A financial expert and senior lecturer at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Dr Cliff Agbaeze has urged the new administration in Abia State to focus on recovering Aba and strengthening security as a means of stimulating the economy of the state.

He also tasked the Government to explore ways of creating employment for the youth, revive agriculture and increase the internally generated revenue so as to avoid over dependence on federal allocation.

Dr Agbaeze spoke shortly after Dr Alex Otti was inaugurated as the new governor of the state.

He lamented that Aba which ought to be the economic hub of the state has been allowed to go into waste as a result of dilapidated roads and insecurity.

According to him, businesses in Aba which ought to shore up internally generated revenue for the state have closed down because of those twin problems.

Said he” Insecurity and lack of access roads have chased these businesses away. Currently Abia can only be accessed through Enugu and Owerri, Imo State. You can’t access it from Akwa Ibom; you can’t access it from Rivers. This is a huge challenge for the new administration”.

Dr Agbaeze, *who is a Fellow of both the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and Chartered Institute of Credit Administration *and a member of Dr Alex Otti Advisory Council* described as worrisome the level of decay at Aba, saying that the recovery of the state through the fixing of access roads to the city and strengthening the security would accelerate the economic recovery of the state.

The varsity don also posited that creating a conducive environment for investment will boost the confidence of investors and in turn create employment for the youth.

According to him “we need investments in Abia State to create employment. That means we need to strengthen security to encourage them. Those who have departed from government may exploit the security issue, reason the governor should take it more than serious”.

He advocated the Peter Obi model in Anambra State where able bodied Youths in the communities were recruited into the vigilante organization, noting that conventional policing may not be enough to combat the security challenge in Abia.

He also counselled the Government to revive agriculture using the Okpara model as another means of creating employment for the youth.

Dr Agbaeze regretted that the vast arable land in Abia State was wasting while the people of the state depend on other states and importation for their basic needs.

He however expressed confidence in the ability of Gov Alex Otti to rebuild the state economically and infrastructure wise for the benefit of the citizenry.

” He has already started well by releasing a framework for the regular payment of salaries and pensions. With his economic blueprint and the implementation of these humble suggestions, Dr Otti will truly transform the state”, he submitted.


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