Ihedioha Seeks Buhari’s Support on InfrastructureFeatured, Latest News, News Monday, July 22nd, 2019
By Rotimi Fadeyi
(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha on Monday met President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa over support on infrastructural development in the state. Speaking with State House Correspondents after the closed-door meeting, Ihediora said the infrastructure in the state has decayed and in deplorable state.
The governor disclosed that he has solicited for the intervention of the President to tackle the situation.
According to him, he also discussed the issue of agriculture with Buhari and how the state could benefit from agricultural projects of the Federal Government
He said, “we need the Federal Government support in all facets of the economy. Government would need to support us in agriculture because government we succeeded didn’t take advantage of government policies in agriculture.
“So we are working towards agricultural revolution to ensure that becomes a source of revenue. So we need federal government support in that regard. We need government support in education, we need government support in the area of healthcare, we need government support in area of building institutions”, Ihediora added.
The governor explained that he introduced the Treasury Single Account, TSA, to improve the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, instead of over burdening the poor masses.
“When I came in I found out to my shock that there were accounts in the number that was reported in the media and of course so much leakages and we were not as a state making significant progress from the IGR.
“The IGR base of the state was very weak and when the IGR base is weak without having a productive economy that obviously meant that we depended essentially from what came from federal allocation and of course other agencies being an oil producing state.
“Like you may have found out, my state was something obviously in the breach of what it should be”, he said.
Ihediora further said, “It became necessary that we should find a way out and I set up a Financial Advisory Committee and Financial Advisory Committee recommended that in view of where we are and because of our decision to instill a regime of fiscal discipline and a regime of transparency and accountability and of course to reduce the level of corruption in the state, we had to introduce the Treasury Single Account, TSA, which is not very ideal in many places.
“But for us we felt we needed to start a new, we needed to confront the issues and begin to reposition our state as a state that will be alive to the demands expected of us by our people.
“When the electorate voted us in, they believe in our ability to come and transform the state, to reign in a regime of transparency and accountability, that is what we are trying to do. So we have done that.
“But apart from that, we are strengthening the Bureau for Public Procurement in the state. If check through the what is the ranking in ease of doing business, Imo finished 34th out of 37 and in several ways we have been lagging behind, we have fallen back, deteriorated from where we used to be.
“Ours used to be a very civilized state, so we have a duty and conviction that we need to take it to that level. So we have taken steps, closing the gap and we have enjoined the MDAs to work with the authorities to ensure that we can have an account to have a more accountable system of running the affairs of the state.”
The governor also stated that as a result of the rot in the previous administration, there have been pressure from the people to take action against the past government, adding that his interest was not to talk on the past government but to be focused and bring sanity to governance.
He also said, “the issue is that I have been bending over backwards, I have been putting pressure on a lot of people who want certain things done. I will tell you for instance the opecity in land administration in my state which you must have been heard.
“So stakeholders of the state who own those lands that were taken away from them have been on the government, putting a lot of pressure to investigate but I am like just saying take it easy that is not want I am here for, we have to redesign the state, we want to regain confidence back in Imo.” Ihediora added.
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