Amby Uneze in Owerri
Imo State Government yesterday said it has awarded over N40 billion contracts for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of dilapidated roads in the state, especially the major roads that link the state capital to other zones.
Governor Emeka Ihedioha, who disclosed this at a parley with newsmen in Owerri, said 25 of the road contracts had been awarded with the first 19 road network already completed, while 15 per cent mobilisation fee paid to the contractors as they have satisfied the state’s requirements for the Advance Payment Guarantee (APG).
For the avoidance of doubt on the identity of the contractors, the governor ordered them to mount sign boards indicating names, addresses, etc of the contractors for public consumption, adding that his intention was to establish good governance through the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP).
The governor explained that the commission of inquiry put in place by his administration on contract review and forceful acquisition of lands by the immediate past administration in the state was in response to deluge of petitions by aggrieved individuals.
“We selected professionals, without a single politician as members of the commission. My administration’s charge towards them is to do the needful without fear or favour. I did not set up the committee to witch-hunt anybody. The Bureau for Public Procurement is already working transparently to serve the state well,” he said.
The governor, who justified the introduction of a Single Treasury Account (TSA) in the state, said though the state’s internally generated revenue (IGR) has increased to N877 million, Imo State’s monthly wage bill stood at N2.7 billion, just as about N1.1 billion was being deducted monthly from the federation account consequent upon the bailout funds.
Ihedioha added that N280 million was being saved monthly from pension scheme, which was paid to ghost pensioners previously while the monthly payment for pension gulped around N680 million, describing the pension verification exercise as the best thing that happened to the state.
Professing his determination to run a transparent government with the principle of separation of power in place, the governor said 16 companies of high repute are already working in the state, just as 10 youths from each of the 27 local government areas of the state are being trained on batch basis on modern agricultural techniques as part of his administration’s youth empowerment package.
He also explained that Imo State was set to bid for the National Sports Festival with over N200 million injected in the renovation of the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri, while ultra- modern sporting facilities were being installed to bring the sporting arena to an international standard.
“Without a strong economy, you cannot advance the growth of Imo State and institutional building is about resources,” adding that he’s working round the clock to revamp the state’s education sector and to renovate its decayed infrastructure.