• Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Imo govt joins forces with Afreximbank, Fidelity, and more to build 5-star Marriot hotel

ALGON woos investors to Imo, says insecurity has been contained
Imo governor Hope Uzodimma in partnership with Afreximbank, Fidelity Bank, Hassan Allam Construction and Punz Limited has signed a pact to construct the Imo Marriot Hotel, a 200 room 5-Star hotel in Owerri,  under a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement.
However, the amount involved in this project was not disclosed to Journalists by either the Imo State Government or the development partners but it was said that the project would be ready in twenty-four months.
Governor Uzodimma signed the MOU in his Conference Room for the 5-Star hotel on behalf of the Imo State Government, while Mahmoud  El Essawy, the Managing Director of Hassan Allam Construction signed on behalf of the other partners, Afrexim Bank, Fidelity Bank and Punz Limited.
The governor said that the project is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement where Imo State is contributing no dime except the provision of land that guarantees the state equity share in the project ownership.
He equally said that the construction period of the 5-star hotel is 24 months and that the signing of the MOU was “to activate the processes leading to the achievement of the project.”
Uzodinma, who asserted that the MOU on the Hotel and accent to the bills were indications that “gradually Imo is getting there,” added that Imo will be better because his administration is ready to “solve the problems bedeviling the State.”
The same day, Governor Uzodimma further accented the two Executive Bills into law – a bill on electricity and a bill to amend the  Imo State Polytechnic law No. 15 of 2012 to pave the way for the merger of campuses of the Imo State Polytechnic.
During the signing of the bills into law, the Imo governor stated that such had become necessary to position Imo State on the path of sustainable development as the poor electricity generation and distribution have taken the shine off the development indices in Imo State and should not be allowed to continue.
He disclosed that he had approached President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to allow the Imo State  Government to take over the Egbema Power Plant, a federal government project conceived under the Niger Delta Power Holding Company and which had been abandoned since 2006.
He further disclosed that the president had graciously granted the request for the Imo State Government to take over the Egbema Power Plant to rehabilitate the facilities therein and rely on the same to solve the electricity challenges of the state in line with the President’s Renewed Hope Agenda.
Uzodinma said that already, he had visited the site with some experts, technical partners and officials of government to assess the level of decay on the ground which would run into millions of dollars and that the technical partners and the experts have also visited the 27 local government areas of Imo State to look at the connectivity aspect of the communities to the plant in question.
But Uzodimma had said that he was optimistic that in 12 months, Imo State’s story about effective power generation, supply and consumption would be different.
On the Bill to amend the existing Imo State Polytechnic law No. 15 of 2012 to pave the way for the merger of campuses, Uzodimma said that the state was already spending so much hosting the highest number of higher institutions in the country.
The governor noted that the Imo State Polytechnic Amendment Bill had reversed the multi-campus system to a mono-campus system
will impact more positively on the students, their sponsors and the government in all ramifications, particularly in terms of the protection of the lives of the students and their teachers.
On the Imo State Electricity Bill he signed into Law, he said,  that it would help in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity supply in Imo State.
Signing the two bills into law at the New Exco Chambers Government House Owerri, as they were presented by Chike Olemgbe, the Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, who was accompanied by other principal officers of the Assembly,  Governor  Uzodinma described the occasion as “another milestone in the development of Imo State targeted at moving Imo to a higher level.”
He commended the Speaker and members of the Assembly for their cooperation which he said “is in sync with the executive arm of the government aimed at providing quality service to Imo people.”
Governor stated  that making Imo State Polytechnic a mono-campus is to among other things, “cut cost and reduce student’s risk of movement and ensure prompt verifications and effective supervision as well as allow for easy teaching and learning and graduation of the students at the appropriate time.”
On the Imo State Electricity Law, the governor said that it is “aimed at bringing rapid development in our rural areas, as lack of electricity is killing businesses, heightened unemployment and creating vices in our communities.”
Noting that the removal of electricity from the Exclusive List to the Concurrent List of the Constitution is an opportunity for every sub-national government to rise to the challenge of providing power to their people. “Electricity is at the heart of any meaningful development. Electricity is like food we eat every day”, he said.
Recalling his findings at the Egbema Power Plant where the project awarded in 2006 for transmission and distribution has been abandoned by 80%, he said he had requested the president to allow Imo State and her partners to take over the project and put it to meaningful use.
“Mr. President Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu has graciously approved the transfer of the Egbema Power Plant to Imo State and we have signed MOU for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in the State with a reputable Company”, he said.
According to him, it was for that reason that he commissioned a technical team that had gone around the State to find out how to get power distributed in Imo State.
To further develop the state, Uzodimma asked for everyone’s understanding and cooperation as it will be a thing of joy to bequeath those coming behind us a befitting legacy, noting that, “Imo will be better”, saying that the two bills and the MOU he had signed will lead to the provision of over 25,000 direct jobs.