Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo says his administration has restored the principles of true democracy in the state, through the execution of people-oriented projects.
In a broadcast to mark his three years in office on Sunday in Owerri, Uzodimma attributed the successes so far achieved within the period to God and the support from the Imo people.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Uzodimma assumed office on Jan. 14, 2020, following a Supreme Court judgment affirming his victory at the March 2019 elections in the state.
The governor said on assumption of office, his Shared Prosperity administration met a state with a decayed infrastructure, a dysfunctional workforce and a deeply despondent and traumatised populace.
According to him, there was hardly any single motorable road across the state.
Uzodimma said: “The state capital of Owerri, in particular, was littered with unmotorable roads and dilapidated government buildings.
“The Civil Service was a good example of a disoriented and directionless institution with no regard for regulations and due process.
“As a consequence, the productivity and reputation of the Civil Service dropped to zero.
“The situation was made worse by the fact that we had no handover note, and there was nobody to ask questions about the government’s assets and liabilities,” he added.
He said his administration took off with the unprecedented effect of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as insecurity and violence allegedly perpetrated by “some unrepentant sour political losers, who had vowed to make the state ungovernable” for him.
“First and foremost, through the right policies and provision of medical facilities, we were able to contain and minimise the devastating effect of the dreaded corona virus pandemic.
“To the glory of God, Imo State recorded one of the lowest numbers of Covid-19 deaths and infections in the county during the pandemic.
“Similarly, through the help of President Muhammadu Buhari and the unfailing cooperation of security agencies, we were equally able to contain the politically contrived insecurity surge in the state.
“But this was at a huge financial cost to the state because we had to support the security agencies with both equipment and logistics to do the battle.
“But it is instructive that we never allowed the two monsters of Covid-19 and the politically contrived insecurity to be an excuse for not delivering on our promises to Imo people,” he stated.
He said, in spite of the enormity of the challenges, his administration still performed far beyond expectations.
“From the recovery and restoration of our commonwealth to the rebuilding of our physical infrastructure, from restoring our Civil Service to securing our cities, from health to education, from growing our economy to saving our traditional institutions.
“I can tell you, my beloved Ndi-Imo, that we have delivered, to the chagrin and utter dismay of our detractors.
“To this end, it will be a statement of fact to claim that my administration has restored for Imo people a truly democratic government of the people, by the people and for the people,” he stressed.
The governor said empirical evidence of his achievements was the award of $30 million as a grant to his administration by the World Bank.
He explained that the grant covered the period of 2020, 2021 and 2022, adding that it was awarded for running an open, transparent and accountable government, particularly for operating a people–driven budget.
“This is the first time that Imo State has won this coveted prize and it happened under my watch,” he said.
He said the 3R mantra encapsulated in Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Recovery, had ensured the rehabilitation and rebuilding of the governor’s office, and residence as well as a brand new Executive Council Chambers with modern-day facilities.
The governor said a befitting banquet hall was built in Government House while the collapsed House of Assembly complex, left to rot for over 10 years, was rebuilt and re-equipped by his administration.
“We also restored the dignity of the judiciary by providing our judges with SUV Vehicles as official cars and by clearing the salary arrears of 13 months which previous administrations owed them.
“The takeaway here is that we have revived and revamped the institutions of government and repositioned them as the dignified landmarks of the government of the people for the people and by the people,” he said.
He said civil servants in the state were motivated and rewarded, and now had a conducive working environment and tools needed to deliver on their specific mandates.
Uzodimma said they were provided with free transport to move them to and fro offices, while the permanent secretaries now have their dignity restored as the chief accounting officers of their ministries.
“They also have befitting official vehicles to show for their newly restored status.
“Through training and retraining, the state workforce has been up-skilled and repositioned for more effective and efficient service delivery.
“In addition, the civil servants now receive the 13th-month salary, to further boost their morale.
“This has been on for two consecutive years, in addition to regular, prompt payment of salaries,” he stated.
Uzodimma said he had also released the promotions of state workers who had been denied their promotions for over 10 years.
“Perhaps one area we have surpassed expectations is on road construction.
“So far, we have embarked on the construction of close to 100 roads in different parts of the state.
“Some of these have been completed and commissioned, while others are at various stages of completion.
“Some of these, such as the Owerri – Orlu road and the Owerri – Okigwe road, has been rightly dubbed as signature projects, not only because of their strategic and economic importance but also because of the sheer quality of the roads,” he stressed.
The governor said some of the signature projects commissioned by President Mohammadu Buhari included the Owerri- Okigwe road, Owerri- Orlu road, the House of Assembly complex and the balloon flood technology at Ikenegbu.
He said work was currently ongoing on the Owerri-Mbaise-Obowo-Umuahia road, Orlu- Mgee- Akokwa-Uga road and Oguta – Okporo to Orlu road, which will be completed and inaugurated this year.
“All these are aimed at turning around the economy of our dear state.
“I have no doubt that by the time we complete our first four years in office, the enormous benefits of this infrastructure revolution would be felt by all, especially with respect to the five–kilometre roads being constructed in each of the 27 local government areas of the state,” he emphasised.
He expressed confidence that over 150 road projects would have been completed in all the 27 Local Government Areas of the state within four years of his administration.
On human infrastructure, the governor said he had intensified efforts to get youths engaged in productive ventures.
“Only recently, I launched the Skill up Imo project – an initiative that will see that more than 100,000 of our youths are trained and equipped in different digital skills for immediate employment or self-employment.
“So far, we have trained over 20,000 youths of Imo origin in different skills and availed them with start-up kits to start their own trades.
“More than 30,000 others have been empowered through different cash transfer programmes in collaboration with the Federal Government,” he noted.
Uzodimma said he had resuscitated moribund industries in the state including Adapalm Nig. Ltd., in a bid to create gainful employment opportunities for the youth.
The governor said his administration had also gone far with Imo Standard Shoe Industry after paying off the debt it owed AMCON, while searchlights were beamed at Avutu Modern Poultry, Nsu Ceramic Tiles and other similar ones to revive them.
“With the new Imo industrial policy which I recently launched, the state is on the march to economic greatness which will be tapped by our youths.
“The policy will attract investors to the state, and this will create additional opportunities for employment,” he said.
The governor said he was equally encouraging youths to embrace education through recovery and funding of existing tertiary institutions in the state.
“With Senator Ben Uwajimogu College of Education, Ihitte Uboma, we are now funding five tertiary institutions, including the foremost Imo State University, Owerri.
“What it means is that our indigenes would no longer be stranded while seeking admissions into institutions of higher learning.
“The other implicit benefit is employment opportunities for teaching and non teaching Staff,” the governor noted.
The governor said his determination to revive the health sector culminated in the revitalization of the Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu, which graduated medical doctors for the first time in five years.
“Today, the administration is renovating and equipping 305 health centres – one in each of the electoral wards of the state.
“The schools of Nursing and Midwifery which had lost accreditation, have been recovered and are now set to admit new students before Easter.
“All the general hospitals are being revived to have requisite staff and equipment to function,” he disclosed.
Uzodimma said he had been able to get the Federal Government to upgrade the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri to a teaching hospital for the Federal University of Technology, Owerri.
“The Federal Government, through our efforts, has also taken over the Alvan Ikoku College of Education as a Federal University of Education. That is yet another cheering news for our people,” he noted.
He further said by working in synergy with the Federal Government, approval had been secured for the dredging of Oguta Lake/ Orashi rivers to the Atlantic Ocean.
He said it would be followed by the building of a river port at Oguta Lake to boost international trade and commerce as well as investments in the oil and gas sector.
“We also attracted the establishment of a Naval base in Oguta which will help to enhance maritime security in the area and check illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalism,” he added.
“Achievements in all the sectors, including agriculture, housing, sports and many others where we have recorded are very impressive.
“Suffice it to say that we have done quite well and I have kept faith in my covenant with God and my social contract with Imo people.
“After three years in office I have had neither scandal nor an indictment.
“No one has been able to point accusing fingers at me that I stole Imo People’s money or pilfered our common patrimony.
“All that the opposition has been accusing me of is about insecurity in the state, yet they are behind the insecurity,” he noted.
Uzodimma called on the state’s perpetrators and sponsors of violence to give peace a chance.
He commended all stakeholders in the state for their support and encouragement which had contributed to the successes achieved in the past three years.
The post We have restored principles of true democracy in Imo, says Uzodimma appeared first on Vanguard News.
Leave a Reply