By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State has begged President Muhammadu Buhari to come to the rescue of the state over the erosion menace, saying that over N75 billion was needed to tackle over 360 erosion sites.
He said the situation was beyond what the state can do alone.
Speaking to State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Senator Uzodimma said the state needed support from federal, state, and development partners to tackle the problem.
According to him, out of the over 360 erosion sites in Imo State as of the last count, a study has been carried out on 57 sites, consider very critical and immediate.
He said he was at the State House for “a normal courtesy call on the President and then to make some requests, prominent among the request I made today is that of erosion menace that has bedevilled the State to the extent that the only road that you go through to the Federal University of Technology and Federal College of Technology in Owerri, the State capital is almost cut into two.
“It is so critical that the schools are about to resume and if nothing is done urgently, they may not be able to have access to their various schools, and the President in his wisdom has promised to immediately get in touch with the ecological office to remedy the situation.
“We have over 360 erosion sites in Imo State and as at the last count, we have done a study of 57 sites, which we consider very critical and immediate.
“Based on our assessment, a lot of money would be required to address the problem, over N75 billion and you will agree with me that the State government cannot handle that alone.”
Uzodinma stressed that the State can only address the problem through a constructive partnership with the federal government through the Ecological Fund office, and development partners as well as donor agencies.
Commenting on the recent defection of Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC, said he used to be like an orphan because he was the only APC Governor in that zone but now he has a brother.
The Governor urged his kinsmen to embrace the party at the centre, so as to yield more dividends of democracy.
He said the recent inauguration of a modular refinery in the State will help boost the economy, adding that more of such refineries be introduced so as to address the problem of importation and shortage of petroleum products in the country.