By Debo Oladimeji
When the Supreme Court announced him as Governor of Imo State, many wondered what Governor Hope Uzodinma has in the kitty for the people of Imo State in terms of good governance. The Orlu born politician was fresh from his numerous battles with Rochas Okorocha and then the legal battles with former Governor Ihedioha led to a number of question marks on what he had to offer to Ndi Imo. Most of those questions have now been answered in the affirmative to the amazement of the doubting thomases.
Governor Uzodinma is passionate about the infrastructural development of all parts of Imo.
According to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Project Monitoring Okigwe Zone Hon. Engr. Francis Chukwu has given an assurance of the determination of the present administration led by the Governor Uzodinma to bring about massive infrastructural development across all the nooks and crannies of the state.
He made this known while addressing stakeholders at Ihitte/Uboma LGA headquarters Isinweke during his maiden Project assessment visit to the area. Hon. Engr. Chukwu maintained that the Governor Uzodinma has come to bestow on Imolites standard structures and legacy projects, stressing that the award of contract for the reconstruction of Owerri-Okigwe road to a renowned Company like Julius Berger was borne out of the Governor’s love for quality and durable projects.
The Special Adviser to the Governor who appealed to the people to be patient with the Shared Prosperity government that has been in office for few months, added that in no distant time the people of the area and the state in General will further enjoy the development plans of Governor Uzodinma.
Responding, the IMC Chairman of Ihitte/Uboma LGA Hon. Chike Olemgbe represented by the Director of Administration and General Services of the Council Mr. Evarest Ibe appreciated the S.A to the Governor on Project Monitoring Okigwe Zone for his visit to the area and assured him of their maximum support to the Governor and the cooperation of the LGA to ensure the realization of his aim of coming to the area.
The Chairman of Ihitte/Uboma Council of Traditional Rulers and other notable Traditional Rulers who spoke on the occasion called for attention on roads and other social amenities in the area. They emphasized the need for the Abadaba Lake Resort Project to be revamped adding that when actualized it will boost the Tourism Industry of the state and further generate revenue for the government.
Highpoint of the visit was the on the spot assessment of the Ihitte/Uboma Council Secretariat, the abandoned new General Hospital Ihitte/Uboma and the Ihitte/Uboma LGA Stadium which is at the DPC level, by Hon. Engr. Chukwu and the management team of Ihitte/Uboma Council.
Governor Uzodinma, recently commended Shell Petroleum Development Company’s (SPDC) commitment to the development of infrastructure and human capital in communities hosting the Assa North Gas Development Project in the state.
The Governor also endorsed the gas project’s Cluster Development Board’s (CDB) employment of community contractors.
Governor Uzodinma spoke recently through the State Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Ikay Njoku, at a ceremony by the CDBs to present cheques to community contractors for the third milestone for the over N360 million social investment projects designed to benefit people of the host communities.
“I commend the Assa North and Ohaji Egbema Cluster Development Boards as well as their community contractors for doing good jobs so far. The Imo State Government will continue to monitor project execution to ensure that contractors do not lower the quality and standard of the jobs. We will have zero tolerance for corruption,” he said.
Chairman of Assa North CDB, Mr. Godswill Uzomba Uho, and his counterpart for the Ohaji/Egbema CDB, Mr. Casmir Ekeruo, pledged to “continue to monitor the community contractors to ensure that the right standards are maintained for their people”.
SPDC’s External Relations Manager, Projects and Opportunities, Dr Banji Adekoya, emphasized: “SPDC’s commitment to supporting projects that increase the capacity of our communities to deliver credible projects.”
Adekoya, represented by SPDC’s Community Interface and Social Performance Adviser, Mr. Victor Alimele, added, “The gas development project in Imo State is one of the priority projects of the Federal Government of Nigeria because its development will help the government deliver on its ambition to provide enough gas for domestic consumption, power generation and gas-based ammonia and urea fertilizers for farmers.”
“The Assa North Gas Development Project will be a major game-changer in our country’s quest for energy sufficiency and economic growth and, once again, it emphasizes Shell’s unshaken commitment to Nigeria both now and in the future,” he said.
“The project has the potential to be one of the largest domestic gas projects in the country when completed”, Adekoya noted. When completed the Assa North Gas project will produce 600 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mscf/d) from its upstream facilities and process 300mscf/d from the SPDC gas facility under construction to boost domestic gas supply for power generation and general industrialization.
To benefit the local communities, SPDC has a deliberate Nigerian and Community Content Strategy embedded in the projects’ operations to create vast opportunities for Nigerian firms in Engineering, Procurement and Construction contracts; immense employment and sub-contracting opportunities for workers and local contractors in the project area; as well as opportunities for capacity development initiatives, knowledge transfer and human capital development, Adekoya said.
The Cluster Development Board implements SPDC’s Global Memorandum of Understanding for delivering sustainable development projects in the host communities.
Governor Uzodinma has completed many roads which included: World Bank – Federal Secretariat Road, Assumpta – Ibariogwa – Portharcourt Road Owerri; Dick Tiger Road and street; MCC – Relief Market – Egbu Road; Buhari Road; Dee Sam Mbakwe by warehouse Road; World Bank road by Ideal Suites Junction; Lake Nwaebere-Aladimma Shopping Mall Road; MSUTH Road Owerri – Orlu Road under Construction; Owerri – Okigwe Road under construction. .
Other notable achievements included: Ambulance buses donated to 27 LGAs by Imo state Government to fight Covid-19 Pandemic, security vehicles purchased by Shared Prosperity Administration to combat crime and criminality in Imo State; Revival of Adapalm Plantation, Ohaji; 5000 graduates of tertiary institutions for a graduate entrepreneurship training scheme;
Rehabilitation and Recovery of the Civil Service Commission. To and fro Free transit buses for civil servants in the state; Reconstruction of IMSUTH Infrastructure; brand new Toyota SUVs donated to judges in Imo state; Mobile Clinic donated to all 27 LGAs for primary healthcare services among others.