Residents and prominent indigenes of Imo state have yesterday told Governor Rochas Okorocha that it was now difficult to endure excruciating socioeconomic hardship being faced in the state as a result of the governor’s policies.
The residents in a letter endorsed by major stakeholders in the state, comprising captains of industries, members of the academia, technocrats, and retired senior military personnel was signed by Professor Maurice Iwu, former Independent National Electoral Commission Chairman (INEC) and delivered to the governor during a courtesy visit.
Operating under the platform of Imo Economic Development Initiative (IEDI), the letter expressed serious concern about the state of the Imo economy and the excruciating hardship residents had been made to endure.
The letter reads: “A review of the states’ sustainability index, a report which profiles the viability and sustainability of states show that Imo state is ranked number 22 in the whole country as against the 17th position it occupied in 2015.
“We are concerned about the rising domestic debt. As at 31 December, 2016, according to the Debt Management Office, Imo state owed N93.27 billion as against N26billion in 2011.
“Imo is currently ranked 34th out of 36 states in the Ease-of- Doing-Business ranking in the country. With such dismal position, Imo has little or no hope of attracting new businesses to alleviate unemployment and generally boost the economy of the state.
“We believe this is as a result of poor money circulation within the lower strata of the society.
We suggest that government should ensure that workers, pensioners and contractors are paid as and when due and should key into external and alternative funding sources as well as find lasting solution to urban mass transit issues; the economy of the state will improve.”
Responding, the governor regretted that the team didn’t come in 2011 when he became governor or 2015 when he was re-elected but waited till a few months to his exit as governor of the state before coming with their positions.
On the debt profile of the state, Okorocha said his administration did not owe any bank in the country or outside as the N93billion was an accumulated debts right from the creation of the state in 1976.