JUBILATION AS THE PEOPLE OF ISIALA-NGWA NORTH RECEIVE GOVERNOR’S RURAL PARTICIPATION AND GRASSROOT DEVELOPMENT TEAM.
It was jubilation galore as the good people of Isiala-Ngwa North turned out en masse on Friday, 3rd March, 2017 at the Isiala-Ngwa North L.G.A. premises for the close interactive and consultative session with the Governor’s rural participation and grassroot development team led by Chief Chike Onyendilefu, the SSA to the Governor on Rural Reorientation and Sensitization, under the chairmanship of Chief Ginger Obinna Onwusibe. The meeting which was aimed at community participation in government projects had its theme for discussion: “Government must subject itself to public opinion, making it a catalyst for development.” For many, the highpoint of the meeting was when Mr. Chinenye Nwaogu, the SSA to the Governor on Job Creation, disclosed that the federal government has designated Aba as the economic and industrial zone of the nation for job creation and industrialization, hence the youths of Abia State should quickly brace up to take full advantage of the opportunities that would arise by first carving a niche for themselves in artisanship and entrepreneurship.
Among the dignitaries present at this third edition of the ongoing rural sensitization campaign of the peace and fence-mending initiative of His Excellency, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, which has previously held at Umuahia South L. G. A. and Umuahia North L. G. A., were the following: Mr. Chinenye Nwaogu, the SSA to the Governor on Job Creation; Mrs. Vivian Iro-Chima, SSA to the Governor on Diaspora Matters; Mr. Enyinnaya Agwu, SSA to the Governor on Environmental Beautification; Chief Ginger Onwusibe, Chairman of Isiala-Ngwa North L. G. A., and his deputy, Mr. Chinwendu Ochulor; Hon. Blessing Nwachukwu, Leader of the legislative chamber of Isiala-Ngwa North L. G. A., and the deputy, Hon. Okeagu Godwin; Hon. Kingsley Nwachukwu, Majority Leader, Isiala-Ngwa North L. G. A.; High Chief Asiforo Nwachukwo, the Chief of Staff to the Council Chairman, Isiala-Ngwa North L. G. A.; Lady Uloma Onuoha, the Education Secretary of Isiala-Ngwa North L. G. A. Others were Elder Chinedu Ananaba, Chief Amos Alozie and Chief Chibike Amanze, among other leaders of Isiala-Ngwa North L. G. A.
In his opening speech, the Chairman of the event, Chief Ginger Obinna Onwusibe, showered encomiums on Governor Ikpeazu for the peaceful conduct of the local government elections in Abia State after over a decade. In his opinion, it was the peaceful disposition of the Governor that empowered the Abia State electoral umpire (ABSIEC) to conduct the election in a free and fair situation. He specifically mentioned three projects embarked upon by the state government in the area, viz: Ntigha Dry Port Project, Ntigha Electrification Project (which connected Ntigha to the Ohia power plant) and the Mbawsi Road Project.
On his part, the local government Chairman, Chief Ginger Onwusibe, called on the Governor to expedite action on the ongoing road projects in the local government, specifically highlighting the importance of the Okpualangwa-Mbawsi road in linking up the various parts of the area for economic activity.
The Councilor for Ihie, Ward 6, Hon. Mrs. Florence Nwanwcha called for the intervention of the government in ameliorating the plight of parents and guardians of pupils of primary and secondary schools who are made to pay exorbitant charges as levies by the heads of schools.
During the interactive session, representatives of various groups took turns to intimate the government of their interests in governance. Mr. Onyema Okechukwu, who is the president of the Joint Association of People Living with Disability, posited that the interests of the members of his group should be considered when seeking to implement the lofty entrepreneurship empowerment programmes of government. Mr. Uchechukwu Orji, the youth leader of Isiala-Ngwa North L. G. A., opined that given the antecedent of the Chairman of Chief Ginger Onwusibe, Isiala-Ngwa North L.G.A. would be viable if their constitutional access to funds is not stinted by the state government. A women-leader urged the government to revamp the Abia Palm Mill at Mbawsi and provide soft loans as incentive for peasant farmers who work assiduously to ensure massive yield of farm produce all year round.
In their reactions, some representatives of the state government who attempted to address certain issues arising from the people, the masses, seized the opportunity to provide first-hand rural sensitization and reorientation on government plans and policies. Mr. Chinenye Nwaogu, SSA to the Governor on Job Creation, expatiated on the social welfare programmes of the government, including the school feeding programme as a result of which over a thousand rural dwellers have gained employment as cooks, in addition to the many local farmers who would continue to receive impetus towards commercial agriculture since the demand for their farm produce will almost exceed supply. He disclosed that the second phase of the federal government’s N-power programme, known as N-power Build, would begin by the first week of April in Aba and that participants will be equipped with entrepreneurial skills based on goods and services. It was learnt that the Okpualangwa-Mbawi road project is a project that is to be funded by the African Development Bank as soon as the necessary legal framework has been secured. On his part, the convener, Chief Chike Onyendilefu, the SSA to the Governor on Rural Reorientation and Sensitization, urged communities to coordinate the enlisting of their indigent youth as beneficiaries of the apprenticeship programmes in leather and textile. He appealed for patience, understanding and cooperation with the government since developing strategic centres of business concentration like Aba would have the multiplier effect of increasing the IGR which would then be generate more funds to develop the rural communities. Chief Chike Onyendilefu expressed his pleasure regarding the sustained synergy between the state government and the federal government and assured of more dividends of democracy for the Abian people.