were clearly ariculated and encapsulated in the economic blueprint Gov. Otti promised to deliver upon his election. This is as the governor equally placed an emphasis on sustainable infrastructural revolution that will sustain and drive the totality of his economic plans to among others create diversified opportunities for the people to thrive in their chosen businesses and economic activities in the State.
Prior to his inauguration, the governor invited the construction giant in Nigeria, Julius Berger, to carry out an assessment and technical study of the completely failed Aba-Portharcout Road. He knew that embarking on such landmark project required a comprehensive study and technical design that would determine the scope of work and effective drainage system expected to end the perennial flooding that probably defiled previous attempts of the past administrations.
As captured in his message captioned “BUILDING ON THE SOLID ROCK OF EXCELLENCE”, Gov. Otti emphasized on the economic importance of Porthacourt Road and the need to permanently fix the road.
“For us, it either we reconstruct Porthacourt Road and do it well or we don’t do it at all. Remember that during my several stops in this great city at my campaigns, I made one thing very clear; we shall only go for the best because you deserve no less”, the governor stated.
Continuing, Gov. Otti envisaged that “Porthacourt Road will be a testament of our willingness and determination to rebuild ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated as contained in Isaiah 61:4”.
The reconstruction of the 6.7km stretch of Aba Porthacourt Road, however, appears to have rattled and further diminished the naysayers and some opposition elements of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State. While Abia PDP furtily canvasses for the failures of Gov. Otti and his administration, sameway it collossally failed, the governor is enviably keeping his eyes on the ball. Amid other innovation and transformations, Gov. Otti has demonstrated penchant and unwavering commitment to embark and deliver on gigantic and other landmark projects that will change the face of Abia State, and on the other hand creates vast opportunities for businesses and investments to thrive.
The multi-billion naira 6-lane Ossa-Umuahia gateway, the reconstruction and re-equipping of major hospitals, the reconstruction of some key roads in Aba and other parts of the State and the recent flag-off of the 6.7km stretch of Aba Porthacourt Road Road speak volume of the governor’s commitment to deliver quality, poeople-oriented and landmark projects in Abia.
As predicted by the governor, the completion of the Aba Porthacourt Road within the estimated 18 months, shall drive the economic rejuvenation of the great Enyimba city as well as send strong message to the business community that the Economic-Nerve-Center of the southern Nigeria is again viable for business and other socio-economic activities to thrive. The economic prospects and opportunities in Abia, according to Gov. Otti, shall be too attractive for any serious investor to ignore.
While the opposition Abia PDP continues to weep over the early giant strides of the New Abia under Gov. Otti, the first class trained economist and administrator insists on making Ndi Abia proud by taking conscious steps towards fulfilling his earlier campaign promises. Little wonder the governor resolved to follow the footsteps of our legendary Dee Sam Mbakwe, the governor of Old Imo State, who delivered many landmark projects including the failed Aba Porthacourt Road he has just flagged-off to reconstruct back to standard.
It is equally a thing of joy that the governor has always acknowledged Dee Sam’s vision for Portharcourt Road, as a major hub for the servicing of heavy-duty vehicles, equipment, spare parts, power generating sets and ancillary tools; hence his proclaimation and commitment to return the road to those glorious days.
But the major takeaway from Gov. Otti’s hope eliciting message during the Aba Porthacourt Road flag-off is not only the return of the glorious days of that very important road, but its potentials to significantly drive and coordinate other business and economic activities in Aba. The failure to marshal out the needed political will and commitment by the past administrations towards recovering Aba Porthacourt Road, are what Gov. Otti has consciously demonstrated to further boost his plans of reviving moribund businesses and also attract other socio-economic activities in Enyimba city. It is indeed an opportunity to recreate prosperity in abundance in the God’s Own State.
Dr. Ebere Uzoukwa, a political strategist, media practitioner and policy analyst, writes from Obingwa.