Tag Archives: Abia

Abia: State of Salary Payment as at 8th October, 2020

Starting from January 2020, Abia State Government, led by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, PhD, commenced payment of new minimum wage to Abia workers. In the entire south east region of the country, Abia State pays the highest amount per wage level and has the highest monthly wage bill.

While many states battled to pay half or full salary to civil servants during the lockdown period occasioned by the outbreak of COVID-19, Governor Ikpeazu religiously paid workers and continued with his key development projects including road construction, promotion of agriculture and SME development as well as improvement of healthcare infrastructure.

As at today, workers in the following establishments in Abia State have received September 2020 salaries and are not owed any arrears:

* ABA STATE COUNCIL OF ART AND CULTURE
* ABIA STATE HOUSING CORPORATION
* ABIA STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
* ABIA LAW REFORM AND REVIEW COMMISSION
* ABIA NEWSPAPERS
* ABIA SPECIALIST HOSPITAL AND DIAGNOSTIC CENTRE
* ABIA STATE BOARD OF INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE
* ABIA STATE FIRE SERVICE
* ABIA STATE JUDICIARY, HIGH COURT
* ABIA STATE LIAISON OFFICE, ABUJA
* ABIA STATE LIAISON OFFICE, LAGOS
* ABIA STATE LIBRARY BOARD
* ABIA STATE SPORTS COUNCIL
* ABIA STATE TOURISM BOARD
* ABIA STATE WATER BOARD
* ABIA STATE INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION (ABSIEC)
* AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM (ADP)
* AGENCY FOR THE CONTROL OF HIV AND AIDS
* ABIA STATE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (ASEPA)
* ABIA STATE PRINTING AND PUBLISHING COMPANY (AMBASSADOR NEWSPAPER)
* BROADCASTING CORPORATION OF ABIA STATE (BCA)
* BUREAU OF ADMINISTRATION,
OFFICE OF THE HEAD OF SERVICE
* BUREAU OF COMMON SERVICES AND SERVICE MONITORING (HOS
* BUREAU OF ECONOMIC AFFAIRS
* BUREAU OF ESTABLISHSMENTS AND PENSIONS
* BUREAU OF POLITICAL AFFAIRS OFFICE OF THE SSG
* BUREAU OF STATISTICS
* BUREAU OF TRAINING, OFFICE OF THE HOS
* CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION
*EXCO SECRETARIAT
* GOVERNMENT HOUSE UMUAHIA
* GOVT HOUSE POLITICAL
^ INNER OFFICE OF THE HOS
* JUDICIAL SERVICE COMMISSION
*JUDICIARY CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL
* LOCAL GOVERNMENT AUDIT
* LOCAL GOVERNMENT SERVICE COMMISSION
* METALLURGICAL COMPLEX NIGERIA LIMITED ABA AND UMUAHIA
* MINISTRY OF TOURISM, ARTS AND CULTURE
* MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, UMUAHIA
* MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
* MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT
* MINISTRY OF FINANCE
* MINISTRY OF HEALTH
* MINISTRY OF HOME LAND SECURITY
* MINISTRY OF HOUSING
* MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY
* MINISTRY OF INFORMATION
* MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
* MINISTRY OF LANDS, SURVEY AND URBAN PLANNING
* MINISTRY OF LGA
* MINISTRY OF PETROLEUM AND SOLID MINERAL
* MINISTRY OF PUBLIC UTILITIES AND WATER RESOURCES
* MINISTRY OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT
* MINISTRY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
* MINISTRY OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT
* MINISTRY OF SPECIAL DUTIES AND JOINT PROJECTS
* MINISTRY OF TRADE AND INVESTMENT
* MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT
* MINISTRY OF WOMEN AFFAIRS
* MINISTRY OF WORKS
* MINISTRY OF YOUTH AND SPORTS DEVELOPMEMT
* OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY GOVERNOR
* OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT
* OFFICE OF THE STATE AUDITOR GENERAL
* OPEN SPACES DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION
* SERVICE WELFARE BUREAU (SWB) HOS
* SPECIAL SERVICES BUREAU (SSB)
* UMUAHIA CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (UCDA)
* UNICEF-ABIA RUWASSA

In addition to the above, the State Government has already paid subventions to ABSUTH, ABIAPOLY, College of Health and Management Sciences, and commenced payment to Secondary Education Management Board (SEMB) in lieu of senior secondary school teachers.

The ministry of Finance, led by Dr Aham Uko, has worked out the dynamics to actualize the bailout of Abia State University, Uturu (ABSU) with the N400m (Four Hundred Million Naira Only) promised by Governor Ikpeazu next week to help them pay workers who suffered as a result of the forced closure of schools due to COVID-19.

According to the Commissioner for Finance, irregularities were discovered in the payroll of Hospital Management Board (HMB), which has necessitated a review in their modalities of payment to be effected next week.

State pensioners have been fully paid for the month along with other workers, as is the current practice, but this report does not cover those on LGA payroll including workers, LGA pensioners, primary & junior secondary school teachers who are paid by the respective LGAs.

Thank you.

Chief John Okiyi Kalu

Honorable Commissioner for Information, Abia State

09/10/2020

Abia, PIND to Partner on Long Term Development of State

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has pleged the commitment of his administration to the resolute implementation of the Abia State Long Term Development Plan.

Governor Ikpeazu who stated this when he received in audience a delegation of the Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND) who were at the Government House, Umuahia, to submit the draft scheme for the Plan.

The Governor said as a strong believer in the Plan, he strongly reckons that problems must be diagnosed and solved empirically, pointing out that he dreams to see Abia become a strong economic hub through the Enyimba Economic City project.

He also said that his government will take steps to get the Plan working as well as strengthen the State’s path to sustainable growth through homegrown plans, stressing that such will be one of the major interventions of his administration..

The Governor further emphasised on the need for the interest of people to be captured and challenged the implementers of the Plan to be more committed and resilient, revealing that his ambition is to have an Abia that its GDP will be higher than the national average.

Speaking, the Executive Director PIND, Dr Dara Akala said that the Foundation is a social enterprise established by Shevron Nigeria in 2012 focusing on Development across the Niger Delta region through multi-sectoral approach.

He said that PIND is committed to supporting the state through close partnership with the Abia State Planning Commission, adding that the 2020-2050 Long Term Development Plan of the state is produced by Abians for Abians to guide in the future development of the state and will outlive the present administration.

He further said that it is important for government to adopt a demand-led approach in implementing the Plan, maintaining that the issues of access to lands for agricultural purposes, multiple taxation, security among others should be considered to engender development and promote a stable environment.

Also Speaking, the Executive Secretary, Abia State planning Commission, Dr Mrs Nnenna Chikezie, said that the work plan had twelve thematic areas including Education, Infrastructure, Health, Gas and Oil, adding that stakeholders from the three senatorial zones of the state made their inputs towards the production of the Abia State Long Term Development draft.

Giving an overview of the programme, the DG Abia State Quality and Marketing Management Agency, Barr Sam Hart, said that PIND which is responsible for the development in the nine Niger Delta States held the Niger Delta development forum where Abia emerged as the state with the best development plan in 2018 prompting the resolve of PIND to partner the state in the development of the long term development plan.

Abia to partner NSE for the promotion and development of SMEs

Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has stated the willingness of his administration to partner with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in the promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises in the State.

The Governor made this known while receiving in audience the President, Council of Nigerian Stock Exchange, Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo, at the Government House, Umuahia, where he enumerated the efforts of his government towards the promotion and development of SMEs noting that his government identified and made SME a pillar of development in the State and ensured that artisans were assisted and sponsored overseas for training on automated shoe making as parts of efforts to make them globally competitive. He assured that the same gesture will soon be extended to those in the garment and fashion industry.

While highlighting the contending issues confronting SMEs in the State such as power supply, automation, market share and finance, the Governor assured that the issues are being tackled headlong and commended leather and garment manufacturers for showing resilience in their work.

The State Chief Executive also used the occasion to commend the Lead Investor of Golden Guinea Breweries Plc, Mr Okey Nzenwa, for the successful reactivation of the brewery along with its leading brand, Golden Guinea beer and assured that his administration will soon implement an action plan that will ensure Modern Ceramics Umuahia is also reactivated. He thanked the Nigerian Stock Exchange team for their plans and efforts towards the development of Small and Medium Enterprises and expressed his delight to be associated with the Golden Guinea and Nigerian Stock Exchange. He assured of his collaboration in providing the needed atmosphere for the initiatives that promote SMEs and urged them to ensure their mission yields good fruits in Abia State.

“I know that the return of Golden Guinea will bring other good things to the state”, he said.

Speaking earlier, the President, Council of Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr Otunba Ogunbanjo, stated that the essence of the visit was to intimate the Governor of available opportunities in the Nigerian Stock Exchange which will add value to Small and Medium Enterprises in the State.

He described Abia State as the home of SMEs while noting that the ntion’s economy which has been negatively impacted by the Corona virus pandemic can be made to grow faster by nurturing Small and Medium Enterprises. He also noted the existence of established guidelines for SMEs participation in government contracts and procurements while commending the Governor for his efforts towards the growth of SMEs in the State.

In his remarks, the Manager, Listings Business Division, Mr Olumide Bolumole, outlined the available opportunities embedded in the NSE which he said are to the advantage of the SMEs. He noted that establishing rudimentary corporate governance requirements for companies allows for longevity and trans-generational wealth. He also stated that the NSE has identified various players who are expected to add value to SMEs and other Nigerian companies.

Breaking: See dates Abia State fixed for schools resumption, 3rd term exams

The Abia State Executive Council has approved the reopening of primary and secondary schools in Abia State for Monday September 28, 2020 to complete the third term of the 2019/2020 academic year. All primary and secondary schools are expected to start revision classes immediately and do so for one week.

The third term examination will start on Monday, October 5 and run till October 16, 2020, and it will be based on the topics covered in first and second terms of the 2019/2020 academic year as well as the Radio/TV Classroom Program studies.

After the third term examination, the pupils and students will go for a short break to allow the teachers mark and compute the promotional examination results.

Pupils and students in private schools will be expected to pay only 30% of third term school fees and 30% of the approved levies in public senior secondary schools.

Any school that charges any approved fees or levies beyond the 30% limit will be appropriately sanctioned. In this regard, all parents/guardians and their children/wards should insist on collecting a receipt for every money paid.

On Monday, October 26, 2020, the first term of the 2020/2021 academic session will commence. All pupils and students must return to school to commence academic activities for the term.

The first term of 2020/2021 academic session will run from October 26 to December 23, 2020, before a short break from December 24, 2020 – January 3, 2021.

From Monday, January 4, 2021, the first term will continue and end on January 21, 2021. All students will pay the normal full school fees and levies for the first term.

The second term of 2020/2021 academic session will commence on Monday, February 1, 2021 and run for 12 weeks ending on Thursday, April 22, 2021.

Third term for the 2020/2021 academic session will start on May 10, 2021 and end on August 5, 2021.

The education loving Governor of this State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, and the State Executive Council, approved the above arrangements to make sure that Abia school children do not miss anything in their academic activities. We want to assure every one that these measures, hard and tight as they may appear, are put in place to keep our educational system running effectively.

All Creche, Nursery and Kindergarten Schools will however remain closed for now till Government considers it safe for them to resume.

COVID 19 PROTOCOLS

To make sure that the COVID-19 spread is curtailed and put in check, all the protocols already in place in our schools will continue to be observed.

Every Headteacher and Principal must ensure that the COVID-19 guidelines established when the exit classes returned to school are strictly maintained.

For example:

1. The use of thermometers to check the temperature at the gate everyday will continue.

2. Regular washing of hands with soap and water at the established hand washing stations will continue and more stations should be created where needed.

3. The use of hand sanitizers by staff and pupils/students will continue.

4. All administrators, teachers, students and visitors to all our schools must wear face masks.

5. No long breaks for now. We will continue to have supervised short breaks in the classes.

6. No games/sports activities, organized or not, will be allowed in our schools for now.

7. We will continue to maintain social and physical distancing of at least 2m in our classes.

8. No general morning assemblies will be held in our schools. Teachers should conduct morning prayers before the first period everyday.

9. All schools must take advantage of the COVID-19 lectures they have received to constantly teach and remind pupils and students that protection from the infection is a personal responsibility that no one should neglect at any time.

10. All Schools must run from 8.00am to 1.40pm daily only. No afternoon or evening lessons of any sort should be arranged. Pupils and students must be allowed to go home after 1.40pm everyday.

11. The sick bays and isolation centers already created in our schools must be maintained. Report all suspected cases promptly by calling 07002242362.

REMEMBER, YOU NEED TO STAY HEALTHY AND ALIVE TO HAVE A GOOD TOMORROW.

STAY SAFE AND STAY WELL! ALWAYS BE COVID 19 CONSCIOUS!!

Assoc. Prof Kanelechi CK Nwangwa
Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Education.
September 25, 2020.

Collapsed Building: Ikpeazu visits site, suspends town planner

Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has visited the site of a building in Aba which collapsed while under construction. The Governor expressed his deep sadness over the incident which has so far claimed five lives.

The visibly angry Governor Ikpeazu also expressed shock at the low quality materials used to erect the 3-storey building. He therefore directed the immediate suspension of Mr Okezie Ahuruonye, the Executive Secretary, Aba Town Planning Authority, and directed security agents to arrest the developer of the property and bring him to justice swiftly.

Governor Ikpeazu who expressed his desire to meet with the family of the dead persons also directed the state ministry of land, planning and survey to improve its supervision at construction sites, and condemned those who embark on construction of buildings without obtaining proper approvals, warning them to desist from such acts or face dire consequences.

Governor Ikpeazu was accompanied by his Deputy, Rt Hon Ude Oko Chukwu, Acting Transition Council Chairman of Aba South LGA, Evangelist Fred Aja Ogwo, among other top government officials.

Meanwhile, Governor Ikpeazu has appointed the Deputy General Manager of Abia State Environnental Protection Agency (ASEPA), Chief Roland Nwakanma, as the site coordinator of the ongoing search and recover efforts of the government. This was revealed by the State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, while addressing newsmen after the commissioning of Abia state Infectious Disease Hospital and COVID-19 treatment center in Aba. He assured that the Governor is directly supervising the recovery efforts and will ensure that anyone found culpable in the building collapse will be brought to justice.

New BCA power sub station to boost its operations

By Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu

The new Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State 1.5 MVA injection power sub station procured and installed by Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu’s administration is expected to boost the operations of the corporation.

It will be recalled Gov. Ikpeazu recently commissioned the sub station.

The governor while commissioning the project described” power as the live wire of a broadcast station, adding that “it was for the reason his administration though it necessary to provide the station with the sub station to boost its operations”.

Ikpeazu thanked the management of the station for effective dissemination of information, especially the Teach Abia School Children, which is disseminated through the radio classroom programme.

He charged the management of the radio station and the host community to protect the facility as to serve them better.

Responding, the Director-General of the corporation, Sir Anyaso Anyaso noted that power is essential to the survival of the station, especially during this period economies of governments and institutions across the globe are badly hit by the Coronavirus pandemic.

He disclosed that the station has been running on diesel for the past years, stressing that the new gesture will go a long way in sustaining the station.

Abia at 29: We are overcoming challenges, moving forward – Ikpeazu

Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has assured the people of the state that his administration will continue to overcome challenges and keep the state moving in the right direction of sustainable growth and propsperity.

Governor Ikpeazu who stated this during the grand finale of the 29th anniversary celebration of creation of the State and award presentation to medics at the frontline of the fight against Covid-19 in the state, held at the Michael Okpara Auditorium, Umuahia, expressed appreciation to God for the relative peace and political stability in the state saying that “Abia State is a work in progress as no single administration can do all that is needed for her people”.

He disclosed that his administration has all together worked on 200 roads and that before the end of his administration in 2023, he would ensure the completion of the new Government House, JAAC Secretariat as well as deliver on a new airport. He informed that a committee to midwife the airport project has already been constituted saying that his administration has constructed 359 new classroom blocks in the State and is set to add another 150 this year along with the already established 4 model schools. He expressed joy over the appreciable progress made in education, SME, agriculture and industralization among others.

Governor Ikpeazu assured that the new Enyimba Automated Shoe Factory will commence full operations this year and congratulated the awardees whom he described as worthy recipients on behalf of all those who continue to make acrifices to fight the virus in the state. He further lauded their commitment, love And devotion to their duties.

He assured the people of the State that even with the challenges posed by the outbreak of Covid-19 which created massive economic shocks across the globe, his administration would continue to apply prudence in ensuring that available resources are managed for the good of Abia people and residents while seeking creative means to improve the financial capabilities of the State.

Congratulating recipients of the award, Governor Ikpeazu said that the awards were given to them as representatives of other hardworking Abians and lauded their commitment and love for the State. He said with the inauguration of the Board of Automated Shoe Factories in the State, Abia shoes would compete favourably with others in the global market.

Governor Ikpeazu thanked God for the sociopolitical stability in the State and appreciated the Deputy Governor, the Speaker, the Chief Judge and other key office holders for being partners in the wheel of progress of the State. He also paid glowing tributes to the founding fathers of the State who worked tirelessly to ensure the actualization of the creation of Abia State and wished the entire people of the State, a happy 29th anniversary.

Earlier, the Chairman, Abia State Advisory Council, Ezeogo (Dr) Anagha Ezikpe, representated by the Deputy Chairman, Administration, of the Council, Sir Chikezie Wachukwu, requested that the Charter of Equity be enacted into law by the State House of Assembly to enhance equitable sharing of political power in the State. He commended Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for coming up with the Abia Anthem which reflects the mind of Abia people and called on all to maintain unity in the State.

In a lecture titled “Covid-19: Awareness Impact And Citizens’ Response In Abia State”, a Consultant Public Health Physician at ABSUTH, Dr Carol Iwuoha, maintained that Covid-19 is real and recommended that all should adhere to the protocols established in the fight against the virus, present themselves voluntarily for testing, avoid self-medication, disregard misleading information about Covid-19 among others.

She commended Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for strategies adopted in creating awareness through which majority of Abia residents are now aware of the pandemic. She equally hailed Governor Ikpeazu for bracing up to the challenges of Covid-19 by providing testing equipment and training of managers of the novel disease, distributing palliatives to various Abia groups among others, and called on all to identify their responsibilities as well as act accordingly.

Responding on behalf of the awardees, the Medical Director, FMC, Umuahia, Dr Azubuike Onyebuchi thanked Governor Ikpeazu for the award and assured that the awards would spur them to do more in the battle against Covid-19 disease in the State.

The awardees were; Dr Stanley Okerulu, Dr Ijeoma Nduka, Lady Peace Nwaogwugwu, Dr Azubuike Onyebuchi, Nurse Lilian Anyanwu
Nurse Kemi Olowoniyi, Comrade Chidi Aligwe, Ijeoma Akaghara, Dr. Franklyn Alozie, Mrs. Oluchi Adighogu, Uche Ugochi Confidence, Dr. (Mrs) Carol Iwuoha and Dr. Suzzy Nwanyioma.

The event which featured the cutting of the State’s anniversary cake and presentation of awards to 13 deserving individuals for their selfless services to the State attracted the presence of the wife of the State Governor, Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu, the Deputy Governor, Rt Hon. Ude Oko Chukwu and his wife, the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, Chief Judge of Abia State, Hon. Justice Onuoha Kalu Ogwe, member representing Ohafia/Arochukwu Federal Constituency at the National Assembly, Chief Uko Nkole, the SSG, Barr. Chris Ezem, Commissioners, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr ACB Agbazuere, the Head of Service, Deputy Chief of Staff, office of the Deputy Governor, Sir Don Ubani, Heads of Security and para-military agencies in the State, T. C Chairmen, Traditional Rulers, members of the clergy among other dignitaries.

Ikpeazu commissions new BCA power sub station

Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has commissioned the 1.5 MVA Injection Sub Station procured and installed by his administration for the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State (BCA).

Commisioning the project, the Governor described power as the live wire of a broadcast station, maintaining that it was for that reason that his government thought it necessary to provide the station with what it needed to thrive. He thanked the BCA management for the marvelous job it was doing in the disemination of information and commended them for supporting the government to teach Abia school children through the radio classroom programme.

The Governor further urged the management of BCA and the host community to protect and nurture the sub station to serve them better. He expressed joy that what seemed a mirage 30 years ago has now become a reality.

Welcoming the Governor, the Director General of BCA, Sir Anyaso Anyaso, described the event as historic, adding that the significance of the project is indeed enormous.

He noted that power is essential to the survival of ventures such as theirs, especially at a time like this when the resources of States and the nation have been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The Director General informed that for almost 30 years of its existence, the station has been running on diesel and expressed gratitude for the rare feat achieved by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, adding that it will go a long way in sustaining the station despite limited resources.

Sir Anyaso said the station has since recovered lost hours during the day and extended broadcast time to 12 midnight daily disclosing that what the Governor has done is like a life insurance policy that would certainly herald the reemergence of a broadcast industry giant, the station born to lead and set it on the path to attaining its true potential. He disclosed that the station has launched an online App that will enable people outside its coverage area to listen to its broadcast.

The Governor later held an interactive session with Abia people on the radio.

How Abia APC can win 2023 elections – Primate Ayodele

Leader of INRI Evangelical spiritual church, Primate Elijah Ayodele has sent warnings to the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Abia State on the choice of its governorship candidate in 2023.

Primate Ayodele said that for the APC to succeed in 2023, it must choose a former APGA member who decamped to APC.

His words “If APC makes use of Alex Otti, he will deliver for APC. He is the only one that can stand in APC come 2023.’’

COVID-19: Abia launches community sensitization program

Following the successful launch of its community testing initiative for coronavirus few weeks ago, the Abia State Government on Wednesday inaugurated a Covid-19 community sensitization team for its 17 Local Government Areas.

Chairman of Abia inter-ministerial committee on COVID-19 and Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Chris Ezem, who represented Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, called on all those residing in the state to take their destinies in their hands and see themselves as Ambassadors in the fight against Covid-19 in their various communities.

Ezem cautioned against tolerance of people who flout the protocol without necessary corrections from their fellow citizens, stressing that every member of a community must now help to instruct all those flouting protocols to desist from doing so.

“The message should immediately start from our homes. We must start preaching it from our homes, markets, churches and all gatherings. We can’t watch other people not observe the protocols and infect others in the process. Every buyer and seller must avoid falling victim of this protocols.

Addressing newsmen at Aba Town Hall, in Aba South LGA, venue of the inauguration and flag off, The Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, said that the new move is another milestone in government’s sensitization efforts against Covid-19.

He said that government was fully aware that the fight against the deadly virus was not over yet, therefore needed to do more by taking sensitization to the communities where the people need constant information and updating of such information to stay safe.

“What we have done today is to launch community sensitization team for every local government. As it’s happening here, it’s also happening in 16 other LGAs of the State.

“What we expect from this team inaugurated today is to be driving round every community in Abia State with vehicles mounted with public address system, talking to people and passing relevant information in the manner and language the people at the grassroots understand perfectly”, he said

The Commissioner also said that the team will apply and utilize every local system of communication necessary and peculiar to certain areas, to ensure that no stone is left unturned in the effort to ensure information about Covid-19 gets to the people.

“All the town criers and every information management structure that exists in our communities will now have to be deployed to sensitize our people on the prevention and control of COVID-19.

“It’s part of our ongoing efforts to break the chain of transmission in the state. We’ve already launched community testing which is ongoing. Abia is the first state in the Southeast region to roll out Community Testing,” he informed.

In that light, Okiyi Kalu gave strict warning to transporters and passengers, stressing that the state police command has been mandated to arrest and ensure the arraignment of all those who flout Covid-19 protocols like wearing of face masks and number of passengers in each commercial vehicle.

“Henceforth, any tricycle carrying more than two passengers and whose occupants are not putting on face masks is in breach of Covid-19 protocols and would be arrested.

“Any passenger who joins a tricycle that already has two passengers is in breach of the same protocol and will also be arrested. While we recognize that carrying two passengers as against the usual four will naturally lead to price adjustment, it’s unconscionable for anyone to flout the rule alongside another culprit and still turn around to complain against them Those who voluntarily flaunt the regulations on 2 passengers and compulsory face mask should not come and complain about tri cyclists who fleece them or rogue security agents who take advantage of them.

“We believe that this challenge can easily be solved if our people take the fight against Covid-19 serious. Nobody should buy or sell to anybody who’s not putting on face mask. It’s important that at our individual levels, we take responsibility and do the needful.

“We’ve empowered the state police command to use a more extensive system that’s by far greater than what we had in the past to ensure compliance. A lot of those breaking the rules will soon become very uncomfortable,” the Commissioner concluded.