As the newly sworn in 29 governors across the Federation gradually settle down for business, analysts have not rested on their oars in their bid to ensure that the state of affairs in each of the States is brought to the light of public opinion.
Among the 29 governors who took the oath of office on May 29th, twelve of them are brand new governors, while seventeen are returning governors. Between these 12 governors, is a huge debt burden of over two Trillion Naira debt burden, which includes foreign and domestic debts.
According to a New telegraph investigation published on its Monday edition of the newspaper, Lagos State which has a new governor in the person of Governor Sanwolu is the most indebted State in the country with close to One Trillion Naira in debt, while Imo State is among the least indebted with about 116 billion Naira in debts. These figures which were gotten from the Debt Management Office (DMO) and the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), include pension arrears, foreign and domestic loans and other liabilities.
If we recall that the immediate past governor of Imo State, His Excellency Owelle Rochas Okorocha inherited over 100 billion Naira in debts as at 2011, it will be safe therefore to say that Owelle Rochas Okorocha’s administration was only responsible for less than 16 billion Naira debts in the State.
While information from various States of the Federation is still hazy, as regards how much money is left in the coffers of their States for their new governors to start off with, it is on record that so far, Imo State is the only State in the Federation where the new governor has more than 48 billion Naira in liquid cash to start work with. These monies were openly declared to be in different banks more than five days before the expiration of Governor Okorocha’s tenure and none of these banks came out to deny that these monies were not in their vaults to the credit of Imo State Government.
Ihedioha also inherited some of the best infrastructure by any new governor in the country, such that if he had good heads advising him and the slightest good intentions for the State, all he needs to do is to maintain these infrastructures and Imo will become the best in Africa in terms of infrastructure. The Imo new governor, whose reign is expected not to last beyond nine months, at most, before a run-off election holds is expected to keep these monies safe for Imo people, pending when a legitimately elected governor would take office.
In the area of security, Imo is rated as one of the most peaceful States in the country. This didn’t come without work from the previous administration, especially, when we consider the pitiable security situation, inherited by Owelle Rochas Okorocha in 2011. Owelle purchased about 3000 security vehicles for different security agencies in the State, set up, and equipped a very formidable community policing outfit, with the Imo Security Network and Imo Community Watch, assisting the conventional security outfits in ensuring adequate security of lives and properties in the State. Ihedioha, without any doubts, inherited a safe State.
Apart from the 48 billion Naira liquid cash left in the coffers of the Imo State Government by His Excellency Owelle Rochas Okorocha, Ihedioha is also reaping a rich range of investments in physical infrastructures, with the Imo International Cargo Airport, New Police Headquarters and Nigerian Prisons headquarters, capable of fetching the State over 200 billion Naira in refunds from the Federal Government.
Owelle, who met the Imo State Internally Generated Revenue at less than 400 million Naira a month, increased the IGR to over one Billion Naira monthly and with the Imo International Cargo Airport, four new universities, three new colleges of education, new Polytechnics and thousands of new businesses springing up across the State, Ihedioha, if he has the right ideas, is expected to enjoy an IGR of more than 5 billion Naira a month.
However, if the Imo new helmsman continues with his rash and frightening approach to governance, thousands of investors enticed into the State by deliberate business friendly policies of His Excellency Owelle Rochas Okorocha are most likely going to run away from the State. It is on record that Imo witnessed more inflows of investments from 2011 to 2018 than the State witnessed from 1976 to 2011. It is left for Governor Ihedioha to harness these huge economic potentials for the benefit of the State or squander them on the altar of political showmanship and vendetta.
I shall continue to furnish us, with facts, on regular basis, as regards the huge assets bequeathed to the present government in Imo State, as it is obvious that the former Deputy Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives has surrounded himself with lying machines who seem set to doctor the records and deceive Imolites. But facts don’t die, even though they may be hidden, but they eventually rise.
MAY IMO MOVE FORWARD!