President Bola Tinubu, on Monday, reassured Nigerians that the country is on the verge of recovery, giving an assurance of improved public services and infrastructure.
President Tinubu spoke at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in the Imo State capital, Owerri, at the second-term swearing-in ceremony of the Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, and his deputy, Lady Ihuoma Ekomaru.
Tinubu, who arrived at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport at 1:19pm for the ceremony, kicked-off his visit with the inauguration of the 10 kilometer Bola Tinubu Drive at the airport, led a long list of dignitaries to the ceremony.
He lamented the past decades of waste and theft of public resources by just a few people under the subsidy regime, adding that the pains that accompanied the termination of the petrol subsidy is terminal and that the harsh conditions will soon phase out.
He said, “I stand before you to say you have gone through twists and turns of democracy, you have been through some aspects of hard decisions. Each time I watch the news and see one pain or the other, associated with the removal of subsidy, just remember that among you, your families, are pregnant people.
“The day of birth is the day of pain, you go through the labour pain, but when you see or you hear the voice of the baby, your pains are gone and you are relieved.
“In the last forty years, some very few people have been cornering our common wealth, calling it subsidy. I call it wasteful and pilfering. But right now, we are going through the pain, we are sharing that pain.
“Today, we are inaugurating a man’s second term, a renewed hope and that is why I am here, to guarantee you that hope, that things are looking up, things are getting better and it will get greater and better for the common good of the Nigerian public. We just need to work hard, be more patient, persevere and you have consistency in governance.”
He said with the plans put in place by his administration, various public sectors, including education, health and security are receiving better attention and would soon manifest positively.
He said, “I assure you, there will be substantial developments in the education of your children, you will see the priority in industrialization, healthcare will receive more allocation and attention. Don’t worry about what you’re hearing about the ‘Japa Syndrome’, we will train more people…
“The relative peace that you are enjoying here will be better and we will work hard with you to achieve that peace. Before now, every one of us was enveloped in fear to come to Imo State, but today Imo is safe and ready for business.”
The President commended Governor Uzodinma for his stewardship in the state, describing him as the “real hope” of the state.
“It is a great honour for me to be here in Imo State. And to congratulate the people of Imo for being discerning and determined to vote into a second term, a very unique individual who resonates with a progressive agenda, Senator Hope Uzodinma”, he said.
Meanwhile, in his inauguration speech, after the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Theresa Chukwuemeka-Chikeka, had administered the Oath of Office on him, Governor Uzodinma assured the people of the state of his administration focus on firmly deepening the shared prosperity mantra through massive infrastructure expansion to ensure accelerated economic growth in the state.
Uzodimma asked the people should expect more accelerated economic development in his second tenure, saying “the next four years of my administration will, therefore, to deepen shared prosperity mantra through massive infrastructure expansion to ensure accelerated economic growth”.
He noted that already he had signaled the new direction in 2024 budget by giving capital expenditure the lion share of N491.2 billion of the total of N592.2 billion, saying “I have already signaled this new direction in the 2024 budget in which capital expenditure has the lion share of 491.2b of the total budget of 591.2b or 83% of the budget”.
He said the transformational journey, which had commenced with the 2024 budget, would be sustained in the next four years anchored on 10-year Development Plan.
“This development plan has the capacity to transform Imo State into an industrial, self- sufficient state in the next ten years.
“In the development plan we have identified priority sectors, including industries and projects, which will accelerate the economic prosperity of our dear Imo State such as the Orashi Free Trade Zone and the supporting businesses such as petrochemicals industries, gas processing facilities, etc.
“Another focus of the plan is to harness our agricultural potentials and exploit the mineral resources and align them to the proposed establishment of ceramic industry and agro processing facilities across the three senatorial districts of Imo State”, he said.
Uzodinma, who vowed to exceed his first tenure’s record, said “my second tenure achievements will dwarf the achievements of my first tenure”.
He also said that he was inspired by the visionary transformational programmes and policies of President Tinubu
“I have been greatly inspired by the audacious and visionary transformational programmes and policies of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“His emphasis on infrastructure development, through generous budgetary provisions for capital expenditure, defined the qualities of a leader that is burning with the fervent desire to develop his country. I am therefore delighted to affirm that my second tenure will be centred on the massive economic development of the state, which will permeate every community or ward”, he said.
He disclosed that his government, in the coming weeks, would kick this initiative through our Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI).
“Consequently, within the first 12 months of the current tenure, every community in the state will feel the impact with at least one significant project fully executed for them”, he said.
Among dignitaries who received the President at the airport were President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio; Deputy President of the Senate, Barau Jibrin; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas; Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu; and former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Also at the airport were governors, including Babaji Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Alex Otti (Abia), Biodun Oyebanji (Ekiti), AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq (Kwara), Rev. Ft Hyacinth Alia (Benue), Lucky Aiyedatiwa (Ondo), Francis Nwifuru (Ebony), Nasir Idris (Kebbi), and Ahmad Sokoto (Sokoto) and the National Chairman of the ruling APC, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite; Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Uche Nnaji; former Imo State governors, Rochas Okorocha and Ikedi Ohakim; Hon Uche Ekwunife,
Also present at the event are, Bishops and clergymen, traditional rulers, Obogo of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi V, Jaja of Opobo, Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, Chairman Traditional Rulers Çouncil, Southeast,Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo President General Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, ministers, National and Imo State House of Assembly members, among others.