By Ismaila Chafe
Gov. Hope Uzodinma of Imo says the state needs N75billion to remedy 360 identified erosion sites in the state.
Uzodinma stated this to State House Correspondents, after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, on Friday.
The governor, who revealed that he updated the president on the erosion menace in Imo, stressed the need for support from both the federal government and development partners.
He said: “It’s just a normal courtesy call on the President and then to make some requests, prominent among the requests I made today is that of erosion menace that has bedevilled the State to the extent that the only road that you go through to the Federal University of Technology and Federal College of Technology in Owerri, the State capital is almost cut into two.
“It is so critical that the schools are about to resume and if nothing is done urgently, they may not be able to have access to their various schools and the President in his wisdom has promised to immediately get in touch with the ecological office to remedy the situation.
“We have over 360 erosion sites in Imo State, and as at the last count, we have done a study of 57 sites, which we consider very critical and immediate.
“Based on our assessment, a lot of money would be required to address the problem, over N75 billion and you will agree with me that the state government cannot handle that alone,’’ he said.
According to him, the State can only address the problem through constructive partnership with the federal government, through the Ecological Fund office, and development partners.
Asked about the recent defection of Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi from the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Uzodinma said he used to be like an orphan because he was the only APC Governor in that zone but now he has a brother.
He urged the Southeast governors elected under the platform of PDP and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to embrace the APC, so as to yield more dividends of democracy for the people of the zone.
The governor, who also spoke on the recently inaugurated modular refinery in the State by President Buhari, expressed the hope that the refinery would help boost economic activities in the country.
He stressed the need for more of such refineries in the country to address the problem of importation and shortage of petroleum products. (NAN)