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Abia modular refinery to begin production next year

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We met N192.2bn debt, replayed some already – Gov Otti

From Peter Okore, Umuahia

Abia State government has taken a bold step to establish a state-owned modular refinery, which is expected to start production in 2025.

The refinery is sited at the about two thousand hectare-Abia Industrial Innovation Park (AIIP), already acquired for the project at Owaza, in Ukwa West LGA of the state

The State Commissioner for Information and Culture, Prince Okey Kanu, who disclosed this during an interaction with newsmen in Umuahia, explained that the essence is to provide job opportunities, stem-down high cost of refined petroleum products and raise the internally-generated revenue(IGR)-base of the state in- line with the 2024 state budget projections.

He said the refinery project is important to the Alex Otti- led administration and expressed optimism that every effort is being put in-place to ensure that the deadline for the realization of the project is met,

According to Commissioner Kanu:” Once that refinery comes on stream , it would provide job opportunities to the teeming youths in excess of about two thousand direct jobs and about thousands of indirect jobs.”

He further hinted that the State government is making efforts to reap from the huge opportunities provided by the petroleum and mineral resources endowment in the State , saying , “in this regard, a lot of investors are jostling to come and invest in Abia State.”

On infrastructure, Prince Kanu stated that about four roads would soon be commissioned by Governor Alex Otti as Jubilee road is 100 percent completed, while the other three are nearing completion. He added that the renovated Umunneato/Igbere and Okpuala Ngwa General hospitals would be commissioned soon.

Prince Kanu also hinted that there is a suspected cases of measles outbreak in two LGAs of the State including Arochukwu and Umunneochi.

Contributing during the session, the State Commissioner for Petroleum, Professor Joel Ogbonna said the present administration is in a hurry to bring transformation to Abia through the establishment of the Owaza industrial innovation park. His words:” Before now, many of us didn’t know that we had oil and gas in Abia State, even though this has been a curse, rather a blessing to Abia, because of bad governance of successive governments in Abia. Right now, we want to convert those wastes to wealth”

According to Prof. Ogbonna, the modular refinery “presents a huge opportunity for job and wealth creation. We are ,of course, taking advantage of the natural endowments , which we have not taken advantage of before now. So, I do believe that in the next couple of years, job opportunities would be huge , AIIP is in the position to provide over ten thousand jobs and I look forward to that.”

Confirming the reported outbreak of measles in the two local government areas of the state, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Ngozi Okoronkwo asserted that if up to three children are affected by this condition, then ,it’s considered an outbreak. Her words:”We are currently mopping up to identify those children and also ascertain when this condition started and all of that . For now, it is just three of them and not more than three. For us , once it gets to that number it’s already declared an outbreak. We are trying to identify them and avert any further spread and as I speak, it is under control.”

On the reported extortion of motorists and other touting activities in Aba and its environs, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Ferdinand Ekeoma said that Governor Alex Otti has issued a directive, directing the Special Adviser on security to apprehend the hoodlums who are indulging in any form of extortion in Aba.

Mr. Ekeoma recalled that, “when the Governor came on board , he gave a directive stopping all collection of illegal revenue and levies and all the rest of them but in the last few days, there has been reports of extortion in the name loading fee. So it’s important I bring it to your attention that the Governor has instructed that those involved be arrested . The government is not going to tolerate that, because we do not need hoodlums to be in charge of collection of any kind of levies and all the rest of them in the State.”

He added that government is going to clamp down on all illegal motor parks and illegal markets as well as relocate those trading in illegal markets and sanitize the Abia environment.

 

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