…Insists sit-at-home order won’t be tolerated in Imo
Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma has congratulated Nigerians on the 61st Independence Anniversary of the country and urged them to maximise the things that unite them for a greater Nation.
The governor spoke on Sunday while addressing the congregation at a special Church Service at the Government House Chapel, Owerri ahead of Nigeria’s Independence Day Celebration on Friday, October 1, 2021.
Governor Uzodimma reiterated his belief in the unity of Nigeria and called on all Nigerians and Imo State citizens, in particular, to “eschew bitterness, rancour, sentiments and emotions, drop all the differences in us and maximize those things that unite us for a greater Nigeria.”
He called on the leadership of the country at all levels to “think of a greater Nigeria by tackling governance in the best way that will benefit our people.”
The Governor, who has just returned from a week-long official visit to Abuja to follow up on approvals arising from President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Imo State recently told an elated audience that the trip yielded a lot of benefits to the State.
The benefits from the Presidential visit, the Governor informed include, the President’s approval for the installation and conversion of the Otamiri River to a Dam capable of powering a10 megawatts plant that can generate electricity when completed and help improve water supply in the State. He said it was a fallout from the Balloon drove technology underground tunnel which Mr President commissioned.
Also, the Governor announced that another gain from his follow-up visit to Abuja is the visitation by Vice President Prof. Yemi Osibanjo to Imo State on October 15 to administer the N12billion empowerment programme to the private sectors, traders, artisans and vulnerable groups as approved by the President for Imo State citizens.
Furthermore, the Governor also hinted that the Federal Government has graciously included Imo State as a beneficiary of her special Agric Processing Zone Project for Livestock and out of the seven states in the country that the Federal Government is billed to spend $850 million, Imo State is Number two and will get a whopping $120million.
Besides, the Governor told an elated congregation that the Federal Government under the leadership of President Buhari has secured a $1.4billion facility from the World Bank for Urban and Rural Water development and that Imo State is one of the States approved from the Six geopolitical zones in the country to benefit from the programme, representing the South-East Geopolitical Zone.
Governor Uzodimma also explained the position of the State on the oil wells located in Imo State that were ceded to Rivers State for about 20 years now.
He said though the boundary adjustment Committee through boundary demarcation had given back the oil wells to Imo State, the Rivers State Government had taken the matter to the Supreme Court, all in an effort to continue to deny Imo State what belongs to her.
Governor Uzodimma expressed disgust that even when some of the wells are located in local Governments in Imo State such as Ejemekwuru in Oguta LGA, yet River State, in collaboration with some selfish elements from Imo State who are benefiting from the scam, are bent on turning the table against Imo State.
The Governor however expressed confidence that “Imo State will eventually get justice at the Supreme Court and get back what belongs to her,” and that the State will be receiving an additional N8billion monthly from Federal Allocation.
On the challenges the State had when he came into the office which include her inability to borrow from banks, treasury bills and other financial institutions, the Governor noted that “the Debt Management Office has passionately considered Imo State and moved her from 16% borrowing threshold to 40% borrowing capacity which allows her to discuss with the Financial Institutions on the way forward.”
Governor Uzodimma reiterated his earlier resolve to discourage overtaxing of Imo people and reassured that “when things get better only those with genuine businesses and higher income will be taxed while those with little or nothing will be left out of the tax book.”
Sadly, the Governor expressed disgust with the activities of kidnappers in the State who are on the rampage and making Imo people uncomfortable and urged the people to go about their normal businesses as there is enough security to guarantee their safety.
He also warned that there is no sit at home order in Imo State, whether on Monday or any other day and advised the people to go about their legitimate businesses without fear of molestation.
However, he acknowledged the efforts of security agencies in the State towards securing lives and property and enjoined them to put more effort and “go after all criminals, especially the kidnappers no matter where they are,” noting that “a criminal is a criminal any day, anytime.”
He thanked Imo people for believing in his Government and expressed delight that they are beginning to understand what he and his administration stand for.
The Church Service was attended by Service Chiefs in Imo State, Tope government officials, traditional and religious leaders as well as captains of industry and other critical leaders in the State.