… as govt sets up committee on streetlights
Business and social activities have remained at its lowest ebb at night in Umuahia and Aba, the two main cities of Abia State, due to dysfunctional streetlights and transport system. Unlike other state capitals, Umuahia sleeps by 8.00pm with little or no night life. Residents of the cities are lamenting this scenario and calling on the government to bring back night life in the state.
Business ventures that should ordinarily have operated beyond 12 midnights close before 8pm. Usually the city of Umuahia goes into a panic mode on the approach of dusk as shop owners and residents hurried to go home before 7pm. However, few spots which serve as entertainment centres struggle to operate beyond 8pm, the darkness of the town notwithstanding.
An Umuahia resident and Publicity Secretary Umuahia Chamber of Commerce Industry, Mines and Agriculture (UCCIMA), Dr Samwoodings Kalu Ngelle lamented the absence of street lights and subsequent darkness of the towns, saying that apart from crippling the business prospects of the cities, it also breeds criminality in the state.
Ngelle argued that for the economy of state to blossom and meet the expectations of the government in its drive to attract investors and promote made in Aba product, infrastructures like electricity and water must be in place.
Meanwhile, the state government has, following the outcry of the people inaugurated a six-man Street-Light Rehabilitation Committee with the mandate to ensure immediate restoration light in Umuahia and Aba cities.
The committee has the former Commissioner for Environment, Dr Aham Uko as chairman. The secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr Chris Ezems who inaugurated the committee reminded the committee of the people’s yearnings to have Umuahia and Aba lightened up and tasked them to hit the road running.
“Government expects you to deliver before the governor marks his 100 days in office”, Ezems informed them. He asked the committee to replace the old cables with new ones and also install new solar panels along Tower-Ossah-Government House-Aba Road axis, adding that the new street lights should be connected to the 33KVA National Grid.
The Abia SSG explained that the street light in Aba should cover Aba-Owerri Road, connecting through Faulks Road to Ariaria Power Station as the source of the energy. The committee was divided into two sub-committees for the two cities.
Responding, the chairman of the committee, thanked the state government for finding them worthy to restore light to cities of the state and plead for the cooperation of Abia indigenes to enable execute their assignment expeditiously.