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BusinessDay

Ihedioha moves to revamp Imo Rubber firm

Emeka Ihedioha

Imo State is endowed with abundant natural resources that could be harnessed to stimulate development opportunities in agro-based and agro-allied industries as well as the hospitality and tourism sector of the economy.

One such area where agro-based investment opportunities exist is the Imo Rubber Estate in Emeabiam in Owerri West Local Government Area,

the Umuokanne Agriculture Rubber Estate and the Obiti Rubber Plantation in Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area, which today is known

as Imo Rubber Nigeria Ltd. This company has remained moribund for years.

However, the new Governor of the state, Emeka Ihedioha, has raised the hope of Imo people for possible resuscitation and revamping of the Imo Rubber Nigeria Ltd.

Sources that spoke to BDSUNDAY noted that during the administration of the late Samuel Mbakwe (1979-1983), the Imo Rubber was at its peak as revenue generating venture of the Imo government which accounted for about 35 percent of the gross state product (GSP) of Imo.

They also recalled that after that period, successive administrations paid lackadaisical attention to the Imo Rubber Nigeria Limited, until now.

Our sources further disclosed that the heydays of Imo Rubber Nigeria Ltd, rubber plantations in host communities developed beyond just tapping latex from rubber tress to operating mini-processing industry that processed raw materials to actual ductile and elastic rubbers ready for further industrial conversion to shoe soles, tires, rubber

bands, rubber footballs, etc.

During his electioneering campaign, Governor Ihedioha had promised Imo people of real agricultural revolution and that his administration would simplify access to land for agro-based and agro-allied purposes; resuscitate and revamp the ADAPALM at Ohaji and Umuogu in Aboh Mbaise

Local Government Area with higher-yielding improved variety of palm seedlings and target the planting of 3,000,000 palms across the state within four years of his administration.

Ihedioha also promised to resuscitate the ailing Imo Rubber Company by injecting what would be required and necessary, including human and material resources for proper functioning with a view to increasing the internally generated revenue (IGR) of the state.

In line with his promise in this regard, the governor has set up a committee on Imo Rubber Nigeria Limited and the terms of reference including to recover, restructure and re-establish a viable and self-sustaining firm.

The essence, the governor reiterated, was to help and create employment opportunities, improve the internally generated revenue (IGR) base of Imo State.

Ihedioha went further to say that resuscitating and revamping of the Imo Rubber Company and other moribund state-owned companies would offer opportunities for tourism and hospitality sector of the state’s economy to grow, stem the growth rate in crime as well as making living meaningful for host communities in particular and the state in general.

 

SABY ELEMBA, Owerri