Ekpo Okemini, Umuahia,
Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has advocated a dialogue between the Federal and Chinese Governments to pulverize the N5billion impounded substandard tyres, which were smuggled into the country from China.
Ikpeazu stated this at the recent Town Hall Meeting and the lunch of the Change Begins With Me campaign organized by the Federal Government at the International Conference Centre, Umuahia, the Abia State capital.
He said part of the government’s condition for such agreement should be that the Chinese government should set up a company in the country to use the substance as raw material for conveyor and fan belts
He argued that this alternative to destroying the tyres through burning would create employment opportunities for the teeming youths and also serve as source of revenue for the country.
Ikpeazu said as an environmentalist, he was aware of the dangers of such magnitude of bonfire to both human being and the environment, adding that its consequences would linger for years.
According to him, the focal point of his administration is accountability, transparency and encouragement of home grown economy, which is in line with the change campaign.
He noted that the administration, aware of its meagre statutory allocation from the federal account had stepped up campaigns to enhance its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Ikpeazu, who expressed worry at the rate of criminal activities across the South East zone of the country, appealed to the federal government to assist the state in procuring tracking devices for surveillance.
He extolled the federal government for considering the state ripe for the occasion, which was the first of its kind outside Abuja, adding that the people have appreciated the massage.
The campaign team included Ministers of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbe; Trade, Commerce and Investment, Okechukwu Enelama; Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; and Minister for State, Mines and Steel Development, Bawa Buhari.