By Andrew Onyejuruuwa
Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, the governor of Imo State has promised to rebuild and reposition the state as well as make it one of the top three most developed state economies in Nigeria by 2025. Going by his inaugural speech, Ihedioha said he would transform Imo State into a modern ecosystem for education, agriculture, industry, tourism, culture, sports, human capital development, entertainment and science and technology.
The newly sworn in governor, who is yet to receive any form of hand over from his predecessor, Rochas Okorocha also promised to also create an enabling environment for sustainable economic growth. He said, “In pursuit of the above objectives, we have articulated measures and activities, which must be implemented immediately, some in the short term and others in the long term. These will be announced from time to time, as the situation demands.
“The manifesto I presented in the course of our campaign to the people of Imo contains details of our contract with Imo people. I am once again making this document available to you today. We are on a rebuilding mission and our pathway to success is good governance, human capital and integrated infrastructure development, which will fast track job and wealth creation,” he said.
Ihedioha also announced that his government will ensure the provision of qualitative education in the state, just as he promised to review the present free education in the state to ensure that the people get the best. Again he stated, “In our strong belief that development of a well-trained and motivated middle level manpower is critical for supporting our industries and for self-employment of our teaming youths, we shall pay special attention to Science, Technical and Vocational Education in line with our commitment to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
“In this context, the four Technical Colleges in Imo State: in Owerri, Ahiara, Orlu and Okigwe will be re-furbished, re-equipped and provided with well-trained teachers within the first 180 days of this administration. Our ambition is that our artisans and craftsmen should be the best Nigeria can offer. To support our educational objectives, we shall send a Bill immediately the 9th State House of Assembly convenes, to set up an Education Trust Fund. The Fund will mobilize the resources necessary to support the qualitative education and other educational initiatives in the State,” he said.
The governor also promised that within the first 100 days of his government, he would conduct a critical needs assessment of the health institutions and service providers across the State, with a view to repositioning the sector for optimal services, adding that he was committed to providing sustainable free healthcare services for pregnant women, children under five years of age and senior citizens above 70 years.
“Our government shall align State priorities with real healthcare needs and partner with the federal government, the private sector, civil society groups, development partners and other stakeholders alike, to promote universal access to affordable quality health care in a participatory and inclusive manner. We shall also explore the possibility of expanding a sustainable health insurance scheme for our people,” he said.