*Insists time to rebuild Imo is now
Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State has presented a Budget of N197,607,272,328.00 for the State’s 2020 financial year.
Of this amount N91,377,822,129.00 is for recurrent expenditure, while N106,229,450,200.00 will go to capital expenditure.
Sectoral allocation include Ministry of Works N41,318,250,095, Economic Sector N23,249,659,233, Social Services N21,089,598,734, Administration and Services N16,425,907,270 , while N4,146,034,868 will be expended on counterpart funding projects.
In his speech at the presentation of the Budget tagged “Rebuild Imo Budget One,” to the Imo State House of Assembly, on Wednesday, the governor announced that works had commenced on 25 critical roads across the State. These include the reconstruction of portions of five major roads leading into the State capital.
The roads are: the Owerri-Orlu Road, Owerri-Okigwe Road, Owerri-Obowo Road, Owerri-Aba Road and the Owerri-Port Harcourt Road.
The Governor added that these roads are federal roads but impact the ease of movement and doing business in the State. Consequently, about N40 billion is being committed to these projects.
Furthermore, he disclosed that the state has equally given priority attention to rural road construction.
Accordingly, the state government, has harnessed resources and paid N500 million counterpart funding to the World Bank and so attracted N13.5 billion from the Bank, under its Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP).
The network involves a cumulative distance of 380.7 kilometers and are already under construction across 26 local government areas under the programme.
He bemoaned the state of ruins in which the new government met the State upon assumption of office.
His words, “Imo State was like a pariah state, avoided by investors, ignored by international donor agencies, and denigrated by national agencies.
“The state could not receive $18m World Bank grant due to the absence of transparency and accountability in governance. Reports upon reports lamented the unwillingness of the then government to work within constitutionally approved structures of governance, its lack of due process and recourse to ad hoc and episodic approaches to governance.
“This came along with it a huge loss of investor confidence and absence of international development assistance.”
Governor Ihedioha consequently, announced that it is a new dawn as, according to him, the days of imperial governorship in the state were over.
He expressed optimism that the outlook of the State was bright because the state has started to witness increasing investor confidence, while its national and international profiles were rising.