FEATURE ARTICLE

Wednesday, May 20, 2020
BAMAKIHE@msn.com
Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
AFTER 100 DAYS IN OFFICE, THE TASK BEFORE IMO STATE GOVERNOR, HOPE UZODINMA

mo State citizens like their counterparts in other parts of the country, are praying and wishing that COVID 19 pandemic ravaging the whole world become history. But listening to the recent broadcast made by the state governor Senator Hope Uzodinma, the emphasis and trajectory of the governor's 100 days developmental projection, focused on the renovation of the governor's lodge, payment of salaries, and some savings made from irresponsible Administrators' wastages on Ghost Workers. While these modest achievements of the Governor are commendable, a lot more is expected by the people.

An in-depth look at the yawning gap of the state's social and infrastructural developmental deficits which are primarily in the areas of good roads, sanitation, water, power and manufacturing industries, the task facing the governor becomes enormous. And with the short election cycles 2023, which is almost at the corner, the Governor must therefore as a matter of urgency, assemble a good administrative team, who must hit the ground running in other to show Ndi Imo that their hopes are not misplaced. Imo citizens will have smiles on their faces, when they see good road networks, in the major city of Owerri and towns of Okigwe, Orlu, as well as other rural areas of the state.

In other to achieve the mission of creating a vibrant and prosperous Imo state which the Governor described in his speech, as Reconstruction, Rehabilitation etc, the Governor must look for highly qualified technocrats both from home and abroad to engineer his administration. This team which we believe is being constituted, should comprise of internationally renowned seasoned administrators and technocrats in the areas of Political Economy, Engineering, Financial and Industrial Management.

The Governor must equally be wary of some political job seekers that do not possess requisite qualifications in the critical areas that are needed. This include unemployed politicians and their political godfathers and their bureaucratic civil servants who would not allow developmental projects to occur or materialize, when a chunk of the financial budget are not lodged into their private bank accounts or when approved infrastructural developmental projects do not meet their expectations or are sited in the areas or communities that lack strong and outspoken representatives. It is heartwarming to see the Governor declare that corruption is a no go area in his administration.

Secondly, the sources through which the payment of salaries and other major social and infrastructural projections which the Governor emphasized in his referenced speech, must be thoroughly sought. Due to the fact that Finance is the major anchor of any administrative platform, plugging the loopholes in the civil service which the new administration is pursuing is a step in the right direction. Observers of the state's developmental performance index by the executive Governor are watching to see how the chief executive would achieve these laudable objectives.

A new dawn in a goal oriented bureaucratic performance level must be sought in Imo, in other to arrest sleeve and reward performance in the state's public service. Looking back on how the new administration would economically transform Imo state within the short period of the administration's life span entails serious measures that must be put in place.

It is certain to any keen observer of the post COVID 19 Nigeria that the nation's economy will never be the same again. The state Governor must therefore as a matter of priority, lead his economic team to attract investors to Imo state. Investors must be sought from home and abroad. While the state's foreign economic team should fine-tune their contacts by reaching and signing industrial and economic agreements pending the end of COVID 19 pandemic, the home based economic team must begin to reactivate moribund industrial outfits such as the Owerri Shoe Industry, Adapalm, and several industrial outfits that dot the landscape of Imo. It is also expected that the Governor as a matter of urgency embark on the rehabilitation of the link roads to the states industrial timber markets in Naze in Owerri West LGA, Umuonyeali Mbieri in Mbaitoli LGA and Orlu timber markets in Orlu Imo State. These markets and other markets not mentioned in this write up, play huge roles in the economy of the state.

To start with, the home based economic team should explore the possibilities of organizing workshops and research laboratories using indigenous technology to industrialize the state. Furthermore, the home based technological team should aim at attracting investors from neighboring states like Anambra, Lagos or Enugu. Uzodinma's Economic team should seek the cooperation of Nnewi Industrialists and other similar Investors to establish some of their parts manufacturing plants or site their industrial supply chains in the State.

The model of development canvassed in this article can be duplicated by other state Governors in other areas of the South East and other zones in the country, to create jobs and aid in the rapid industrialization of Nigeria. Party affiliation or partisan politics must submerge to Groups welfare and economic survival of the people which the Governor on assumption to his office, swore to protect.

State or national leaders in Nigerian should know that the average Igbo man do not want handout, or socialist dependency. History has shown that once a conducive environment is created for the people in this part of the world, wealth will be created. What is needed at this time is leadership. It is the hope of Imo citizens, that Senator Hope Uzodinma will transform Imo state to become one of the most industrialized states in Nigeria. The people are watching.

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