Excitements rented the air as the governorship candidate of Labour Party (LP) in Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti, took his message of wealth creation and poverty eradication to Umuahia, capital of Abia State, in the second day of his local government campaign tours across Abia.
Otti, who campaigned in Umuahia South on Wednesday told leaders, elders, women and youth of the local government to brace up for massive development within their locality as he intends to tap into both the natural deposit and human capital resources in the area for the good of the people and the state.
The LP governorship front runner said Umuahia South is blessed with solid mineral resources, including Kaolin, which it has in commercial quantity and he plans to exploit it for the production of floor tiles and other ceramic wares.
“I already have it written in my manifesto. My administration will ensure the establishment of a new Modern Ceramics Industry in Ohiya, here in Umuahia South. As you may be aware, Kaolin is a major raw material in the production of floor tiles and we have it in commercial quantity in Ohiya. I have already asked the traditional rulers, when I met with them, to start the process of making land available for us for that purpose.
“There is no reason for us to be importing floor tiles and other kinds of ceramic products from China when we have the raw material here to produce the same and create jobs and businesses for our people.
“The present situation now is that this natural resource is mined illegally by some individuals, some of who are not even Abians, and shipped abroad. They are processed and imported back into Nigeria by some of our people, making us lose the much needed jobs for our people and of course revenue to develop our state.
“My administration will legally mine the Kaolin after we have set up the new ceramics industry in Ohiya where it is deposited. We will produce the tiles here in Abia State and sell to our neighbours in the south east, south-south and other parts of Nigeria. We will also export the finished products overseas and earn foreign exchange. In so doing, we will be creating employment and businesses for our people. In so doing, we will be reducing insecurity in our state and nation in general.
“As we say, an idle mind is a devil’s workshop. Sometimes when people don’t have work to do they engage in criminal acts to survive. But when they are busy, doing legitimate jobs, they will have no reason to engage in criminality. It’s because majority of our people are unemployed, hungry and poor that we have the spate of insecurity in our state that we’re currently experiencing.
“When you hear people talk about unknown gunmen, kidnappers, ritual killings and all kinds of violent crimes most of the people who engage in these acts in our state are our children. They are not outsiders. But we will create opportunities to get our youths, especially, meaningfully engaged in legitimate production activities and take their minds off crime,” Otti enumerated in a townhall meeting with the Umuopara community.
The renowned economist and top banker also promised to empower women to support their husbands and families. He said his administration will make funds available for women entrepreneurs to support their businesses. Such funds, he explained will be disbursed as interest free loans that will be recycled and also extended to others.
He further promised to defray all arrears of salaries and pensions in the state within the first six months of his taking over government in Abia State.
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