The Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has signed into law, the Abia State Diaspora Bill recently passed by the State House of Assembly.
Ikpeazu, who spoke shortly after signing the bill at the Government House in Umuahia, the state capital, lauded the Abia House of Assembly for responding to the yearnings of the state community in the diaspora through the crafting of a bill that would provide legal backing to the participation of the people of Abia in the diaspora in the governance of the State.
Governor Ikpeazu promised to establish 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 globally.
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, healthcare, education and industry.
The Governor 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.
Dr Ikpeazu 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 be 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.
The Permanent Secretary/Clerk of Abia State House of Assembly, Dr John Pedro Irokansi presented the bill to the governor for signing.