Emeka Ihedioha: Imo State’s last opportunity for growth and development.

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In the life of any organized political State, there cometh a time when God in His infinite mercy and wisdom raises leaders of uncommon vision and integrity to navigate the affairs of men/women for unprecedented development and Economic growth.

In Nigerian context, God used the great Zik of Africa to consolidate the Independence movement that gave us our country. In Eastern Nigeria, God used the same great Zik to change the educational narrative of Ndigbo and put in place evergreen human capital development and Economic growth through his education policies and the Eastern Nigeria Development Corporation (ENDC) headed by Sir Louis Ojukwu of blessed memory. The same God used the hardworking Dr. Michael Okpara to execute the NCNC development agenda in the region. When Ndigbo looked for a leader, Ikemba Emeka Ojukwu stood up for them.

Back in Imo State, it was a rural State created in 1976 and for 3 years there was no meaningful development until Dee Sam Mbakwe rose to the challenge and the rest as they say is history. His legacy projects have remained the major nostalgic feelings Imolites imbibe to maintain their mental state and prevent same from migrating to the Fringe of lunacy.

Since the exit of Dee Sam in 1983, successive administrations failed to show any sign of wearing his big shoes or even attempting to do so. This was the state of Imo State until His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha was sworn in as Governor on 29th May, 2019. His brief administration (7 months) was a recreation of the Mbakwe era with a touch of modernity and vigour before agents of retrogression conspired to deny Nde Imo his leadership midal touch.

The big question is, why Emeka Ihedioha again? The answer is very simple and unambiguous: based on previous performance, record of service, integrity and current state of Imo, only Ihedioha can rebuild the State for the present and future generations. Governance is not a business for the faint hearted, yet it’s not rocket science. His Excellency, Rt Hon. Emeka Ihedioha simplified governance within the 7 months he superintended the affairs of the State. A few examples abound to buttress his remarkable positive milestone as the Executive Governor of Imo State. They include but not limited to:

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1. Rice Revolution that yielded results within 7 : the Ihedioha administration recognized the importance of food sufficiency and paid optimal attention to the cultivation and milling of rice for the consumption of the citizenry. The Ihedioha “Rice Project” identified rice zones, created the enabling environment to collaborate with the private sector to make Imo State a major rice hub in Nigeria. Had the present Government done a simple appraisal of the Ihedioha months and followed through with the strides in the agriculture sector, the indigenes and residents of the State would have been spared the present economic hardship in Nigeria. In this regard, Ihedioha proposed the “Youth in Agriculture” program to consolidate the formation of Cooperative Societies to get rural youths back to the farms. There’s no doubt that Ihedioha shall repeat this feat in a more dynamic manner if returned to Douglas House in 2027.

2. Salaries, Pensions and Gratuities: His Excellency, Rt Hon. Emeka Ihedioha demonstrated to Imo workers and retirees that payment of workers and pensioners should be the primary responsibility of government. He ensured that salaries, wages and pension payments became a first line charge immediately after JAAC. There was zero incident of default in salary and pension payments during the Ihedioha administration. The now rampant practice of payments by isolation, substitution and instinct was completely absent during the Rebuild Imo 7 months of Emeka Ihedioha. The saying that the taste of the pudding is in the eating is quite apt in demanding the return of Ihedioha to Douglas House. Imo workers tasted the Ihedioha style and are reminiscing on the productive 7 months he was in charge of the State. Like Oliver Twist, they are asking for some more and there’s definitely nothing wrong with demanding for what’s good. Ihedioha shall do it again for them.

3. Infrastructure Development: while one can acknowledge a few positives by the present administration in the area of road construction, especially on the 3 of the 6 major exit routes from Owerri municipality. However, Imo State is beyond the 3 exits routes out of Owerri. The state of Imo roads is nothing to write home about. Access roads to many headquarters of Local Government Areas are unpassable. This is where the Ihedioha administration provided a functional roadmap for road infrastructural development. He fully mobilized the Rural Access Mobility Projec (RAMP) to all nooks and crannies of rural Imo State to reconstruct the washed old roads and create the enabling environment for agriculture to thrive. The impact of this on the rural economy was instant and would have grown the GDP of the State had the succeeding administration continued on this positive tangent. The idea is the man that conceptualized, developed and implemented it. Ihedioha is a synonym for progress. He’s available once again to undertake unprecedented rural development in our clime.

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4. Maintenance and rebuilding dilapidated school infrastructure: education is the bedrock of any society and conducive environment for learning and scholarship is the foundation of schooling and skill acquisitions. The Rebuild Imo Government of Ihedioha commissioned the Imo State Basic Education Board (IMSBEB) to undertake the complete renovation of basic schools infrastructure across the State. He prescribed a transparent bidding regime that ensured the strict adherence to due process and best practices. The project commenced and would have consolidated the advantageous position Imo State enjoyed in education in the years gone by. Today, most basic education infrastructures are in very bad state. We need the positive touch of Ihedioha to make our children enjoy schooling again. A conducive learning environment motivates even the laziest of student.

5. Youth Development: His Excellency, Rt Hon. Emeka Ihedioha appreciates the importance of a healthy, energetic and focused young men and women. He understands the benefits of a productive youth population to the developmental agenda of Imo State. His vision entailed the maximum development of Imo youths into world beaters in all aspect of life.
Upon assuming office in 2019, Ihedioha began the construction of stadia across the 27 Local Government Areas of the State for the development of sports for the youths. He mandated that football, basketball, tennis, basketball and handball facilities should be constructed for the enjoyment of the youths. His vision is for the forming of sporting clubs in all the councils for professional competition among the LGAs.
He envisioned Imo State as the flagship of sports in Nigeria and the incubator of new talents for revenue enhancement. This agenda was stunted immediately he left office. That program would have taken majority of our youths out of crime and other anti social activities and migrated them to productivity. Ihedioha will restore the years the locust has eaten. Ihedioha is coming.

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6. Good Governance, Revenue Generation and Due Process: can we ever write about Ihedioha without his good governance credentials? His 7 months in office showcased a blissful era of good governance, adherence to due process and remarkable transparency in revenue collection and distribution. He banished the opaque style of the Rochas era and more than tripled the revenue generation of the State in less than 7 months.
His introduction of the Single Treasury Account ensured that dubious and shoddy practices were completely eliminated. The Ihedioha ideology lays more emphasis on expansion of the tax net to boost revenue than arbitrary imposition of new taxes that suffocates micro and medium scale businesses.

In conclusion, the Rebuild Imo of His Excellency, Rt Hon. Emeka Ihedioha is the sole panacea for the wholesome development of Imo State. Every positive minded citizen of the State should key into it for a prosperous future.

Engr. Kelechi Jeff Eme
The Cicero of Mbaitoli.

The post Emeka Ihedioha: Imo State’s last opportunity for growth and development. appeared first on Pointblank News.

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