He should not be so much in a haste to impress Imolites

Fortune Akujuobi

Following the level of infrastructural deterioration in Imo State, over the last eight years, Imolites are full of great expectations from the incoming administration. The minds and hearts of our people are fertile for signs and wonders. It’s normal with every successful liberation movement, across the world. But I feel that the incoming Governor must not be carried away by these huge expectations and thereby becoming too hasty to impress Imolites, both those living in the state and the diaspora.

Within the first six months, the new Imo State Governor must pay attention to laying basic developmental foundations;

He should rejig the Imo State Civil service, conduct an accreditation of the workers, compute their necessary data and commence a computerized system payment. This should also apply to the pensioners, they must not suffer to travel to and fro their villages to the capital city, spending about #800 to #1000 just to collect a cheque of #4,500. Their data can be computerized and their gratuities, pension and other benefits wired into their account. Against all odds, he should implement the #30,000 minimum wage, without hesitation. He should strive to set a salary payment standard of paying civil servants, latest 25th-28th of every month. He should implement this religiously without owing civil servants.

Immediately the civil service and pension commissions have been upgraded, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha should just conduct a Local Government election. This will help him decentralize power and take the government/governance closer to the rural communities. Such that there would be another authority driving developments in the rural communities. By doing this, the masses will reduce some attention from the state government, focusing more on the elected executive chairmen of the local governments. Recall that this was one of the greatest undoing of the out going administration. For eight years, Rochas did not conduct LGA Election, and the masses channeled all attention to the government at the state, to provide virtually every social amenities. Which Rochas never did. Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha must also ensure to remit Local Government Funds to the LGAs accordingly, where he cannot remit in full, he should strive to remit an adequate sum based on a percentage rate, that can enable the Local Government Chairmen to work and embark on driving developments in their areas.

Thereafter, the Governor should swing into action to revamp our public primary and secondary schools. The level of infrastructural decay in our public schools, primary and secondary are very alarming. They are the foundations of good and qualitative education in any society. As such, the government ought not to ignore the basics. The classrooms should be renovated and equipped, with more qualified teachers employed to teach the pupils, and of course, with improved teacher’s welfare and incentives.

Another important thing Rt Hon. Emeka Ihedioha must do, is to take over the initiative of the 27 general hospitals, completes the project to standard. It’s a great idea from Rochas Okorocha, which he failed to complete because of his greed and lack of standard. The new Governor should take up the completion of the project and equip it for the well-being of Imolites.

I would suggest that within the next six months, the new Governor should avoid awarding contracts to please and compensate those who funded his campaign.

The contracts he should award, should fall under the emergence contracts, relating to implementation of the civil service and pension commissions upgrade, renovation of Imo State public schools and roads.

There is an urgent need to beef up security in the state. It will help improve the already booming tourism business in the state. An improved security in the state will further attract influx of tourists to the state, the hotel business will thrive and generate more IGR to the state. If our roads are properly put in place and their is adequate security in the state, in the whole of South East, Imo State will become the choicest destination for tourists and those seeking pleasures. And they might see the need to invest in the state.

I am of the opinion that the new administration led by Emeka Ihedioha should concentrate on civil service and pension reforms and upgrade, rehabilitation of our public primary and secondary schools, rehabilitation and standardization of our roads, improving state security, conducting Local Government election and energizing the LGs to work by allowing them access to funds from Federal Allocations for LGAs. These to me are the basics, just as his campaign slogan state ” REBUILD IMO”, it presupposes starting from the scratch to lay a solid foundation for the development of the state.

The ICT sector and general industrialization of Imo State should be powered through Private Public Partnership (PPP). While providing the enabling environment, through discounted land acquisition, tax waivers and other incentives to attract investors to come in and industrialize the state and create jobs for teaming unemployed Imo youths.

He should avoid impressionistic and white elephant projects aimed at nothing but impressing Imolites at home and the diaspora. But, am not too sure whether or not he will escape from this. Am even tempted to doubt the possibility.

But in all, we must continue to show our support to the Governor Elect and his incoming administration, believing that he will be sincere to Imolites.

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