Abia State Government has said it was going to establish 17 agro based cottage Industries, beginning with initial six in the same number of Local Governments in the state.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who disclosed this at the Governor’s Lodge, Aba while addressing journalists as part of activities marketing his sixth year in office, said the move would give agriculture impetus in the state.
Ikpeazu said having provided critical infrastructure such as roads, healthcare delivery and in skills acquisition, his administration was going to shift emphasis to agriculture in its last phase.
“Palm oil is costlier than crude oil and palm kernel oil is also higher in price than palm oil, we will build cottage Industries that will be involved in the processing of palm and kernel oil to boost revenue of the state and create employment.
“It was to reverse rural urban drift of our youths that we are going to be involved in palm oil and cassava processing, we will turn cassava into starch and all these things will take place within the next two years”.
Ikpeazu said to strengthen the agriculture sector, the state government would tackle the building of rural roads and within the next two years, 500km of such roads would have been reconstructed.
He reiterated his administration’s desire to pursue vigorously the construction of a Dry Port in Abia, stressing that with airports coming on stream in Anambra and Ebonyi States, Abia had no need for an airport now.
“Airport in Abia will only serve 5 percent of our people, whereas 95 percent of goods in Apapa and Onne Ports belong to people in Abia and it is imperative we build a facility of last distinction for their goods”.
On boosting commerce in the state, Ikpeazu said his administration has opened up access to the major markets in Abia and urged businessmen in the state to develop E-Trade platforms to be able to reach wider customers.
Ikpeazu disclosed that his government had already reconstructed 600 classroom blocks in the state, promising that more 150 would be reconstructed in the days ahead to bring the total number to 750.
In assured Abians that more health centres would be built in the state, informing already, two had been constructed at Nkporo and Ozu Abam respectively.
On the issue of his leaving PDP for APC, Ikpeazu said for now, he was going nowhere, adding that his people have not asked him to leave the main opposition party.
Ikpeazu made known his resolve to implement the ban on open grazing, saying that Abia had no land for that purpose. (Saturday Sun)