Imo Govt seals deal on 200 room bed Five Star hotel

… Uzodimma accents into law, bills on Imo electricity, merger of campuses of Imo Polytechnic


Governor Hope Uzodimma on Thursday recorded another feat in his quest to develop Imo State, leading top government officials to seal a deal with development partners on the building of 200 room Five Star hotel to be called Imo Marriot in Owerri.


The hotel which will be ready in 24 months is a product of agreement between Imo State Government, Hassan Allam Construction, Afrexim Bank, Fidelity Bank and Punz Limited, under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.


Also same day, Governor Uzodimma accented two Executive Bills into law – a Bill on Electricity and another, a Bill to amend the  Imo State Polytechnic law No. 15 of 2012 to pave the way for the merger of campuses of the Imo State Polytechnic.


The Governor said signing the two Bills into law became necessary to position Imo State on the path of sustainable development.


He said that poor electricity generation and distribution has taken the shine off the development indices in Imo State and should not be allowed to continue.


Governor Uzodimma therefore hinted that he had approached President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to allow the Imo State government to take over the Egbema Power Plant, a federal government project conceived under the Niger Delta Power Holding Company and abandoned since 2006.


He said the President has graciously granted his request to take over the Egbema Power Plant, rehabilitate the facilities therein and rely on same to solve the electricity challenge of the State in line with the President’s Renewed Hope Agenda.


The Governor said already, he had visited the site with some experts, technical partners and officials of government to assess the level of decay on ground which will run into millions of dollars and that the technical partners and the experts have also visited the 27 local government areas of Imo State to look at the connectivity aspect of the communities to the Plant in question.


The Governor said he is optimistic that in 12 months, Imo State story with regard to effective power generation, supply and consumption will be different.


On the Bill to amend the existing Imo State Polytechnic law No 15 of 2012 to pave the way for merger of campuses, Governor Uzodimma said that the State is already spending so much hosting the highest number of higher Institutions in the country.


The Governor said the Imo State Polytechnic Amendment Bill that has reversed the multi-campus system to a mono-campus system

will impact more positively on the students, their sponsors and the government in all ramifications, particularly in terms of the protection of lives of the students and their teachers.


The Imo State Electricity Bill signed into Law, he said, will help in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity supply in Imo State.


Signing the two Bills into law at the New Exco Chambers Government House Owerri, as they were presented by the Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Chike Olemgbe, accompanied by other Principal Officers of the Assembly, the Governor described the occasion as “another milestone in the development of Imo State targeted at moving Imo to a higher level.”


He commended the Speaker and members of the Assembly for their cooperation which he said “is in sync with the Executive Arm of the Government aimed at providing quality service to Imo people.”


The Governor informed that making Imo State Polytechnic a mono-campus is to, among other things, “cut cost and reduce student’s risk of movement and ensure prompt verifications and effective supervision as well as allow for easy teaching and learning and graduation of the students at the appropriate time.”


On the Imo State Electricity law the Governor said that it is “aimed at bringing rapid development in our rural areas, as lack of electricity is killing businesses, heightened unemployment and creating vices in our communities.”


He recalled the late former Governor, Sam Mbakwe’s vision of 1979-1983 that helped to sustain development at both the urban and rural areas and drastically reduced rural urban migration.


The Governor said the removal of electricity from the Exclusive list to Concurrent list of the Constitution is an opportunity for every sub-national government to rise to the challenge of providing power to their people.


“Electricity is at the heart of any meaningful development. Electricity is like food we eat everyday.”


Recalling his findings at the Egbema Power Plant where the project awarded in 2006 for transmission and distribution has been abandoned by 80% he said he had requested the President to allow Imo State and her partners to take over the project and put it to meaningful use.


“Mr. President Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu has graciously approved the transfer of the Egbema Power Plant to Imo State and we have signed MOU for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in the State with a reputable Company.”


He said it was for that reason that he commissioned a Technical team that has gone round the State to find out how to get power distributed in Imo State.


To further develop the State, Governor Uzodimma asked for everyone’s understanding and cooperation as it will be a thing of joy to bequeath those coming behind us a befitting legacy, noting that, “Imo will be better.”


Finally, he thanked the Speaker and members of the State Assembly for their cooperation and support towards the development of Imo and affirmed that the two bills and the MOU he had signed will lead to the provision of over 25,000 direct jobs.


“What we do today is for our generation to come, it is about the interest of our future children.”


Presenting the Bills for accent the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Chike Olemgbe said that the two Bills went through the rigours and scrutiny of the State House of Assembly and that “the electricity distribution and transmission Bill makes provision for improved power supply as well as sure-up distribution to our communities.”


On the amendment of the Imo Polytechnic Law he informed that considerations were given mainly to costs and conveniences of the lecturers and students and the need for unified information and data of the processes of the Polytechnic.


He pledged continued cooperation with the Governor and the Executive arm of government for a better Imo State.


Present at the signing of Bills were the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Lady (Dr) Chinyere Ekomaru, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmas Iwu, the Chief of Staff, Barr. Nnamdi Anyaehie, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. C.O.C Akaolisa and members of the State’s Expanded Exco.


The Speaker was accompanied by the Majority Leader, Rt. Hon. Kanayo Onyemaechi, the Clerk of the Assembly, Barr. Chinelo Emeghara who informed the Governor on the reason for the visit and other Principal Officers of the 10th Assembly.


Earlier, Governor Uzodimma signed the MOU in his Conference Room for the Five Star hotel on behalf of Imo State Government, while the Managing Director of Hassan Allam, Mahmoud El Essawy signed on behalf of the other partners, Afrexim Bank, Fidelity Bank and Punz Limited.


The Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmos Iwu, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Barr Nnamdi Anyaehie and other top government officials were on hand to witness the signing of the MOU by both partners.


The Governor said that the project is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement where Imo State is contributing no dime except the provision of land that guarantees the State equity share in the project ownership.


He equally said that the construction period of the Five Star hotel is 24 months and that the signing of the MOU was “to activate the processes leading to the achievement of the project.”


The Governor who asserted that the MOU on the Hotel and accent to the Bills are indications that “gradually Imo is getting there,” added that Imo will be better because his administration is ready to “solve the problems bedeviling the State.”