GOV ORJI HAS DONE WELL
Governor T.A. Orji's application of administrative dexterity has undoubtedly yielded huge benefits in terms of development and institution of democratic dividends.
Besides, in drawing comparisons, a serious consideration must be given to the abysmally low federal allocation which accrues to the state and the hydra-headed security bug, which adversely affected government's genuine and well intended efforts at shoring up the revenue base of the nation. We thank God that the federal government and a crack, dedicated joint task force team rose up to the security situation.
Having said that, I will like to say that, beginning with the education sector, the government has continued to soar in performance evaluation. Apart from the fact that this government inherited and continued with the free education to secondary school level of last administration, we have upped it with the institution of a N10 million naira scholarship scheme.
I make bold to reveal that Abia State Universal Basic Education Board has been rated the best in the entire south-east back to back. To ensure a condusive learning environment, Abia State oil producing Areas Development Commission (ASOPADEC) established recently, is seeking to out-compete the ministry of housing in terms of renovation of schools and construction of new ones.
I wish you had time to visit and see for yourself on-going renovation of 65 primary and secondary schools across the length and breath of Abia State. Apart from that, the commission has undertaken the total reconstruction of four schools. Ministry of Housing has undertaken the rehabilitation of at least two schools in the three zones. Teachers are periodically trained and retrained. A few months back, the government saw to it that teachers' new emolument, otherwise known as teachers salary scale (TSS) were paid to the last kobo.
In demonstration of his readiness to see that lecturers go back to class, the governor agreed to pay the 100% salary increase lecturers were demanding for, even when these lecturers refused to concede an inch. The governor's only sin is that he pleaded with the lecturers to accept it without arrears, bearing in mind its capital intensive nature and the fact that other sectors are equally demanding for attention.
Shortly after assuming duty, Orji's government increased the monthly subvention of all the tertiary institutions in Abia State with Abia State University, Uturu, getting the lion's share of N120 - 150 million. These allocations suffered a slight drop when the global economic meltdown could no longer allow the centre to hold coupled with the paltry federation allocation, which hovers between 2-3 billion, when there are no excess crude.
Private schools are equally being supervised to ensure adherence to operational standards. In 2011, the story will keep changing for the better. The health care sector of Governor T.A. Orji has equally experienced an unprecedented improvement. Over 165 health centres built in synergy with Millennium Development Goals (MDG) are currently seeing to the health care needs of Abians. We have the flagship, which is the Abia State Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Centre. It's also in partnership with Me-cure Health Services from India, and the Hospital, which is located in Umuahia and Aba, is built with the capacity to diagnose and treat complicated health situations like eye, kidney, liver, heart, brain and other allied health situations. It will save our people the trouble of going to India, Europe and American countries in search of solution to health challenges.
Abia State Mobile Free Medical scheme is still ongoing. Government has selected and is in the process of upgrading 3 general hospitals in the three zones to specialist hospitals. The wife of the governor's free cancer awareness programme has seen her defray the cost of treating cancer patients. Let me add that the governor's giant strides in the health care delivery sector are so visible that it cannot be wished away.
In roads, the list is endless. But recall that on assumption of office, the governor hurriedly fixed the undisputable gateway: Ossah road. The euphoria was yet to die down, when he quickly deployed Interbau to construct the strategic and helpful Ubakala by-pass. At the last count, over 12 roads in Umuahia metropolis witnessed asphalt overlay. This is aside from the dualization and re-asphalting of Library Avenue, Umuahia. It was within the early months of the governor's ascension to power also that Abians witnessed the construction and commissioning of Umuafai -Umuana - Lodu - Ahiaeke roads and the Ochendo bye pass.
The new Umuahia high court road, which terminates at Bende Road has also been completed. Same goes for Okwuta road which terminates at Bende road. Abia State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ASOPADEC) is presently working on the actualization of nine roads in Aba alone. As at now, Umuojima road in Aba has been completed; over 200 rural feeder roads have been graded. Aba-Port Harcourt road is being dualized and will soon be competed. Aba - Owerri road is currently being asphalted. Medians have been introduced. Both roads will be adorned with functioning state- of- the art solar powered street lights.