Abia’s Modular Refinery Starts 2025 – Commissioner
As Nigerians continue to groan over the high cost of petroleum products in the country, Abia State Government has disclosed that its modular refinery being built at the Industrial Innovation Park (AIIP), Owaza in Ukwa West LGA of the state will be ready in 2025.
The Commissioner for Information and Culture, Prince Okey Kanu, who made this disclosure in Umuahia while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the State Executive Council meeting, explained that the project is one of the projects that are important to the Alex Otti-led government.
“Therefore every effort is being put in place to ensure that the date will be met”, he added.
His word “The modular refinery project of Abia industrial Innovation Park will come on stream in 2025. It will be the first major industrial project of that industrial park. Of course, once that refinery comes on stream, it would provide job opportunities to the teeming youths in excess of about two thousand jobs.
“These are direct jobs, when you want to talk about the indirect jobs; it would run into thousands as well. It would help provide refined products for Abians as well as increase the revenue base of the state”.
The Commissioner stated that the state government is making efforts to reap from the huge opportunities provided by the petroleum and mineral resources endowment in the State and that “in this regard, a lot of investors are jostling to come and invest in Abia State”.
On infrastructure, Kanu informed that about four roads would soon be commissioned by Governor Alex Otti government, naming one of the roads as Jubilee road, Aba which is 100 percent completed.
Other projects to be commissioned are: the renovated Ummunneato Igbere and Okpuala Ngwa General hospitals. He therefore disclosed that there is a suspected measles outbreak in two LGAs of the State including Arochukwu and Umunneochi.
In his comment, the Commissioner for Petroleum, Professor Joel Ogbonna, stated that the Otti’s government has been in a hurry to bring transformation to the state through the establishment of the industrial innovation park, adding that “about 2,000 hectares of land have been acquired in Owaza in respect of the project.
“Before now, many of us didn’t know that we had oil and gas in Abia State even though this has been a curse rather a blessing to Abia because of bad governance of successive governments. Right now, we want to convert those wastes to wealth”.
According to Ogbonna, the modular refinery “presents a huge opportunity for job and wealth creation and of course, we’re taking advantage of the natural endowment which we have not taken advantage of before now.
“So, I do believe that in the next couple of years, job opportunities would be huge, AIIP is in the position to provide over 10,000 jobs and I look forward to that “.
Throwing more light on the outbreak of measles in the two local government areas, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Ngozi Okoronkwo said that if up to three children are affected by this condition, then it is considered an outbreak.
Her word, “We’re currently mopping up to identify those children and also ascertain when this condition started and all of that. For now, it is just three of them and not more than three. For us, once it gets to that number it’s already declared an outbreak. We’re trying to identify them and avert any further spread and as I speak, it is under control”.
On the reported extortion of motorists and other touting activities in Aba and its environs, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Ferdinand Ekeoma, said that Otti has issued a directive, that the Special Adviser on Security should apprehend the hoodlums who are indulging in the illegal extortion in Aba.
According to him, “when the Governor came on board, he gave a directive stopping all forms of collection of illegal revenue and levies and all the rest of them, but in the last few days, there has been reports of extortion in the name loading fee.
“So it’s important I bring it to your attention that the governor has instructed that those involved should be arrested. The government is not going to tolerate that, because we do not need hoodlums to be in charge of collection of any kind of levies in the state”.
Ekeoma disclosed that the state government is going to clamp down on all illegal motor parks and illegal markets and that it will relocate those trading in illegal markets and sanitize the entire Abia State.