In all facets, Governor Hope Uzodimma, is remodeling Imo State into greatness through his well-coordinated infrastructure development across the 3 Senatorial Zones of the state and with an emphasis on the state capital renewal.
Any visitor to Imo State would likely experience traffic in some parts of the state, especially along some busy streets in Owerri, the state capital. The reason is not far-fetched. Governor Hope Uzodimma is engaging in massive urban infrastructure renewal and as well constructing new ones.
Imo is currently one huge construction site with many ongoing road constructions and makeovers. While some of the roads have already been completed and commissioned, a good number of them are at various stages of construction and renewal. It was a promise kept by the Governor as he had pledged to restore the glory of the state in 2020 when he took over as the Governor. And in about three years, the government has invested hugely, and prudently too, in infrastructure development in healthcare, education, commerce, industry, and others. In reality, the Governor is reenacting the magic performed by Dr. Sam Mbakwe.
Imo House of Assembly
As of today, facts on the ground would confirm that Imo State is among the leading states in Nigeria with an outstanding record in infrastructure re-engineering and the impact is getting obvious daily as the socio-economic life of the indigens and businesses are leapfrogging.
Governor Uzodimma has a very robust plan for expanding the economic frontiers of the state. He is calculated and focused and refused to be distracted from his social contact with the people of Imo state. The State’s budget of N474b for 2023 christened the “Budget of Wealth Expansion” boldly appropriated the sum of N373b, representing about 78% of capital expenditure to achieve the purposeful philosophy of wealth expansion through infrastructural development. The percentage is the highest in the country, followed by Rivers State at 66%.
The Governor has also been faithfully implementing a transformational Project tagged RAMP – Imo State Rural Access And Mobility Project- which has comprehensively transformed the rural and semi-urban communities in the state.
Asides from this urbanization program, the State Government Imo launched Industrial Policy, for the business community to thrive and make the state a national and international economic business hub.
According to the Governor, the Industrial Policy would “serve as the State’s strategic master plan to stimulate the growth and development of all sectors of the economy of Imo State, identify and prioritize the low-hanging fruits for immediate harvesting.”
He said that the government would pursue relentlessly economic potential where Imo State has a comparative advantage to promote countless small and medium-scale enterprises.
The Policy provides all that is needed for the private sector to invest in different areas of the economy in Imo state, particularly in the digital economy, agro-industry, tourism, oil and gas, mining, fabrication, and the allied industry that will be thrown up from the Imo State Green Revolution Initiative (ISGRI).
The 64-page Industrial Policy document was designed with the technical assistance of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), to complement Governor Hope Uzodinma’s three-point agenda of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, and Recovery and serves as the roadmap and blueprint for inclusive and sustainable industrial development in Imo State.
With the Industrial Policy Imo youths are in for better times as they are guaranteed employment in the many business concerns that are springing up as a result of the policy. More than 18,000 Imo youths have been trained and empowered by the government to run their businesses and even be able to employ others.
The governor had earlier in his administration established Hope Green Revolution Project (HGRP), an economic stimulus plan that buys into the investment opportunities presented by climate change to promote enterprise and investment in the State.
That initiative had already guaranteed a foreign direct investment of $ 10 billion to Imo State. Both programmes are evidence that Imo State is irreversibly matching on a well-laid out a road map towards industrialization and economic growth, the Governor added.
The Industrial Policy is unique as it originated from the people, and reflected the priority of the state. To demonstrate the genuineness of the Governor’s administration to industrialize the state, the Owerri Standard Shoe Company which was taken over by AMCON some years ago was recovered recently by the state government at the cost of N1.4b. The firm, now equipped to international standard, is now back in operation and producing at near full capacity and employing many people. This is no doubt has taken many unemployed youths out of the streets.
The Government’s commitment to health is unassailable. The State has fully rehabilitated the Federal Medica Centre, Owerri, into a Centre of Excellence with state-of-the-art equipment. It has been upgraded to a Federal Teaching Hospital and a global research center which now serves as the College of Medicine Centre for the Federal University of Technology, Owerri.
A new General Hospital was also recently established in Owerri and it is fully equipped to handle many specialties for children, adults, motherhood, and the elderly.
To further make health accessible in the hinterlands, the state government is also implementing a Primary Health Care System with the establishment of 305 Health Centres in all the electoral wards in the state which are well-equipped with basic health infrastructure and manned by well-motivated health professionals.
Education is also not getting less attention under Governor Uzodimma. The former Alvan Ikoku College of Education has been transformed into the Federal University of Education, Owerri. In addition, the State has also established the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences in Umuagbo to take care of agric-related university studies and provide a fillip to agriculture in the state.
The K.O. Mbadiwe University was also comprehensively rehabilitated while a new state Polytechnic was also been established in Omumma and has effectively taken off.
The administration has been proactive too in the construction and reconstruction of more than 100 roads in the State in addition to the newly dualized Owerri/Orlu road and Owerri/Okigwe roads to stimulate economic growth through infrastructural development.
On the road, much has also been achieved. The Owerri-Okigwe Road is almost completed likewise Owerri-Mbaise-Ogbowu-Umuahia Road.
Apart from road infrastructure, he said his administration has ensured that the ease of doing business in Imo State is top-notch. The State created the Ministry of Digital Economy and E-Governance and automation of the Civil Service to handle all kinds of transactions within the oasis.
The State is evidently the only one in Nigeria with a Ministry fully dedicated to the Digital and Knowledge economy.
The Digital Economic Policy and Strategy of the administration are also revolutionary. The target is to take over 300,000 youths out of the street in three years and trained them in digital competencies and knowledge economy in line with the government’s vision of strategically engaging the youth productive-wise. The Government has completed Cohort 1 and Cohort 2 had just completed the training of 5000 youths last month.
This year, a total of 100,000 youths will be trained in order to meet the target of 300,000 in three years and the project is very much on course. The beauty of this is that, the trainees will be certificated by five higher institutions the state has partnered with such as FUTO and K O. Mbadiwe University, and others.
Indeed, the youths of Imo State have never had it so good as now. They are being catered for and engaged in all directions which is responsible for the soaring popularity of the Governor and making the political opponents jittery.
The Imo State House of Assembly building which had never existed has also been constructed afresh and the lawmakers are now properly settled to perform their legislative work.
The Imo State International Conference Center is also been rebuilt and would soon be completed.
The revamping of Adapalm Nigerian Limited will also add job opportunities to the target of 40,000 jobs and the Avutu Poultry, to boost the economy of the State.
The strategy is clear as the state creatively executes a Public Private Partnership (PPP) approach policy to project management, funding, and execution
The Governor is confident that Imo State is set to become one of the top Industrial Hubs not just in the Southeast of Nigeria, but the entire Nation with a faithful implementation of several enabling policies.
He assured further that his administration will continue to strengthen and support the Imo Investment and Promotion Agency, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, to fast-track all applications for investments in Imo State.
Governor Hope Uzodimma and his ‘Shared Prosperity’ government standing on the tripod of the 3R mantra of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, and Recovery is evidently delivering on its promises.
In Imo state today, there are no dilapidated roads begging for government attention that has not been noticed. Moreso, many of them have been completed while others are near completion and Imolites without sentiments can truly applaud the state for this laudable achievement, among many others.
The feat achieved by Governor Uzodinma attracted the applause of former President Muhammed Buhari who approved the refund of money spent by the state government to fix some major federal government roads within the state.
This is even more praise worth if one considers the spate of insecurity of in the state.
Uzodimma is well aware of the place of Imo in the southeast. He is aware of its rich history and in his word, determined to rebuild the broken walls, restore the luster of education for which the state was famed; rekindle commerce and industry through well-thought-through public-private partnerships; upskill human capital by infusing ICT into the workplace and schools and reviving the state’s agro-economy.
The governor had also equipped security agencies so that they can fish out all the bad elements causing human carnage in the state. He further harped on the need for stronger inter-agency collaboration and information sharing to enable those at the frontlines to have timely information on the plans of the non-state actors who are causing so much damage to the human and economic resources in the state.
He had procured 10 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) and more than 100 patrol vehicles, to the Nigerian Police to support them in their efforts to rid the state of all criminality.