This essay was submitted by Favour Iheanacho from Imo State, Nigeria
My good people of Imo State,
The precursor of genuine Leadership is a track record of excellent stewardship, as Extensive Consultation, I, Iheanacho Favour present Myself as a Candidate for the gubernatorial election in 2023.
The origin of our plight as a State has majorly been caused by bad Leadership, I have been a front liner in championing the welfare and development of Imo state even without any political platform or office. I staggered due to the liquor of inefficient and bad leadership our beloved state. Leadership is an Art of multiplication, it is lighting the Candles of men with yours and watching them burn.
CORE PILLARS OF MY AGENDA FOR THE GOOD PEOPLE OF IMO STATE
Economy: Our beloved state has a productive population of over 4.8 million people1. Over the years how have we manage this population to our advantage? I will be very honest but at the risk of being immodest, we have not utilized this population which in My word I will call Labor force to our advantage, which indicates a high workforce capital due to the dominance of our youthful population. This reality envisions My proposal for the actualization of a practical mixed economic system to foster growth.
The internal generated Revenue (IGR) as of June 2020 was N 1.2 Billion two hundred million naira2 which is very poor to cater for our ever growing population. Our beloved State is blessed with several natural resources such as Crude Oil, Lime stone, Natural gas, Zinc e.t.c. Imo State has a limestone deposit in Umu- Obon and Okigwe which is estimated to be 101 million tonnes reserve3. More so, the Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area is richly blessed with Crude Oil. If you ask Me, how well we have utilized this natural resources? My honest response would be, below average. It is against this backdrop, that I pledge unwaveringly to be committed towards harnessing or God given natural resource.
Power: I modestly doubt that we do understand that Natural gas could serve as a source of Power generation. Imo State has over 7.8 trillion standard cubic foot (SCF) Gas reserve deposited in Oguta, Ohaji/Egbema, Izombe and Owerri Municipal4. The Non-operational Egbema Power Station which was initiated at Egbema in 2006 under President Olusegun Obasanjo has been completed but not effective with a Capacity of 338 Megawatts5. My administration would partner with private enterprise to ensure a 24 hours Power Supply in our beloved State, ensuring that it becomes the first in Nigeria to have a constant 24 hours Power Supply. The ongoing Assa North/Ohaji South gas development project in Imo State6 is commendable. My Government will consolidate on this plausible private sector project to produce 600 million standard cubic feet (SDF) of gas per day, energy equivalent of about 2400 Megawatts which is enough to provide uninterrupted electricity to about 2.4 million homes.
Also, I will be proposing a Social Welfare Trust Fund(SWTF) to be be created whereby Private enterprise will contribute 3% annual revenue to fund Capital Projects for Indigenes of Imo State. Our great state has over 163 Oil Wells7, companies in Imo State will be mandated to contribute to the Social Welfare Fund(SWF) which in turn will solely target an optimized Transportation network in Imo State, second to none in Africa.
A grave area of concern is over population in our State’s Capital-Owerri. Quickly addressing this concern, my administration would be committed to the depopulation of Owerri to ensure even development, by creating an Industrial free trade zone in Ngor Okpala, Orlu and Obowo Local Government Areas. Further, a Company Administration Residential Policy (CARP) is hereby proposed were by company administrative office will be situated where the natural resource is.
Tourism: Imo State serves as an epicenter for tourism in the eastern region of Nigeria. This explains the constant increase in hotels and relaxation centers. My tenor as Governor would see my administration become extremely passionate about a public- private partnership to build a world-class resort in Iyi Ogidi Spring, Ofeahia Amaifeke, Iyi Okwo Spring, Okwuepe village in Orlu Local Government Area8. Trust me, we would not end there, as plans would be underway to still engage in a public- private partnership to build a resort and cattle ranch in Rolling Hills, Okigwe. This would generally create jobs for our youths, as well as generate more revenue.
Agriculture: The Land Area of Imo State is 5,530 km square 9. This is indeed large enough to get revenue out of it. I promise you, my administration will not be looking out for land acquisition, as others, but a maximization of the already existing designated Areas for Commercial Farming. Palm production has been the mainstay of Imo Agricultural production and it has enormous potential of increase. In this wise, The Roche Imo Palm Plantation Complex built in 1974, occupies a 4310 hectares of land located in Egbema and Amafor in Ohaji/Egema Local Government Areas, is an ailing state owned company with a potential of creating 35,000 jobs once it’s renovated and average of 2.5(Two billion five hundred million) naira annual turnover10. Imo State will be at the front line of Palm production output in Africa.
Education: “Education is the platform that makes it possible to defeat all barriers” Anonymous. My heart bleeds at archaic educational curriculum. We have had enough of the fake Certificate Holders. let’s get our sons and daughter a better and improvised education. As Governor, my educational policy is anchored on the overwhelming need for the educational system to revitalize its core courses based on the future instead of the past. There will be a Teacher Learn Again (TLA) six months’ program to enable the full digitalization of courses in Academic institutions in Imo State to meet up the 21st century requirement. There will be an overhauling of the conservative methods of learning and teaching. Imo State is home to numerous Tertiary institutions, Imo State University, Federal University of Technology, Owerri and Eastern Palm University to mention but a few. Let’s get graduate with practicable skills.
Accountability: ‘I will meet more powerful, more honorable and wealthier men than Myself but I will always strive to be more Honest than they are’, these have been the words that have kept Me through My years of experience as a Leader. I have become accustomed to reflecting on the past lives of leaders who distinguished themselves in the art of accountability as Leaders. Permit Me to reflect with the words of one of these Leaders I hold in High esteem “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” ― C.S. Lewis
In pursuant to the foregoing, as Governor, Moral and Cultural Study will be introduced to teach the future generation that if there’s any titled to be coveted, it’s to rise to the full stature of an Honest man. The Lives of Leaders who have distinguished themselves in the Art of Accountability will a case study for the younger generation to learn.
I have dedicated a significant portion of My life to study of the Art of Leadership and I have transparently accounted for My stewardship as a Leader, I have the most relevant experience and skills which can transform Our Beloved State.
If entrusted with the mandate of the good people of Imo State, I can midwife the birth of the New Imo State.
There is an outcry for good leadership, and I am a man fired by Love. I have humbly presented Myself as a Chief Servant of the good People of Imo State.