Governor Otti’s Holistic Approach To Speed Up The Restoration Of Aba As The Japan Of Africa



“Aba is so important to us, that’s why we were and remain single minded in retrieving Aba from the ruins that has been the story in the past two decades plus. We are in no doubt that fixing Aba means fixing Abia State.” Gov. Alex Otti, OFR

Retrieving Aba the commercial and industrial hub of Abia State from the infrastructural and environmental decays that have stifled her progress in the last two decades plus and restoring her as the Japan of Africa as it was christened in the past is of utmost priority to His Excellency Gov. Alex Otti, OFR. In fact, it is something he wants to happen with the speed of light.

He is demonstrating this through huge investment in Road Infrastructure; restoration of Power to Aba; increase in the Purchasing power of the State workforce; leadership (appointing a foremost Industrialist as the Mayor of Aba North); improvement in Healthcare; Waste Management; Hospitality/Tourism; Transparent Revenue Collection System and so on.

On the 15th of September 2023, Gov. Otti commissioned 3 quality roads projects in Aba reconstructed by his then 3 months old administration. They are Shalom Road, first Phase of the Strategic Cemetery Road and Emelogu Road.

On the 5th of November 2023, Gov. Otti commissioned another set of 3 quality roads in Aba reconstructed by his Administration. They are MCC/Old Express road; Umuimo Road; and Udeagbala Road.

In just 5 months of his administration, Gov. Otti has flagged-off 15 roads projects for total reconstruction and six has been completed and commissioned for public use.The remaining 9 roads are at various levels of reconstruction including the strategic Port Harcourt roads abandoned for decades that was flagged-off for construction last month to Julius Berger.

The Governor’s intervention has led to serious palliative works going on on the failed portions of Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway (Federal Road) to ease the stress people go through to come in and out of Aba from Port Harcourt and vice versa.

Another area that Gov. Otti has strategically done a lot behind the scene in his unrelenting efforts to retrieve Aba from infrastructural ruins and turn her into an industrial powerhouse is the power sector. He has held and continues to hold marathon meetings with key stakeholders in the power sector. He has held separate and joint meetings with Geometric Power Limited, Association of Aba Industrialists and other key stakeholders. It is a matter of days or few weeks, the problem of epileptic power supply in Aba will be a thing of the past and the industries in Aba would be powered for optimum productions.

Demand is said to be effective when it is backed by payment. With the increase in the purchasing power of the workforce of the State through regular payment of salaries on the 28th of every month, civil servants who once lived on borrowing because of payment of salaries in arrears by the previous administrations can now back their demands with payment. Governor Otti has made that possible through the regular payment of salaries.

With the firm promise of the Governor to take out years of pension arrears before the end of the year, the State’s economy is about to be injected with tens of billions of naira. This is another massive cash flow into the State’s economy which will increase demands and supplies, and contribute in no small way to the growth and development of small and medium scale businesses which Aba will be the major beneficiary as the commercial nerve center of the State where thousands of SMEs are domiciled.

The appointment of a foremost industrialist and one of the leading businessmen in Aba, Ide John Udeagbala as the Mayor of Aba North is already yielding results. Some industrialists who left and relocated their industries to other States have started reaching out to one of their own – Ide John Udeagbala to help quicken the relocation of their industries back to Aba.

Appointing a well known industrialist with vast networks/contacts home and abroad as the Mayor of the industrial and commercial hub of the State is not just a round peg in a round hole, but a bold statement by the Governor that he is in hurry to mobilize the right and every strategic resources available to restore Aba as a leading industrial city in Nigeria.

Clean and healthy environment contribute in no small way to economic growth and development. The city of Aba that was once defaced by refuse dumps has seen tremendous improvement in the management of wastes since Governor Otti assumed office. More will be achieved as the Government has engaged the private sector in the management of Waste in the State. A major Part of the waste management policy of the Governor is to turn the wastes into wealth by transforming them to useful substances like gas to generate electricity.

The health sector is not left out as Gov. Otti quickens the restoration of Aba as the Japan of Africa. Beyond renovation and retrofitting of the General Hospital in Aba, Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH) is getting a new design and the State Government is not doing this alone, the government is working with international organizations in doing so. With this, Aba will soon become a destination for medical tourism.

There are concrete plans to make the long-abandoned Enyimba hotel in the Ogbor hill area of Aba a five-star edifice. The legacy project initiated decades ago by the remarkable late De Sam Mbakwe government will soon become a magnate of attraction; a pace setter in the Hospitality Industry in the Southeast region; and a destination of choice for tourists coming into Abia State.

The Government has adopted strategic measures and policy changes to enthrone automated transparent revenue collection system in the State. Illegal revenue collection systems and the use of thugs to harass and intimidate entrepreneurs by previous regimes have been eliminated.

Before we forget, there is also a Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Aba Rejuvenation; his name is Mr Uche Ukeje. He is doing well in his assigned role.

In the words of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “Good governance is treating development as a mass movement in order to see that the fruits reach the poor and the downtrodden.” His Excellency Gov. Alex Otti has made development a mass movement in Abia State and Aba is a major beneficiary in the last 5 months because once Aba is retrieved from infrastructural ruins and restored to live her full potential as the Japan of Africa as seen decades ago, the resources generated from there will help to fix other parts of the State.

Opening Aba up for 24 hours of business is a passion that is causing the Governor sleepless nights. In his fervent holistic drive to speed up the restoration of Aba from decades of infrastructural ruins and reposition the Enyimba city as a leading industrial city in Nigeria, Gov. Otti has been strategic, meticulous, and prudent in deploying both human and material resources to get the intended result.

Nwahiwe, Chinonyerem Cleverson. 10/11/2023