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Maku urges state govts to develop alternative cities

07 February 2014, 06:43

Umuahia - The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, on Thursday urged state governments to develop alternative cities to decongest the federal capital.

Maku made the appeal while inaugurating a 48-room office block at the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia (BCA) in Umuahia.

“In developed and developing nations, states develop alternative cities where international conferences and other big events take place without moving to the nation’s capital,” he said.

The minister commended the state government for completing the project.

“The international conference centre can compete with the international conference centre in Abuja. I have seen the work, it is very grand and it means in the future, Abia will be able to host global conferences,’’ he said.

He said Abia’s stride in infrastructure development was what the federal government desired, saying that state governments could replicate South Africa’s approach where Cape Town and Johannesburg, among others, have quality infrastructure.

“We expect state governments to develop alternative cities because everybody cannot go to Abuja or Lagos. We must turn each of the 36 state capitals into alternative cities for our country,” he said.

Maku rated Gov. Theodore Orji among the high performing governors, adding that the president also respected him because of his analytical mind.

Enumerating President Goodluck Jonathan’s achievements, the minister said the Nigerian Railway Corporation would commence operation between Port Harcourt and Maiduguri before the end of the year.

He urged the media to always report the country positively, adding that a country with Gross Domestic Product growth of 7 per cent required favourable reportage.   

Also speaking, Orji said the quest for infrastructural development compelled him to construct a new office complex for the BCA.

He said that BCA had been digitised while the workers’ welfare had been improved.

He urged the workers to justify government’s investment by being dedicated and hard working.

-    NAN

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