By Stanley Okehie
Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has said that the recovery of former Eastern Palm University was a major achievement recorded by his administration.
The governor also added as a landmark achievement of his administration, the establishment of the new University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences in Omuma and new Federal Technical College in Umuaka Orlu.
He also disclosed that work is currently going on in the construction of 305 modern classroom blocks in the 305 electoral wards in the State, adding that the primary schools would have modern libraries, ITC Centres and modern laboratories.
Uzodimma spoke weekend at Eze Imo Palace Owerri, during Imo Stakeholders meeting – a parley with the import to bring citizens up to speed with the security situation in the State as well as to throw light on the government’s record of stewardship.
According to the Governor, “in the area of education, our landmark achievement will include the establishment of the new University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, which is a full-fledged state owned university, far from the dubious intent of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) University that was the arrangement of a previous administration. In this regard, the recovery of former Eastern Palm University, now K.O. Mbadiwe University, from the clutches of those who appropriated it as their private investment, is worthy of mention as a major achievement for Imo people.”
The governor also announced that despite the teething challenges his administration was faced with when he came on board occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic and shortfalls in the federation accounts due to dwindling oil revenues, his administration was able to increase the internally generated revenue from N600M monthly he met to over N1B monthly.
Uzodimma also took credit for revamping civil service in the State.
“When we came, the Civil Service was down and out. Morale was at its lowest ebb. Workers were even discouraged from coming to work as there was practically nothing for them to do.
“Today, those narratives have taken a dramatic twist for the better. The leaking roofs of the State Secretariat have been fixed. The rusty, filthy environment has been cleaned up. Series of training and retraining programmes have been organized for the workforce. Above all merit has been restored as the driving force for mobility in the Civil service.”
The governor also promised to revive development centers.
“…the Development Centres would operate in line with their nomenclature. Working together with the autonomous communities, they would identify the peculiar development needs of each autonomous community and in liaison with the people and the local government administration, work toward attending to those needs.”
Whilst promising to hand over a better Imo State to the next generation, Uzodimma said he is setting standard for himself and others that would come after him.
He therefore, challenged the opposition on constructive criticism.
According to him, “constructive criticism should be the weapon of opposition politics if we all understand that political party differences cannot be an alibi for setting our dear state on keg of gunpowder.”
Uzodimma pledged to welcome great ideas that would add impetus to the commitment of building Imo of collective dreams and aspirations.
He concluded that he did not become governor to be richer than the State and promised to conduct the business of governance with the fear of God.
“This is why I want to reiterate before you that I did not become governor to become richer than the state after my tenure but to serve you in truth and with the fear of God. This being so, I will leave no stone unturned in my efforts to recover all Imo peoples stolen wealth. I assure you that God is with us in that direction.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Secretary to the State Government, Sir Cosmas Iwu hailed Uzodimma for the meeting stressing the need for citizens to be well informed of the programmes and policies of the government.
He said with the ingenuity of the governor, support of the legislature and judiciary, ndieze, the governor has been able to restore peace and stability in the State and charged the audience to take the message back to their people.
Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, House of Assembly Members, Past Speakers of IMHA, past deputy Governors, Federal Lawmakers, the Clergies, captains of industries and traditional rulers were among those that graced the occasion.