Abia state government is close to securing a $200 million loan facility from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for infrastructure rehabilitation in the state.
A team of experts from the AfDB led by the Bank’s transport specialist, Mr. Mwila Aerondeal Katambula was in the state capital to check how far the state had gone in meeting the conditions necessary to access the loan including setting up Abia State Integrated Infrastructure Management (ASIIM) and conceptual engineering designs of the projects which the expected fund would be used to finance.
The team had earlier held meeting with governor Okezie Ikpeazu as well as the commissioner for works, his finance counterpart, Mr. Obinna Oriaku and the Speaker of Abia House of Assembly, Rt Hon Martins Azubuike.
The governor in the meeting said the state was eagerly awaiting the intervention of the AfDB in the rehabilitation of infrastructure in the state, especially the commercial city of Aba.
“Road infrastructure is very important to us in Aba. Apart from being the commercial nerve Centre of Abia, Aba is the SME Centre of Nigeria. Aba is very important to the economy of both Abia and Nigeria,” Ikpeazu said.
He said road infrastructure, waste management and storm water management remain big challenges we face in Aba, adding that “Abia State does not have the resources to do good work” on the problematic roads like Port Harcourt and Ikot Ekpene roads.
But he noted that the AfDB has “renewed our hope will come very soon and the roads will be fixed, assuring his government has done its part in doing “what is required of us in terms of ensuring that the ground work is done to enable AfDB come in.”
The AfDB team leader, Katambula said: “We are eager to participate in the development of Abia State. Our mission today is a follow up to meeting we had before, we want to ensure that everything is ready because we want to fast track the projects that the Bank will take up in Abia.”