By Dikachi Franklin, in Owerri
The United Kingdom agency, Department for International Development (DFiD), says it will work with the Imo State government to provide technical and infrastructural support that can aid the development of the state.
“The department is looking at engaging in the areas of provision of technical assistance, infrastructure and other key areas,” said O.C.Ronnie, DFiD’s regional coordinator for the Southeast and South-south.
Ronnie said this during a visit to the governor of Imo state, Emeka Ihedioha in Owerri. But the visit is being interpreted by observers as a new opening up of the state to international agencies keen to do business with it.
The government is believed to have entered into a number of partnership pacts with international bodies aimed at entrenching real development that will impact on the lives of Imo people.
On the arrangement with the UK’s DFiD, Ihedioha expressed satisfaction with the partnership to reactivate the state.
The DFiD delegation was in the state to identify priority areas for partnership.
DFID is the UK government department responsible for administering overseas aid, the goal of which is to promote sustainable development and eliminate poverty.
While seeking the assistance and cooperation of this international body, the governor enumerated the challenges facing the state, including, perennial flooding, poor power supply, decayed healthcare infrastructure and lack of partnership and technical support from international agencies.
“Our state is completely devastated. We have challenges in the area of infrastructure, acute flooding challenge, we are seeking the assistance of experts to assist us find solutions to these issues. Even our local government areas were left moribund for the past eight years.
“I can assure you that our hands are open for partnership to assist us reactivate and rebuild the state to give hope again to our people. We want to take back our state and it will interest you to note that our people are prepared to invest in our state. Already there is huge traffic here, but that has to be met by high level infrastructure,” he said.
Ronnie had described Imo State as a strategic state in the country which at the moment is in dire need of urgent intervention in almost all the sectors.
She assured of the cooperation of the DFiD towards realizing the programmes of the administration and also informed that most of the programmes are already contained in the governor’s manifesto.
She decried a situation where her organisation had made efforts to engage the Imo State government since 2016, noting that the past administration never took advantage of their interventions.