Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has signed into law, the Abia State Diaspora Bill recently passed by the State House of Assembly.
Speaking shortly after signing the Law at Government House, Umuahia, the Governor commended the State House of Assembly for responding to the yearnings of the Abia Community in the Diaspora through the crafting of a Bill that would provide legal backing to the participation of Abians in the diaspora in the governance of the State.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor on Thursday Sir Onyebuchi Ememanka said Ikpeazu, promised to create a platform for Abians from all walks of life to participate in the governance process noting that Abia is endowed with men and women with great capabilities scattered across the world.
To that end he said there was need to leverage on the abundant human capacity that abound in the State and abroad to develop the State. He recalled that those in the Diaspora have made direct returns and remittances which account for major foreign inflow into the country, adding that in Abia, they have made impressive contributions in the area of farming, health, education and industry.
Dr. Ikpeazu who highlighted some of the interventions anchored by Diaspora Abians including the Geriatric Care, Training and Retraining of Teachers , Medical Outreaches amongst others, commended them for supporting the building of a Specialist Pediatric Hospital in the State. He announced that Abia State has just received two containers of medical supplies out of four donated by those in the Diaspora to drive the specialist hospital and congratulated Abians in the Diaspora for supporting the effort.
The Governor further announced that the Special Adviser on Diaspora Matters would henceforth serve as the Acting Executive Secretary of the Diaspora Commission and implored those in the Diaspora to continue to look homeward.
Earlier, the sponsor of the Bill and Member representing Arochukwu State Constituency Hon. Mike Ukoha commended the Governor for signing the Bill into Law and described it as a revolution and a platform that will bring about socioeconomic economic development to the state.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Diaspora Matters, Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Erondu-Ogbonna, said Abia is the first State to have the Diaspora Commission. Pointing out that with the Governor’s assent, the Diaspora bill which is a Federal legislation has been domesticated in the State and thanked the Governor accepting the noble idea.
“There was need to leverage on the abundant human capacity that abound in the State and abroad to develop the State. He recalled that those in the Diaspora have made direct returns and remittances which account for major foreign inflow into the country, adding that in Abia, they have made impressive contributions in the area of farming, health, education and industry.”