Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state on Wednesday pledged to pursue an integrated policy of economic development and transformation towards improving the quality of life in the state.
He stated this in his inaugural address after being sworn in for a second term at the Pa Oruta Ngele stadium Abakaliki.
Titled ‘On the Part of Divine Mandate: Stepping into the second half’, the governor said his administration will pursue prospection/exploitation of the rich mineral deposits in the state for rapid industrialisation and its multiplier effects.
He said he aims to generate employment by making the state a haven for investors by addressing the infrastructure challenges.
The governor stated that he would create an economy that would be self-propelled, self-sustaining and self-reliant within 10 years to reduce over-dependence on federal allocations.
“ Our resolve to construct and complete the 198km Abakaliki ring road is one promise that must be kept through the ultimate grace of God. That special grace of the Lord has been made practically manifest by the recent approval by the Federal Executive Council of the loan facility from African Development Bank for the construction of the ring road.
“This road, which connects eight of the 13 local government areas in Ebonyi state, is both strategic and we intend also to design and build a new ring road for the remaining five local government areas in Ebonyi state”.
“Our target is to completely solve the problem of infrastructure by 2023 when we shall be handing over to a new administration.
“We will create jobs for our citizens, most especially in the private sector, thereby addressing the current huge dependence on civil service employment and its clearly adverse implications for over-head costs.
“We will actively engage the Private Sector and build strategic partnership with International Development Agencies in our development programmes and thereby open up access to private capital and know-how for harnessing our rich endowments and making the state one of the top destinations for investors.
“We will create Sovereign Investments and Savings for the state and thereby allow the state to benefit from opportunities in the Capital Market and provide a bulwark for fluctuations in earnings and revenues”, he said.
Mr Umahi also announced the dissolution of the State Executive Council and the sack of all his aides except the Senior Special Assistant on Religious and Welfare Matters, Abraham Nwali.
He also announced the relocation of two major markets in the state, the Abakpa Main Market and the Building Material Market.
While the Abakpa Market is to be relocated to the Saint Margaret New International Market, the governor said the building Material Market will be relocated to a suitable site.
He, however, did not give a date for the relocation.
The governor and his deputy, Kelechi Igwe, were sworn in by the Chief Judge of the State, Alloy Nwankwo, at a ceremony attended by a mammoth crowd.