By Ben AHANONU
History was made in Imo State, on Wednesday, 17th of June, 2020, when the Executive Governor of Imo State, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma, declared open, the 5-Day Capacity Building Workshop for participants in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)/NIRSAL Business Support and Recovery Loan Scheme, which he attracted to Imo State through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, with the stepdown transformer, in the person of Hon Barr Kingsley Ononuju (Ekwedashike), a proven workaholic and true apostle of Project Hope.
This is the first time, such awesome economic development and wealth creation project will happen in Imo State and this is equally in tune with the Shared Prosperity thrust of the new Imo Government as captured in the 3R-Vision of Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Recovery.
With the goal of empowering 3,500 Imo people in one fell swoop, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma has indeed proven to the world that he is determined on the onerous task of taking the poor masses of the state out of precarious poverty.
According to the Governor, ” Nothing is indeed more important in life than supporting people to excel by empowering them with opportunities, tools, and finance. For all people, talents, and destinies, come in different forms and as the government of Imo State, we aspire to change for the better, destinies, talents, and opportunities for our people hence our drive for Prosperity Agenda.”
Today, Imo people, especially, the selected participants from the 27 Local Government Areas for the loan scheme are upbeat as Governor Uzodimma ushers them into a new era of economic recovery and prosperity.
When Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma, emerged as the sixth democratically elected Governor of Imo State, he came with a clear vision of Backward Integration as a development strategy, which will benefit poor people and the rural areas.
Without doubt, all the actions Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma has taken so far in office, have been driven by a passionate desire to serve Imo people with sincerity of purpose and improve a lot of the poor masses of Imo State, who until his emergence as Governor, have not been fortunate enough to have a good and people-oriented leader like late Dee Sam Mbakwe, who was an iconic leader by every measure or yardstick.
In his quest to provide result-driven and purposeful leadership with the poor masses as his prime focus, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma has assented to many bills as passed by the hard-working Imo House of Assembly, which is in perfect synergy with the executive arm of government for quick delivery of goals.`
The bills include The Imo State Waste Management Bill, which seems to establish a State Waste Management Agency, that will help to address the issue of indiscriminate dumping of refuse. It also aims at converting waste to wealth and as it were, the process is on.
The Consolidation of Land Use Charges bill, which will end land grabbing in the State.
Bill for the prevention of Corona Virus in the State.
The bill on Licensing and Control of Oil Mills, which when fully applied, will end the perennial pillaging of government-owned oil mills. It will also contribute immensely to the economic development of the State.
The Autonomous Community, Traditional Rulers, and other Matters Law, meant to repeal the draconian Community Government Council Law, which turned Traditional Rulers in the State into politicians in disguise.
Worthy of mention is the Bill, which repealed the Pension Law of 2007, as enacted by the Achike Udenwa administration for former Governors, their deputies, Speakers, and deputy Speakers. The bill, which has been signed into law by Governor Hope Uzodinma, stopped the impunity of former public office holders, who had hitherto, drained Imo Treasury. Interestingly, Governor Uzodimma assented to the Executive Bill, regardless of the fact that it will affect him.
Governor Uzodimma has also taken steps to control the lingering yearly flooding in Owerri by constructing and rehabilitating six roads that house the main drainage systems in Owerri and with that the City has been flood-free since the commencement of this year’s rainy season.
The foregoing are a few amongst many of his outstanding people-driven achievements and just recently, Governor Uzodimma, attracted the NNPC, SEPLAT’s $1.2m medical facility to Imo State.
The good news is that to the Governor, nothing has yet been done. There are many legacy projects in the pipeline, including industrialization. He loves the poor masses of Imo, he wants them to be happy, healthy, and live a productive life.
That is why he made the CBN/NIRSAL collateral-free loan entirely free. The people are happy. The echoes are reverberating in the land and the impact will endure for generations yet unborn.
It would be recalled that before now, the Governor in a clear and undiluted display of magnanimity sacrificed his Security Vote for the payment of salaries and development of Imo State.
According to an Igbo adage, great men are born and not made, so it is with distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma, whose humble and steady rise to greatness and prominence, irrespective of daunting challenges is nothing but divine.
Governor Hope Uzodinma is a man always driven by the passion for humanity, that is why his benevolence and philanthropy are unrivaled.
Ben AHANONU, is a Media Consultant and Special Adviser to the Hon. Commissioner for Commerce and Industry.
Eid: Buhari asks Nigerians to pray against banditry, kidnapping
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Wednesday asked Nigerians to pray against kidnapping, banditry and blackmail.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President made the call in his Eid-il-Fitr message.
The statement was titled ‘On the occasion of Eid, President Buhari calls for unity and solidarity’.
Shehu quoted the President as saying, “On this blessed occasion, I wish that the Eid festival brings with it peace, safety, security, brotherhood and love amongst all.
“Unity and solidarity among all citizens, Muslims and Christians are imperative especially at a time when our country is faced with multiple challenges which are surmountable only when we come together as one.
“It is important that we remember how we share, through our faiths, common bonds that should serve to unite us and not allow ourselves to succumb to those who seek to divide us, using our two great religions, for their own selfish advantages.
“We should jointly pray against the tragic incidents of kidnapping and banditry and the desperate quest for political power expressed through blackmail against the existence of our country as a united entity.
“We must resist the temptation to retreat into our communities. I urge our political and religious leaders as well as traditional rulers to encourage our citizens to turn towards one another in love and compassion.”
Insecurity: Southern Governors ban open grazing, ask Buhari to address nation
The governors in 17 states of the southern part of Nigeria have demanded the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to address Nigerians on the challenges of insecurity and restore the confidence of the people.
The Forum stated this in a 12-point communique read by its Chairman, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, at the end of its four hours meeting held in Asaba, the Delta State capital.
The governors affirmed that the people of Southern Nigeria remain committed to the unity of Nigeria on the basis of justice, fairness, equity, oneness, and peaceful co-existence between and among its peoples with a focus on the attainment of shared goals for economic development and prosperity.
He said, “Southern Governors expressed very grave concern on the security challenges currently plaguing the nation and strongly urged that Mr. President should address Nigerians on the challenges of insecurity and restore the confidence of our people.
“We observed that the incursion of armed herders, criminals, and bandits into the Southern part of the country has presented a severe security challenge such that citizens are not able to live their normal lives including pursuing various productive activities leading to a threat to food supply and general security.
“Consequently, the meeting resolved that open grazing of cattle be banned across Southern Nigeria.
“Agreed that the progress of the nation requires that urgent and bold steps be taken to restructure the Nigerian Federation leading to the evolution of state police, review of revenue allocation formula in favour of the sub-national governments and creation of other institutions which legitimately advance our commitment to and practice of true federalism.
“In view of widespread agitations among our various peoples for greater inclusiveness in existing governance arrangements, the Federal Government should convoke a national dialogue as a matter of urgency.”
The forum expressed concern about the continued gridlock on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway.
The meeting, therefore, recommended the activation and establishment of ports in other states of the federation to create new jobs and promote socio-economic activities in the country.
The Southern Governors also expressed concern on the economic implications of another lockdown on the country and therefore suggested greater coordination and cooperation between Federal and State Governments in evolving strategies for dealing with the pandemic.
Fifteen governors were in attendance at the meeting.
They are Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Dr Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos).
Others are Douye Diri (Bayelsa), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), David Umahi (Ebonyi), Willie Obiano (Anambra). Imo and Akwa Ibom States were represented by their deputy governors, while Osun and Cross Rivers states were absent at the meeting.
Buhari sends delegation to Ghana over Nigerian traders’ plight
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has directed that a ministerial delegation be sent to Ghana to resolve the prolonged conflict between Nigerian traders and Ghanaian authorities.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, disclosed this on Monday.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Ifedayo Sayo, the minister spoke at a meeting.
The statement was titled, ‘FG delegation to visit Ghana over Nigerian traders’ conflict with Ghanaian counterparts.’
“President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that a ministerial delegation be sent to Ghana to resolve the lingering conflict between Nigerian traders and Ghanaian authorities,” the minister was quoted as saying.
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Adebayo, who said he would be leading the delegation, added that members of the delegation “will also engage in further dialogue with Ghanaian authorities with a view to finding a lasting solution to the problem.”
He disclosed that the delegation is expected to embark on the visit between May 31 and June 1, 2021.
Other member of the delegation include the Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada; the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo; the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Yewande Sadiku; Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa; and the President of National Association of Nigerian Traders, Dr Ken Ukaoha.
There has been lingering controversy over $1 million levy imposed on Nigerian traders and foreign investors by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre.
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