REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, RT. HON. EMEKA IHEDIOHA, CON. AT THE SWEARING-IN CEREMONY OF IMO COMMISSIONERS
I wish to welcome you all to this function. It is another milestone function in our journey to rebuild Imo State.
As we traversed the nooks and crannies of the State, canvassing for your support during our campaigns, we realized the need to populate our rebuild Imo team with persons of stellar quality and proven integrity. We recognized the need to have competent persons as appointees to share the mantle of leadership with. With the successful screening of our nominees as Commissioners Designate by the Imo State House of Assembly, we have now completed a major part of our team jigsaw.
Some might ask why it has taken us all this time to appoint Commissioners. My answer is simple, firstly, was the need to rationalize the ministries we met on ground, which numbered a whopping Thirty-One (31), with designations that ranged from the unnecessary to the absurd. I am glad to say that we have reduced this number to a functional Eighteen (18). We also needed to do a painstaking headhunt, if you like, of the myriad of Imo sons and daughters amply qualified to compose the cabinet. I am equally glad to say that, by and large, we have chosen well.
In any case, since our inauguration as a government, we have put in place other machineries of state through various high-level appointees including the Secretary to the State Government, Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants and Special Assistants, Boards and Chief Executives of government agencies, interim management committees for Local Government councils, a host of ad-hoc committees and task teams etc. In other words, prior to today, we have been actively moulding the shape of our government.
Having been chosen, from amongst millions of young, experienced Imolites and beyond, you must therefore be committed and fair in the discharge of your duties. You must be a team player and eschew corruption. If you underperform in the exercise of your duties, I will not hesitate to replace you. In this light, I have set up a Governance delivery unit which will set Key Performance Indicators that we will periodically measure you with, and guide you.
You have heard the good news; the bad news is contained in the facts of what we met on ground. I don’t intend to bore this session with the rhetoric, many of which are in the public domain, but permit me to remind you of a few as these will amount to challenges or opportunities, as the case may be, that you will face in office.
From poorly built infrastructure to the total lack of them; from inadequate teaching personnel in the schools to the dilapidated classrooms. From fiscal rascality, to the pure rape of our commonwealth; from unlawful acquisition of land to violation of established master plans; from slashed salaries to non-payment of pensioners; from familiocracy to Nepotism, I can go on and on.
This is what characterizes the Imo State we have inherited. We are not perturbed, however, as we have swung into action to address these inconsistencies and misnomers. You have therefore come on board to enrich the content of the “rebuilders” as we march to an assured success. I once again appeal to Nd’Imo for their patience, prayers and support.
I charge you, Commissioners Designates, to key into our programmes as detailed in not just our campaign manifesto but also our agenda as set by our transition technical committee as well as our pronouncements and actions since assuming office. I thus urge you to hit the ground running.
It is my pleasure, therefore, to congratulate you, your families and well wishers, many of whom are here today. As they celebrate with you on your appointments, I enjoin them to allow you work unhindered.
Thank you very much
Below are the names of the 17 new commissioners and their portfolios
1. Prof. Uche Uwaleke (Finance)
2. Prof. Viola Onwuliri (Education)
3. Dr. Vin Udokwu (Health)
4. Hon. Chuma Nnaji (Public Utilities)
5. Mr. Meekam Mgbenwelu (Technology Development)
6. Sir Bon Unachukwu (Lands, Survey and Physical Planning)
7. Tony Okere (Environment)
8. Engr. Benjamin Ekwueme (Works).
9. Chief Emma Nworgu (Agriculture and Natural Resources)
10. Mr. John Okeahialam (Commerce, Industry and Entrepreneurship)
11. Chief (Mrs) Nkeiru Ibekwe (Gender and Vulnerable Groups Affairs)
12. Reginald Ihebuzor (Budget and Economic Planning)
13. Barr. Chijioke Nzekwe (Tourism, Creative Arts and Culture)
14. Mr. Sly Enwerem (Transport)
15. Mr. Okey Umez-Eronini (Youth and Social Development)
16. Mr. Nicholas Anayo (Housing)
17. Barr. Felix Ebiliekwe (Information and Orientation).