The Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, said the state has made lots of progress, even as it continues to face challenging situations.
Speaking at a restricted gathering in Umuahia on Thursday for the 2020 Abia Day celebrations to mark the 29th anniversary as one of the states created on 29th of August 1991 by the military administration of General Ibrahim Babangida, Governor Ikpeazu also said the state must appreciate the reality of the new normal imposed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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 and say that we have made lots of progress and recorded some solid achievements in servers areas.
“This year started with high hopes as we planned to continue to consolidate on our plans. The outbreak of COVID-19 took the entire world by surprise and shutdown the global economy by more that four months with attendant severe economic consequences.
“Here in Abia, 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. Already, I have ordered a downward review of emoluments payable to all political appointees, in the spirit of the adjustment.”
Governor Ikpeazu, who acknowledged that the challenges posed by the pandemic have slowed plans of his administration, insisted that the vision of his government remains sacrosanct and unimpeded, adding that road construction works in the state have been ongoing.
He said: “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 highpoint of the event was the cutting of the anniversary cake by the Governor, supported by the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Ude Oko Chukwu; Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Chinedum Orji; and Chairman of the Abia State Council of Traditional Rulers, His Royal Majesty, Eze Nwabeke, among other top government functionaries and dignities.
The occasion also featured awards to some frontline medics involved in the war against COVID-19 in the state.
The Awardees included Dr. Stanley Okerulu, Dr. Ijeoma Nduka, Lady Peace Nwaogwugwu, Dr. Azubuike Onyebuchi, Nurse Lilian Anyanwu, Nurse Kemi Olowoniyi, Comrade Chidi Aligwe, Ijeoma Akaghara, Dr. Franklyn Alozie, Oluchi Adighogu, Uche Ugochi Confidence, Dr. Suzzy Nwanyioma Nwachukwu and Dr. E.C. Iwuoha.