Ihedioha flags off N9.8b Urualla erosion control project

…pays N500m counterpart fund

By Valentine Amanze

Imo State Governor, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, has flagged off the Ezemazu Urualla gully erosion control project at Urualla in Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State.
The project, which costs ₦9.984 billion is supervised by Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), while a construction company, Arab Contractors, will handle the project.

The governor also disclosed that his administration had paid the N500 million counterpart funding to Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), an agency of the World Bank, under the Federal Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, to bring lasting solution to the problems of erosion in the state and open doors for development partners.
He said, “It is the priority of my administration to safeguard the lives and property of the people. Erosion poses a threat to both. Hence when NEWMAP called on the state government for partnership, I directed that our counterpart funding be paid to the agency.”
While commissioning the erosion control scheme at Ideato North Civic Centre, Governor Ihedioha decried the infrastructural decay and financial recklessness of the past administration, noting that his administration was prepared for governance and in a hurry to rebuild the state.
His words: “We are in a hurry to rebuild the state and we will stop at nothing to restore our glory days. Records available to us suggest that huge amount of money was mapped out by the previous administration to remedy the menace of erosion in Ideato North and other places, sadly but unsurprisingly, the projects were not carried out and the funds were not accounted for. Thus leaving the residents at the mercy of flooding for the past five years.
“The menace has no doubt discouraged economic activities between Orsu and Ideato North local government areas”.
Commending the NEWMAP intervention, the governor pointed out that no government could succeed without partnering with such agency.
“What we commissioned today is a project worth N9.8 billion but we only had to pay half a billion to have access to it. This is so because we know how to properly engage the services of agencies like NEWMAP for the development of our state.
“We came here in fullfillment of our promise that Imo will be on one page. Our utmost concern is to improve the quality of lives of our people, irrespective of where you came from.”
In his remarks, the NEWMAP team leader, Dr Amos Abu, said that Governor Ihedioha has demonstrated purposeful leadership and interest in the welfare of the people of the state.
He lauded the governor's wisdom to take advantage of the partnership with the agency.
Abu, who was represented by the National Project Coordinator of NEWMAP, Alhaji Salisu Dahiru, disclosed that the Urualla erosion site was the biggest of all the works his agency was handling in the country.
"Governor Ihedioha has, through this feat clearly shown that he is interested in the welfare of his people. The community and the people must consider themselves lucky for having a governor that is interested in bringing projects home. For more than eight years we have had this gully erosion site and in less than two months, the project has been flagged off by the Governor. This for us is a mark of leadership”, Dahiru noted.

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