…Receives Reports on Local Government Panel of Inquiry, Take-off of University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has said that he would do his best to implement the recommendations of the reports of panels set up by government to look into the activities of the past government as they concern Imo affairs.
Governor Uzodimma spoke on Thursday at the Sam Mbakwe Executive Chambers, Government House, Owerri while receiving the report on the Local Government Panel of Inquiry headed by Eze Duruiheoma (SAN) and another on the take-off of the new University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences headed by Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie.
Acknowledging the Duruiheoma report on Local Government, Governor Uzodimma said: “I will do my best to implement your recommendations. I have not come to joke. I come to restore hope and sanitise the rot. I will do my best to confront whatever is before me.” He added that “humility is not cowardice and that courtesy does not mean surrender.”
Responding to the monumental sleaze which the Panel reported characterised the local government administration during the administration of former Governor Rochas Okorocha, the Governor described as “unfortunate and regrettable” how those entrusted with the common patrimony squander such goodwill.
The Governor thanked the Panel for painstakingly carrying out the inquiry and urged the members to make themselves available for any other assignment that is in public interest whenever they are called upon.
Earlier, Duruiheoma reported that there were attempts to frustrate the efforts of the committee at doing its work, noting that the Panel was later to discover unimaginable sleaze in the conduct of government business at the local government areas from 2011 to 2019 that saw ₦141 billion being frittered away on “funny projects.” He noted that during the period under review, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs Commissioners, Council Chairmen and contractors were involved in colossal squandering of the LGA allocations and that stealing of public fund was a past time.
Duruiheoma who pleaded with the Governor to ensure that local government areas are made to serve as the pivot for development of our society, regretted that under Okorocha, the LGA was reduced to a bedrock of fraud and criminal diversion of money meant for development.
In another development, Governor Uzodimma also commended the Prof. Awuzie-led nine-member Panel on the take-off of the new Imo State University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, which also submitted its report on Thursday.
The Governor said the take-off has become necessary as it will serve as one of the answers to the post-COVID-19 efforts at repositioning Imo State for economic recovery.
“All over the world, after COVID-19, everything in terms of intervention and stimulus package is dependent on agriculture. To meet the expectations from our people, food security must be worked out,” the Governor said.
Prof. Awuzie had earlier commended the Governor for finding the members of his Panel worthy to fashion out the modalities for the take-off of the university.
He used the opportunity to explain to the Governor how the programmes will run, the staff and facilities requirements and what potentials await the new university and the Imo State Polytechnic that will operate from Omuma, Orlu, Ehime and Amimo campuses simultaneously.
The presentations were witnessed by Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku; the Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins; the Secretary of the State Government, Cosmos Iwu; the Chief of Staff, Barr. Nnamdi Anyaehie; commissioners; and other government appointees.