The news that the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has given a legislative approval for the government of Abia State to obtain a loan of two hundred million American dollars from the African Development Bank is a very cheering one.
The first impression that arises from this development is that Abia State Government has the will to drive the development of the State. It also implies that the State Government enjoys the confidence of Nigeria’s upper legislative Chambers. This confidence could equally be interpreted to mean an estimation of credit worthiness on the part of the State government.
The good thing about the ADB loan is that, unlike many other loans, it has a longer period of moratorium. Above all, it has an interest rate of less than one percent.
Infrastructural development of any well organized and transparent polity can quickly and affordablly be facilitated with such loans.
The economy of any state could recklessly be grounded to a complete incapacitation through infrastructural mismanagement, neglect and decay.
The collapse of such economic important roads as Port-Harcourt, Ikot-Ekpene, Faulks, Omuma, Uratta, all in Aba, Owaza-Obehie-Azumini and Uratta-Omumuzor-Umuiku roads in Ukwa, Aba and Ikot-Ekpene roads in Umuahia and such other roads in the North of the State dealt very tremendous blows to the economic survival of Abia State.
Interestingly, when procured, the State Government has indicated that the money would be completely devoted to infrastructural revolution in the State.
The stand of government, no doubt, is a welcome development. A thorough infrastructural recovery of the State, like Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has been labouring to achieve, would provide the much required anti-dote against collapse of industries, retrenchment, teeming youth unemployment, youth restiveness, high crime-wave and all manner of vices in the polity.
The Center For Equity And Eradication Of Rural Poverty commends the Ikpeazu-led government of Abia State on getting to this mileage.
The Centre equally appreciates the untiring efforts of Senators of Abia extraction, led by Senator Enyi Abaribe, who jointly worked with other Senators in order to guarantee the approval.
It is the dream of the Centre for Equity And Eradication Of Rural Poverty that in dispensing this huge some of two hundred million USA dollars, the State government will be humane and considerate enough to remember that for the past ten years, Asa land, which is Ukwa-West, has not witnessed any infrastructural development from the State government. Yet, the truth remains that Asa land is, for now, the only place that qualified Abia State as an oil-producing state.
As a matter of fact and also a pity , Asa people in Abia State have been so infrastructurally marginalized, disconnected and detached that their kith and kin of Oyigbo in Rivers State have continued to see them as objects of pity, not necessarily ridicule.
Even if only one road in Ukwa-West could enjoy the patronage that is billed to result from this unprecedentedly huge loan, Asa people, who have for many years indisputably seen themselves as the most marginalized in the annals of history, would surely doff their cap for Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who is himself a product of equity.