Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo has assured the people of the state that 2024 will usher glorious dawn.
Uzodimma gave the assurance in his New Year broadcast delivered at his Omuma country home near Owerri on Sunday.
He congratulated the people for surviving 2023 “in spite of the excruciating challenges that we faced.”
“I must admit that the year 2023 was a very challenging year in which many Nigerians battled for survival.
“As your governor, I shared these pains, and I did the much I could to help alleviate the challenges,” he said.
He expressed confidence that the reforms being implemented by President Bola Tinubu to restructure the economy were the right steps in the right direction towards repositioning the economy for a more prosperous future.
Uzodimma said: “Like most reforms, the initial pains are inevitable. The good news is that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“As they say, the darkest hour heralds a glorious dawn. So it is with the pains that came with these needful reforms.
“I am very confident that the promised glorious dawn is close enough.
“Thus, I appeal to the good people of Imo State to be patient because the year 2024 will surely herald that glorious dawn, and I am confident that the pains of 2023 will begin to wane in 2024,” he added.
He described 2023 as a “remarkable” year for his administration, following his victory at the November 11, election in the state.
“Through the mercy of God, the election was not only peaceful, but you returned me to the office with a landslide victory that cut across the 27 local government areas in the state,” he stated.
He disclosed that he had set up a committee to organize his second term inauguration scheduled for January 15, 2024.
According to him, the committee is chaired by Sen. Chris Anyanwu, while other members are drawn from all walks of life.
“The greatest thank you I can offer to the people of Imo State is to continue to run an efficient and transparent administration with equity and justice as its banner.
“Working harder in the coming years, exceeding my previous efforts, will no doubt justify that confidence,” he said.
The governor said the march towards the actualisation of that vision had started with the 2024 budget, which he recently signed into law.
He noted that out of the budget of N592 billion, N491 billion representing 83 per cent was for capital expenditure, while N100 billion or 17 per cent was for recurrent expenditure.
“The practical interpretation of the budget is that if we built 20 roads in 2023, we are going to build 40 in 2024.
“If we empowered 2,000 youths in 2023, 4,000 youths should take their turn in 2024.
“With this capital expenditure centred budget, there shall be an avalanche of projects in Imo State in 2024.
“This harvest of projects will always be evenly and equitably sited in the 27 local government areas of our state,” he emphasised.
Uzodimma, who noted that the politically contrived insecurity in the state was over following the conduct of the election, appealed to all to sheath their swords and work in harmony with his administration to deliver dividends of democracy to the people.
“We need a renewed love, a renewed hope, and renewed economic growth for our state so as to usher in peace and progress and prosperity for all.
“As outlined in the 2024 budget, Imo is going to witness a tremendous improvement in infrastructure and development in all facets of the state this year.
“I want Imo people to rest assured that my performance in the second tenure, which begins in January 2024, will dwarf the achievements of my first tenure,” he further assured.
However, he warned that his administration will not brook any form of corruption in the public sector, noting that public office holders must adhere to protocol or be forced out.
He urged religious and traditional rulers to continue to pray and work hard for the sustenance of peace in the state.