Ihedioha: Off to a Good Start

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Emeka Ihedioha
emeka Ihedioha

Saturday letter1

It is now clear to everyone that we have a government that is clear-headed in Imo State. We have a government whose word is its bond. 

A government that is genuinely committed to the well-being and progress of its teaming population will no doubt get the kind of support the new government in the state is getting. Within a short time the state government is critically x-raying the myriad of challenges facing the state and proffering not only the solutions but showing unbridled appetite for the development of the state. 

Nothing reflects the unquenchable desire of the state government for the rapid development of the state than the genuine interest and commitment the Deputy Governor, Hon. Gerald Irona has shown. It is reassuring that within two weeks in office the deputy governor has shown a mastery of the challenges and what must be done to fix things and make the state work.

It is no gainsaying that modern economies run away from a mono-product. In Nigeria, there are calls on both federal government and the government in states to diversify the economy by seeking alternative means of generating revenue and creating jobs for the people. Apart from agriculture, one sector the government at all tiers look seriously into is the development of the tourism sector. This is one of the sectors the Ihedioha-led government seeks to make so much impact. It is therefore not surprising that Gerald Irona, on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, reiterated the commitment of the state government to reviving the tourism sector of the state economy for the purposes of deepening and expanding the economy, creating jobs and fighting insecurity. During a facility tour of the moribund Oguta Motel alongside the wife of the governor, Lady Ebere Ihedioha recently, the deputy governor assured the people of the state that the tourist centre would be revived. He noted that when revived, the facility is capable of creating jobs and improving the state’s economy. 

With the government keen on creating jobs and rebuilding the economy, the opportunities presented by the tourism sector cannot be ignored but holistically tapped into for the overall good and growth of the people. “The new government will tackle the challenges on ground and revive the Motel, in line with the government’s policy to boost tourism, create jobs and enhance the economy of the state”, he was quoted as saying. Of course, despite that the tourist site had been abandoned by the Okorocha administration, Irona posts the assurance that the “Imo State government is committed to reviving the moribund Oguta Lake Motel and Golf Course”. 

Oguta is one of the first territories used by the British to find their route into the Igbo hinterland. It is rich in culture and tourist attractions. This community of enlightened men and women is a socio-geographic community town with a surface area of approximately 2,025.75 square kilometres. Situated in Imo State of Nigeria, Oguta shares boundaries with Anambra, Delta and Rivers States and is about 45 minutes drive from the capital city of Owerri and about one hour to the Sam Mbakwe International Airport, Owerri. Oguta is located inside the Lower Niger drainage basin.

The Ihedioha administration has specifically said it would “put together a calendar of major cultural and tourist events which will be staged within given periods of the year, identify and archive areas of historical, artistic and anthropological heritage in Imo State”. It said they were poised to “revive the Ozuruimo Cultural Festival, restore and retool the popular Ahiajoku Lecture, which showcases the intellectual prowess of Ndi Igbo and promote Igbo Language amongst our people and encourage the use of Igbo Language in all schools and for the conduct of government business through the institution of the ‘Suo-Igbo’ programme”.

Collins Ughalaa, ughalaacollins@gmail.com