1. Imo State has a Land Mass of 5,100sq.km
  2. Imo State has 27 L.G.As-about the highest in the South East.
  3. Imo State has natural resources like crude oil, lead, zinc, white clay, fine sand, limestone, natural gas in abundance.
  4. Imo State has a population of 6-7million people with 2-3million in the Diaspora and half of the remainder within the State under 18years of age.
  5. Imo State has a GDP of $14m (2017).
  6. Imo State has a GDP per capita of $3,527 making it the richest State in the South East.
  7. Imo State has an unemployment rate of 26.1 %( meaning about 800,000 of the active workforce are unemployed).
  8. Imo State IGR is less than 4% of its total revenue.
  9. Imo State has a Tourism Potential with attractions like; Oguta Wonder Lake Resort and conference center in Oguta, the natural springs located at Onicha, Ezinihitte Mbaise, Nekede zoological garden and Forest Reserve, The rolling hills at Okigwe, Monkey colonies at Lagwa, Aboh Mbaise, and Omuma and Aji, oru East L.G.A, Ezeama mystic springs at Isu Njaba,Ngwu springs at Nkwerre near Oriukwu, Dikenafai, Ideato South L.G.A, Njaba Springs, abadaba Lake and the blue lake at Oguta.
  10. Imo State is a net exporter of skilled workforce to the rest of the country and the world with much of the skilled workforce living in the diaspora.
  11. Most Imo men within the elite Matrix have no source of livelihood except from state rents. These set of people render no service to the people except that they support the government in power and in turn expect to be ‘serviced’ out the State Treasury. The implication of this is that there is little incentive in lobbying businesses to come to the State when the Government does not depend on businesses for a significant part of its revenues.
  12. Imo is categorized as a poor State not for lack of resources but for the fact that most of these resources are outside the State.
  13. The total monthly average revenue of Imo State stands at 3.8 Billion naira
  14. The Total monthly average expenditure of Imo State stands at 5.35 Billion naira
  15. Imo State has a monthly deficit gap of 1.5Billion naira
  16. Imo State currently has a debt profile of 130billion naira.
  17. Imo State runs a monthly deficit of 2.1billion naira Monthly
  18. Imo State services its debts monthly with 870million naira.
  19. Imo State has a foreign debt figure of 23billion naira as at end of 2017.
  20. Imo State has a total of 800,000 unemployed People and a double digit inflation rate of 21.6% which is indicative of a weak Economy.
  21. Imo State has a domestic debt figure of 81billion naira as at end of 2017.
  22. Imo State ranks 31 out of 36 according to United Nation’s Statistics on Starting a business.
  23. Imo State has a rent economy which means a privileged few are idle and heavily dependent on Government as a source of livelihood.
  24. Imo has a monthly IGR of 500-600million naira

The major challenge of Imo State is managing the transition from a rent system to a Production based Economic System. Currently Government is the biggest business in the State and the only source of ‘meal tickets’ for a large number of idle elite class who have the capacity to rock the political boat, if not properly managed.

For Imo to be a financially viable State (depending less on FAAC allocations) the incoming Linus Okorie-led administration would implement a medium term plan and expenditure framework (4-8years plan within a long-term strategic masterplan of 15years).

The plan would be strategic with sector wide approaches (SAWPs) based on the State’s comparative and potential competitive advantages (its geography, demography, history, resource endowments and human capital. The plan would exploit the strategic location and endowments of the State for Tourism, agriculture and industry and exploit its location vis-a-viz Onitsha, Aba and Port-Harcourt.

On assumption of Office the incoming Linus-Okorie-led administration would quickly embark on the following to set the trend for the Imo it envisions to build:

  1. Encourage the development of a robust statistical system to enable effective planning.
  2. Declare a state of emergency to transform the economy of the state from a rent economy (dependent upon oil and gas rents) to a production and service based economy, and one which is relatively financially viable and sustainable. 
  3. Use current rents to build Permanent capacity for the future. Ensure that current expenditure is covered from IGR while devoting all of the grants from FAAC to building Infrastructure, human capital, Health and ensure that the State is technology-driven.

The Economic Plan of the Linus-Okorie-led administration would achieve the following targets:

  1. Attract talents and businesses back to Imo State.
  2. Create Millions of Tax Payers in the State.
  3. Create a favorable milieu (Institutions and environment) for businesses to operate.
  4. Rationalize Government operation in an efficient manner, minimizing costs and ensuring that government consumption is less dependent on FAAC allocation.
  5. Promote Public Private Partnerships and incentivize the Private sector to dominate the Economic space.
  6. Minimize short-termism (Focusing on the short-term) to avoid sunk costs (abandoned projects).
  7. Increase the efficiency and quality of spending via regular value-for- money audits and creating strong Institutions to ensure efficient service delivery, procurement, and performance evaluation.
  8. Subjection of public financial outlays to sensitivity and sustainability analysis to absorb unforeseen shocks.

The Present day Imo demands a number of Institutional reforms for any Government that intends to leave a legacy for posterity. The Incoming administration plans to ensure that each naira spent buys at least 90kobo of service by embarking on the under listed.

  1. Enactment of the Public Procurement Act, and then setting up effective Procurement Commission and strict adherence to Due Process in public procurement. When properly done, it can save the State Billions of Naira by weeding off fat from contracts and preventing some unnecessary/wasteful procurement. A major function of this Commission should be to produce periodic performance evaluation of all capital projects and show that the state is having value for money.
  2. Enactment of Fiscal Responsibility Act that by law specifies the ratio of capital to current expenditures, and also mandates a multiyear expenditure framework. This would improve the productivity of public expenditure, by enforcing discipline. 
  3. Benchmarking across various sectors which forces competition, helps deliver value for money, and keeps the leaders’ eyes on the ball. All ministries and agencies would not only set targets relative to their past, but also indicate which state/country has the best model they are trying to beat. This helps to evaluate not only how far the State have performed relative to their past but also in comparison to other states.
  4. Establish external agencies of restraint by instituting regular accountability and transparency evaluation meetings with all stakeholders e.g. the citizens Parliament on live television/town hall/phone-in programs. The penultimate plan is to get an International Agency rating for the State.

Most States in Nigeria are characterized by hemorrhages through which state funds are siphoned or lost without value being given in return and Imo is not an exception. In this light the incoming administration would carry out the following to ensure that every income or revenue is accounted for.

  1. Payroll audit of the Public Service, especially at the Local Government Levels to eliminate Ghost workers and Ghost pensioners.
  2. Privatize all (inefficient) public enterprises leave all private goods; concentrate on pure public and quasi-public goods.
  3. Consider concessioning, or other forms of PPP, where viable/bankable infrastructure projects exist, e.g. BOT; BOOT; BTO- Build, Transfer, and Operate; BOO-Build, Own and Operate; ROT; Rehabilitate, Operate and Transfer; ROO- Rehabilitate, Own and Operate; etc.
  4. Rationalize public institutions: list and examine the number of Institutions (agencies, parastatals, commissions) no longer in operation and their respective budgets and function.
  5. Employ skilled professionals to man strategic institutions and probably pay them more: you will save money over time and greatly improve performance
  6. Strengthen Accountability and Transparency of Local Governments and allow them to work consistent with the State plan. 

To achieve its plan and targets the Linus-Okorie-led administration would create a plethora of the under listed to facilitate the creation of prosperity for Imo citizens.

  1. An SOEs (State-owned-Enterprise), Imo Investment Holding Company (I.I.H.C) would be set up. This would ensure that all investments belonging to Imo is Itemized and examined while human capital development Projects are matched with these investments and advisory boards made up of technocrats is formed to give direction. I.I.H.C would also own shares in Joint ventures involving the State and in local as well as foreign companies.
  2. An Imo Sovereign Wealth Fund (I.S.W.F) would be created to forestall shortfalls in future project Financing and to increase the capacity of future generations to develop.
  3. Imo State Skills Development Agency (I.S.D.A) would be established and work hand in glove with an Imo Loans Board who’s funding would come from the Budget. The Imo Loans Board would be in charge of monitoring compliance to standards and repayments of the loans offered to certified Imolites to enable them create value through their newly acquired skills. 
  4. A sustainable Development Agency, Imo State Sustainable Development Agency (I.S.S.D.A) would be set up in such a way each oil company operating in the State would have an oversight function on the utilization of the funds they provide for development projects within the State.
  5. Economic zones would be set up in Ngor Okpalla & Ohaji Egbema. The gas in Ohaji would be commercialized and used to generate Power for the Area up to the Oguta wonder Lake Area. The Oguta wonder Lake would be developed and built-up with a Five-Star Hotel, 19-hole golf course, Conference Centre, airstrips, Medical Plaza & Helipad
  6. An Enterprise Development Agency/commission would be set up for the development of creative and tech hubs in each senatorial district.
  7. A microfinance Bank to support rural women would be set up to facilitate the productive capacities of the rural women through small and medium term facilities.
  8. Twenty-five Support Service Skill empowerment/acquisition would be set up in the three (3) senatorial districts across all sectors from Construction to oil & Gas. The best of the trainees would receive certifications and the skills pen ultimately exported for foreign exchange.
  9. A remittance application would be designed to tap the huge income potential from the diaspora.

With a debt overhang of 130billion, Imo State Requires a combination of effective strategies to enable it reduce the monthly servicing and prevent a future re-occurrence of the high leverage position(Having more debt than equity) it currently finds itself.

  1. Ensure the State debt Management Office designs borrowing in such a way that debt is not tied to current and future budgets. This would limit borrowing only to bankable projects that would make the loans self-liquidating.
  2. Ensure that a maximum debt service is prescribed as a percentage of IGR. This would ensure that the State would still be able to service its debt from its IGR if the FAAC allocations drops.
  3. Ensure that a time frame is set for any debt obligation such that each Government liquidates its debt.
  4. Ensure that the State Government is limited to borrowing only from the Capital Markets as this subjects the State to market discipline.
  5. Strengthen the debt management office and restructure existing debt to ensure easier repayment/servicing. 

HEALTHCARE

A wealthy Nation is a Healthy Nation. When the health status of Citizenry (that represent the productive force) of the Economy is poor, the productive capacity or output would be low. The incoming administration recognizes the role a vibrant and vigorous workforce would play in its prosperity for all agenda and would embark on the under listed to ensure a Healthy workforce at all time.

  1. Mobile Health Clinics.
  2. Medical Tourism: Connecting Diaspora Medical doctors from Imo State abroad to support healthcare initiatives in the state and in building a global medical Centre at the Imo State Teaching Hospital through Public Private Partnership.
  3. Establish Support Groups made up of Diaspora Experts.
  4. Synchronize Primary Healthcare Centers with Mobile health Clinics.
  5. Institute Imo Community Health Insurance Scheme to ensure that every Imo Indigene has access to quality healthcare.
  6. Digitization of the Health sector.
  7. Upgrade and Accredit School of Nursing and other Health Institutions in the State.

EDUCATION

This is a key focus area of the incoming Linus-okorie-led administration as Human capital development is essential to entrepreneurship which transforms the economy to a highly productive and prosperous one. In this light the administration would do the following:

  1. Train and Re-train Teachers to improve quality.
  2. Subsidize Education.
  3. Improve Teachers aid and welfare.
  4. Implement policy on compulsory Basic Education (Strengthen policy of Basic Education and take it up to SS3).
  5. Change the Ministry of Education to Ministry of Education and Human Development.
  6. Establish Imo Finishing Schools in the following areas; Fashion & Design, Photography, Construction & Building, entertainment, tiling, Carpentry.
  7. Revise and ensure that every course is accredited.
  8. Establish Imo Research and Development Centre that will process great ideas into tangible innovations for the economic benefit of the state. 
  9. Overhaul Educational Curriculum to cover four learning models that is up-to-date with global best practices.
  10. Re-introduction of Guidance and Counseling in Secondary Schools.
  11. Ensure that more of the educated are exported than the uneducated. 

AGRICULTURE

Agriculture sustains an Economy. Any Nation, State or Country that can’t feed itself hands over the survival of the people to outsiders. A State that wants to make real and great progress must be self-sustaining in terms of food as it provides a major part of the energy for Production. To make Imo self-sustaining in terms of food, the administration would embark on the following: 

  1. Achieve food security through Back to Farm Project.
  2. Encourage the formation of Agricultural Cooperative Societies.
  3. Establish large farm corporations that will absolve young people through effective Public Private Partnership that will upscale agricultural products. 
  4. Enhance the distribution of fertilizers and improved seedlings to the Farmers. 
  5. Encourage Large-scale Farming via Mechanization.
  6. Ensure that big farmers get access to agricultural loans and Technical support from the Central Bank if need be.

YOUTH AND SPORTS

The Youth in Imo constitute above 50% of the Population. This implies that Imo has a strong working population. If harnessed this can lead to an unprecedented level of Productivity bringing about massive productivity and excess capacity which can be exported and creates a rise in the general level of welfare. In this vein, the Linus-okorie-led incoming administration would carry out the following:

  1. Establish Imo Youth World-Class talent centers that will focus on Human Capital Development in the State. 
  2. Harness potential/skills of young people and help them find expression.
  3. Establishment of Imo Sports Academy (I.S.A) with International Partnership to groom young people in selected sports and position them for global significance (Sports for Exports).
  4. Establish Youth Centers/Hubs with Mentoring Assistance starting with three geopolitical zones.
  5. Embark on continuous Youth Empowerment via training to prepare the Youth for Leadership
  6. Encourage local production of Sports Wears on public private partnership basis with Indigenous manufacturing Companies.
  7. Organization of a quarterly youth conference with accomplished leaders in order to equip young people towards excellence. 
  8. Key Sports focus areas: Football, Basketball, Swimming, Volleyball, Lawn Tennis, High and Long Jump, Boxing, Weight Lifters, Cricket and Golf.

COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

The incoming administration intends to organize the conduct of commerce within the State in a Professional manner while a Massive campaign for industries across the 27L.G.A is embarked as Industrialization creates rapid economic and social development in any Nation. In this vein, the dispensation would carry out the following:

  1. Establishment of Cottage Industries across the 27L.G.As
  2. Collaborate with Experts to identify and invest in Solid Minerals.
  3. Establishment of Economic zones in areas of high unemployment within the state.
  4. Establishment of Industrial Clusters in 27 Local Government Areas in Imo State.
  5. Revival of Standard Shoe Industry with technical know-how and establish effective knowledge transfer via local content from industry experts to Imolites.
  6. Develop policies that ensure that indigenously manufactured products are given support to thrive.
  7. Encouragement of Indigenous Companies through tax holidays and cuts.
  8. Establishment and Support of small and medium enterprises via increased access to micro-credit facilities
  9. Development of 305 wards through International collaboration with foreign investors via own-a-community programme.
  10. Establishment of modular refineries.

LAND, SURVEY, HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

To bring about rapid urban development the administration intends to carry out the under listed.

  1. Introduction of Affordable Housing Scheme for Citizens. 
  2. Digitization of the ministry of Land, Housing and Urban.
  3. Establishment of Imo Integrated Social Housing Co-operative Society Limited.
  4. Partnership with primary mortgage institutions for rapid land and housing development.
  5. Establishment of Mega World-class Training and Conference Centers within the Metropolis.
  6. Reduction of R of O & C of O issuance turnaround time.
  7. Abolish the existing manual cartography and replace it with digital survey.

TRANSPORTATION

The administration recognizes that transportation goes beyond the conveyance of people from one point of the State to another. It understands that this needs to be done in a secure, convenient manner and at lowest minimum cost to the lowest of income earners. The following would be done to achieve this.

  1. Establishment of inner city and outer city ring roads.
  2. Establishment of a rapid bus transit system.
  3. Timely departures.
  4. Digitalized ticketing system.
  5. Introduction of Electric Medium of Transportation.

WOMEN AFFAIRS

Any Government that fails to respect and accord equal rights to women in our times has already failed. The incoming administration would accord a high level of importance to the affairs of this sector of the Economy by ensuring:

  1. Girl child Education and Empowerment.
  2. Effective Representative of women in Politics.
  3. Leadership Hub for Women Development where women will be able to get mentored and be able to learn relevant skills that can equip them for economic independence. 

TOURISM

The State records a very high potential in this sector and this makes it a high focus area of the Linus-okorie-led administration. Efforts in this area would complement the existing lucrative hospitality sector to transform the State to a world-class Tourist attraction. In this vein, the administration intends to:

  1. Develop and standardize City centers.
  2. Develop new cities.
  3. Classification of Hotels.
  4. Documentation and development of the top ten Tourist attraction Sites.
  5. Address security issues through community policing and local vigilante groups.
  6. Establish a well-coordinated security network.
  7. Revitalization of green areas and Entertainment parks for the promotion of local Entertainment & Night Life. 
  8. Create annual festivals that showcase Imo Rich Cultural Heritage.
  9. Create an annual golf tournament in Oguta Lake.

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

Energy drives activities in any economy. However, the incoming administration recognizes that the State possess abundance of a natural resource that can create sustainable and cheap energy to drive activities in the Economy. The administration would increase efforts towards achieving an alternative and renewable form of Energy for the Economy by:

  1. Revitalizing Imo Water Board Scheme.
  2. Establishing efficient portable water circulation. 
  3. Commercialization of Ohaji Gas reserves to power the Oguta wonder Lake Area and Economic Zones.
  4. Introduction of solar and renewable energy as alternative forms of power supply towards an efficient energy mix to ensure constant supply within the State.
  5. Establishment of Modular Power Plants.
  6. Lighting up the metropolis through solar powered streetlights.
  7. Establish Imo Power Generation & Distribution Company (I.P.G.D.C) for the Generation of 150 MW of electricity to drive economic activity.
  8. Develop a central sewage system for developing cities.
  9. Develop an effective drainage system to control excessive flooding in the state.
  10. Revitalization of Imo Road Maintenance Agency.
  11. Use proper road connection to establish connection of community roads in the state.
  12. Use Interlock technology to build durable street roads for durability, cost effectiveness and rapid road development.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

The advancement of any Economy rests mostly on this sector. The administration in recognition of the Economic leverage(doing more with less) this sector can provide is intent on doing the following to encourage growth and development of the sector:

  1. Develop tech hubs and cities across senatorial districts.
  2. Create Imo State Technology Fund (I.S.T.F) to assist Imolites devoted to the production of software, hardware and other technological innovations.
  3. Encourage the choice of sciences at the secondary school levels through science awards and competition.
  4. Encourage the deployment of technologies in every sector of Government.

FINANCE AND ECONOMY

  1. Ensure the establishment of a sovereign wealth Fund to accommodate shortfalls in future Project Financing.
  2. Creation of an Imo State Loans Board to carter for small facilities to trainee artisans for start-ups. The Funding for the Board would come from the Budget and financial technocrats would be appointed as advisors.
  3. Encourage Imolites outside but within the Country to establish the head offices of their businesses in Imo. This would increase the allocations the State receives form the Centre.
  4. Creations of millions of taxable businesses to improve the IGR component of the revenue structure. 

RURAL DEVELOPMENT

  1. Curbing rural urban migration by establishing basic amenities for improved living conditions.
  2. Encourage and Support Mechanized and Large Scale Farming.
  3. Creation of 305 cottage industries in Imo State.
  4. Creating Effective demand for agricultural produce and by-products.
  5. Establish Micro-finance Banks for Rural Women to support petty trading activities of rural women in the State.
  6. Consider cottage industries in the following areas: Toothpick, Pen, Hat-making, Oil Mill, Chairs, Toothbrush, Soap, Candle, and Nylon making, Plastics, Woodwork and electronics accessories.

The Incoming administration intends to transform the Economy of the State to a productive one and in so doing create an unprecedented level of Prosperity for all. However, it can’t achieve this alone. With the support and good will of all Imo Citizenry (at home and the diaspora) we can make Imo work and achieve prosperity for all. Let us collectively with one voice and heart create the Imo we desire to see and leave a legacy and progressive footprints for those coming after us to follow.

God has blessed our State. Let us utilize this blessing to create more blessings for ourselves and the world.