Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has ordered a downward review of emoluments payable to all political appointees, in the face of difficulty posed by the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking yesterday at a gathering in Umuahia, the state capital, for the 2020 Abia Day celebrations to mark the 29th anniversary of the state creation, the governor said the state would continue to make steady progress even as he admitted that the state continues to face different challenges.
He said the state must appreciate the reality of the new normal imposed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Abia is one of the states created on August 29, 1991, by the military administration of General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd).
He said: “Since mid-2015 when you elected me to serve as your governor, my administration has faced the hydra-headed challenges of governance head on. While we continue to face challenges, we beat our chest in humility to say that we have made a lot of progress and recorded some solid achievements in several areas.”
Ikpeazu said the year started with high hopes, but noted that the outbreak of COVID-19 took the entire world by surprise, and shut down the global economy with severe economic consequences.
“In Abia State, we were faced with a dire situation. The reality is that we must live with the new normal.
“One of the inescapable effects of the pandemic on the global economy is the need to make necessary adjustments to meet the new challenges. Budgetary estimates will change on account of decreasing revenues. Our people must prepare their minds for this inevitable adjustment,” he explained.
Ikpeazu, who acknowledged that the challenges posed by the pandemic had slowed down plans of his administration, insisted that the vision of his government remains sacrosanct and unimpeded, adding that road construction works in the state had been ongoing.
“The challenges posed by the pandemic may have slowed us down, but the pursuit of our vision remains sacrosanct and unimpeded. Road construction works have been ongoing,” the governor said.