The Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has assured farmers in the state of judicious disbursement of the N1 billion Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme loan, which the state recently obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He gave the assurance while rendering his one year stewardship in the state to the people of Abia Central Senatorial District, as part of the ongoing town hall meetings in the state.
According to a release by his Chief Press Secretary, Enyinnaya Appolos, Ikpeazu spoke yesterday at Umuahia South and Isiala Ngwa North local government headquarters.
The governor decried the declining federal allocations to the state, but assured that his government will ensure that the current economic crisis will not affect his infrastructural development programme and payment of workers’ salaries in the state.
He however told the people of the state that he should not be pitied, over the harsh economic situation, stressing that he believes God has reasons for whatever circumstance He (God) allows.
“I want you to understand that we are in tough times in the state. I am sure you’re aware of the economic hard times in the country that has occasioned the drastic drop in our monthly allocation to as low as N1.7bn. Our monthly allocation as at today cannot support payment of workers’ salaries, not to talk of executing other projects. This has also impacted on our IGR as a state.
“Don’t pity me because of the tough times. I know that my God is able to handle the situation. But let me assure you that amidst this obvious challenge, our government will continue to improve on our infrastructure and also pay salaries as we can, but I ask for your understanding and support in this hard time.
“We do not have any other option than to improve the infrastructure in the state, especially at Aba, the commercial-hub, to motivate people to pay taxes thereby improving the internally-generated revenue of the state. Let me also reassure you of my promise, as your Governor, not to misappropriate the confidence you bestowed on me.
“Let me inform you that we have received N1bn agricultural loan from the CBN. This loan, I assure you, will be judiciously distributed to genuine farmers amongst us. I know our farmers, and let me inform political farmers whose farms are on the internet not to bother coming because this loan is not for you.”
Governor lkpeazu, who enumerated some of the achievements of his government in road infrastructure improvement and other strategic sectors of the economy within the period of one year, further assured that the free school meal programme would be sustained for the benefit of Abia school children and their parents.
He stated that food stores have been opened in the three Senatorial Districts of the state, and would later be opened in all Local Government Areas for the sustenance of the free school meal programme which his government is implementing with massive support from the private sector.
The ongoing town hall interactive meeting was previously held at Ohafia and Isuikwuato LGAs for Abia North Senatorial district of the state. Abia south district meeting is next on the programme aimed at rendering the governor’s stewardship in the past one year to the people as well as get direct feedback from them.