…To create over 2,000 jobs
Abia State Government has said that its modular refinery being built at the Abia Industrial Innovation Park (AIIP), Owaza, in Ukwa West LGA will come on stream in 2025.
Okey Kanu, state commissioner for Information and Culture, disclosed this in Umuahia while briefing the press alongside some other members of the Executive Council on the outcome of this week’s Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Alex Otti.
He said that it was a project that is important to the Alex Otti administration and every effort is being put to ensure that the date would be met.
“The modular refinery project of Abia Industrial Innovation Park will come on stream in 2025. It will be the first major industrial project of that industrial park. Of course, once that refinery comes on stream, it would provide job opportunities to the teeming youths in excess of about two thousand jobs. These are direct jobs, when you want to talk about the indirect jobs; it would run into thousands as well. It would help provide refined products for Abians as well as increase the revenue base of the state,” he said.
The Commissioner further said that the state government was making efforts to reap from the huge opportunities provided by the petroleum and mineral resources endowment in the state, adding that “in this regard, a lot of investors are jostling to come and invest in Abia State.”
Also contributing, the Commissioner for Petroleum, Joel Ogbonna said the new administration has been in a hurry to bring transformation through the establishment of the industrial innovation park.
“About two thousand hectares of land had been acquired in Owaza. Before now, many of us didn’t know that we had oil and gas in Abia State even though this has been a curse rather a blessing to Abia because of bad governance of successive administrations. Right now, we want to convert those wastes to wealth,” he said.
According to Ogbonna, the modular refinery “presents a huge opportunity for job and wealth creation and of course, we are taking advantage of the natural endowment which we have not taken advantage of before now. So, I do believe that in the next couple of years, job opportunities would be huge, AIIP is in the position to provide over ten thousand jobs and I look forward to that. ”
On infrastructure, Kanu hinted that about four roads would soon be commissioned by Governor Alex Otti as Jubilee road is 100 percent completed while the other three are nearing completion. He added that the renovated Ummunneato Igbere and Okpuala Ngwa General Hospital would be commissioned soon.
The Abia information boss also disclosed that there was suspected measles outbreak in two LGAs of the state- Arochukwu and Umunneochi.
Throwing more light on the outbreak of measles in the two local government areas, the Commissioner for Health, Ngozi Okoronkwo said that if up to three children were affected by this condition, then, it’s considered an outbreak.
She however said, “We are currently mopping up to identify those children and also ascertain when this condition started and all of that. For now, it is just three of them and not more than three. For us, once it gets to that number it’s already declared an outbreak. We are trying to identify them and avert any further spread and as I speak, it is under control.”
On the reported extortion of motorists and other touting activities in Aba and its environs, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Ferdinand Ekeoma said that Governor Alex Otti had issued a directive, to the Special Adviser on security to apprehend the hoodlums who are indulging in any form of extortion in Aba.
Ekeoma recalled that, “When the Governor came on board; he gave a directive stopping all collection of illegal revenue and levies and all the rest of them but in the last few days, there has been reports of extortion in the name of loading fee. So, it’s important I bring it to your attention that the Governor has instructed that those involved be arrested. The government is not going to tolerate that, because we do not need hoodlums to be in charge of collection of any kind of levies and all the rest of them in the state.”
He added that government was going to clamp down on all illegal motor parks and illegal markets as well as relocate those trading in illegal markets and sanitise the Abia environment.