Gov. Hope Uzodinma of Imo has disclosed that the state will soon receive $120million from the federal government to fund its livestock programme.
In an independence day broadcast to the people of the state on Friday, Uzodinma said the state was one out of the seven states approved to benefit from the $850 million set aside by the federal government for the special agricultural processing zone livestock farming project.
He added that the state would also be benefiting from the $1.4bn facility secured by the federal government for urban and rural water development.
According to the governor, President Muhammadu Buhari had also approved the conversion of Otamiri river into a dam capable of powering a 10Mw plant.
He said that the project, which is a fallout from the balloon driven underground technology commissioned by President Buhari in September, would help generate electricity and improve water supply in the state.
He added that the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo would be visiting the state on Oct. 15, during which he would be administering a N12 billion empowerment programme to the private sector.
Uzodinma stated that traders, artisans and vulnerable farmers were expected to benefit from the empowerment programme.
“As you will recall, just a few weeks ago, President Muhammadu Buhari was in our state to commission four strategic projects executed by my administration.
“It is indeed my pleasure to inform the good people of Imo that we are reaping bountiful benefits from the President’s recent visit.
“Such benefits include the approval for the installation and conversion of Otamiri River to a dam, capable of powering a 10 megawatts plant that can generate electricity when completed and help improve water supply in the state.
“This, as you know, is a fallout from the Balloon driven technology underground tunnel which Mr. President commissioned.
“In a few weeks, the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo will be coming to Imo, precisely on Oct. 15th, to administer a N12billion empowerment programme to the private sector.
“Imo traders, artisans and the vulnerable are expected to benefit from this massive empowerment. This is a direct benefit from the presidential visit,” he said.
The governor also reiterated his administration commitment to work for the state, adding that his administration has also spent not less than N8 billion on youths empowerment.
He urged people of the state to see the 61st independence anniversary as a clarion call to bond together in the pursuit of a better state.
“Let me use this auspicious occasion to once again extend my hands of fellowship to our brothers and sisters on the other side to join our prosperity agenda-driven government to offer quality service to our people.
“This is not about me, It is about the future of our youths; Those who genuinely and patriotically want to serve Imo people would not have any problem joining us to do so.
“However, while we wait for them we shall continue to work tirelessly for the people in line with our prosperity agenda as encapsulated in reconstruction, rehabilitation and recovery.
“Apart from reversing the decay in infrastructure, addressing the rot in the civil service and halting the corruption in the payroll system, we have touched the lives of Imo youths, spending more than N8 billion in their training and empowerment in the past one year”.
The governor also advised the people of the state to stop living in denial and get vaccinated against the COVID-19, saying that the state government had procured enough vaccines for the people.
He also added that the state had continued massive testing across the state to identify new cases for isolation and treatment, warning that the vaccinations might be made compulsory if people continued to avoid the vaccine because of unfounded rumours.
“Let me also use the occasion of this independence anniversary to remind Imo people that COVID-19 is real and that we should desist from living in denial.
“Those who have been following the daily statistics of the NCDC know that the number of infections and fatalities is not abating. This administration has spent a lot of resources to ensure the good health and safety of our people.
“In this respect, we have continued with massive testing across the state to identify new COVID-19 cases for isolation and treatment, this is going on in all the 27 local governments in the state.
“It is important to emphasize that the best preventive measure is through vaccination. The state government has procured sufficient vaccines for our people.
“Sadly, however, many are still refusing to take the vaccine because of some unfounded superstitious beliefs.
“For the umpteenth time let me state it clearly that the vaccines are safe as confirmed by world class scientists and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“In this respect, if the foot-dragging continues, government might be forced to make the vaccination compulsory for all Imo people and residents,” he said.