Governance simply implies impacting positively on the lives of people governed within the duration of one’s stint as the helmsman. The indelible footprints etched on the sands of time will undoubtedly resonate each time students of history go down memory lane. Recently, a team of senior Journalists besieged Umuahia for a hands-on encounter with some lofty projects scattered within the urban and rural areas of the state being embarked upon by Theodore Orji’s administration.
The serenity and ambiance which greeted the team of senior Journalists of Igbo extraction on their arrival to Umuahia, Abia State capital spoke eloquently of the peace and security which has long returned to the hitherto crime ridden state at the inception of Governor Orji’s administration in 2007.
Even the blind could see the palpable progress the ancient city is making as the foundation of a new Abia state is going on evenly in all sectors of development in the state. The neatly primed lawns that dotted the main streets of Umuahia provided an aura of fresh air that permeated through the team of Journalists on inspection which unequivocally scaled up the aesthetic nature of the state capital.
First touch on the ground of Umuahia, obviously proved naysayers wrong in their predilection that Abia Government was not on the path of wholesome development of the state. The rumour mill had hitherto been on an offensive onslaught, portraying the administration of Theodore Orji as a non performing one.
The whirlwind from the offensive onslaught blew intensely until the senior Journalists from the south-east geo-political zone took up the gauntlet to proceed to Umuahia and have a first hand experience of the issues making the rounds. To their utmost chagrin, such was confirmed to be the handiwork of mischief merchants whose stuck-in-trade is to pull down the house for no justifiable reason in order to score cheap political points. The team’s visit started with the Health sector.
ABIA SPECIALIST HOSPITAL AND DIAGNOSTIC CENTER.
The Abia Specialist Hospital is known for the treatment of Kidney, hepatitis and HIV related diseases. It houses six, state-of –the-arts dialysis machines. The center is second in the entire southern part of Nigeria in the treatment of the aforementioned aliments. Delta State is the only state that can boost of such facility at the moment.
Government of Abia State underwrites and subsidizes the cost of dialysis to patients at the center. The cost of dialysis is put at twenty three thousand naira. The facility is fitted with cutting edge machines which includes; Water treatment machines housed in a room, two 500KVA generator which runs twenty-four hours daily and Ambulances.
The center equally boosts of three consultants, One Indian Nurse and Technologist respectively, a dilating room, Optometrist suite, Consultants suites, intensive care unit, consumables that are also written off by the state government. The center operates daily and has no bed space for indoor patients.
Patients thronging from all parts of the country are treated warmly with excellent customer services. The General Medical Director, GMD, of the center, Prof. Augustus Mbanaso said, “We treated fifty-one patients in the month of February and we have acquired the land beside us to expand this facility as the increasing number of patients to this center will soon begin to stretch the facilities herein”. With the advent of Abia Diagnostic Center, the newly introduced vocabulary, ‘medical tourism’ will soon be a thing of the past as the facility will in no small measure, cater for such aliments that trigger the exodus of patients to Europe and Asia for medical attention. It will also address capital flight to those countries, create wealth and jobs for our teeming unemployed youths whose trickle effect on the economy will no doubt, rob-off on the entire well being of Abian’s at home and in Diaspora.
ABIA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTER.
Situated at Ogurube Layout, Theodore Orji’s administration started the construction of Abia International Conference Center on February 2013. This sprawling edifice will outlive Abians and stands as a rallying monument for generations of the state yet unborn. It only takes a leader who reasons beyond his nose and who is consistent with changes in contemporary climes to embark on such project that will touch directly on the fundamental fabrics of Abians.
Marked for commissioning later this, the Center boosts of seven thousand seating capacity spaces, two VIP lounges underground, full interpretative facility for language interpretation during conferences, Hall of Fame etc. The Conference Center will afford people of the south-east and the entire country the change in environment which everybody is craving as most conferences are held in the hustle and bustle cities of Lagos and Abuja. The Abia Conference Center will create the needed ambiance for such international and local conferences and events which no other can afford.
Fitted with multiple conference rooms, this edifying edifice can take multiple conferences simultaneously as the lavatories, car parking lot have been carefully crafted in tandem with the capacity of the Center.
Already, about four, 5-star hotels are springing up within the immediate radius of the International Conference Center as it is expected to usher good tidings in tourism, hospitality industry, entertainment, education and etc.
ABIA SKILL ACQUISITION CENTER.
Built in all the seventeen local government areas of the state with its secretariat at Ogurube Layout. For a country that is copiously bereaved of the much needed jobs for the teeming unemployed youths, the recipe to stem such ugly trend is to embark on wealth creation programmes. It is on this premise that Orji’s administration has established Skill acquisition centers in all its council areas to inculcate in the youths, women and children the necessary skills they need to fend for themselves and by extension, employ others to better there lot.
The Center, which trains inmates in Soap making, Cake baking, Hair dressing, Bid making etc also issue grants to graduands to assist them in setting up their own outfit at the end of their tutelage at the center. The center graduates three batches of graduands each year and are supervised to take-off level before government detaches itself from them.
ABIA STATE GOVERNMENT HOUSE.
When one of the Journalists asked Theodore Orji during the interactive session what the previous administration did with funds accruing to Abia State, Orji in his humane manner simply told the Journalist to ask those who led Abians during that era. It was lucid from the quantum of projects that was seen on ground that previous governments in Abia never gave a hoot to the welfare and development of the state. If they did, why would it be now that since 1999 of our democratic experience, Abia State Government House is still a rented apartment? It is the administration of T.A Orji that is building the first ever Government House for the people of Abia.
When shadow boxers take the stage and fail to address issues and engage in mudslinging, the large part of the society can never be cowed by such ranting.
Journalists visited the eighty percent completed Government House being built by the T.A Orji’s administration in line with what is tenable in other states. The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Dr. Eze Chikamnayo told Journalists during the inspection tour that the Government House will be commissioned in November this year.
Other projects visited includes; Joint Allocation Committee, JAC, building, Broadcasting Corporation of Abia, BCA, fitted with cutting edge communication gadgets for the dissemination of information to the citizenry, the Ultra Modern Secretariat housing all the ministries in Abia state, the Industrial market with over 10,000 shops and boreholes, Abia Event Center, Amachara General Hospital built under five months and fitted with hundred bed spaces which serves as an annex to the Diagnostic Specialist Hospital, Abia Luxurious park with loading beds, 133 KVA Sub station, Ibeku/Ukwuano Ultra modern market and other projects which could not be visited for want of time.
A peep into the crystal ball depicts an Abia state which will transform into mega state with all the 21st century trappings which will undoubtedly stand it out among other contemporaries. It is therefore germane for the administration of T.A Orji to roll up its sleeves and ensure that his successor sustains the developmental strides which he has embarked upon.