Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, Governor of the Nigerian sub-sovereign entity, Abia State is leaving no stone unturned in efforts to explore and exploit the state’s resources in cooperation with multilateral development institutions. Speaking in an interview with AnnualMeetings Daily in Washington DC, Dr Ikpeazu said his administration is poised to play at the global level to broaden its options.
The IMF/World Bank meetings provided the governor the opportunity to meet and interact with officials of the World Bank and financial institutions from around the world willing to invest in viable sub-sovereign states.
Dr Ikpeazu describes his interactions with officials of the IMF and World Bank as worthwhile. “I have used this opportunity to hold discussions and interact with a lot of people on the development challenges facing my state. And I can tell you that the feedback has been commendable,” he said.
He expresses his sincere desire to develop critical infrastructure in his state to support development activities. “Abia State is the SME capital of Nigeria with over 130,000 shoe, leather and garment factories. We need to develop infrastructure in a green way such that we do not import outdated technology that may negatively impact our environment,” noting that the trip has exposed him to the latest ideas in that regard.
Abia State government will tap the benefits in the World Bank’s “Oil for Cash” study on oil-producing communities aimed at not only to create fiscal responsibility and stakeholder buy-in but also solve the problem of youth restiveness. His administration, he reveals, is working to raise the living standard in the state through improvement in education, healthcare and infrastructure upgrade. To this end, the government has prioritized social spending to promote mutual between government and the people.