Ihedioha meets Buhari, seeks support on addressing infrastructure deficits in Imo




Ihedioha

Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo state on Monday had a close-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Fielding questions from State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, the governor said he sought the president’s support for the development of infrastructure in the state.

Ihedioha said he discussed the issue of agriculture and how the state would benefit from the federal government’s agricultural intervention programmes.

“The federal government needs to support us in agriculture because the government we succeeded didn’t take advantage of government policies in agriculture.

“So l, we are working towards agricultural revolution to ensure that that becomes a source of revenue. So we need federal government support in that regard.

“We need government support in education, we need government support in the area of healthcare; we need government support in area of building institutions.’’

On the introduction of Treasury Single Account (TSA) by his administration, the governor said the initiative was meant to boost the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the state.

He expressed optimism that the TSA would address leakages and check possible cases of diversion of government revenue by unpatriotic public servants.

“When I came in I found out to my shock that there were accounts in the number that was reported in the media and of course so much leakages and we were not as a state making significant progress from the IGR.

“The IGR base of the state was very weak and when the IGR base is weak without having a productive economy that obviously meant that we depended essentially from what came from federal allocation and of course other agencies being an oil producing state.

“Like you may have found out in my state was something obviously in the breach of what it should be. It became necessary that we should find a way out and I set up a Financial Advisory Committee and Financial Advisory Committee recommended that in view of where we are and because of our decision to instill a regime of fiscal discipline and a regime of transparency and accountability.

“And of course, to reduce the level of corruption in the state, we had to introduce the Treasury Single Account which is not very ideal in many places,’’ he said.

The governor said the state government would strengthen its Bureau for Public Procurement to block leakages in the state

He also dismissed insinuations in some quarters that he was witch-hunting the immediate past administration, saying that his interest was not to talk on the past government but to be focused and bring sanity to governance.

“So, we are not focusing on what the man (Rochas Okorocha) has done, we are focusing on what we are doing and for once you give it to us that if a Chief executive of a state says to his people look I want to run a transparent government and an accountable government that is something significant you have to work upon.

“If you are restoring public water that is something you are doing because you did not meet water. Am I going to say I met water when there was no water? Government house Owerri was disconnected from public power supply when I came, am I supposed to clap?

“The state Secretariat as we speak is still disconnected from public power for about eight years, bridges are built in my state without iron rods, haven’t you heard about it, you have not read about it? You must have heard about it from people who visit Imo, am I surprised to clap?

“You are endangering the lives of Imo people. We don’t lead a government of propaganda, it is not about me and I don’t like talking about my predecessor in office, I am talking about government,

“I am talking about focus, I am talking about the ideals of government that what we are doing first is we are restoring confidence in the entire system,’’ he said.

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