As we traverse across the socio-political landscape of Nigeria, the name of Governor Hope Uzodimma shines brightly particularly in Imo State and Nigeria in general. Serving as the distinguished Governor of Imo State from January 2020, Hope Uzodimma has been making monumental strides in developing the infrastructure, economy, and social sector in the State.
This analytical essay will delineate the exceptional and phenomenal strides made by Governor Uzodimma in the tenure of his administration in three and half years in the State.
Since he assumed office, Governor Uzodimma has implemented several laudable projects which have positively impacted both the urban and rural areas of Imo state. He embarked on an agenda, titled “3R Initiative – Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction”, which aims at the comprehensive development, and rehabilitation of the state.
One major stride of the Governor has been the rehabilitation and renovation of major roads, bridges and public infrastructures, which were in a dire state before he assumed office. Key among these resounding road projects include but not limited to the dualizing of Owerri – Orlu road, Orlu – Akokwa road, Owerri-Anara-Okigwe road, Sam Mbakwe Airport junction, Aba road – Airport- Afor Enyiogugu road, Owerri-Umuahia, etc. The reconstruction of critical infrastructure not only enhances the economy but improves the quality of life of the people. By reinventing the urban aesthetic, by rebuilding roads and upgrading infrastructures, Governor Uzodimma has uplifted both the physical, and economic outlook of Imo state.
Another giant strides by Governor Uzodimma in Three and half years is the enhancing of quality education in the State. There has been a substantial focus in this direction. The augment of infrastructure in public schools like the installation of ICT facilities, boreholes, and school furniture are there for us to see. Also there have been improvements in the learning outcomes in the Imo State public schools. Notably, remarkable strides have been achieved as these give Imo children access to quality education.
The workaholics Governor Uzodimma desirous to make the State an “educationally cherished State”, recovered the the State University in Ogboko and renamed it Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe University, Ogboko. He also set up the Imo State University of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Umuagwo and relocated the Imo State Polytechnic to Omuma, while the Imo State University, Owerri (IMSU) and the Ben Uwajimogu College of Education, Ihitte Uboma are being strengthened.
In the health sector, Governor Uzodimma’s administration implemented free healthcare services for children, pregnant women and the elderly. Under his watch, the Imo Specialist Hospital, Umuguma was renovated and equipped to meet the healthcare needs of Imo citizens. Again, the Aboh Mbaise School of Midwifery which was abandoned over the years have been rehabilitated and students resumed.
Only last week Governor Uzodimma inaugurated an ultra modern 42-bed general hospital in Oguta which he named after late Sen. Francis Arthur Nzeribe, a great son of Imo State and Nigeria of Oguta extraction. He also commissioned another general hospital in Umuokanne in Ohaji-Egbema local government. The general hospital in Omuma in Our East local government is also functional. Governor Uzodimma expressed joy that “for once the three Local Governments Oil Producing areas of Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta and Oru East are having General hospitals built through the 13% oil derivation as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic as amended.”
Hinged on the traditional believe that “health is wealth”, he has not toiled on the health needs of Imo people hence he made sure that the Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH), Orlu which was had it’s accreditation withdrawn years back is now fully accredited and have graduated three batches of medical doctors. Not tired in health care provision for the people, Governor Uzodimma oiling his his relationship with the Federal Government, got the former president Muhammad Buhari approved the conversion of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri to a Teaching Hospital for use by the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO). It is now called Federal University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Owerri (FUTTHO).
Despite the gargantuan financial implications, Governor Uzodimma’s administration ensured that the health of Imo citizens wasn’t compromised.
Moreover, Governor Uzodimma has significantly advanced the agricultural sector. By encouraging farmers with loans and seedlings, they’ve sustained the agrarian economy of Imo. The Governor’s agricultural revolution has created job opportunities, reduced dependency on oil, and boosted economic growth.
Worthy of mention here is the flag off of the dredging of Oguta/Orashi river which would transmit to the Atlantic Ocean. The ultimate goal is to have a seaport at Oguta. When this materializes in Governor Uzodimma’s second term in office, the economy of the State and that of the South East will surely receive a boost.
On sports development, Governor Uzodimma is leading among the States in the country. To this end, he has continued to strengthen the Heartland FC which won the Nigerian National League (NNL), Hearthland Queens FC, Heartland Handball team as well as the Heartland Hockey Flickers. In many occasions, the governor has encouraged the Super Falcons World Cup Team players that are of Imo State origin.
While achieving these laudable milestones, Governor Uzodimma is also having sleepless nights to control and reduce insecurity in the State. Even though, the issue of insecurity is not peculiar to Imo State alone, he had in many occasions interfaced with his brother governors from the South East to find lasting solution to insecurity in the region.
In conclusion, the regime of Governor Hope Uzodimma in Imo State has been pervaded by giant strides in infrastructure development, education, healthcare, sports agriculture, etc. As he continuously prioritises the interests of Imo State’s citizens, it is evident that the Governor is indeed making giant strides towards actualising the dream of a prosperous and peaceful Imo state.