No going back on recovery of public assets illegally converted to private use – Abia govt
. Issues ultimatum to street traders
. Gets approval for college of nursing
By Steve Oko
The Abia State Government, has vowed that it would not bulge in its resolve to recover all public assets especially land illegally converted to private property in Aba by past administrations.
This is as the State has issued one week ultimatum to street traders in Aba to vacate the streets.
Meanwhile, the state has been granted approval by the Nursing Council of Nigeria, to commence training of nurses for community health facilities.
Commissioner for Information Prince Okey Kanu, who stated this during a press briefing in Umuahia after the State Executive Council meeting, said that all those who took undue advantage of their privileged positions to corner public assets Government would not be allowed to get away with their loot.
He said it was only an irresponsible Government that would sit back and watch looters of public assets escape judgement.
This is as the Commissioner disclosed that five newly rehabilitated roads were ready for inauguration in Aba.
He said that the on-going massive road renovation in the state particularly Aba and Umuahia the state capital was part of efforts to the Governor Alex Otti -led Government to re-set the state.
The Commissioner identified the new roads as Jubilee Road, Umuimo Road, Old Express Road, MCC Road and Udeagbara Road, adding that a date for their inauguration would be disclosed next week.
He also disclosed that construction of water drainage on the Ossah Umuahia six-lane road expansion project had commenced and moving on smoothly.
The Commissioner further said that “the on going cutting, harking and filling” of dilapidated roads in the Umuahia metropolis were progressing.
Kanu who also said that the rehabilitation of the Umuahia -Uzuakoli Road had reached 90 per cent completion, assured that roads across the state would again be motorable.
He also stated the resolve of Government to tackle erosion menace in the state, and directed all those living in house 10 meters away from Ovom erosion site Aba to evacuate immediately.
The Commissioner assured of the readiness of the State Government to protect Abia citizens and residents from disasters.
Speaking also Commissioner for Health, Dr Ngozi Okoronkwo, disclosed that the State had been granted approval by the Nursing Council, to commence training for Community Nursing and Mid-Wifery.
This, according to her, will enable the state raise manpower to man the health facilities in the various communities.
She also said it would help the state to increase her intake into the Nursing Schools from 200 to 600 .
The Commissioner further disclosed that efforts were on to review the relevant laws and unify all Schools of Nursing and Mid-Wifery in the state so they could become one College of Nursing with one Provost while all four existing schools become its campuses.
She noted with concern the current situation where about 3000 candidates would apply for admission and only 300 would be considered due to limited space.
The Commissioner also disclosed that the Centre for Disease Control,CDC, had included Abia as one of the pilot states for the management of not just HIV/AIDS cases but the entire heath issues.
Meanwhile, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Trade, Commerce and Industry, Chief Nwaka Irem, has announced Government’s plan to revive 40 moribund industries in the state.
The move according to him, is part of Government’s strategy to re-jig the state economy and reduce crime rate.
He regretted that many hitherto vibrant companies in the state closed shop owing to so many reasons including poor management and lack of funding.
According to him, Government has already identified 40 of such companies both public and private ones such as Star Paper Mills Aba, Modern Ceramic Umuahia, etc, with an action plan to revalitise them in the overall public interest.
” Those which closed because of poor management, we will provide technical support; those which had family issues, we will meditate; and those which folded for lack of funds, we will use our contracts to get investors that will inject the needed funds”.
He further added that ” even those that are still active will also be encouraged to do more because if the system is working everybody will be good for it, and crime rate will come down”.
The SA who hinted of Government plans to clamp down on street trading in Aba, appealed to street traders to vacate the roads and relocate to any of the markets before the expiration of the grace period.
He warned that after the ultimatum which would expire next week, any traders still found on the streets in Aba would be testing and will and resolve of Government.
The SA who regretted that street traders poses threat to the roads being rehabilitated by Government, said Government would no longer tolerate such lawlessness.
He further hinted that Abia would witness an influx of both local and foreign investors, following the genuine commitment of Gov. Otti towards transforming the state, noting that such efforts are already paying off.