Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has charged the UN-Habitat team working on the Aba Structure Plan to expedite action so as to ensure impossible reversal of the plan by succeeding administrations.
Ikpeazu gave the charge on Monday, December 26, 2022, at Aba, the state’s commercial centre, when the team working with Abia Ministry of Lands, Survey and Urban Planning visited him for the enumeration of his household.
He said he desired that the state government bequeathed structured plans of Aba, Umuahia and Ohafia because it was the basis of any kind of development.
“Whatever development anybody wants to embark upon, be it in economic sustainability, crime control or judicious use of water or electricity, there is a relationship with the physical environment.
“Without a floor plan, the delicate interaction between human beings and the physical environment will create dislocations that may be difficult to reverse.
“Since we could not do it before now, the best time to do what we could have done yesterday is now. So we are not ashamed to say we are starting it now,’’ he said.
The governor said he was proud of the team’s work which would set his legacy apart from those of other administrations.
He said he would not talk about roads and bridges when talking about his legacies.
“I will talk about the structure plan because this is the basis and foundation upon which whatever superstructure of our state’s future will stand.
“If it is possible, fast-track your work because I want to take part of the credit of what you are doing so that I can mount the rostrum and say this the far that I have come.
“I will take it to a level where it will be impossible for anybody to reverse,’’ he said.
In his remarks, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Chief Ikechi Aaron, thanked Ikpeazu for the opportunity to work on the actualisation of his promise to get structured plans for Umuahia, Aba and Ohafia.
He said the pilot project of the plan started in Aba and that the work had progressed to the point of enumeration which was why the team visited the governor.
Earlier, Mr Akintobi Olusanmi, the UN-Habitat Programme Consultant and Geological Information System expert, said the team started the Aba Structure Plan in February through the help of the governor.
He said it had completed the base map of the work in Aba and its environs and had concluded consultations with ministries, departments and agencies of the Abia government to get their inputs.
He added that the team also held a stakeholders meeting on Dec, 21 to educate Aba residents but that the turnout was poor as residents were busy with festive activities.
Olusanmi assured that the meeting would be reconvened to enable residents to make meaningful contributions.
He said that the team had started enumeration of households in areas to be impacted to ascertain the use of spaces and lands for proper placement during planning.
Olusanmi said the team was in the governor’s house to enumerate his household as the leader of the state and to encourage others to participate in the process.
By Ijendu Iheaka