Airport not viable project for Abia –Ikpeazu

From Uche Usim, Abuja

Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has dismissed the possibility of his building an airport as such a gigantic infrastructure depends on need and viability, rather than mere political moves.

The governor made the disclosure in a virtual meeting organised by Abia Media Forum.

According to him, building an airport just to impress people or join others to build such was needless because the state’s resources should be ploughed into very germaine projects.

“We are looking at viability here, economy is key. Only about five per cent of our population has interest in flying while the other 95 per cent use roads to move their goods and services.

“We must look at the needs of our people before embarking on any project”, the governor explained. 

Rather than an airport, he said a dry port is underway in Ntigha to serve the Aba Industrial City and the state as a whole.

Ikpeazu also said his administration was working closely with neighbouring states to address insecurity in the region, even as he vowed that the ban on open grazing would be enforced.

“We are bringing together stakeholders in the security sector to help us evaluate the template we have; this will enable us to tackle the security challenges we are faced with. Our target is to create security architecture robust enough to secure our state.

“We have a law on open grazing. Aside from Benue State, Abia was the first to pass the Anti-Open Grazing law in the country. We are tackling criminal herdsmen from other parts of the country and sub-region. We are enforcing the law.”

The ban on open grazing was part of the resolutions of the governors of the southern region after a meeting held last week in Asaba, Delta State.

He also said his administration took proactive measures by enacting a bill through the state Assembly to ban open grazing which has helped in addressing the issue of herders-farmers clashes.

On Ebubeagu Security outfit, the governor said it would help address the security challenges faced in the region. He explained that the idea behind the Ebubeagu Security outfit was to collaborate and maximise the comparative advantage in each state of the region, enable the region procure modern technology to facilitate monitoring of movement of persons and to effectively tackle the challenges headlong.

He also called for the decentralization of security architecture and the creation of state police to enable states tackle their peculiar challenges.