Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia on Tuesday announced the dissolution of the state Executive Council (EXCO) of the former Gov. Theodore Orji administration.Okezie Ikpeazu

Okezie announced this in a statewide broadcast in Umuahia and thanked members of the EXCO ‘’for a job well done over the years”.

He directed the former commissioners to hand over to the permanent secretaries of their ministries by the close of business on Wednesday.

He restated the commitment of his administration to the development of the various sectors of the state’s economy.

‘’We will focus on the improvement of electricity, potable water, rural and urban roads and the railway system.’’

The governor said that his programme on manufacturing ‘’will focus on re-igniting the brand ‘’Made-in-Aba”, adding that trade and commerce would be anchored on the regeneration of Aba.

He further spoke on the dilapidation of roads in the state, especially Aba, and stated government’s commitment to road rehabilitation and construction.

‘’With our lean resources, it is impossible to fix these problems all at once, so it has to be in phases.”

He added that rehabilitation would begin simultaneously with 10 roads.

Ikpeazu also announced the abolition of multiple taxation, saying that government had commenced the process of harmonising tax collection process.

‘’Until this process is completed, all forms of multiple taxation must stop forthwith and all agents and touts are hereby advised to stop collection, henceforth.

‘’Any agent that is caught collecting taxes and rates illegally will be sanctioned.’’

He gave an assurance that salaries and pensions would be paid ‘’as at when due’’.

He, however, underscored the need to fish out ghost workers from the civil service and also plug all leakages in revenue.

Ikpeazu also promised to tackle the problem of unemployment, saying that arrangements had been made to launch an ‘’Education-for-Employment’’ programme.

He said that the programme would enable 100,000 youths to acquire skilsl over the next four years, adding that a pilot scheme would begin in Aba within his 100 days in office.

He said that efforts would be geared toward boosting agricultural production to achieve food security in the state.

to this end, he promised to make 2,000 bags of fertilisers available in each of the 17 local government areas of the state at 50 per cent discount.

He further said that 10 youths would also be trained and equipped in agro-chemical deployment in each council area.

Ikpeazu said that he had commenced meetings with security chiefs on how to sustain the prevailing peace and security in the state, stressing that his administration would have zero tolerance for corruption.

He promised to deliver ‘’a new Abia’’ anchored on performance, ownership, innovation, commitment and integrity. (NAN)

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