Okezie Ikpeazu, the Governor of Abia State has assented into law, the Abia State Diaspora Bill recently passed by the State House of Assembly.
Governor Ikpeazu, after signing the law at Government House Umuahia, commended the leadership of the State Assembly for responding to the yearnings of the Abia community in the Diaspora through the drafting of a bill that would provide legal backing to the participation of Abians in the diaspora in the governance of the State.
This was made known in a statement by Onyebuchi Ememanka, the Chief Press Secretary to the State governor and issued to journalists in Umuahia, on Friday.
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.
The Abia Chief Executive stressed that there was a 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, emphasizing that in Abia, they have made impressive contributions in the area of farming, health, education and industry.
Ikpeazu who further 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.
The Governor 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.
He 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 Governor Ikpeazu 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
She thanked the Governor for accepting the noble idea.
The Permanent Secretary/Clerk of Abia State House of Assembly, Dr John Pedro Irokansi presented the Bill to the Governor for signing.
Chief of Staff to the Governor, Prof-acb Agbazuere and some other aides of the Governor witnessed the event.