Imo State Governor, Hon.Emeka Ihedioha, CON Sunday, opened up on the state of Imo before he was elected Governor, just as he assured of brighter days ahead, as his administration undertakes the huge task of rebuilding the state from years of decadence.
“I inherited an epileptic state. The worst run State in the country” he told select journalists on Sunday at his private residence in Owerri.
He said the State was worse than imagined, before he became Governor, saying there was total collapse of infrastructure.
“I noticed devastation in the land. Imo had the highest number of Garnishee Court Orders in the country.
“When we came in, we were sufficiently distracted because of the rot on ground.We had institutional and infrastructural challenges.
“There was infrastructural and institutional decay. From the House of Assembly to the Judiciary, they were all in bad shape.
“Before I came in, Judges in the State were owed 36 months. Their cars not serviced for years.The Chief Judge lives in his private residence
“The Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly have no official residence.
“As we speak, the Ministry of Works has advised we evacuate members of the State House of Assembly from the complex, because of the bad state of the Assembly complex.
He continued ” I m compelled to operate from my home.
“Government House, Governor’s lodge are all in bad shape. That was what was handed over to me. Even at Odenigbo where I operate from, do have Power challenges till date.
” I invited COREN and NSE to evaluate the state of Government House and the office complex. Till date, I use my private vehicle to go to work.
“When we came in, there was deluge of petitions on land matters in the State.
“We had to set up committees and these Committees were not set up to witch hunt anyone.
Governor Ihedioha assured that there are positives, as his administration has done a lot as part of efforts in rebuilding the State.
He revealed that at the moment, contracts have been awarded for 25 roads projects which are ongoing.
“This is a record in the State. As I speak to you, there are 25 roads projects ongoing, including some Federal Government roads.
“Contractors have been mobilized and we have set up projects monitoring units to monitor the roads. Qualified contractors are handling these jobs.
“We involved only quality contractors because I engaged about 16 companies of repute.
“We are also rebuilding the four Technical Colleges in the State.
“We are now reviving Agriculture. Avutu Poultry farm will soon be revived, including ADAPALM, though there are litigation surrounding them.
“We sent more than 10 youths from each of the local governments in the State, for an Agricultural programme in Nassarawa State.
“I never inherited any functional or productive industry in Imo State” he said
He expressed worry on the lean finances of the State in the face of enormous challenges.
He gave a breakdown on how lean finances of the State are managed.
“Imo State receive a monthly allocation of between N4.8 to N5 billion naria.
“N2.7 billon naira is used for monthly salary bill of workers alone.
“We managed to save N280 million naria monthly from the pension wage bill.
“N1.1 billion naria is deducted from our monthly allocation as refund for bail out funds given to the past administration.
He said based on this, he resolved to improve on the Internal Generated Revenue, IGR, of the State, which he said has increased from N214 million naria in June, to N877 million naria as at October, 2019.
He said the introduction of Treasury Single Account, TSA, by his administration, contributed immensely in improving the IGR of the State.
He said he will not take any loan to develop the State unlike his predecessors, but expressed delight on the resolve of AfriExim Bank to invest 50 million dollars worth investment in the State.
Governor Ihedioha insisted that he will take no loans in developing the State.
“I will take no loans to develop Imo State” he said.
He said Imo State is bidding for the 2022 National Sports Festival, a move which he said, necessitated the ongoing renovation of the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri, describing the ongoing construction of 27 stadias in each of the local governments, as part of his commitment to revive and boost sports development in the State.
He assured that he has come to restore the glory of Imo State, calling on Imolites to join hands with his administration to rebuild the State.
He insisted that he won the March 9, 2019 governorship election which was affirmed by the Election Petition Tribunal and the Appeal Court.
” I won the governorship election. I was accepted by the people of Imo State who voted for me.
” Majority of Imo people stood for the results” he declared.
Reacting to a question when the local government election will take place in the State, he said ISIEC, should be asked how prepared they are for the polls.