TRANSFORMATION OF IMO: OKOROCHA ON THE RIGHT TRACK -MBISIOGU
As the governor of Imo state, Owelle Rochas Okorocha consolidate good governance, the people of Imo State last week told the world that they are truly behind their Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha by rejoicing with him when the election petition tribunal seating in Owerri struck out a petition brought before it by the PDP challenging the victory of Owelle Okorocha in the April gubernatorial election.
As the people troop out in jubilation, after the judgment, president Good Governance Initiative (GGI), Mr. Festus Mbisiogu has expressed unshakeable faith in the present administration ability to transform the state into one of the most economical viable state in the country.
In this interview with Daily Sun, the Blue Diamond Boss called on the state governor to reward Imo people for voting massively for him by transforming the state into a modern city. He urged His Excellency Owelle Rochas Okorocha to learn from the former governor of the state- late Dr. Onunaka Mbakwe who still remains the best governor that has ruled the state. According to him, Mbakwe's achievements is a tall order to past administration but praised Rochas for the aggressive infrastructural development going on in the state simultaneously in all spheres of governance. The business mogul wonder how the governor could meet the target of generating N150 billion foreign investments for the state before the end of his tenure without steady power supply.
He speaks further:
Victory of Okorocha at the tribunal. What is your take?
At last, the case of whether Okorocha was duly elected or not has been put to rest by the judgment of the tribunal. Rochas has paid his dues politically, if you recall His Excellency Owelle Rochas Okorocha is well accepted by Imo people, hence he has a record to break and that is the record set by the former Governor of the state, Late Dr. Sam Onunaka Mbakwe who was ousted by the 1983 military coup remain the best governor that have ruled the state. Rochas contested the Gubernatorial election in 1999 but was screened out at the people's Democratic Party (PDP) primaries. In 2003 he attempted to contest the presidency on the platform of PDP but lost at the primaries again.
He contested and came second in the PDP presidential primaries in 2007. His determination to governor the state not minding the set back he suffered, some sees his governorship ascendancy as a retrogression having aspired for the highest position in the land, but I see it as a stepping stone towards actualizing his dream of ruling the largest black nation in the world. In all, one thing is clear, Rochas is the people's governor loved by his people and so far has proved that he won't disappoint them.
The challenges before Rochas are enormous, the tribunal case with PDP is one of the challenges before him of which the people of Imo stood by him. Though other challenges such as lack of steady power, insecurity, unemployment and infrastructural development are being tackled by the present administration in Imo and in a short time will be accomplish.
What can you say were the achievements of the Rochas Administration so far?
There are areas he is doing well, the reformation of the education system. The past administration increased school fees but immediately he assumed office, he declared free education in primary and secondary school and reduced the fees paid by students at the higher institutions, many people could not believe it based on little revenue the state generate unlike Lagos state, still on education, the present administration proposes to uplift schools in the state to European modern schools and each will be built in the 27 LGAs in the state.
Also the governor is making giant stride in the health sector having inaugurated Imo specialist hospital Owerri, the hospital that previously functioned as General Hospital was transformed to a tertiary health centre by upgrading the structure, facilities and recruitment of specialist personnel. Also construction of Modern Hospitals in the 27 LGAs has commenced. However, construction of new Roads in the whole LGAs has commenced. Even decaying Concord Hotel is being renovated to 5 star hotels; In fact development is going on simultaneously in all spheres of governance. Workers are not left out as the governor had increase their salary
Owelle Rochas Okorocha has vision of transforming Imo into a modern city because that is the reward he owes the people for voting massively for him. Even though the governor is focused, he should monitor the ongoing projects up to completion, this become necessary hence he may be made to believe that construction is going on while work has stopped and mobilization fees shared as was the case in the past.
How feasible is the governor's promise to attract N150 bn foreign investment to the state?
It is possible but I wonder how this could be achieved without uninterrupted power because foreign investors may not come even Imo indigenes living and doing business abroad are not willing to come back and open factories in the state because of lack of steady power hence with steady power many of us from the state who own factories Overseas can come and invest in the state but its unfortunate that the only thriving business in Imo is Hotel Business.
No doubt if foreign investors are attracted to do business in Nigeria there will be job creation as steady power will make positive impact in the lives of Imo people. However, Rochas of course knows that the bane of our economic woes is lack of steady power supply because constant power brings rapid economic growth; therefore, he should occupy himself with how to stabilize power. I have always suggested both Federal and State governments should engage the Chinese in tackling energy problem facing the country and the states should do likewise instead of waiting for Federal Government. My meeting with power minister last time was on how to stabilizes power of which he assure me govt. commitment Okorocha should tackle power problem if he is to achieve the N150 billion foreign investment in the state before the end of his tenure.
With steady power in Imo state He will achieve more than 150 billion naira because local and foreign investors will come to invest even many lives in Imo will be touch because families and manufacturers spend their hard earn money on fuel leaving them with nothing to care of their family and it will reduce unemployment.
Now that the governor has over come one of the huddles, having emerge victorious at the tribunal, he should not be distracted but transformed Imo into place of pride for our unborn Children and a place of tourist heaven for Igbos. He should remember that the rescue mission is under test because the whole nation and the world at large are looking up to him to see what is in him, what he can do that made Imo people vote for him., However, I have made effort to bring Chinese investors to Nigeria but all proved abortive because they always give Lack of steady power as excuse why they cannot invest in Nigeria or Imo State., GGI urges Rochas to pay more attention on power for that will lift his regime on high record,
Okorocha need all our cooperation to transform Imo.
The governor should place more emphasis on security because insecurity is one of the factors that prevent both local and foreign investors from coming to the state. All hands must be on deck to make Imo work again, all political parties, politicians and the elites in the state must join hands with Rochas to build the Imo of Our dream for yesterday it was PDP and today is AGPA tomorrow it may be ACN who knows, building Imo state should greatest priority of everybody. Severally, the governor had invited the opposition to come onboard so that we all can move Imo forward. I urge the people of Imo to pray for them and to be patient with the present administration. After all they are only 6 months in office, with what is going on in Imo state now the future of Imo state is bright