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Otti promises to deal permanently with flooding in Aba

Gov. Alex Otti of Abia State has said that his administration will utilise relevant and effective strategies in mitigating the flooding menace in Aba, the commercial nerve centre of the state.

Dr Alex Otti
Dr Alex Otti, Governor of Abia State

Otti said this during his monthly media parley where he addresses Abia residents via different radio and online platforms on his gpvernment’s policies, programmes and development projects.

He expressed his administration’s readiness to address the perenial flooding in the city, especially around Ariaria International Market and its environs.

He said: “Very soon we will also commence our efforts in ridding Aba of flooding, particularly Ariaria Market and the corridors around there.

“It is a very ambitious project and we want to beat the rains.

“From the drawings, designs and all the meetings we held between yesterday and today, it does appear that it will take more than 18 months to rid Aba of flooding.

“So, our challenge now is to divide the project into phases within the next few days we will come up with a comprehensive plan.”

The governor also said that plans were underway to desilt the blocked drains in Aba and Umuahia as part of the efforts to save the road and environment from flooding.

He said that the government was also doing so much to keep the environment clean.

He said that the Abia Orientation Agency had embarked on a campaign to educate the citizenry on the importance of proper waste disposal and living in a clean environment.

He, therefore, urged the residents to support government’s efforts to keep the state clean by disposing  their waste in the appropriate and approved places.

Otti also reacted to the nefarious activities of touts in some parts of the state, especially Aba and its environs.

He said that the government had banned the activities of touts, popularly called “agbero” and does not use them for revenue generation.

“Government would not condone touting or touts in the state,” he said, adding that residents should resist and not succumb to their antics of extortion.

“We started a programme of re-orientating our people, also providing the enabling environment for small-scale businesses and also providing access to capital for them.

“The essence is for them to be more productively engaged than running around looking for people to scam or molest,” Otti said.

He also spoke on what the government had done in the civil service sector.

According to him, government had taken steps to reform the civil service to ensure accountability through the workers’ verification to ensure that only those that deserved to be paid are paid.

He said that he understood that there may be challenges during the implementation of such reforms, adding that the government had a dedicated team committed to resolving the state issues.

On pension, Otti restated his commitment to payment of pension arrears, saying that he had not forgotten his promise to clear pension arrears.

“We had made a promise to take out the pension arrears, like I said in my New Year speech, we also encountered hiccups.

“We are already engaging with the Nigerian Union of Pensioners to come to a resolution on that matter and in no distant time it will be solved,” he said.

The governor further said that government had initiated steps in the health and education sectors.

He said that these sectors were vital for the overall development and wellbeing of the residents.

He said that the government had been making deliberate efforts to reclaim the state from infrastructural decay, especially on roads.

“At the last count, 26 new roads are at different stages of completion.

“I believe that there are about fifteen roads that we are dealing with through our direct labour agency.

“We have inaugurated about six newly reconstructed roads and we have another four or three about to be completed and ready for inauguration,” Otti said.

He said that the government was already discussing with some organisations on the way to revive the moribund water schemes in Aba and Umuahia to provide pipe borne water for the residents.

By Ihechinyere Chigemeri-Uwom

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