Manifesto of Owelle Rochas Okorocha

MY PRAYER

Almighty God, grant me the wisdom to appreciate the true nature and value of power, money, influence and their limits. Give me the integrity and wisdom to acquire and exercise them according to your plans, as well as the guidance to use them with humility in Thy service and that of humanity.

Direct me O’ Lord to serve our people satisfactorily by fulfilling their needs in the cause of my service. In Jesus Name, AMEN!!!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

“Be it known to all, that we shall pass through this way but once. If therefore, there is anything we can do to promote peace, justice, unity and good governance in order to save the lives of the numerous poor Ndimo, while protecting the interest of the few rich, let us not defer it,let us do it now. For we shall not pass this way again”. – Owelle Rochas Okorocha (OON).

ABOUT IMO STATE

Created in 1976, Imo State is bounded on the east by Abia State ,on the west by River Niger and Delta State, and on the North by Anambra State, while Rivers State lies to the south. Imo State covers an area of 5,100 Square Kilometer with a population of about 4.8 million persons. The population density varies from 230 per sq.km in Oguta/Ohaji Egbema area to about 1400 Persons Per Sq.km in Mbaise, Orlu, Mbano and Mbaitoli areas.

There are currently about 2040 primary schools in Imo State with an enrolment of approximately 561,214.There are 4 public technical schools and about 120 private/vocational/ commercial schools. The State school system comprises about 289 secondary schools exclusive of private secondary/vocational/technical schools.

There are two teachers training colleges in the State at Oguta and Nsu. There are about Seven (7) tertiary institutions in the State. Three are owned by Imo State Government while four are owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria. Imo State is divided into 27 Local Government Areas, 3 Senatorial Zones and 36 development centers. Imo is recognized as one of the rice and oil palm producing states in Nigeria; notwithstanding the fact that farming in the State is primarily subsistent .

Imo State has large quantities of crude oil and natural gas deposits which have not been fully exploited. Also the following mineral resources are abundantly available: – Lime stone, Clay, Marble, Zinc, Stones, Coal, etc; all in commercial quantities.

MY VISION FOR IMO PEOPLE

To build an Imo State of our collective dream for this and indeed the future generations.

MY MISSION IN IMO STATE

To rescue Imo people from irresponsive leadership and imminent collapse.

MY MANDATE

To save the lives of the numerous poor ndi Imo while protecting the interest of the few rich.

MAJOR AREAS OF FOCUS – Our Policy Thrust

  • BASIC EDUCATION
  • SECONDARY EDUCATION
  • TERTIARY EDUCATION
  • HEALTH CARE
  • TRANSPORTATION
  • WATER RESOURCES
  • RURAL ELECTRIFICATION/ ENERGY POLICY

Accordingly, we will liaise with the Federal Government to ensure that the state is adequately covered in the National Grid map.

  • The Imo Independent Power Project
  • Natural Gas
  • Waste To Energy
  • WELFARE
  • AGRICULTURE & NATURAL RESOURCES

Fisheries, Cashew, Paints & Adhesives, Baking Powder
Cashew, Rice, Hydrated Lime, Vegetables, Fisheries, Livestock, Plantain
Vegetables, Cassava, Poultry, Plantain
Oil & Gas, Rubber, Cassava, Palm produce, Pineapple, fisheries, Bananas, Plantain, mango, piggery etc

  • EMPLOYMENT GENERATION & WEALTH CREATION
  • ENVIRONMENT & TOURISM
  • SECURITY
  • HOUSING – RURAL / URBAN
  • JUDICIARY
  • SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
  • YOUTH AND SPORTS
  • WOMEN & SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
  • RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS

the State.

  • PENSIONERS
  • Owelle Rochas Okorocha (OON)
  • Owelle Rochas Okorocha (OON)

“A mind is a great thing to waste”. Indeed, a child’s right to education cannot be denied irrespective of background. Education is the greatest gift any responsible government can give to the society. Looking at the streets of Imo State, many children who should be in school are unfortunately roaming the streets hopelessly. These Children, if given the right opportunity can become responsible leaders in different fields of human endeavor.

Dear Imolites, it is gratifying to note that our mission in education is well known to all. All children of Imo State must have free and compulsory basic/ secondary education. In our administration, Every Child Counts (ECC).

As at 2008, Imo State had about 1,296 Primary Schools. Because of proximity and age of pupils, the number will be maintained and our Government will spend between 8.5 and 9.2 Billion Naira over a period of four years; for the refurbishment of the said primary Schools to meet with today’s standard of learning environment.

In addition to this, we will as a priority spend 2.4 Billion Naira on re- training of teachers at this formative all important stage of learning. In our Teach-The-Teacher Program (TTP) we will lay emphasis on Science and Technology to meet the challenges of today.

In recent times, Our State has witnessed over 28% dropout rates for female and 34% for male. This worrisome development must be checked with Radical Education Re-engineering Program (RERP) which will in the first phase require government investment of 21.6 Billion Naira over a 4 year period to set up 120 world class Secondary Boarding Schools equipped with the most advanced facilities in the areas of science and technology.

Our Government will re-organize educational system to be in tune with modern trends and technology. We will rebuild our educational system to focus on the following areas:

1. Entrepreneurship and Wealth Creation (EWC)

2. Practical Education System (PES) which will address such strategic areas as creative writing, Film production and editing, Fashion designing, mechanic, carpentry / Joinery / Craft Making, neighborhood Security / Surveillance Inter- alia. All these and more will be established within the Imo Vocational Village (IVV) to be established in the three senatorial zones.

3. An innovation of Teach-The-Teacher Program (TTP) will be set up to reshape and upgrade our present falling standard of education.

4. Introduction of a Culture Based Education System (CBES) which will bring back our cultural values.

5. The re-introduction of craft and civic education in our primary schools.

Our tertiary institutions now moribund will be upgraded and maintained to compete with others in line with learning and research, through collaboration and exchange programs with Tertiary institutions within and outside the Country. We will make our University Education entrepreneurial and result oriented.

Our graduates shall no more end up with theory only, but in addition acquire practical education to function in the global market. Our Government will review downward the present high cost of school fees paid in our State tertiary institutions.

“Health is wealth and a healthy person is a wealthy person” Dear Imolites, it is indeed regrettable and unacceptable that less than 10% of our population have access to the first intervention basic healthcare.

Unfortunately, pregnant women and their babies die during childbirth and infant mortality is very high due to inadequate and often times non-availability of first intervention medical facilities. Our Government policy is anchored on, Health At Your Door Step (HYDS)

We will provide functional and sustainable healthcare centers within the reach of the rural communities through a Well Equipped Container Clinic (WECC) powered by solar energy and manned by well trained and certified medical personnel. Children within the age of 1- 10 years, pregnant women and elderly people from 65 and above will have free Medicare.

All emergency cases must be attended to without pre-conditions under our administration. We will ensure that there is a functional and well equipped General Hospital in each Local Government Area of Imo State. The government under Owelle Rochas Okorocha will re-introduce Health Education and Sanitary Inspection Program. We will as a matter of health policy priority build a world class Referral Hospital in the State to attract patients and health seekers from other states and outside the country. The referral hospital will also earn foreign exchange for the country.

The present system of transportation in Imo State can only be described as chaotic. Our administration will effect improvement in the following areas:-

ROADS

The primary objective of our road network development programme shall be the construction and rehabilitation of all major roads linking the 27 Local Government Areas in the State. In addition, our Administration will re-introduce the Public Works Department (PWD), for the basic maintenance and rebuilding of roads. We shall also deploy the use of Enzyme organic soil stabilizer to tackle the deplorable state of rural or Local Government earth roads state wide. This technology will save the State Government over =N= 320,000,000.00(Three Hundred and Twenty Million Naira) annually on road maintenance.

We will ensure that all roads in the State have adequate drainage system to aggressively check the menace of soil erosion, which has isolated some communities and made farming impossible for others.

In addition, our administration will effect improvement in the following areas:

1.  Improvement of road signs, development of road maps, standardized street naming and numbering aimed at reducing traffic congestion in the cities of Imo State.

2.  Covering of all drainages within our metropolitan cities to provide pedestrian walkways.

3. The ring roads kept in abeyance will be completely resuscitated and new roads will be constructed to open up the rural areas for economic and social activities.

4. The regulation of the plying of heavy duty trucks (vehicles) within certain areas of the cities during certain periods of the day.

5.  Efforts will be made by our administration to actualize the status of Sam Mbakwe Airport as a functional International Cargo Airport.

Presently, we have about 76 major water schemes and about 64 motorized boreholes in the state. We will aggressively embark on rehabilitation of existing schemes while working on an Independent Water Project to be solely financed by foreign Water Companies on a Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.

Our administration will ensure that rural electrification is adequately provided for in the communities of the State.

In addition to the above, we will initiate Public Private Partnership projects aimed at establishment of Independent Power Projects (IPP) in the State. We will in this regard vigorously pursue the development of an independent power generation scheme with a recognized international energy company. The project will target to provide a minimum of 100MW generating capacity necessary to meet our short and medium term growth in energy demand.

One of the key economic objectives of our Administration will be to have a state and economic system with secure energy supply sufficient to meet our projected economic growth levels. Since the national electricity supply system cannot be relied upon as a catalyst for industrial growth, we will pursue alternative options aimed at achieving energy supply security.

We will accordingly establish an Energy Projects Implementation Unit (EPIU) in the office of the Governor which will be charged with the responsibility of pursuing various energy related investment projects covering energy supply and conservation issues, demand, site management and as well as deal with issues in policy.

We will in this regard vigorously pursue the development of an independent power generation scheme with a recognized international energy company. This project will target to provide a minimum of 100 MW generating capacity necessary to meet our short and medium term growth in energy demand.

Presently, supply of power by Power Holding Company of Nigeria PLC to Imo state is between 12 and 18 MW which is generally rationed.

The State has abundant natural gas reserves capable of supporting such projects (IPP) and there will be a coherent state energy policy in place to ensure prudent utilization of our natural gas resource. This will be pursued in conjunction with Power Holding Company Nigeria PLC. Our abundant natural gas resources will be utilized and leveraged upon to form a crucial backbone for the industrialization of Imo State.

Working with a private sector operator, we will generate power through the over 300 metric tons of waste generated in our urban area daily . Our pursuit for the cheapest and cleanest source of energy will keep receiving attention till we achieve uninterrupted power supply at the lowest cost.

iv.)  Our Environment, Our Future

Currently, gas deposits are being flared by multinational oil companies operating at various locations within the country. These are associated gas found during extraction and production of oil. Imo State is no exception as we have over the past four decades witnessed the flaring of this key economic resource.

The environmental impact has been immense. Accordingly, our administration will be committed, in partnership with environment agencies, to the gradual reduction and elimination of gas flaring in our State.

v.)        Energy And Industrial Free Zones

Energy supply security will be intrinsically linked with the creation of industrial free zones in the State. These zones will be created to support manufacturing for domestic and export market, supported by carefully designed fiscal incentives and aimed at encouraging the establishment of various manufacturing operations within the State.

By guaranteeing secure energy supply and by investment in gas pipeline infrastructure, Imo State will have a competitive edge over many states within the country. Manufacturers want reliable and secure energy sources and our State can conveniently provide them with both.

vi.)       Gas Transmission System

The State will pursue the agenda of creating Industrial Gas Pipeline Network {IGPN}that will supply affordable gas to the industrial zones in Owerri, Okigwe and Orlu. These projects will be implemented through Public/Private Partnership (PPP).

By encouraging companies to set up manufacturing base in our State through a combination of a secure energy supply channels and generous tax regimes, the state will begin to witness a significant decrease/reduction in its unemployment rate.

vii.)      Bio-energy Policy

With increasing environmental awareness across the world, there has been renewed impetus and drive by various governments world-wide to diversify their energy sources. Imo State is well positioned to be a major producer of bio-fuel for local and export market.

We have arable land for cultivation of energy crops such as Jetrofer, Palm Trees, Cane, Cassava etc. we will through a Public Private Partnership, pioneer the research and development of bio-fuel for local and international markets and are determined to lay the foundation for a sustainable bio-fuel industry for the benefit of the State, its citizens

We will within the first six months rebuild the Old Okigwe road secretariat and convert it to a hostel facility for Imo State University, to alleviate the sufferings of students.

Indigent but brilliant Imo Students will be awarded scholarships on a continuous assessment basis. Government will reward hard working civil and public servants by promoting deserving workers. All allowances and pensions / gratuities will be paid as at when due.

Imo State indigenes who are talented or who excel in sporting activities will receive adequate encouragement from our Administration. State wide competitions in the areas of sports, science, essays, mathematics, security (most crimes free community),most peaceful community, sanitation, arts and culture etc. will be organized periodically.

“Agriculture is the biggest employer of human resources”. Imo state which was self sufficient in agricultural products up to the Mbakwe’s regime, now depends on other states for up to 80% of her food supply. It is painful that such a situation exists while we have Urashi, Imo ,Njaba rivers etc, that have swamps for rice and other crops production all year round. Through these rivers, upland irrigation is possible and will be made so. Our administration’s agricultural policy will be based on specialization.

Every Local Government Area will be charged to embark on a particular agricultural product. All the local Government Areas will be encouraged to concentrate mainly on Agriculture and Education.

We shall also take advantage of our upland grassland at Okigwe Agric Zone for the development of livestock. We will encourage the production of fish protein by aiding the supply of fish meals and fingerlings. Effort will be made to increase palm produce and its derivatives. Our government will also encourage subsistence farming by providing tractors on community basis as the Asian Tigers did. In 1964, Eastern Nigeria was adjudged the fastest growing economy in the world based on agricultural development. Imo State was an integral part of that assessment. We will elevate Imo State to its previously well known level of prominence in agricultural and food production.

For purposes of managing and taking full advantage of the abundant natural resources of the State to move her forward, we will create six agriculture and industrial zones, viz:

a.) AHIAZU/EZINIHITTE/ABOH/IKEDURU/IHITTEUBOMA–

Palm Produce, Vegetables, Poultry, Rice, etc

b.)       OWERRI NORTH/ OWERRI MUNICIPAL/MBAITOLI -

Live stock Cassava Processing Fisheries, etc

c.) ORU EAST/ORUWEST/ORLU/ISU/NJABA

d.) OKIGWE/ONUIMO/IDEATO NORTH/IDEATO SOUTH -

e.) EHIME MBANO/ISIALA MBANO/NKWERRE/NWANGELE/OBOWO

f.) OWERRI WEST/OHAJI EGBEMA/NGOR OKPALA/OGUTA –

We will build on the existing agro-allied industries and create the platform for ensuring that more of such industries are established as is required, along the lines of the six agricultural zones. For products like cassava which is universal to all parts of the State, the administration will ensure that there is at least one cassava processing facility in each Local Government Area.

In carrying out the above initiative, we will seek the active participation of relevant players among the organized private sector. In a two phased approach, we will ensure food security and sustainable end to perennial food shortage.

Phase one will be the provision of enhanced seedlings, top quality organic fertilizers, hybrid stems, plant suckers and crop protection products to farmers across the six agricultural zones.

In phase two, we will acquire land and partnering with  private sector operators, embark on a large scale cash crop farming initiative that will require extensive funding and technical input. The land owners will either be paid compensation or crop and profit sharing arrangement is evolved.

To support the above scheme, an integrated irrigation scheme will be developed in the key agricultural zones of the state to ensure all year round crop production; where necessary, green houses will be established. Co-operatives will be established at various farm gates in each of the six (6) agricultural zones to facilitate export of products or sales to processing plants. This will also be targeted at boosting agricultural and food production and the mutual exchange of skills and knowledge.

We will seek massive foreign direct investment for the development of the State’s agricultural potentials. Privatized agro-based industries will be monitored adequately to enable the Government and people of the State to realize the full benefits of such privatization.

Our industrialization policy will be based on the setting up of Industrial Villages in the three senatorial zones. We will in collaboration with private investors (Local and Foreign) rebuild and resuscitate the moribund factories such as Avutu Poultry Plants, Standard Shoe Factory at Owerri, Clay Factory at Ezinnachi, Paint and Rasin Factory at Aboh Mbaise, Aluminum extrusion plant at Inyishi, Adapalm Plant at Ohaji, Cardboard factory at Ebenator and others.Our administration will also create the enabling environment for investors within and outside, to invest in Imo State, in order to create more job opportunities for our teeming youth population now overwhelmingly unemployed.

Our administration will develop tourism in line with our cultural values .We will strategically partner with renowned waste management experts for effective and sustainable conversion of our waste to wealth through Public Private Sector Partnership (PPP).There will be an organized system of waste separation, collection, deposition and recycling. We will put in place a landscaping programmes that will conform to professional standards in modern aesthetics and still remain environmentally friendly.

Our administration will put every effort in place to tackle the menace of flood and erosion in the state.

The Governor is the Chief Security Officer of the State, while the Commissioner of Police is the Chief Law enforcement officer. As a result we shall partner together and synergize to make Imo State the most secured state in Nigeria.

The security votes over the years mostly in the recent past have astronomically increased from under 100 million Naira (N100,000,000.00) before the advent of the civilian administration, to the staggering amount of about three billion Naira (N3,000,000,000.00). From authoritative sources, out of the 3 billion Naira (N3,000,000,000.00) security votes as budgeted in 2011 State budget, the State Governor spends above One billion Naira, the Speaker of the House of Assembly takes home Five Hundred Million Naira ( N500,000.00 ),the Secretary to the State Government two hundred and fifty million Naira (N250,000.000.00),while the Deputy Speaker’s take home is two hundred million Naira (N200,000,000.00) to mention but a few of them in the name of security votes.

Regrettably, instead of this money being used for the purpose for which it was budgeted (Safety of life and property of people of Imo State), it has become a veritable conduit pipe to siphon public funds into private pockets within and outside for which no account is given.

Consequently our administration will reduce the security votes drastically, the savings thereof will be used for economic development and job creation which will directly or indirectly reduce the crime wave in the State. We will with the aid of modern communication gadgets and trained personnel, embark on intelligence gathering and sensitization to aggressively fight the surge in crime in our State. We will also as a matter of State policy embark on neighborhood security policing under a new Imo Security Scheme (ISS) incorporating Mass Security Network based on community security administration.

“What is good for the goose is also good for the gander”. We will put in place a quality housing program with emphasis on Rural/Urban Housing Development with functional infrastructure- water, electricity, roads, ICT, etc.

Our government considers ownership of homes a basic necessity and will do everything possible to achieve this by the introduction of Easy Own a Home Housing Scheme (EOHHS) to enable individuals own houses. We will partner with the private sector for a comprehensive housing initiative; particularly in the key urban centres of the State. The target in this regard will be to put a stop to the growth of slums in Imo State by the provision of decent and affordable housing in the key urban centers of the State.

In order to maintain the independence of the Judiciary, our administration will create, a self accounting system thereby eliminating interference by the executive. We will also introduce the system of verbatim recording in the courts to expedite the dispensation of justice. The salary and welfare of junior judiciary officers will be improved in line with that of their counterparts within the federation.

Our government will encourage dispute resolution to promote out of court settlements.

Our administration will invest in the development of science and technology. We will indeed sponsor our undergraduate and post graduate students to pursue courses in these areas in both local and foreign institutions on government scholarships. These in turn will help in pursuit of our industrial revolution endeavors.

Our administration will invest heavily in youth development by building Youth Development Centres (YDC) in all the 27 Local Government Areas of Imo state. This will enable them to acquire skills and techniques for growth and development in this age of globalization. It will also help in engaging our youths meaningfully to dissuade them from involvement in social vices such as youth restiveness, cultism, kidnapping, armed robbery, prostitution, political thuggery, etc.

We will endeavor to restore the glory of Imo State in national, continental and world sports competitions. Scholarships and other incentives shall be given to our contingents that excel exceptionally in sports activities, to inspire them and challenge the up-coming talents.

Our Administration will create the enabling environment for women and social development by making sure that our qualified women are given unhindered opportunities to participate in politics and leadership positions. We will indeed support the girl child education, thereby discouraging them from early marriage and other social vices.

We will build Total Women Training and Skill Acquisition Centers (TWTSAC) in all the three Zones of the state, to empower the women folk to acquire global skills for self development and independence. We will also build recreation parks in strategic places for relaxation and social development.

With special regard and honor to God Almighty and His continued blessings, protections, show of mercy, love and deliverance; our administration shall create the Bureau for Religious Affairs under a Senior Special Assistant to the Executive Governor to take care/handle all religious matters as affecting the State.

We will sincerely and gracefully collaborate / partner with the constituted Church Authorities and their clergies in all ramifications to move our State forward. We will continually honor and respect the Men of God in our State to the Glory of God. We will also create a special annual thanksgiving day to appreciate God for

“The labourer is worthy of his wages” – Matt 10:10. It is sad to realize that our aged pensioners, who have served the State and Nation, go through humiliating processes to collect their monthly pensions. Our Government will effect prompt payment of outstanding pensions and payment of monthly pensions and gratuities ensuring that no pensioner suffers unduly under any circumstance. In other words our Government will adequately address the issue of nonpayment of pensions to deserving pensioners.

CONCLUSION

“I have asked one thing of my creator; to bless me that I may bless others, to give me that I may share with those who do not have; because on my own I can do nothing ,but I can do all things through HIM that strengthens me”

“The greatness of a people is not dependent on the amount of natural resource available but directly dependent on the efficient and effective harnessing and management of the available human and material resources coupled with the vision and character of the leadership. This I pledge to accomplish as a covenant with the people of Imo. Together we can make it work.”

One response to “Manifesto of Owelle Rochas Okorocha

  1. Hi there, just wanted to tell you, I loved this article. It was funny. Keep on posting!

comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s