Governor Okezie Ikpeazu says that only meaningful long term planning by government can lead to sustainable development and as such, the Abia State government has concluded arrangements for a long term economic development plan to facilitate rapid development of the State.The Governor who spoke through the Permanent Secretary/Executive Secretary, Abia State Planning Commission, Dr. (Mrs.) Nnenna Chikezie during the opening ceremony of a three day Approach Meeting of Abia State Long-Term Development Plan Draft Agenda held at Umuahia said the State is looking at 30 years long term sustainable development plan.She said that the essence of the Approach Meeting is to draw out a long-term development plan for Abia State, following the directives of the State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu that the Planning Commission drives the entire process, “The objective is to initiate frame work, discuss the tools that would be needed to drive this process and at the end bring in every stakeholder to the table, so that a development plan that is all inclusive would be produced.” She said it is a process that must be completed before the year ends.According to the Executive Secretary, the Governor’s directives followed the impressive performance of the Abia team in a competition that took place recently in South East/South South . She disclosed that the State Government is collaborating with Partnership Initiative for Niger Delta (PIN) to achieve the goal, adding that realizing the plan would help the State access help from donor agencies as they would be able to see and assess the economic road map of the State.In his presentation, the lead consultant of PIN, Dr. Ebebe Ukpong assured that they would bring their experiences to bear and work as a team as well as give technical guidance to Abia State government to enable the State drive her economic development plan accordingly.He said the meeting would avail its participants the understanding of the areas that are primary in building a development plan of the State as well as set agenda for the State team.Contributing, the Partnership and Engagement Manager of Partnership Initiative for Niger Delta (PIN), Dr. Chime Asonye said the team is interested in making State governments to be proactive in economic development plans.He said as partners, they would be committed to supporting Abia State government in getting her economic development plan and ensure monitoring and evaluation are put in place as they implement their development plans.The Approach Meeting drew participants from various sectors including civil societies, public and private sectors as well as civil servants from relevant cadres.Special Adviser to the Governor on Policy Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation, Chima Chukwu was part of the team from the State Government at the meeting. Onyebuchi Ememanka, Esq Chief Press Secretary to the Governor. 12th November, 2019.
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