Expect more development in Imo, Uzodimma assures at inauguration


…Imo safe, happy and ready for business, says Tinubu




After his inauguration on Monday for a second term in office, Governor Hope Uzodimma told the people of Imo State to expect more development in the next four years.




Governor Uzodimma and his new Deputy, Lady Chinyere Ihuoma Ekomaru, were inaugurated at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri, at a well attended ceremony that attracted the high and mighty from Imo State and beyond including from the Presidency, the National Assembly, the Judiciary, the traditional institution, the clergy, the academia, captains of industries and others.




The Chief Judge of Imo State, Justice Theresa Chikeka administered the oath on Governor Uzodimma and his deputy, Lady Ekomaru, surrounded by their family members.




In a massive show of solidarity, the Imo State First Lady, Barr. Chioma Uzodimma, led other 21 First Ladies to grace the occasion.








Governor Uzodimma said massive economic development and concerted efforts to sustain the gains of the foundation already laid for economic prosperity of the State is a task his second term must accomplish.




“I want us to see the event of today as remarkable because it opens a new page in our history. That new page is the commencement of our determined march to economic growth and self sufficiency. It heralds the new dawn in our efforts to develop Imo State and make it one of the leading industrial states in Nigeria and indeed, West Africa. This is our vision and mission, and it is doable.”




The Governor also reiterated his pledge in his New Year meassage, that his second term performance will exceed and in fact, dwarf that of his first term.




In his brief keynote address after witnessing the inauguration, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu remarked that he was glad that “today, Imo is safe, happy and ready for business.”




Governor Uzodimma in his address assured that his second term ambition is to work to ensure that Imo State is the industrial hub of the South East, Nigeria, and West Africa.




“It is one that our generation must accomplish, to the glory of God,” he said adding “my second tenure shall be defined by an uncommon apostolic zeal and tenacious application of clinical efficiency in the execution of policies.”




The Governor promised that the massive economic development of Imo State with emphasis on 15 sectors will permeate every community or ward through the Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI) where, in the next 12 months, each community will have something to show, based on their needs as government presence, either in the area of electricity, portable water, health centre, market etc.




The Governor’s address read in full:




“My esteemed and beloved people of Imo State, it is to the glory of God that we are privileged to witness this momentous occasion of my swearing in as the governor of Imo State for a second tenure. I am mindful of the fact that this would not have been possible without your love and support at the governorship election of November 11, 2023. I thank you all most sincerely.




“As you witnessed, I have just performed the solemn ritual of taking the oath of office to defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to serve Imo people faithfully. Expectedly, the oath-taking ended with the invocation of God to help me. For me, this is not a mere ritual. It is a renewal of my covenant with God and the good people of Imo State. That covenant is to serve Imo people honestly and faithfully, to the best of my ability and with the fear of God.




“So, as I give God the glory for making this day possible, I once again declare my profound gratitude to Imo people who, through their unprecedented massive support for me in the November 11th, 2023 governorship election, made this day possible. Never in the history of democracy in our state has any governor won in all the local governments, but you did it for me. Thank you very much indeed. By that victory, I entered into a social contract with all Imo people, and it is a contract I intend to honour.




“I cannot proceed further without extending my deepest appreciation to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, for honouring us today with his highly esteemed presence. Mr. President Sir, Imo people feel very happy indeed that you squeezed out time from your usually crowded programmes to be personally present at this event. It speaks volumes of your love for Imo people. Thank you Mr. President  and  welcome.




“I also welcome in a very special way, all State governors here present, former President Olusegun Obasanjo,  the National Chairman of our great party, His Excellency Abdulahi Umar Ganduje, members of the National Assembly, Hon Ministers, highly revered traditional rulers, notable leaders and members of the clergy from different parts of the country.




“On that note, let me gladly recall that in the last four years, we have demonstrated a high degree of commitment to duty. We demonstrated vision and purpose. We were also able to demonstrate that managing public funds honestly, prudently and transparently is doable and also yields more dividends of democracy.




“Expectedly, our shared prosperity mantra, which is the philosophical fulcrum of my administration, was able to address the problem of infrastructure deficit and the near absence of governance that we met on the ground in January, 2020. Through the provision of extensive road infrastructure, we have been able to lay a solid foundation for the accelerated economic growth and development of our state. We also addressed the decay in the civil service, education, and the health sector.




“In addition, we addressed the lingering problem of unemployment, through a variety of youth empowerment initiatives and artificial intelligence that included the provision of digital and other portable skills. There is, therefore, no gainsaying that the right foundations were put in place in the last four years to enable our state to move to the next level. Now, another tenure of four years has been availed to us, and we are ready, able, and determined to take our state to that next level.




“The next four years of my administration will, therefore, focus firmly on deepening our shared prosperity mantra through massive infrastructure expansion to ensure accelerated economic growth. I have already signaled this new direction in the 2024 budget in which capital expenditure has the lion share of 491.2b of the total budget of 591.2b or 83% of the budget. This transformational journey, which we have commenced with the 2024 budget, will be sustained in the next four years.




“In doing so, our vision will be anchored on our 10-year Development Plan, which has been outlined in my vision document. This development plan has the capacity to transform Imo State into an industrial, self- sufficient state in the next ten years.




“This 10-year development plan is also designed to deepen the intervention framework of my 3R mantra of Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction.




“In the development plan we have identified priority sectors, including industries and projects, which will accelerate the economic prosperity of our dear Imo State such as the Orashi Free Trade Zone and the supporting businesses such as petrochemicals industries, gas processing facilities, etc.




“Another focus of the plan is to harness our agricultural potentials and exploit the mineral resources and align them to the proposed establishment of ceramic industry and agro processing facilities across the three senatorial districts of Imo State. The lifespan of the development plan was deliberately made to last beyond my tenure because I believe that government is a continuum.




“Let me assure you that, on my honour, I am determined to exceed my own first tenure records. As I said in my New Year broadcast, my second tenure achievements will dwarf the achievements of my first tenure. Those who followed the evangelical zeal of St. Paul in the Bible would know that he put in more effort in his second missionary journey because he wanted to consolidate on the gains of the first journey. That spirit of St Paul’s second missionary journey shall be the spirit that will drive my second tenure.




“In like manner, I have been greatly inspired by the audacious and visionary transformational programmes and policies of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR. His emphasis on infrastructure development through generous budgetary provisions for capital expenditure define the qualities of a leader that is burning with the fervent desire to develop his country.




“I am therefore delighted to affirm that my second tenure will be centred on the massive economic development of the state, which will permeate every community or ward. We shall kick start this through our Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI). Consequently, within the first 12 months of the current tenure, every community in the state will feel the impact with at least one significant project fully executed for them.




“Consequently, in the coming weeks, working with the local government council leadership, each community will be expected to identify one project that they want the government to do for them. The chosen project must have a direct and immediate impact on the overall economy of the communities. It could be in the form of provision of electricity, potable water, road, a health centre or a market development project. Further details and modalities for this community economic development initiative will be made available within the next few weeks.




“As I mentioned earlier, the policy thrust of my second tenure would continue to be massive investments in infrastructure, full recovery of the economy to a sustainable level, human capital development with emphasis on youth empowerment and educational advancement of our children, coupled with the further invigoration of the civil service for more efficient service delivery. Anything recurrent is considered the normal or statutory business of government.  Therefore, it must be taken care of in the course of governance.  In my normal tradition, the prompt payment of salaries and pensions will remain a priority.




“My priority areas going forward will be on 15 critical sectors needed for the sustainable development of Imo State. This will be in tandem with my 3R mantra and the 10-year Development Plan as earlier mentioned.  The areas are:


  1. Road infrastructure


  1. Education


  1. Health


  1. Sanitation


  1. Water Supply


  1. Agriculture and Food Security


  1. Housing and New Cities Development.


  1. Digital infrastructure


  1. Transportation Infrastructure


  1. Market Access


  1. Industrial Policy


  1. Safety / Security


  1. Enabling Laws and Policies


  1. Public Financial Management


  1. Electricity Infrastructure




“In line with the standard institutional framework, each of these sectors is to be implemented in such a manner that the results would readily impact the economy and standard of living of the citizenry.




“My dear brothers and sisters, as you know, Imo State belongs to all of us, and building the state of our dream will require the contributions of everyone of us, irrespective of our political affiliations. The time has come to bury all those differences so we can work collectively to develop our state. Remember, this is the only state we can truly call our own. Therefore, we should all think of how we can contribute to her growth instead of leaving it to the government alone.




“The least we can do to demonstrate our love and patriotic zeal for our state is to be law-abiding and responsible citizens who take our civic obligations to our state seriously. Our simple civic obligations like paying taxes, observing traffic rules, and keeping our environment clean can go a long way toward helping the government succeed.




“In the same vein, I urge all those with the wherewithal to think of establishing industries, especially in the rural areas, to help create jobs for the youths. On our part as government, we will continue to provide the enabling environment and assistance to encourage all well-meaning investors.




“My beloved Imo people, Ndi Imo, I have just given you a synopsis of my vision and mission for the next four years, which should suffice for this occasion.




“Having said that, I want us to see the event of today  as remarkable because it opens a new page in our history.  That new page is the commencement of our determined march to economic growth and self sufficiency. It heralds the new dawn in our efforts to develop Imo State and make it one of the leading industrial states in Nigeria and indeed, West Africa. This is our vision and mission, and it is doable.




“In this regard, I am pleased to inform you that our shared prosperity flight which is taking us to the great Imo State of our dream, is now at cruising altitude. So, relax, unfasten your seat belts and enjoy the rest of the flight. An experienced and dependable captain is in charge.




“I will also like you to take this home from this ceremony today: By the time we are through with another four years, the institutional and infrastructural structures we would have put in place will make it a herculean task for any Pharaoh to take Imo State back to Egypt.  Let me assure you that my second tenure shall be defined by an uncommon apostolic zeal and tenacious application of clinical efficiency in the execution of policies. The task is to make Imo State the industrial hub of the South East, Nigeria, and West Africa. It is one that our generation must accomplish, to the glory of God.




“Once again, I thank Mr President, and all the dignitaries who are here today for honouring us with their presence. thank you Ndimo for your love and uncommon solidarity. I invite you all to work with me to build a great Imo State that we shall all be proud of.


“Thank you and may God bless all of us.”




President Tinubu who congratulated Governor Uzodimma said it was a joy for him to be part of the swearing in ceremony which afforded him the opportunity “to witness a rekindling of hope and blessing of the seed of prosperity.”




The President said that the relative peace Imo people are enjoying today will be better, noting that the federal government will work together with the people to make it even better. “What we learn from this is for us to work together and pay attention to our internal security.”




Tinubu who said he was glad Imo State is part of a united country working hard to move it forward assured of his government’s readiness to bring substantial development in the areas of education, industrialisation, health care, training and employment.




Catholic Archbishop of  Owerri, Most Rev Lucius Ugorji offered the inauguration prayer for the Governor, the Deputy, Imo State, President Tinubu  and Nigeria.




Senate President and his deputy, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Governors of Abia, Borno, Ebonyi, Cross River, Ekiti, Lagos, Rivers, Ogun, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje, former Governor Rochas Okorocha, former Governor Adams Oshiomhole, former Governor Ikedi Ohakim, the Ooni of Ife, the Obi of Onitsha, the Etsu Nupe, the Chairman, Imo State Council of traditional rulers, Eze EC Okeke, Ministers, serving and former members of the National and State legislators, captains of industries among other dignitaries too numerous to mention attended the event.






Oguwike Nwachuku


Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to the Governor