The Imo Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA in the November Governorship election, Sir Tony Ejiogu, flagged off his campaign recently.
In a riveting speech before his supporters, he laid out his agenda to rebuild the state and restore the glory of the eastern heartland.
Below are the 7 takeaways from that speech which highlighted his “Rebuilding Imo Agenda”.
1. Curb Insecurity By 75% In 2 Years
According to Sir Tony Ejiogu, his first charge in the rebuilding agenda “is to make our communities liveable again”.
Lamenting the state of insecurity in the State, he recalled that from August 2020 to July 2023, Imo state experienced 209 violent attacks with no fewer than 289 people losing their lives to those attacks, while about 100 people have been kidnapped and mostly unaccounted for subsequently.
He said, “My priority is to restore security to our dear state so that we may once again enjoy the simple pleasures of life and feel safe while at it.”
2. Uproot Poverty, Boost IGR By 50% In 36 Months.
Tony Ejiogu also promised to take a multi-pronged approach to poverty alleviation in the State.
The first is by creating a conducive environment for private enterprises to thrive and become the engine of growth for the economy through job creation. This particular measure, he said, is capable of driving up the State’s internally generated revenue by over 50% within 36 months of his government.
The second is by creating a knowledge-based economy where Imo youths inclined in the IT sector will be empowered with the right skill set and exposed to the global tech and digital marketplace for foreign exchange earnings.
He also promised that his support will support all those who choose trade and other forms of entrepreneurship shall be supported in their various businesses with soft loans and entrepreneurial mentorship.
3. Implement One-Community-One-Product (OCOP) Initiative for Exports
This is arguably one of Tony Ejiogu’s most ambitious ideas for the development of the State’s agricultural sector. According to Ejiogu, this plan is amongst other agro-based interventions that will feature prominently in his government, and will entail “a one-community-one-product (OCOP) initiative to develop speciality products from communities based on existing comparative advantage.”
The overarching objective, according to Ejiogu, is to “make food abundant again, by making it safe for farmers to return to their farmlands, harnessing our agricultural potential fully and making the right investments so that our people can have more than enough to eat”.
4. Raise Minimum Wage to N80,000/Month
Improving workers’ welfare is also top of Ejiogu’s priority.
He told his supporters during the flag-off that one of his visions is to create an Imo “where the minimum wage of an average worker shall be a livable wage of at least N80,000 monthly and our civil service retirement age is officially pegged at 65 years with pensions and gratuities paid as and when due.”
5. Complete Autonomy for Local Governments
Ejiogu also pledged his commitment to devolution of powers, as he has promised to conduct free, fair and credible local government elections and allow them complete financial and operational independence.
He maintained that a part of his vision is to build a new Imo where the third-tier government shall indeed exist with complete financial and operational independence, and the culture of impunity, corruption and recklessness shall be dethroned.
6. Promote Good Governance Through Partnership, Accountability, Responsibility and Trust
To promote good governance in the state, Ejiogu said his government shall be a reflection of his lifestyle of modesty and accessibility.
He said, “Just like your next-door neighbour, I will operate an open-door policy to make myself available to you. Our commitment to good governance starts with having listening ears to the people we lead because this is how we can journey together and reach the promised land”.
Calling on the people for their support, he said, “All hands must be on deck in this PART to rebuild Imo. And By PART, I mean, joining hands in Partnership, Accountability, Responsibility and Trust. Do your PART to rebuild Imo, I will do MINE”.
7. Prioritise Competitive Academic Curriculum, Retraining of Teachers
According to Ejiogu’s agenda, improving education will be a top priority as he will adopt a unique approach that will see the State refocusing its education objectives on retooling the citizens of the State to be a part of the global economy.
This, he said, forms part of his vision for the new Imo where “competitive academic curriculum shall focus on building students to be self-sustaining, and teachers properly trained to contemporary teaching methodology”.