Have you ever wondered why water can never cause an explosion even at its boisterous higher temperature level of 100 °C (212 °F)? The answer is simple: water lacks the combination of sources — oxygen, gas and heat — required to trigger a conflagration.
What then do you think would happen when preparation meets opportunity? The answer can be found in the coming together of two combustible elements. Boom! A bomb-like explosion that will alter the status quo becomes inevitable.
It is the type of impact Professor Greg Ikechukwu Ibe OFR wants to trigger in Abia state when elected governor.
Aside from consolidating the efforts of the Governor-Okezie-Ikpeazu-led government by increasing Abia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) — which presently stands at US$8,687 million — with vigorous entrepreneurship, top on his agenda also is the proper exploitation of the rich limestone deposit in Arochukwu and others.
Limestone is used in the production of bricks, tiles and gravel and reliable statistics indicate that 3.1 billion short tons of limestone have a present value of about USS$17.5 billion. That is an equivalent of N7.157 trillion.
In recent years, 2000 through 2008, the average annual limestone production in Missouri, the United States of America, was 89 million short tons with an average annual value of $470 million.
According to the Missouri Department of Economic Development, its limestone industry employed approximately 3,000 people during that period.
Pause a little and consider what would become of Abia state with the addition of one-quarter of N7.157 trillion to its annual income. What about the high rate of unemployment? That is the conundrum the emergence of Prof. Ibe will address.
The ebullient Prof. Ibe gives the assurance thus: “All through my life, I have been creating wealth, developing society and humans.
“When you look at what I have been able to achieve in Nigeria and some of the African countries through agriculture, then you will not doubt the type of transformation I will bring to Abia State with the proper harnessing of limestone deposit in Arochukwu and others.”
If this sounded good to you, then his eulogy of the present administration and his promise to build on its success underlined an uninterrupted development in Abia state.
“The present government has done so well in the area of SME and infrastructural development. I will consolidate the success achieved by diversifying the economy to satisfy the present yearning of Abians.”
No government can govern successfully with a tabula rasa, the reason his assertion that his template will ensure financial freedom for all Abians and put Abia state on the threshold of economic boom should make us hysterical.
“It takes someone who understands the workings and the demands behind entrepreneur to harness a nation’s or a state’s economy. I clearly understand where I am going. I also understand the people that are involved.
“Our state, Abia, is endowed with forward-thinking people. Look at Aba, look at the Abiriba people, look at Ikwuano and the state as a whole. We are talking about people with strong ingenuity in whatever they lay their hands on.
“Aside from crude oil, limestone, palm oil, cashew nut etc, Abia State is the second-largest producer of cocoa in Nigeria.
“We will harness all these resources to take the state to the greater height and formulate policies that will ensure financial freedom for our people,” Prof. Ibe assured.
He also said he enjoys a good relationship with all Abia leaders and they know who he is. He noted that the good thing is that they appreciate what he does.
“All of them appreciate what I do. Any person I meet always say, Ibe, you hardly get tired of bringing private sector powered development projects to Abia State. So, they attest to that.
“They also attest to my ability and capacity to come into governance and pick up from where my predecessors stopped and move our state forward,” he said.
He added, “the PDP in its lifetime in this state will not allow us to lose Abia State by imposing an incompetent candidate on its members.
He said he appreciates the past and present governors for whatever they have contributed.
“This world is, come, do your own and go. We will build on whatever the past administrations have achieved.
“I am not looking at what anybody did in the past. What I am coming to do is to make Abians proud to say that, once upon a time, they had a son who led the state and made it the envy of Nigeria.”
ProGIMA-Prof Gregory Ibe Media Associates