• Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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BusinessDay

Uzodimma plans to boost Imo economy in second tenure

Uzodimma to pay school fees of 107 Imo graduates of IMSU for 2023 Law School

… Anchors vision on 10-year development plan

…Floats ‘one community one project’ initiative

The economic achievements recorded in the past four years of Governor Hope Uzodimma in Imo State which have excited Imo people and making them to pour encomiums on him immediately after he was sworn in for a second term, may be a tip of the iceberg when compared to how he has planned to boost the economy of the state in the next four years. The governor has assured.

While responding to the commendations and loud ovation from Imo people, while being sworn in for the second term at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri, Governor Uzodimma assured the people that he has braced up to do what is possible in the eyes of man, to redouble his efforts and boost the economy of the state, because, the state is now safe for investment and will welcome investors as the state remains friendly to all genuine investors. He has assured the people of “Imo State to expect more development in the next four years.”

The governor and his new deputy, Chinyere Ekomaru, were inaugurated at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri, at a well-attended ceremony that attracted the high and mighty from Imo State and beyond, including the President, members of the National Assembly, the Judiciary, the traditional rulers, the clergy, the academia, captains of industry and others.

Uzodimma said that massive economic development and concerted efforts to sustain the gains of the foundation already laid for economic prosperity of the state was a task which his second term must accomplish.

According to the governor, “I want us to see the event of as remarkable because it opens a new page in our history. That new page is the commencement of our determined march to economic growth and self-sufficiency. It heralds the new dawn in our efforts to develop Imo State and make it one of the leading industrial states in Nigeria and indeed, West Africa. This is our vision and mission, and it is doable.”

He further reiterated his pledge in his New Year message, that his second term performance would double and in fact, dwarf that of his first term.

Governor Uzodimma assured that his second term ambition was to work to ensure that Imo State was the industrial hub of the South East, Nigeria, and West Africa in general.

“It is one that our generation must accomplish, to the glory of God,” he said, adding “my second tenure shall be defined by an uncommon apostolic zeal and tenacious application of clinical efficiency in the execution of policies.”

The governor said that his administration had “addressed the lingering problem of unemployment, through a variety of youth empowerment initiatives and artificial intelligence that included the provision of digital and other portable skills. There is, therefore, no gainsaying that the right foundations were put in place in the last four years to enable our state to move to the next level.

“Now, another tenure of four years has been availed to us, and we are ready, able, and determined to take our state to that next level. The next four years of my administration will, therefore, focus firmly on deepening our shared prosperity mantra through massive infrastructure expansion to ensure accelerated economic growth. I have already signaled this new direction in the 2024 budget in which capital expenditure has the lion share of 491.2b of the total budget of 591.2b or 83% of the budget. This transformational journey, which we have commenced with the 2024 budget, will be sustained in the next four years.”

He noted that the vision of his administration would be anchored on the 10-year Development Plan, which has been outlined in the vision document. And this development plan, he said, has the capacity to transform Imo State into an industrial, self sufficient state in the next ten years.

“This 10-year development plan is also designed to deepen the intervention framework of my 3R mantra of Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction,” he said.

He said that in the development plan, his government has identified priority sectors, including industries and projects, which would accelerate the economic prosperity of Imo State such as the Orashi Free Trade Zone and the supporting businesses such as petrochemicals industries, gas processing facilities, etc.

Another focus of the plan, he stated, was to harness the agricultural potential and exploit the mineral resources and align them with the proposed establishment of ceramic industry and agro processing facilities across the three senatorial zones of Imo State, adding that the lifespan of the development plan was deliberately made to last beyond his tenure.

Uzodimma also said that his second tenure would be centred on the massive economic development of the state, which will permeate every community or ward.

“We shall kick-start this through our Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI). Consequently, within the first 12 months of the current tenure, every community in the state will feel the impact with at least one significant project fully executed for them.”

“As I mentioned earlier, the policy thrust of my second tenure would continue to be massive investments in infrastructure, full recovery of the economy to a sustainable level, human capital development with emphasis on youth empowerment and educational advancement of our children, coupled with the further invigoration of the civil service for more efficient service delivery,” he said.

The governor has noted that his priority areas going forward would be on 15 critical sectors needed for the sustainable development of Imo State. This will be in tandem with his 3R mantra and the 10-year Development Plan as earlier mentioned.

The areas of focus are road infrastructure, education, health, sanitation, water supply, and agriculture and food security.

Others include, housing and new cities development, digital infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, market access, industrial policy, safety/security, enabling laws and policies, public financial management and electricity infrastructure.