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Hope and Imo State Needs Help and Not Devourers.

LIKE THE HYENAS AND RAVENS, THEY ARE ALREADY MOVING IN DROVES/MASS UNTO THE NEW TABLE, TO CHOP, PARTY, DRINK AND ADD NO VALUES TO THE PEOPLE- HOPE AND IMO STATE NEEDS HELP AND NOT DEVOURERS.

In the very words of Hon Tony Nwulu, the UPP standard bearer in the last 2019 Imo Guber elections.. 👇

“Governor Uzodinma is my senior friend, I respect his political sagacity, but that will not stop me from voicing my opinion when he errs. We must speak truth to power. I am an ally of the Governor, but I will not compromise the interest of Ndi Imo for my personal relationship with the governor, I hope he represents the Hope of Ndi Imo”.

These are the words of a young leader, who places the interests of his people above pecuniary droppings from the tables of power.

While, the Hyenas and Ravens, congregate, with just that singular objective to share and apportion the trickle, we wish to remind them that there is actually nothing to share. It is poverty mentality that makes people believe that they can become wealthy by sharing peanuts in the public till .

The HOPELESS STATE OF IMO STATE, devastated over the last 8 years and just trying to crawl out of coma over the last 7 months urgently needs a HOPE, surrounded by visionary Eagles to help him bake a bigger cake for Ndi Imo , before allowing the gathering of HYENAS AND RAVENS (who are used to eating nke egburu egbu, na nke rere ere).

Governor Hope Uzodinma and his team, promised Ndi Imo NEW PROSPERITY. The time to start building that prosperity is now. To Build a Prosperous Imo state is not going to be a Tea Party. For starters, I will like the new governor and his team to note the following:

1.In 2019, the total revenues that Ndi Imo received from FAAC and JAAC , net of the N10.64billion that was deducted from source to service the huge pile of debts on Imo balance sheet was about N93billion/$258miliion.

2.Out of this N93bn/$258million from JAAC and FAAC allocations to the 5.45million Imolites, N67.9billion/$188.58million were used to take care of wages and non-wages recurrent expenditures….salaries, wages, profligacies, kick-backs and wastes of less than 26,000 men and women of the civil service and the political office holders from January to December 2019.

3.The remaining N25billion/$69million plus the estimated IGR of N13billion/$36million, that is cumulative of N38billion/$105million was what was left to take care of the remaining 5.4million Imolites. This is a per capita capital expenditure of N7,037/$19.5.

4.What the above current pathetic financial condition of Imo state clearly reveals is that what is available for capital investments in Imo state for every Imolite in one year is a paltry $19.5. This is an amount of money that is paid to a petrol attendant for one hour work in sane countries or used to buy one burger meal.

5.Imo state still has unpaid pension arrears of over N50billion and a humongous pile of domestic and external debts in excess of N130billion.

6.Imo state still harbours over 1 million of the extreme poor Nigerians as her citizens and over 84,000 kids, who are out of school for no just cause.

7.Imo state has very high youth unemployment rate and the situation continues to worsen by the day because annually over 124,000 Imo youths are thrown into the employment market as graduates

8.The infrastructure decay in the state is so huge. These huge infrastructure decay from terrible road networks to low power/energy availability, to health and education sector decay, to huge housing deficit etc. coupled with absence of any tangible industries and factories presence in Imo state will continue to exacerbate the already parlous condition of the eastern heartland , until emergency good governance actions are taken .

9.To help sort out the current messy condition of our dear state, the new government must think out of the box and creatively empanel transparent policies, programs, and structured governance template that can help facilitate the attraction of other alternative and credible Public Private Sector driven Capital Investment generating avenues, that can inflow at least N912billion/$2.56billion into the diverse sectors of the state economy over the next 8 years. That is to attract over N114billion/$316million in non-fiscal revenue investments into Imo state annually.

10.Premised on the current global crude oil prices of $65 per barrel and which is not expected to expand significantly higher than the last year average, Imo state will not expect to generate fiscal revenues in 2020 that is higher than what we obtained in 2019 if things remain the usual ways .

WHICH WAYS FORWARD?

To truly build NEW PROSPERITY IN IMO STATE, We must urgently and quickly tackle these huge fiscal deformities and infrastructure decays headlong. The season of Parte after Parte should end now.

1.To fix at least 915 Kilometres of rural roads in Imo state (3 kilometres per electoral ward), will require about N27-54billion/$76m-$152m to execute conservatively and excellently. Durable roads, not like the Yemeni roads that were constructed over the last 8 years in Ala Imo.

2.To fix the major arterial roads into Imo state… Owerri to Okigwe, Owerri to Umuahia, Owerri to Orlu and Owerri to Onne through Ngor Okpala will require at least N45.9-N61billion/$170m. These are Federal Roads. But the facts remain that the FGN did not budget for the fixing of these roads in 2020. So we must fix them and make a claim for refund. By the way Imo is now keyed to the national grid. No be so?

3.We must fix our decayed healthcare system. The Primary Healthcare Centers across the 305 wards in Imo state are either in various states of deadness or homes to rodents. There are no single secondary or tertiary healthcare delivery centres across the 27 LGAs in Imo state that operate 24/7. The conditions of these centres are worse than imagined. Imo state cannot boast of any standard medical diagnostics or emergency dispensing medical center anywhere in the three zones. This is a case of anyone in Imo state, poor or rich can die in case of certain emergencies. To fix at least half of the PHCs over the next 4 years will require between N5.8-10.2billion. To fix the Secondary and Tertiary Healthcare centres will require about N86billion/$238million. To fix

4.Imo state has a huge housing deficit of over 536,000 units, estimated to be over N5.34trillion/$14.8billion. How do we create the enabling, transparent and sustainable policy/programs that facilitates private sector led growth that can add at least 10, 000 new housing units across Imo state annually . This will require attracting annually at least N100-200billion or $277.7million to $555.56million into Imo state. Wholly Private sector led. Diaspora led cooperative structured and driven schemes, within and outside Nigeria.

5.How do we utilize the various block work carcasses that liter Imo state to attract at least 3 Private Universities into Ala Imo?

6.To drive the agro revolution in Imo state and create at least 100 small scale agro processing factories in Imo state will require at least N83billion/$230million, wholly private sector led enterprises that does not add a jot debt on Imo state balance sheet.

Listed above are some of the quick take-aways, amongst other numerous development challenges that stare the new governor on the face, as he gets ready to drive NEW PROSPERITY IN ALA IMO.

For the umpteenth time, I wish to reiterate again that this is not the time for parte after parte. This is not the time to entertain the horde/herd of Hyenas and Ravens migrating from different corners of the consumption driven clans. All of them clutching their empty plates and long gluttony spoons, must be asked at the entrance door… what are you dropping at the table? This is not the time click glasses of champagne. This is the time to bend down and work. Imo state needs urgent healing. Imo state need to be fixed. Ndi Imo have suffered enough and the sufferings must not continue.

The challenges are daunting, but it is very surmountable. Imo state, as the eastern heartland demographically ticks the right boxes and we can easily build it into a paradise for all . Yes, We can. But the Hyenas and Ravens must be kept at a far distance.

God Bless us all

Dr Nnaemeka Onyeka Obiaraeri, FICA, MIRA

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