Extra State Creation: A Supposed Education To Nnia Nwodo [Pt. 3]
By Paul Ikechukwu Njoku
The part-3 episode of this narrative evaluated the essential viability and fidelity of the proposed Aba State Creation.
Please, permit me to recall that the part-1 and 2 of this series have without contradictions and ambiguity supposedly educated the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo and his latent proteges on why they should as a matter of meticulous urgency handover to the Southeast Governors’ Forum; the collective recommendation for the creation of Aba State affirmed by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo State Creation in view of the interesting purview of President Muhammadu Buhari who promised few years ago to send the State Creation recommendation to the National Assembly via Executive Bill to enable Southeast Region have extra one State.
Nnia Nwodo, to this effect, has unprecedentedly vowed not to support and witness the endorsement of the proposed Aba State creation should the proposed creation does not come from his Adada nativity of Enugu State.
He has incessantly accused the Ohanaeze Ndigbo State Creation Committee of corruption and also accused them of influencing the Aba State recommendation process. He bitterly despised the hospitality of the transparent recommendation by the Committee simply because Adada (his home place in Enugu State) was not qualifiedly and viably recommended having considered all the constitutional and economic scrutiny.
The 1991 Population Census gave the old Aba Zone as 1,095098. From 1991-2016. 30yrs later as at 2020, the population must have skyrocketed resulting to a projected population of 8.5million using 5% for Urban Areas and 2 and half percent for Rural Areas as recommended by the United Nations. The proposed Aba State has a larger population than at least 8 existing States in Nigeria. Aba State is viable and will not be a burden to the Federal Government. There are arable lands for intensive Agriculture. Aba, Azumini and Imo Rivers are major rivers that hedge the proposed Aba State. It is close to the Atlantic Ocean and Seaports and can be easily established at Obeaku and Akwete in Ukwa East Local Government Area of Abia State and Uzuaku in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State.
The proposed Aba State is an oil producing State and one of the highest gas deposits in Nigeria. There are also many producing and capped oil wells in Ukwa West, Ukwa East, Ugwunagbo and other Local Government Areas in the proposed State.
The creation of Aba State means more internally generated revenue. There is no doubt that every new State will strive to expand its revenue base and this is not necessarily introducing new taxes but by enforcing existing tax laws. More people will therefore be willing to pay their taxes to the new State of their aspiration knowing that the State belongs to them and shall be in control on how the funds are spent. The economic viability of the proposed Aba State will not be in doubt whilst the summary of its viability is obviously contained in the established economic blueprint.
The proposed Aba State is blessed with very rich Agricultural lands over the near flat and sometimes widely rolling plains of Ukwa Ngwa. Such cash and food crops as oil palm, robber, coconut, cocoa, timber, kola nuts, cassava, plantain, cocoyam, vegetable, citrus, melon and many other abundant food and mineral resources. The fertility of the area can be gleaned from the widespread growth and production of oil palm trees as epitomised in the huge but abandoned Ohambele oil palm estate in Ukwa East Local Government.
Mineral oil and associated natural gas have been tapped for many years in Aba and are still being tapped in some areas of the proposed Aba State particularly in parts of Ukwa East, Ukwa West and Ugwunagbo Local Government Areas. Mineral oil has been discovered and reserved in parts of Obi Ngwa, Aba South, Isiala Ngwa South and Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Areas. Grass and building sands of high grade quality are abundant in the streams and other areas of the proposed Aba State particularly in Azumini area.
The Ariaria Industrial Market is the hub of commerce in the Eastern States, Nigeria and African States at large. The market produces such high grade goods as shoes, traveling and hand bags of all types, belts, cosmetics, detergents and other essential materials and commodities in high demand exported to ECOWAS countries.
There are other large regional markets like Ekooha Shopping Centre, Eziukwu Road Market and Ngwa Road Market which are patronised by other African countries. There are lots of industrial establishments such as Lever Brothers, PZ Industries, Aba Textile Mills, International Glass Industries, International Equitable Industries, Nigerian Breweries, Nigerian Bottling Company, Seven-up Bottling Company, Guinness Plc, Chemlap Nig Ltd. Starline Nig.Ltd, Tonimas Oil and Gas Ltd., Valumbra Flour Mills, in addition to Pharmaceutical and Plastic Industries, Paper packaging and paper converting Industry as well as all types of paints of high standard.
A new state with all the appurtenances and enhanced infrastructure will give added life and verve to these industries. The area of the proposed Aba State has a vast pool of human resources of all types with professionals that will make the task of governance very easy.
Indeed, as a Centre for Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship, Aba City and its other Urban Areas will be in a position to export manpower to other States in need. The NNPC Deport at Osisioma Ngwa supplies Fuel, Kerosene and Diesel to many areas of the Eastern and Northern States. With deregulation of the power will not be a problem in the new State as some private power establishments in the proposed State will ensure steady and qualitative power supply and guarantee industrial and economic growth. For example, Geometric Power Plant which has the capacity to supply non-stop electricity to Aba, its environs and neighbouring States whilst the Alaoji Power Plants presently supply power to Aba and most of the Eastern States.
More so, the proposed Aba State has a large concentration of telecommunication facilities including NITEL, NIPOST and GSM Firms and there are public and private radio and television stations including Nigeria Television Authority, Channel Six Aba etc..
Aba City has two modern and spacious government lodges which can easily serve with very minimal renovation as Government House and quarters for other government functionaries. The Aba Town Hall and its adjacent offices could easily serve as the House of Assembly or a multi purpose hall.
Nnia Nwodo should be told that Aba City is a strategic industriality, road and railway route to Imo, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Bayelsa and Rivers States. Nwodo should be promptly educated that Aba is very close to the Port Harcourt, Calabar ports and other international airports with the potential of port locations close to the sea at Ukwa East and West Local Government Areas. It is also relatively near to the Imo Airport located at Ngor Okpala of Imo State midway between Aba and Owerri. Abia State University Teaching Hospital and many other private hospitals and healthcare institutions are located in the proposed State. Numerous hotels of international standard are abound in Aba amongst so many other considerable viability to be made a State.