Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma has stated his vision to establish power and Petrochemical plants to enable the state take advantage of the huge oil and gas deposits in the Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta axis.
Governor Uzodinma disclosed this on Sunday when he received a delegation of Imo Economic Development Initiative led by Prof. Maurice Iwu in his office.
Governor Uzodinma noted that industrialization cannot thrive when power is epileptic, assuring that a power plant is top on his agenda.
Describing the Imo Economic Development Initiative as a “brain-box for development and good governance,” Governor Uzodinma charged them to proffer ideas to help move the state forward, stating that it is no more business as usual. “Only the best brains shall be appointed to serve in my cabinet;” he said.
Governor Uzodinma used the opportunity to announce the forfeiture of his Security Vote in view of paucity of funds and to ensure that workers and pensioners are paid promptly.
He further disclosed that he was reviewing the budget earlier passed by the state House of Assembly with a view to streamlining it with current realities. The Governor, for instance, further cited the building of 27 stadia across the 27 LGAs, saying that the funds could have been applied more meaningfully to benefit the people.
On his intension to run an open and transparent administration, Governor Uzodinma disclosed that Town Hall meetings are to hold at the various councils where stakeholders shall brainstorm to identify their realistic needs.
The Governor also announced plans to launch a special security outfit to smoke out criminals, revealing that over 100 vehicles have been procurred for the purpose. In his words, a “new Sheriff is in town and I must deliver.”
Earlier, the leader of the group, Prof. Iwu applauded the steps taken so far by Governor Uzodinma, especially as espoused in his maiden broadcast and acceptance speech.
Prof. Iwu recalled Governor Uzodinma’s antecedents as a seasoned businessman and politician who has attained lofty heights, factors will positively impact on the state.
The former Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman reiterated that his team not only visited the governor to congratulate him, but to lend that support to his administration.
The group said it was prepared to partner with Governor Uzodinma on how to seek funds in view of limited resources available in Imo.
The members described Governor Uzodinma’s emergence as “victory for the state”, insisting that the time to implement governance is now as the period of electioneering is over. “It is not as accident you are governor”, they said.
Specifically, Prof. Iwu identified four key areas for Governor Uzodinma’s critical attention: Harnessing of the gas potentials of the state, Exploration of Information and Communication Technology, Enhancement of Internally Generated Revenue and Embracing of Imo Diaspora citizen.
The Imo Economic Development Initiative comprises notable Imo citizens in business from the Academia and Public Service and Entrepreneurship articulates ideas aimed at attracting development projects to the state.