ABIA CPS; "Relocation of electronic market to Aba mall is for greater good"

The Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor of Abia State, Mr Enyinnaya Appolos, has assured Aba business community that the planned relocation of electronic and technology market from St Michaels to Aba mall at Osisioma is for the greater good of all Abians and visitors.

Speaking exclusively to Factnewsonline during an interview, Mr Appolos noted that the government is making efforts to ensure that Aba has centralised modern markets for different business segments. He pleaded with traders who were affected by the relocation, especially those at st Michaels and its environs, to understand that the government is not out to ruin their businesses but rather working with them to improve their businesses and Aba urban environment.

"It is not always a pleasant experience to be moved from one location to another. It is not also a good experience that residential areas have been converted to markets. We understand that the kind of trade done at St Michael's is essential to the technological advancement of the state but things need to be done in the right way to sustain the benefit to all concerned. The traders must understand that the government is not out to ruin their businesses but rather to improve it. The relocation might not be what they want now but in the long run they will appreciate what the government has done"

"We do not want Aba to be littered with markets every here and there. We assure Abians, most especially those affected by the relocation, that Aba will take a new look and shape by the time we are done with our plans", he said

When asked what the government is doing with regards to the bad state of Faulks, Port Harcourt, Ikot ekpene and other strategic roads in Aba, he confirmed that the government is aware of the current state of the roads and is already mobilizing resources to ensure that they are fixed in a lasting way to support commercial activities for many years.

"The state of Faulks road is bad and the government really shares the pains of our people. We appeal to them to for understanding with the government.

"Faulks road was awarded to Setraco in June. What delayed the commencement of work was the attempted coup we experienced recently.  We had already completed talks with the bank which was to fund the project and flagged off the reconstruction before the court induced political crises that made the bankers and contractors to develop cold feet because of political uncertainties.

"The good news now is that before the end of this month, Setraco  will be on site, the funding issues have been settled. Setraco will remain on site until the job is completed. We therefore urge Abians to go there and take pictures of the road and keep because by the time the project is completed, they won't recognize the new Faulks road.

"Work will also commence soon at Portharcout road. The arrangement with African development Bank and the Federal Ministry of work is being fine tuned and perfected.

Regarding Ikot ekpene road, we shall do a palliative work to make it motor-able for road users. In addition, there is a plan to construct a 7.5km detour road that will link Abia to Akwa ibom before the next one year. As you are aware, Ikot Ekpene and PH roads are federal roads but to ease the pains of our people, Governor Ikpeazu has approved the construction of a state road to provide alternative route to Akwa Ibom State."

Speaking on what the government is doing towards diversifying its sources of revenue and income, Mr Appolos informed that "a lot is currently ongoing in the agricultural sector, same also with the trade and investment sector. But most importantly, we are encouraging Abians to think Abia. It is our duty as the government to provide infrastructure and security. We encourage Abians to think home and invest. When Abians who have businesses outside the state decide to have at least a branch of their business in Abia, more Abians will be employed and that will translate to increased IGR and lower security expenses."

"Often times we make references to Anambra state and their healthy economy. What many don't know is that every Anambrarian who is in business has a branch in his state.

"Luckily for us here in Abia, we have a governor and a government that is committed to upgrading of infrastructure. We urge Abians, both home and abroad, to think home."

He also disclosed that 10 tailors from Abia will shortly be going to Vietnam to understudy mass production processes in cloth making.

"By next month, 10 tailors from Abia will be going to Vietnam to understudy the processes in industrial cloth making or tailoring. When they return, the government will provide them with soft loans with which they can set up their enterprises. They will pay back the loan after an agreed period of time."