MY MANIFESTO TO THE GOOD PEOPLE OF IMO STATE

Emeka IhediohaI am motivated to seek the governorship of our dear State, Imo, out of a genuine desire to offer selfless service and purposeful leadership that will take the fortunes of the State to a deserved and enviable height.

My ambition is borne out of the passion to serve our beloved state. Let me acknowledge the fact that our State is blessed by providence with abundant human and natural resources. We have individuals who have excelled in different and important areas of endeavors and untapped natural resources that are abundant in Imo State. But they have to be properly harnessed to our collective advantage.

I believe that given my track record of achievements and performance in the public service of our country in both legislative and executive arms of government and at various levels, I have acquired the right qualities and experience, in all modesty, to take our State out of the current socio-economic quagmire that has befallen it.

I am therefore seeking the mandate of Imo people to reclaim the State from despondency and hopelessness with a full assurance to serve the best interest of our people.

The State of Imo Economy Today Imo which prides itself as the ‘Heartland of the Igbo Nation’ today, regrettably, lies at crossroads as it battles with enormous challenges of mal-administration occasioned by arbitrary exercise of power, executive rascality, lawlessness and gross impunity.

The absence of the rule of law and due process in the conduct of government business under the incumbent administration in the State has resulted in a situation where the economy of Imo has become prostrate and crest-fallen. Despite being the largest economy in the Southeast, there has been little to show for it especially in the last four years. Human capital development has been stunted in the last four years, while qualitative education and basic healthcare have been abysmal over this period. Capital flight due to outsourcing of means of production has become the order of the day resulting in massive poverty and unemployment.

The mismanagement of the resources of the State in this period has been quite unprecedented. This can only be described as the pillage of the State. Corruption, lack of accountability and transparency have been the norm in the State for the Rochas Okoroacha’s government. We are aware that the State is heavily indebted. Imo people deserve a responsible government that must be answerable to its people.

POLICY THRUST It is against this background that we are convinced that when elected by Ndi Imo, we will run an inclusive government that will foster the core democratic principles of governance that will be inclusive, accountable, responsive and committed to improving the quality of lives of our people.

  •     Qualitative Free Education
  •     Job and Wealth Creation
  •     Access to Qualitative Health Service
  •     Agricultural Revolution and Food Security
  •     Peace and Security
  •     Integrated Infrastructural Development
  •     Enthronement of the Principles of Democracy and Rule of Law
  •     Gender, Youth and Vulnerable Group Protection
  •     Environmental Sustainability

*Order has no implication of importance as all of these areas are vital in the development of our dear State

This plan has been well thought-out and articulated. I pledge to meticulously implement this agenda within the tenure of our government. However, other areas of needs will also be frontally addressed.

OUR VISION

To shape and sustain an environment of peace and prosperity in Imo State, through a government that is accountable to its people. In this context, we shall lay emphasis on key sectors that will lead to wealth creation and social economic development of our people.

OUR MISSION

To establish a transparent and accountable government that is responsive to the needs of the citizenry of our State, and committed to implementing a policy agenda that provides a steep change in the livelihood of our people. To this end, we shall build a sustainable State where the promotion of human capital will be at its core, whilst providing the necessary infrastructure to harness investment and engender economic growth. Only through a focus on these two core Governmental responsibilities can we secure the future of our current generation and that of our children’s.

COLLABORATION We are dedicated to building partnership and sharing knowledge and resources.

LEADERSHIP We are committed to actively and competently guide Imo people towards a higher quality of life.

ACCOUNTABILITY We will prudently manage our collective human and natural resources.

RESPONSIVENESS We will deliver people-oriented services that are transparent and efficient.

INTEGRITY We will ensure public trust through honesty, fairness, consistency, value for money and follow-through.

TRANSPARENCY We will operate in a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed.

YIELDING We will ensure that all our endeavours are productive and solution-focused.

We are therefore committed to CLARITY in all our endeavours.

My experience of the past few years, as a public servant, a distinguished legislator and committed Imo patriot, has provided me with a deep understanding of the immense challenges facing our dear State, Imo and the expectations of different stakeholders. Moreso, it has strengthened my resolve to serve our great State as the Governor, come May 2015.

In the course of this campaign, my team and I have visited all 27 Local Government Councils, held consultative gatherings with all the 305 Electoral Wards and met with people from all walks of life at close quarters. We listened to the views expressed by our people, and we talked to all stakeholders: business people, both big corporations and local traders alike, private and public sector practitioners, farmers, traders, the physically challenged, teachers, artisans, students, politicians, technocrats and so on. We attended numerous other activities, and met with all cadres of the society in our state. Following from these conversations, we have come to understand the challenges of our people.

Every step of the way, we have made it clear that our programs are aimed at ensuring transparency and overall socio-economic growth and development of our dear State. This establishes my eagerness to be held accountable by the 4.8 million citizens of Imo state. I hold myself accountable to them, each and every one. I have therefore, placed before my fellow citizens our vision for Imo State, not just as a place, but a home to us all. Here I have explained my convictions, and set forth my policy platforms for our beloved state.

I believe in elections and in the power of the people not just to choose their leaders, but also to define how they are governed. I believe in the synergy that comes from unifying different sectors of the community and the many different trades and businesses, which in their totality make up our society.

Taking part in this election has been a humbling experience for me. This exercise has helped me to better appreciate the collective wisdom of our people, and, what is more makes me understand the importance of accepting feedback from Ndi Imo. I have learnt and appreciated constructive advice and counsel from all of you.

In my declaration of 8th October 2014, to stand for election I emphasized that an “Inclusive growth strategy” is the foundation of Imo's prosperity, on which the livelihood of our citizens depend. There is a dire need to develop a socio-economic policy that will govern our people. We only need an appropriately proactive government that seeks changes whilst maintaining overall stability.

The business and financial sectors are the driving forces behind some of our contemporary economic development. Therefore to promote sustainable and robust economic development, the Government must assist investors, small and medium enterprises, to take advantage of the opportunities presented by our national and global economic growth potentials.

I fi¬rmly subscribe to integrity, accountability, transparency, equality, rule of law, a responsive government and democracy as core values and the foundation for prosperity and stability. To this end, I shall do my utmost to safeguard the rights and security of every Imo citizen and ensure that those rights are fully respected.

As many of you would agree, in my time serving you in the House of Representatives, I have attracted several significant infrastructural projects that one way or another have impacted the lives of my beloved Imo people. We have worked hard to improve the availability of electric power through the construction of four major transmission stations and thirteen (13) distribution centres across the three senatorial zones of the state. We have worked to renovate and equip numerous educational establishments in Imo to help future generations of this great State to take over the affairs of the State in due course. Similarly, we have renovated and equipped several hospitals to ensure that our citizens have access to the kind of medical treatment that they deserve.

As a legislator, my primary motivation has been to initiate the implementation of innovative schemes and avenues to generate employment and create wealth in the State. With almost 140 infrastructure projects cutting across a number of key sectors, I believe we have created over 10,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities for our dear Imo brothers and sisters. In the same vein, I have helped Imo sons and daughters to be appointed to very responsible positions with the Federal Government. Whilst these accomplishments are by any standard admirable, I am eager to do more, and with your help, we can achieve this.

The upcoming governorship election is pivotal to the future development of Imo State. If I am elected, I solemnly promise that I shall enhance the standard of governance, ensure the security of lives and properties of our people, raise the quality of leadership, promote the principles of democracy and uphold the rule of law. I shall take steps to expand our economy to enable businesses to thrive so that people's livelihood will improve. I shall also protect our environment and conserve our heritage to make Imo the pride of place for us all. Together we shall build a more prosperous, just and progressive Imo State that we can proudly call home.

Our State faces many challenges. We need to be united in our stance and face up to those difficulties with fortitude and determination, and respond to differences with an inclusive attitude. I believe we can find strength inspite of our differences, regardless of what they are.

To deliver, we need to listen, be inclusive and patient in seeking a consensus, so that we may move forward with one spirit and one vision. It is for these laudable reasons that I humbly seek your collective support.

Thank you.

Rt. Hon. Emeka Nkem Ihedioha CON, KSC.

  1.  Qualitative Free Education
  2. Job and Wealth Creation
  3. Access to Qualitative Health Service
  4. Agricultural Revolution and Food Security
  5. Peace and Security
  6. Integrated Infrastructural Development
  7. Enthronement of the Principles of Democracy and Rule of Law
  8. Gender, Youth and Vulnerable Group Protection
  9. Environmental Sustainability

FOCUS SECTOR – 1 – INCLUSIVE GROWTH STRATEGY

AGENDA – 1 QUALITATIVE FREE EDUCATION In my capacity as Chairman House Committee on Constitution Review, we successfully amended the Constitution to provide Free Basic Education as a constitutional Right of every Nigerian.

Main thrust: Restoring the fallen standard of Education in Imo State. Prior to the current administration in Imo State, Imo was an educationally advanced State. Today, unfortunately, we are by all standards adjudged to be an educationally backward State. Imo State current performance in West African Examinations and National Examination Council (WAEC and NECO) is 46% in the last four years as against 95% before the inception of the present administration. Presently Imo State parades 87 Mathematics teachers, 20 in Further Mathematics, 130 English, 102 physics and 92 chemistry teachers in 548 Junior and Senior Secondary Schools. This scenario is definitely not acceptable and surely cannot achieve a positive result for our people.

Education will therefore receive priority attention under our government. The importance of education as a powerful tool for mental emancipation and social development cannot be over-emphasized. It is said that education is the great equalizer as it can provide a ladder out of poverty.

To this extent, our government will provide Qualitative Free Education at all levels. In Nigeria today, through the instrumentality of the UBE Act, education, which is a constitutional right of every Nigerian citizen, is expected to be free up to a certain level. We will ensure that UBE funds are used for the purpose for which it is meant. As a legislator and Chairman of the Constitution Review Committee of the House of Representatives, we have made basic education free in Nigeria. Quality infrastructural improvement and provision, teachers training and re-training, educational content access, efficient delivery, and qualitative assessment are comprehensively what the education sector in Imo State should address. Quality education will entail the provision of Laboratories, Computerization of Schools, Modern Libraries, Sports facilities and public health units. We will restore pride in teaching and recruit qualified teachers in critical subject areas.

Above all, to make education qualitative, our government will aggressively pursue a programme for the training and re-training of teachers to enhance their skills and competencies by restoring their pride. There will be teachers training and retraining programme in collaboration with National Teachers Institute and other multilateral Agencies. Teaching allowance, free laptop and computers for Imo teachers fully loaded with self-development tools, provision of cars for all Headmasters and Principals in Imo State, re-establishment of Parents Teachers and Stakeholders Associations in all schools and monthly imprest account for principal, Headmasters/headmistresses in all schools. No Imo child will be left behind.

To address the earlier identified deficiencies, we will carry out considerable recruitment of teachers in the key subject areas like Mathematics, English Language, Physics, Chemistry, etc. which we have found to be deficient at the moment as this explains the current dismal performance of Imo State Students in WAEC and NECO Examination in recent years. Imo State that used to be first in performance nationwide has now dropped to the last position in the South East and one of the worst in the Country. Our administration will therefore provide special incentives to teachers in these critical subject areas.

We believe that qualitative free education ought to address needs from early childhood to tertiary education and beyond:

Early Childhood Education Enhancement Program Research by child psychologists, pediatricians, and child educationists have consistently cited that the International best practices to ensure a qualitative educational foundation for children 5 years and under is to ensure a multi-faceted approach to the delivery of education, which includes taking into account issues of environmental safety, nutrition, health, education of caretakers, and even parental awareness training.

With this knowledge, our administration will embark on Early Childhood Education Enhancement Program to ensure that different components of multi-faceted approach are addressed: 1) Basic healthcare services and check-up will be provided through the schools. Children under 5 years of age must have their vision, hearing, and cognition tested to ensure that any problems identified, are treated or managed as early as possible as not to disrupt their education along the way. 2) Feed Our Children: Will ensure that children 5 years and under are provided food for the first phase and primary school children will be considered in the nearest future. The feeding of children at this early stage will ensure that even the poorest families have a way of feeding their children, so their brains will function at optimal level for efficient absorption of the learning that is needed at that stage of human development 3) The UN introduced the Safe School Program, Imo state would have to key into it to set up awareness for creating safe school environment. We need not wait for calamity, it is best to prevent it from happening. 4) Early Childhood Education Parent Kit and Training – The state under our watch will make kits available to parents with children enrolled in public schools to make available to them basic tools to enhance the child’s educational performance at school.

A large component of all of the above programmes will be funded by International development partners and private Corporations as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility. We have already commenced discussions with them.

STEM Recruitment Initiative: S.T.E.M. (Sciences, Technical/Technological, English, and Mathematics) Recruitment Initiative is an aggressive initiative to recruit quality, committed, and competent teachers at all levels of education in the subject areas mentioned above. The recruitment will utilize 4 clear approaches: 1. Recruit bright graduates by offering attractive incentives for young graduates to find teaching a lucrative and noble career 2. Re-training of graduates from other non-education sectors by offering an expedited training in partnership with Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Federal Institute of Education e.g. a geology graduate can be trained to teach geography. 3. Retired Professionals will be recruited, trained, and re-packaged to go into the classroom in crucial subject areas especially in the sciences, mathematics and English. 4. For long term impact, intelligent students in Secondary Schools will be encouraged to consider teaching as a lucrative option for a career, early enough for them to get scholarships to Tertiary institutions to obtain NCE or B.Ed.

We will place emphasis on Technical Education. This, in our view, is the way to go especially at this age of information technology and globalization. We need to equip our people in the Technical Schools with skills, which will prepare them for the challenges of self-employment and entrepreneurship. Imo State will partner with National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) and other agencies for the rehabilitation of the 4 Technical Colleges in the State.

In this regard, we will carry out a comprehensive rehabilitation of existing Technical Colleges in the State and equip them accordingly.

We will also pay serious attention to Vocational Education to ensure that no group is left out in our quest for human capital development. We will renovate all government-owned Primary and Secondary Schools in Imo State.

We will extend similar gestures to the tertiary Institutions in the State. This is to ensure that we have conducive environment for studying, teaching and research. Under the present Administration only students in Imo State owned Tertiary Institutions (Imo State University, Polytechnic Umuagwo and College of Health Sciences Amaigbo) have access to the pseudo Free Education. Our government shall offer non-discriminatory qualitative free education to Imo State students.

We will provide Grants-in-Aid to Mission/Voluntary Educational Institutions to assist them improve on their infrastructure.

We will restore PTA/Stakeholders activities in our schools without any financial obligation to parents.

Our Administration will also introduce adopt-a-school programme to build partnership with reputable schools and International Development partners outside the country. This will encourage exchange programmes for both students and teachers.

Job and wealth creation shall be the main thrust of our government. The high rate of unemployment and underemployment in our State has created an alarming degree of insecurity and criminality. We shall therefore fight the scourge through the creation of employment opportunities in the State. We shall induce a revolution in the agricultural and industrial sectors of Imo State economy.

EMPLOYMENT GENERATION AND HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT We will seek to empower the various segments of the population of Imo State through the pursuit of constructive policies in the areas of agriculture, industrialization, and considerable recruitments and volunteer services, into Imo Public Service. The highlights include the following:

- Creation of 274, 500 Imo employers of labour in the first 2 years a. 135 manufacturing activities, localized in 27 Local Governments in Imo (5 per LGA) b. Empowerment of 15 youths from each of the 305 Wards for specific training that will amount to 4, 575 entrepreneurial skills each year c. Collaborate with private sector to Establish thousands of business enterprises in 4 years d. Revisit the issue of 10,000 jobs created by the past PDP Government, but terminated by the current APC administration. - Creation of enabling environment for the growth of sustainable Industrial clusters and establishment of industrial parks in the 3 senatorial districts of the state - Seed funds will be provided with the assistance of Bank of Industry (BOI) and other International Agencies for skill acquisition and vocational education.

- Imo Youth Scheme: Participants will be on monthly stipend from government and deployed to offer special skills and services to qualified and desiring private sector operators, thereby contributing to the growth and development of the economy. - Emphasis on vocational skills development in practical areas like welding, furniture, electrical/electronic repairs, ICT, and other SME sectors. - Revival of ailing/moribund industries to create employment - Active recruitment of staff into the Imo public service system for various cadres with due process and transparency.

In my capacity as Chairman House Ad-Hoc Committee on Constitution Review, we successfully amended the Constitution to provide Free Primary Health and Free Maternal Health Care Services as a Constitutional Right of every Nigerian citizen. I also presided over the passage of the new National Health Act.

Our Main Thrust will be the provision of quality health care services for the state. Because health is wealth, the promotion of adequate health care for Imo citizens will be one of the major thrusts of our government.

The World Health Organization (WHO) places the responsibility of provision of adequate health and social services of the people on their government. Unfortunately, this has not been the case in Imo State. In the last four years, Imo State health care service has degenerated to the level where there are only three reputable medical consultants in the State. The resultant neglect for the provision of basic medical facilities, non-payment of salaries and benefits to doctors and medical workers, has led to series of industrial actions embarked by doctors and health workers across the State. This is the cause of the dismal state of the 540 primary health centres in the state, including the 19 General Hospitals and a Teaching Hospital.

For instance, there are only very few Medical Consultants, 30 Medical Officials, 9 pharmacists, 11 Medical Laboratory Scientists and 220 Nurses servicing the 19 general hospitals in Imo state as at 2014. This is in sharp contrast to 46 Medical Consultants, 200 Resident Doctors, 39 Pharmacists, 40 Medical Lab Scientists and 660 Nurses servicing just one hospital, Federal Medical Center (FMC), Owerri.

Although the present administration in the state has proposed to establish a general hospital complex in each of the 27 local councils of the state, this approach evidently compounds the severe health challenge in the state. It is incontrovertible that the erection of buildings to serve as general hospitals does not address the health facility, technology and personnel and Medicare challenges significantly bedeviling the state. This realization makes urgent reform of the state health system imperative. We will do the following: 1. Establishment of a well-structured medical village using the Imo State University Teaching Hospital as nucleus for its activity such as high level diagnostic operations.

2. Reform the health service system of Imo state, fashioning out people-centred and integrated health services that will focus on health needs and expectations of the people, which will deliver quality and safe health services for the state. To this extent, we will embark on the following: - Free health care for pregnant women, children under 5 years, senior citizens (65 years and above) - Establishment of Specialist Centres in Orlu, Okigwe and Owerri which shall be developed as centres of excellence in various fields of medicine. - Re-building and equipping of Owerri General Hospital. - Comprehensive health insurance scheme in Imo.

3. Within the first 100 days of our administration, we will conduct critical needs assessment of the health institutions across the state with a view to rehabilitating the health sector based on WHO framework for optimal performance.

4. Our government on assumption of office will immediately buy into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) as a means of making health care affordable to Imo People

5. We will equally domesticate the recently passed National Health Act to ensure free maternal and child health programmes.

6. Provision of adequate facilities and appropriate health technology will also constitute our government’s priority.

7. We will ensure that highly-trained health professionals and consultants are attracted into the state health sector and well-motivated with appropriate conditions of service to stimulate enhanced result and best practice.

8. Our government will align state priorities with real health needs and ensure that the private sector, civil society groups, International Donor Agencies and other stakeholders buy into the state health sector programs to promote and maintain population health in a participatory and inclusive manner in order for the system to reach its full potential.

9. To achieve enhanced health care delivery service, our government will establish transparency and effective accountability in the system, strengthening oversight and evaluation mechanism that monitors progress in health care facilities.

10. Our administration will expand government’s role in medical research and development, boost capacity in nursing education and invest in medical scholarship.

11. We will streamline and standardize health administration such that Hospital Boards and Management will be held strictly accountable for the quality of Medicare in their various institutions.

12. We will provide facilities and appropriate manpower in all our health-training institutions to ensure accreditation, which they have all lost in the last three years.

Our government will make massive investments in agriculture with a view to tackling mass unemployment and reducing poverty and attaining increased productivity in the State. Our strategies include the following:

  • Streamlining Access to land for agro-allied purposes
  • Promoting the establishment of Mechanized Farm Settlements in all 3 senatorial zones to engage at least 37,300 youths.
  • Scientific Agriculture Extension and other support services like supply of high-yield seedlings, pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Strengthening Agriculture Cooperative Societies for purposeful micro-credit disbursements.
  • Creating the enabling environment for such agro processing value chains as in cassava, rice, table fish and more in line with Federal Government Food Security Policy.
  • Review/Resuscitation/Re-organization of government-owned agricultural projects for optimal and efficient performance as veritable avenues for job creation.
  • Access to foreign development financing and stimulation of private sector funding for agriculture including, revamping the FADAMA financing scheme which has collapsed due to the inability of the state government to pay the N100 million counterpart funds for the project.
  • Dams, irrigation and storage facilities to be built/reconstructed to complement the farm settlement & other agricultural centres.
  • A vigorous and systematic cassava cropping programme to take Imo State to an enviable position in the national and global cassava index.
  • Stimulate a Rice Revolution in Imo State in such communities as Arondizuogo, Ihitte Uboma and Ehime LGA’s.
  • Set up a Yields Buy-back regime to curb wastages in order to protect and enhance earnings by farmers.
  • Establish a FADAMA project in each of the 27 local government of the State.
  • Farm-To-Market Initiative will be instituted by our government to fully support and facilitate the framework for value addition in the agricultural sector from cultivation to return from sales.
  • Imo State shall actively access, collaborate and participate in various Federal Government agricultural programmes for the benefit of the State.

Our government will make massive investments in agriculture with a view to tackling mass unemployment and reducing poverty and attaining increased productivity in the State. Our strategies include the following:

  • Streamlining Access to land for agro-allied purposes
  • Promoting the establishment of Mechanized Farm Settlements in all 3 senatorial zones to engage at least 37,300 youths.
  • Scientific Agriculture Extension and other support services like supply of high-yield seedlings, pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Strengthening Agriculture Cooperative Societies for purposeful micro-credit disbursements.
  • Creating the enabling environment for such agro processing value chains as in cassava, rice, table fish and more in line with Federal Government Food Security Policy.
  • Review/Resuscitation/Re-organization of government-owned agricultural projects for optimal and efficient performance as veritable avenues for job creation.
  • Access to foreign development financing and stimulation of private sector funding for agriculture including, revamping the FADAMA financing scheme which has collapsed due to the inability of the state government to pay the N100 million counterpart funds for the project.
  • Dams, irrigation and storage facilities to be built/reconstructed to complement the farm settlement & other agricultural centres.
  • A vigorous and systematic cassava cropping programme to take Imo State to an enviable position in the national and global cassava index.
  • Stimulate a Rice Revolution in Imo State in such communities as Arondizuogo, Ihitte Uboma and Ehime LGA’s.
  • Set up a Yields Buy-back regime to curb wastages in order to protect and enhance earnings by farmers.
  • Establish a FADAMA project in each of the 27 local government of the State.
  • Farm-To-Market Initiative will be instituted by our government to fully support and facilitate the framework for value addition in the agricultural sector from cultivation to return from sales.
  • Imo State shall actively access, collaborate and participate in various Federal Government agricultural programmes for the benefit of the State.

The primary purpose of governance is the security and welfare of the people. It is in this regard, that we midwifed a constitutional amendment recently, in my capacity as Chairman, House Ad-Hoc Committee on Constitution Review, placing the National Security Agencies and the Nigeria Police on first line Charge to ensure their financial autonomy. This is because no meaningful development can ever take place in an atmosphere of insecurity, violence and uncertainty. Our government will in collaboration with the federal government, accord the issue of security the serious consideration it deserves by implementing key strategies that will help curb the menace of insecurity to loves and property. The steps we will take include the following:

  • Security Trust Fund – will be established to drive the security initiative, by partnering with the private sector, Local Government Councils and patriotic Imo indigenes, residents and friends of the state.
  • Know your Neighbour – this will be a community security program that will strengthen the existing vigilante system through the introduction of Neighbourhood Guards.
  • Community Intelligence Gathering - Strengthening of the town union structures for effective grassroots security and intelligence gathering.
  • Support to traditional rulers - to give them enhanced roles in maintaining neighborhood peace and security.
  • Security Training Institute - In collaboration with the private sector, establish a standardized security training institute.
  • Partnership with the Federal Government on State Security and provision of additional material and logistics support to federal Security Agencies.
  • We shall institute a policy of zero tolerance for crime and violence and enforcement of Law and Order in the State.

Infrastructure is the backbone of any economy. Our concept of infrastructure includes roads and transportation, oil & gas, electric power projects, water schemes, rural development and provision of recreational facilities.

Today, Imo State is very much behind other States in the South East in the development of engineering infrastructure and other services. Our findings showed non-utilization of available engineering personnel in the Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDA)s in project design and execution and absolute lack of due process.

It is disturbing to note that critical roads like the inner and outer ring roads of Owerri Capital Territory and the connecting roads to the local government areas in the three zones of the State have been abandoned. Political considerations have informed the opening of new earth roads in some rural communities which have all been abandoned half way due to non-payment to contractors. This has created environmental challenges for several Imo communities and is therefore unacceptable.

Our plan is to create an integrated infrastructural master-plan that will promote economic activities and business in the state. Some of these projects include,

a) Quality Roads: In order to decongest Owerri and free it from perennial traffic bottlenecks, our administration will revisit the Owerri inner and outer ring roads using reputable contracting firms so that we can have lasting utility and value for our money.

Most roads constructed by the present APC Administration in Imo State has collapsed as a result of low quality materials used , incompetence of contractors engaged by government and shoddy project execution. These ‘China Roads’, will , in the long run, end up costing a new administration more money to fix thereby constituting a waste of tax payers money. We shall build only quality roads that will stand the test of time.

As a matter of deliberate government policy, we will pursue the complete dualisation of major roads linking Owerri capital territory to the four parts of the State namely Owerri-Orlu road, Owerri-Okigwe road, Owerri-Umuahia and Owerri-Aba road. We will partner with the Federal Government to accomplish this fit. We will also partner with the 27 Local Government Councils in the State to construct access roads to all the Local government headquarters in the State. Our government will ensure the active participation of the State Ministry of Works’ Engineers and other professionals in the design, execution, supervision and evaluation of all road projects.

In addition, the IMO Road Maintenance Agency (IROMA) program where the state and local governments partner to enhance road construction and maintenance in all rural communities within the State, will be revived.

Community Road Rehabilitation Scheme - In addition, communities will collaborate with federal institutes of technology and the state government to provide the manpower, expertise and materials for intra-community road rehabilitation. This strategy would benefit our people in several ways: jobs would be created and people would be gainfully employed; enterprises owned by Imo people would be engaged; capital flight would be reduced to the barest minimum

We must also ensure the restoration of Due Process Mechanism in the award and execution of all government contracts for road construction in accordance with the Imo State Public Procurement Law.

Our government will pursue closer and cordial relationship with the Federal Government for the completion of on-going federal road projects in the State especially the Owerri-Aba road and Owerri-Elele roads, which incidentally, I was instrumental in attracting to our State.

b) Transportation Urban Mass Transit. We will ensure the provision of a functional transportation system for the people of Imo State by providing municipal buses for inter and intra city movements. We will follow this up by forging functional partnership with financial institutions to enable transport companies and co-operatives acquire transportation facilities. To this end, The Imo State Transport Company will be reorganized. Parks and terminal facilities will be created , where necessary , and existing one’s modernized to enhance public transportation in the state. Imo as a Transport hub in the Southeast – Rail Transport, International Cargo Facilities etc Our government will work closely with the Federal Government of Nigeria to actualize the proposed Lagos-Benin-Onitsha-Owerri-Aba-Calabar rail line to drive economic development of the state. This will ultimately develop Imo as a multi-modal transport hub for the region.

In similar vein, our government will liaise with appropriate Federal Government agencies to ensure the upgrading of the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport to realize its full potential as a hub for cargo handling and associated commercial activities within the region. Marine Transport - We will strengthen the inland waterway services in the riverine areas of Imo State. In this light, we will ensure the completion of port projects such as the Riverport at Oguta and Okpala/Owerrinta, of which I initiated and supported in my capacity as a federal legislator.

c) Power Sector: In my capacity as Chairman , House Ad-Hoc Committee on Constitution Review , we successfully engineered a constitutional amendment to place power generation, transmission and distribution on the Concurrent List, thereby enabling state governments to get involved. It is a well-known fact that Imo State has long been bedeviled with epileptic power supply due to poor grid and distribution network in the state even in the face of grossly inadequate supply currently put at about 50MW as against load demand of about 500MW.

No economy can grow with a limited access to electric power supply. It is against this background and in the realization that stable power supply remains the key driver for any meaningful economic development in the state to evolve that I have utilized every opportunity that came my way in the past to attract several projects towards the reinforcement of the grid and distribution networks in the state.

Hitherto, the only grid network in the state comprised of the 132kV substation at Egbu Owerri and the associated lines. Today and through my efforts, 3 additional 132kV substations located strategically at Okigwe, Aboh-Mbaise, and Ideato with associated transmission lines covering the 3 senatorial zones in Imo are under construction and are at completion stages. When completed, in addition to a 330kV substation at Egbu the state would be fairly served.

In the area of the distribution network, I have to date attracted the construction of 5-distribution substations and lines spread across the state. Most of these projects are either fully completed or at advanced stages of completion. This is not to mention numerous transformers I have distributed to various Communities in the State.

However, the uncooperative attitude of the current administration in the state in addressing such issues as right of way for the transmission and distribution lines to energize the said substations has drawn back the full completion and realization of the various projects aforementioned. Going forward and to ensure reliable power supply to our people, our administration shall embark on the following programmes.

1. Pursue the rapid completion and energization of the listed substation and lines including removing the impediments created by the current state administration towards their full realization

2. Collaborate with the private sector and the regional electricity distribution company to deploy 3 strategically located embedded power plants in Owerri, Orlu and Okigwe to provide dedicated uninterrupted power supply to businesses and the industrial clusters proposed for the zones while freeing the existing regional electricity distribution company’s supply to service homes and small businesses in those areas and the rest of the state.

3. Strategically support the electricity distribution company to improve power supply to our various communities including procuring additional transformers, conductors, poles and associated materials.

4. Collaborate with the private sector to harness the vast gas resources in the state to generate electricity to serve our people as well as export to other parts of the country, such as to make Imo a strategic electricity power centre in Nigeria.

d) Water Supply: Our administration will accord serious attention to water supply and sanitation in Imo State. The Imo State Water Development Agency (IWADA) has gone into oblivion with 22 rigs and several compressors acquired with over 220 million dollars through the United States EXIM Bank under the Evan Enwerem Administration. The UNICEF Assisted Rural Water and Sanitation Agency is moribund, as the State Government has not paid any counterpart fund since 2011.

We will ensure the restoration of a platform for public water supply in Imo State through the return of the State Water Corporation and the UNICEF-assisted Rural Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation Agency (RUWASA). We will rehabilitate all the regional water schemes for the benefit of our people living in our cities and their environs. We will also ensure proper reticulation of water in our major cities and urban areas.

Indeed we will pursue with vigour:

Safe and potable water supply to Imo citizens all year round Strictly a ‘No dry tap’ policy Tapping into foreign funding for water schemes Commission study on the various water schemes and their functionality.

We will as a deliberate policy pursue the recruitment of young engineers, technicians and artisans to reinforce the ageing personnel in the water sector.

e) Housing and Urban Development Master Plan: The goal of the National Urban Development Policy which this state subscribes to is to promote a dynamic system of clearly defined, planned and well managed settlements which will foster sustainable economic growth, promote efficient and balanced Urban and Regional Development as well as ensure improved standard and healthy living of our people.

This will be achieved through efficient use and development of our; - Land use/resources - Housing - Transportation - Urban Design of parks, recreation and open spaces - Infrastructure and Public Services

f) Urban Renewal Programme Our administration will institute Urban Renewal programme in the state to tackle the incidence of slum development especially in our inner cities and neighborhoods within the capital Territory such as Orji, Amakohia, Akwakuma, Egbu, Naze, Irete, Ihiagwa etc.

g) Land Resources We have experienced in this current dispensation in the State, flagrant abuse and distortion of the Owerri Master Plan leading to indiscriminate allocation and development of land, which has exposed the Imo State Government to hostilities with landowners. As a result of the above situation we shall both review these issues and prepare the following Master Plans;

a. Owerri, Orlu, Okigwe, Oguta Areas, All Local Government Headquarters and 17 designated growth points across the State.

b. To achieve this, the Owerri Capital Development Authority and all the Planning Authorities in the local Government areas will be strengthened.

c. The management of our land resources will be made transparent to eliminate conflict between the Government and landowners across the state especially on issues of land acquisition, allocation, compensation and dispossession.

d. Strengthening and restructuring, automation of Imo Geographical Information Agency (AGIA) to expedite the issuance of C of O to land owners, by easing the bottleneck and bureaucratic quagmire that slows down the process of obtaining Certificate of Ownership/Occupation. Currently, the process is tedious for citizens, while being issued to others based on nepotism, cronyism and selective preference.

h) Housing The State has not been actively involved in real estate development, which it was executing through the Imo Housing Corporation. The Imo Housing Corporation has been rendered redundant because of lack of a clear cut Housing Development policy for the state.

In this regard, we shall restructure the Imo State Housing Corporation with a view to strengthening it to provide housing for the low and middle-income families in the state, in conjunction with the private sector and the Local Governments.

a. Site and services scheme will be introduced.

b. Provide grants in aid to vulnerable groups in the state to upgrade their existing houses.

c. Promote financing schemes with relevant agencies like the Federal Mortgage Bank to help the middle class build and own houses.

d. Our government will provide the land and enter into strategic partnership with the private sector and other stakeholders for the following:

i) 1000 housing units for low and middle-income housing projects per Senatorial Zone

ii) 250 housing units for high-income housing projects Preferences will be given to developers who will deliver comprehensive housing projects that will create viable satellite hubs in the outskirts of the Owerri state capital territory, with decongestion in mind.

e. We will partner with builders from other countries like Malaysia, Brazil, and India who have advanced experiences in the use of alternative building materials to reduce the cost of building houses, thereby increasing the number of home owners.

f. Imo State under our watch will provide a robust legal and regulatory framework and enabling environment to facilitate housing transactions.

i) Urban Design The Beautification of our cities will be enhanced through both soft and hard landscaping. Pedestrian walkways will henceforth be provided in our urban areas to ensure separation of vehicular and pedestrian traffic to ensure safety and convenience of pedestrians.

j) Parks/Residence/Open Space Open Space (Park and Recreation) Development Commission - will be restituted to take full responsibility for the development and maintenance of parks and recreational centers across the state. This will be carried out in conjunction with the Local Governments to ensure that similar facilities are provided in the LGA’s. This is necessary because Imo State is deficient with parks and recreation centers for its teaming urban population. Quite a number of public open spaces created in our layouts and other towns have remained undeveloped thereby making them attractive for conversion to nonconforming use. Even those developed at different places like the Ama JK Park, have been abused and converted to a nonconforming use.

Parks will be deliberately developed in all 27 Local Government Areas, in partnership with the private sector to ensure sustainability, as government has no business managing businesses. Jobs will be created by investors in this sector. This will also promote intra and inter state tourism.

k) Rural Development When elected we will transform our Rural areas through the following:

a. Facilitation of the release of creative and potential energy in our people living in the rural areas.

b. Involvement of our people living in the rural areas in the selection, planning and execution of the programmes and projects.

c. Encouragement of programmes that lead to increased job creation, increase in household income, which will help check Rural-Urban migration.

d. Establishment of community management committees in every community as a condition for attracting government and Donor Agency Assistance.

e. Establishment of grants-in-aid for community projects.

f. Strengthening town unions to partner with local governments for community development.

g. State Secretariats will be established in all 27 LGA’s with desks representing major MDAs to decentralize some key services and decongest the state capital territory.

FOCUS SECTOR – 2 – RULE OF LAW

AGENDA – 7 - ENTHRONEMENT OF THE PRINCIPLES OF DEMOCRACY AND RULE OF LAW

There has been a total neglect of the core principles of democracy in our beloved state. The state has been under severe arbitrary rule. We will ensure the restoration of the dividends of democracy and rule of law, which are, citizens participation, equality before the law, accountability, economic freedom, security, separation of powers and justice.

The state can only grow under a responsive government, which has created a conducive environment for its citizens and investors alike. We believe this is key to the growth and development of our state, where business and industries can flourish.

a) Effective Public Service Our government will restore the glory of our public service. The Public Service embodies the nerves and arteries of any government and must be highly motivated to deliver people oriented policies to the people through observance of Public Service rules, regulations and criteria for appointments, promotions and retirements at both state and local government levels. These policies must be carried out in a transparent, open and accountable manner.

In order to strengthen the capacity of the public service to deliver on their mandate, massive recruitment of high quality staff in Imo State public service would have to be undertaken.,

Under our government, the public service will be restored as a critical driving force for execution of government policies. Public servants will be treated with respect. The welfare of our public servants is paramount and will be enhanced through the organization of professional trainings and workshops and provision of subsidized health care services. The statutory allowances of public servants stopped by the present administration such as Overtime Allowances, Leave Allowances, Non accident bonus etc, will be restored.

The rest of the world is moving towards modern technology and our Public Service will not be left behind. The Public Service will be modernized through digitalization of the operations, processes and procedures of key areas of our service delivery. In addition, Public Servants will be allowed to perform their duties unfettered

The labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain. Our government will ensure the prompt payment of salaries and all gratuities covering the period 2009-2014 and will also revisit the outstanding entitlement of all former public servants. Our government on assumption of office, will fast-track the take off of the contributory pension scheme for Imo public servants. In addition to the above, we promise to embark on the development of affordable housing schemes with long-term mortgage plans to alleviate the housing problems of our public servants.

b) Legal and Justice Sector Reform Our government will be committed to the Rule of Law.  Unarguably, our judiciary has been treated with neglect, if not total disdain by the current administration, ranging from outright disobedience of court orders and judgments to neglect of structures and facilities of this very important arm of government.

When elected into office, our government shall reverse this trend. We shall adhere to the principles of Rule of Law and pursue far reaching reforms of the judiciary and administration of justice in the state with the objective of achieving quicker dispensation of justice, as justice delayed is justice denied. We shall as well enable easy access to justice by all especially the common man. In light of the foregoing, our administration shall pursue the following programs:

  1.  Reform of Criminal/Civil Justice Law for quick dispensation of justice. New laws shall be enacted to eliminate delay in administration of justice. Cases shall be heard and disposed of expeditiously. .
  2. Introduction of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) via a Multi-door Court House. New Laws shall be enacted to encourage arbitration, mediation and resolution of cases outside the formal court system,
  3. Introduction of the Office of the Public Defender. This office shall help in the legal defense of indigent persons.
  4. Strengthening the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to effect quick prosecution of cases.
  5. We shall also strengthen the administration of customary courts to enhance justice delivery at the grass roots.
  6. Our administration will encourage full financial autonomy of the judiciary as envisaged in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
  7. A Law shall be enacted to enable courts impose alternative sentences where appropriate, like community service, probation, suspended sentence, restitution, fines etc.
  8. A Coroners Court shall be established to handle cases of accidental and sudden deaths and where appropriate recommend prosecution and compensation for persons involved.
  9. A law to introduce e-filing of cases in Court shall be enacted. This would eliminate delays associated with manual filing of cases in court.
  10. Computerization of the court system shall be given priority. Judges and judicial staff shall be trained for this purpose. Speed writing machines shall be introduced in courts. It would no longer be necessary for judges to record court proceedings in long hand.
  11. Create more judicial divisions with consequent appointment of more judges.
  12. Improved welfare packages for judges/magistrates and judicial staff shall be introduced. Houses, cars, leave allowances, health packages, etc shall be in place to motivate them to dispense justice without fear or favour.
  13. New courthouses shall be built and old ones renovated to enhance the working environment of judges/magistrates and judicial staff and to boost the justice delivery system.

c) Democratic and Accountable Local Government System: When elected into office, our government will ensure that the local government councils in Imo State are accountable, transparent and responsive to the needs of the grassroots through restoration of democratically elected councils. We will also re-establish the Development Centres in Imo State.

  •     We will also ensure that statutory allocations are released to local government councils and that they function effectively.
  •     The Town Unions, in partnership with Local Government Councils will take pride of place in the development efforts of our administration.
  •     Our government will review the IMO Road Maintenance Agency (IROMA) projects where the state and local government invested over N25 billion in procurement of heavy equipment and machinery for road construction and maintenance in all rural areas. These equipment were commissioned by President Goodluck Jonathan and distributed to the 27 local government areas. Today, nobody can account for the whereabouts of these equipment.

d) Regular Town Hall Meetings: As democrats, we believe in the popular participation of our people in their own affairs. To this extent, our administration will institute regular town hall meetings, which shall be held in the local government areas of the State. Through the town hall meetings, our various communities and ordinary citizens will be able to make inputs into governance. The town hall meetings will also serve as a useful channel through which our government will receive feedback on State policies and programmes.

It is a widely acknowledged fact that women and youths constitute major focal points of development in any given society. When women and youths are empowered, it follows that the society has been uplifted. To this extent, our government will devise appropriate strategies for the full engagement of women and youths in the development process of Imo State. Youths will be involved in the running of Government as a way of preparing them for effective leadership roles in the future. We will carry out the following programmes:

  •     Ensure inclusive and sustainable empowerment programme for women and vulnerable groups.
  •     Ensure the partnership of women in all the activities of the government by the implementation of the 35 percent affirmative action in appointive positions.
  •     Equip Imo women and youths with resources, micro-credit grants, skills, training and entrepreneurship programmes to embark on productive ventures.
  •     Provide special health care services for women of childbearing age.
  •     Ensure the domestication and implementation of the Child Rights Act passed by the National Assembly in 2003.
  •     Offering of equal opportunities including affirmative action to physically challenged persons in Imo State.
  •     Establish a school for the Blind as Imo blind students currently go to Abia state.
  •     Equipping the special schools for the handicapped at Logara in Ngor-Okpala LGA; Boys Remand School at Arondizuogu in Ideato North LGA and School of Deaf and Dumb at Ofekata Orodo in Mbaitoli LGA for skills acquisition.
  •     Encouraging and equipping all youth initiatives by strengthening the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports in the areas of ICT.
  •     Establishment of football academies in partnership with the private sector to train our footballers and provide job opportunities for our youth in Nigeria and market their skills abroad
  •     Adequate funding of Heartland Football Club and partnering with the private sector for the development of other football clubs in Imo State.
  •     Re-introduction of competitive inter-school sports for character molding and talent sourcing.
  •     Provide free laptops for students in all the senior secondary schools.
  •     Establishment of Youth Development Centres equipped with ICT in partnership with National Communication Commission across the state.
  •     Revolving loan scheme to Keke operators.
  •     ONE STOP SHOP FOR YOUTHS (OSSY) - will be introduced in every local government headquarters which will provide the following: sports facilities, Art Theatre, Library, ICT Centre, Viewing Centre and Unemployment Data capture desk
  •     Special attention will be paid to widows and orphans especially in areas of housing and empowerment.

a)    Green and Rich Environmental Policy Our government shall embark upon a waste-to-wealth environment policy associated with job creation, healthy living and international best practices. Already through our tireless efforts we facilitated the ongoing construction of the waste management facility at Illile in Ohaji/Egbma Local Government by the Federal Government. Our government shall therefore key into this facility by directing all refuse processing companies to fully utilize this Federal Government capacity in our state. In order to quickly actualize these, relevant statutes shall be enacted to empower future waste management methods and companies. Our administration shall ensure protection and preservation of our waterways by cleaning and beautifying them and making them attractive for tourism activities. These waterways will include but not limited to Oguta Lake, Abadaba Lake, Otamiri River, Imo River etc.

These shall be embodied in the following programs: -     Effective and systematic waste collection, processing & disposal system to safeguard the health and living condition of our people. -    Encourage SMEs to participate in waste segregation, transportation and recycling. -    Protect our waterways and ground waters from indiscriminate waste disposal and dumping. -    Specify the limits of industrial/agricultural effluence. -    Specify procedures and conditions for disposal of domestic sewage in order to accomplish an economically productive and progressive sewage disposal -    Our government shall seek to attract and interact with relevant international agencies in erosion management and control. -    We shall introduce Plant-A-Tree (P.A.T.) for Imo  program to correct the damage the current administration has done to the environment by uprooting trees planted to help in both the purification of the air and beautification of the environment.

a)    Functional Engagement with Imo Diaspora, International Donor and Development Agencies and Civil Society Groups- Evidently, the Imo Diaspora and international donor agencies constitute veritable mechanisms for statewide socio-economic development, if proper policy framework is put in place by the state to effectively mobilize and engage them. By, Imo Diaspora, we mean all Imo State citizens living outside Imo State, whether within or outside Nigeria. On the other hand, we shall partner with International Donor and Development Agencies, as they are essentially development partners involved in providing financial assistance towards executing projects designed by either government or Non-Governmental Organizations to meet the strategic needs of sustainable development. The International Donor and Development Agencies include development banks, multilateral and bilateral organizations. Notable among them are:

  1.    World Bank
  2.    African Development Bank
  3.    Asian Development Bank etc.
  4.     United Kingdom Department for International Development
  5.     DANIDA of Denmark
  6.     JICA (Japan)
  7.     USAID

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) report on Diaspora submits that remittances flow from the Diasporas to their homelands accounted for the second largest source of financial resources to developing countries, behind foreign direct investment. USAID accordingly put the remittance flow figure worldwide in 2010 at $325b. It acknowledges the fact that remittances impact largely on GDP, accounting for 30 percent in some developing nations.

These realities make it imperative for our administration’s plan to engage and integrate the Imo Diaspora, International Donor and Development Agencies and other Civil Society Groups into the state development and governance mechanisms.  To effectively do this, government will develop a functional policy and legislative framework that will offer guidance on the integration process.

  1.    We will ensure meaningful and effective engagement by involving the Imo Diaspora and civil societies in policy dialogue, project development and setting agenda so as to generate trust, legitimacy and ownership.
  2.     We will establish a transparent and accountable framework to capture Imo Diaspora resources and International Donor and Development Agencies funds and subject them to fiscal procedure for the development of Imo State.
  3.     Essentially, our government will organize programmes towards mobilizing highly skilled Imo Diaspora to increase knowledge transfer back home.
  4.     Most importantly we will ensure that the programmes to be embarked upon by the government in this regard are effectively implemented, tracked, impacts measured and findings adequately used to further improve engagements our society.
  5.     Our government will consider floating a Diaspora Bond to attract funds for infrastructure development

b)     Culture and Tourism: Our administration will give considerable emphasis to Culture and Tourism, considering the fact that Imo is acclaimed to have a rich cultural heritage and wonderful tourist attractions. Under the culture and tourism sector, we will come up with a Calendar of major cultural and tourist events, which would be staged within given periods in the year. Apart from bringing our people together and fostering greater communal unity, such events would be able to attract considerable revenue to the State. This is one area where government would partner with the private sector to achieve its aims. Involvement of the private sector will free up resources for development of other sectors.

Given the enviable historical, artistic and anthropological heritage of Imo State, we shall identify Heritage Sites across Imo State for development as tourism centers. Against this background, therefore,

  •     We will revive the Ozuruimo Cultural Festival in which the rich culture and traditions of Ndi Imo are showcased. We will also promote the New Yam Festival and make it attractive to both local and international audience.
  •     The popular Ahiajoku Lecture, which showcases the intellectual prowess of our people, will be restored and retooled.
  •     Su o Igbo - We shall encourage the use of Igbo language in all schools and for conduct of government business. Events will be organized to promote the Igbo language amongst our people.
  •     Tourist attractions like the Oguta Lake Resort and Golf Course, Abadaba Blue Lake at Obowo and other similar sites will be fully developed by our administration to serve the business and pleasure needs of our people and international tourists.
  •     Deliberate efforts would be made to bring both national and international events and conferences to Imo in order to boost the tourism sector and infuse fresh revenue to the local economy periodically.

Music, Arts and Entertainment: Our government will encourage Music, the Arts and Entertainment industry. To this end, we would mobilize the private sector and international funding for establishment of support facilities. These include Movie Theaters, Computerized World class Recording Studios, Film and Acting Schools and Academies. A Film Village and Studios of International Standards would be set up on a Public, Private Partnership (PPP) basis. This will provide employment opportunities for our people, encourage development of the Arts, and be a source of Revenue Generation for Imo State. Imo State being particularly blessed with Musicians and Movie Actors would thus become the destination of choice for Nollywood films and Music production.

The Hospitality Industry would also receive serious attention. There would be proper registration, classification and standardization of Hotels. Our goal is to provide the environment to attract the setting up of at least a five Star Hotel to boost tourism and make Imo State the preferred destination for Local and International Conferences.

  1. c)  Trade, Commerce and Industry: Our people are famed nationally and internationally for their entrepreneurial spirit. It is not surprising that they are found in every part of the globe engaging in one enterprise or the other with a view to enhancing their social well-being. In recognition of this noble potential, our administration will accord Trade and Commerce a pride of place.

Industrialization of the Imo State economy is perhaps the most important avenue for job creation. Our administration in partnership with the private sector will create an enabling environment to drive the development of industrial parks and clusters. We shall undertake an aggressive investment drive both within and outside Nigeria to attract industrialists to establish factories and industries in various LGA’s that has comparative advantage in the production of particular goods and services. Presence of local raw materials will determine to a large extent the location of any particular industry. Where necessary, the government will jump-start the industrialization process using the PPP Model.

In partnership with the Local Government Councils in the State, we will ensure that existing market infrastructures in the State are upgraded and modernized to serve the best needs of our people.

We will institute a mechanism through which genuine businessmen and women would be supported with revolving loans and credits.

  1. d) Promotion of Cooperative Societies: Our administration will, as a deliberate State Policy, support and restructure the existing cooperative societies within the agricultural and commercial sectors of our economy with a view to helping our small scale farmers and traders to access cheap micro credits. Where necessary, new ones will be encouraged to come on board. This is aimed at the economic empowerment and prosperity of our people.
  2. e)    Sports Development Sports development in Imo State has witnessed tremendous decline. Our sporting teams such as football, handball and hockey that used to win golden laurels nationally and internationally have become nonexistent with our athletes defecting to other states to pursue their career.

Our government on assumption of office will immediately embark on massive rehabilitation of Dan Anyim at Grasshoppers Stadium and upgrading of sporting facilities.

We shall also recruit reputable coaches for various sporting activities. We shall institute extensive human development programmes through training and motivation of our athletes.

Sports academies of International Standards will be established in partnership with the private sector and our distinguished Sportsmen. This will enable the State maximize its position as a sports loving state . Products of the academies would be exposed abroad to earn foreign exchange for themselves and the state.

  1. f)     Funding Sources There is no doubt that the implementation of the programmes, which we have set for ourselves, will demand enormous financial resources. In addition, the current fall in the price of crude oil has made it imperative for creative financial engineering and solutions to fund government programmed.  To this end, we will devise creative and innovative means through which we can get the requisite funding. All existing areas of revenue leakages in the State will be closed. Beyond the Federation Account and money accruing to the State from the derivation sources, we shall explore in-depth the following:
 
  1.     People friendly Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, which will expand the tax base and consequently total IGR.
  2.     Federal Government special project funds.
  3.     Development bonds
  4.     Multilateral funding and donor agencies through counterpart participation.
  5.     Foreign direct investments
  6.     Infrastructure development concessioning

Our various development programmes are aimed at creating and stimulating a sustainable economy in Imo State with increased economic activities in the state, which will invariably yield, improved internally generated revenue.

We will also seek to tap into the Diaspora with a view to attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) to boost employment and by extension the economy of Imo. In addition, we will lead an aggressive drive to involve Imo state indigenes and businessmen who have considerable investments outside Imo state to invest in the Imo economy. Our government will provide the enabling conducive business environment for entrepreneurs, businesses, and Commerce to thrive. We will consider Donor Agencies as veritable sources of revenue to the State.

We shall aggressively drive initiatives that will promote investment opportunities within the state. Doing business in Imo will be made attractive, by instituting the necessary conducive environment.

We will engage Oil Companies operating in Imo State with a view to getting them to show enough presence by establishing offices in the state and effecting their corporate social responsibilities in Imo host Communities. Indeed the financial and economic potentials of Imo State as an Oil producing State will be full harnessed and leveraged. Indeed we shall take full advantage of the Local Content Act to support our businessmen and local industries.

Conclusion: According to Frantz Fanon, “every generation out of its relative obscurity discovers its mission; fulfills or betrays it”. In the same spirit, my mission is to fulfill the great destiny of our Imo State by taking it to greater heights and making it a centre of human and infrastructural development.

I am ready and willing to offer myself as the instrument for the transformation of our dear State. I solicit for the support and cooperation of the good people of Imo State to make this possible.

Working together we can lift Imo to enviable heights. Let’s join hands in this enterprise to restore Imo and reposition it for greatness. We can do it, God being our helper!