By Saby Elemba, Owerri
The government of Imo State has said it is implementing a 25-year development plan which will take into consideration industrial policy and community development plan where various communities in the state will partner with any incoming government for development. The partnership will enable each partnering community to have a share and strong voice in the administration of the state.
Uche Ohia, commissioner for tourism, culture and creative arts, who gave the hint, said the government is doing a long-term planning that will be backed by law and all incoming governments will key in.
Ohia, who did not go into the details of the 25-year development plan, told members of the Nigerian Hotels Association (NHA), Imo State chapter, that the government has a long partnership with the hotel and hospitality subsector as the sector is the bedrock of Imo economy. As such, the government would go the extra mile to see to its stability and would not allow it to collapse.
On the vexing issue of consumption tax imposed on the hotel and hospitality industry in the state, the commissioner pleaded with the NHA, saying “there are still windows for discussion” between the government and the association in the state.
Ohia assured the hotel association that the present government in the state is no longer dealing with revenue consultants whose modus operandi could have brought disrepute to any good administration.
As the government is putting efforts to protect the state so that dwellers as well visitors can live in peace and attend to their businesses without fear, Ohia assured that “Owerri is still the safest place to come and enjoy in Nigeria” and that the government would continue to protect it.
“And we must ensure that we tell our people to stop demarketing the state. We need to promote the state. It is the determination of the government to transform Imo State, building roads, and ensuring that thoroughfares in the state are first class,” Ohia said.
He stated that the development of the state must go beyond hotels, and that the government is creating an environment where visitors will come and have places to go or visit.
“We must do that. Imo is a place where you will come to have all sorts of relaxation places,” he said.