…Appeals for understanding over demolitions, pension delay
The Imo State Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha has appealed to the people of Imo State, especially residents of Owerri, the state capital, to appreciate the on-going demolition exercise in the city as it is aimed at making Owerri the pride of the people.
Addressing Journalists at the NUJ Press Centre Owerri on Monday, July 11, Governor Okorocha said his passion for the development of the State in the best interest of the people and children yet unborn.
He said he won’t relent until he realized his ambition, adding that his plan includes making Owerri a model city that would have the capacity to attract investors, as no city attracts investors by remaining stagnant or dirty.
On the contentious, Ekeukwu Owerri Market, he said it would be moved to Egbeada in Mbaitoli L.G.A, explaining that a major market cannot be located at the centre of the city and that the problem of Douglas Road has been the market.
He regretted that some people have refused or failed to appreciate the need for the Ekeukwu Market to be moved out of petty interest saying that there was no going back on the relocation.
He said his government has brought a lot of brand new things to the State and went ahead to begin to name such structures or outfits, appealing to the people of the State to continue in their unflinching support for his administration because he means well, and that all his actions and inactions have been in the best interest of the State and her people.
Okorocha said it is unfortunate that some Imolites are not keying into his vision stressing that he is the most misunderstood governor of the State.
He recalled that before he emerged Governor of Imo State in 2011 the people were disenchanted with the then administration and despite his persistent efforts to transform the State since then, his intentions and vision for the State has been clearly misunderstood.
“There was dissatisfaction in Imo State before I came, there were complains. There is need for a shared vision because I am a radical governor to effect radical change in the State” He said.
He appealed to the people of the State to key into his vision explaining that since he became governor five years ago, he has undertaken brand new projects aimed at transforming the State despite the odds and challenges. He stated that poverty rate has reduced in the State and his achievements have surpassed that of previous administrations.
Okorocha mentioned the security of the State as one of his major achievements since he emerged governor. He said the era of kidnapping and armed robbery was over in the State as he is committed to ensuring the emergence of a brand new Imo State for future generations to enjoy. On the free education programme he said it has become a remarkable success , just as he has succeeded to erect brand new infrastructural projects such as roads across the nooks and crannies of the State.
The Imo State governor explained to journalists that his reluctance in paying salaries to workers is based on the down turn in the economy of the nation as a result in the drop in oil prices which affected the federal allocation Imo state received.
He said when the national economy was booming and the State had enough funds, he promptly paid pensioners in the State.
Okorocha stated that suddenly the pension of pensioners suddenly got over-bloated and this was responsible for the delay in payment of pensions in recent times. He said during the era of the Ohakim administration, pensioners gulped about N305 million naira only to increase to over N1 billion naira in recent times.
He said some of the workers in the State are indolent revealing that workers salaries eat up about 90% of the finances of the State. He said the 70: 30 percent sharing formula between labour and the State government has clearly exposed to Labour the pains he underwent in paying salaries to workers.
He denied claims that Imo State is indebted stating that the State is not owing any bank aside the bail-out funds advanced to the State by the Federal Government which he has successfully restructured to be repaid within a period of 20 years.
The State governor explained to newsmen that the Imo Transport Company (ITC) will be relocated to Owerri- Aba express road. He said since the new management committee was set up, the State government receives N20 million naira monthly, a monumental increase from the N2 million naira monthly it received from the sacked management consultant.
The Imo State governor called on the people of the South East to strongly support the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration. He expressed concern that the South West and South- South are taking the upper hand in its support for the present federal government.
He added that the war on corruption embarked on by the Buhari government is real as stolen monies are being returned to the coffers of the federal government.
He took a swipe at the PDP, describing it as the worst thing that has happened to the nation., calling on the people to be patient with the Buhari administration.
The Governor accused The Leader Newspaper, among other things, of “feeding the public with lies” as regards his administration, adding that the paper reported that the N50m the state government donated to the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri (for the cathedral renovation) bounced.
(By our reporter with additional reports from innonews.com)