Umuahia - Governor Theodore Orji of Abia on Monday said that negotiations to reopen the Aba branch of the Bank of Industry had commenced.
Orji made this known when he addressed the traders of Ariaria International market, who staged a ‘one million-man’ solidarity march from Aba to Government House, Umuahia.
Represented by Ananaba, his deputy, Orji said the state government had started discussion with the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga, to reopen the bank.
He said the bank was closed down in the wake of kidnapping and other violent crimes in the state.
The governor expressed the hope that the discussion would yield positive result, considering the great improvement on security of lives and property in the state.
He said the reopening of the bank would assist traders to access loans to boost their business at a reasonable interest rate.
Orji further said the proposed airport would help to revolutionise commercial activities.
He said the problem of power in the commercial city would become a thing of the past as soon as the Geometric Power Plant at Osisioma, near Aba, was inaugurated.
The governor enjoined the traders to sustain their support and loyalty to his administration "in the rain and under the sunshine".
Earlier, in an address, the Chairman of the traders association, Lucky Akubueze, said the march was intended "to debunk the falsehood by mischief makers that Enyimba people are not happy with your administration".
"We are here to prove them wrong," Akubueze said.
Akubueze said the governor had performed "excellently well" for the Aba business community by restoring peace and security in the city and other parts of the state.
He appealed to the governor to award the contract for flood control in the market to a competent construction outfit.
The chairman noted that flooding in the market was compounded by blocked drains, saying that the menace had destroyed goods worth millions of naira.