Enyeribe Ejiogu and George Onyejiuwa
To position Imo to play a meaningful role in the Oil and Gas Industry, Governor Hope Uzodimma has increased the share capital of the Imo State Petroleum Development Company (ISPDC) to N10 billion from the previous figure of N100 million.
Special Adviser to the Governor and Coordinator, Oil and Gas, Hon. Goodluck Nanah Opiah, disclosed this at the weekend to journalists in Owerri, and assured that the move would lead to massive job creation for youths in the state.
Opiah said that the oil and gas company partnered with Oak Company, based in the United States of America, for the establishment of a refinery in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area during the administration of former Governor Ikedi Ohakim.
Opiah noted that the deal could not sail through partly because of the restiveness in the Niger Delta region at the time, which forced the American government to place travel restrictions to the Niger Delta region, compelling the Oak Company to pull out.
He said that the revived company, in addition to prospecting for oil and gas, would establish a modular refinery and produce other petrochemical products.
In a related development, Governor Uzodimma has reiterated his eagerness to achieve growth and sustainable development in the state, saying that he is in a hurry to develop the state.
Governor Uzodimma made this declaration through his Special Adviser and Abuja Liaison Officer, Dr. Jimmy Imo, who paid a courtesy visit to the Country Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA, Okumara Makiko, in Abuja.
In his remarks, Imo extended the invitation of the government to Japan, to invest in the infrastructural development of the state, particularly in the areas of erosion control, agriculture, health and rural electrification.
He said: “ODA Grants given by Japan represent the kind of financial assistance that would support construction work or services in the state which include procuring equipment and materials from Japan that are necessary for socioeconomic development.”
In her response, Makiko expressed her delight at the visit and the willingness of JICA and Japan to associate with the state government, saying, “More than ever before, JICA will focus on scientific perspectives to realise universal health coverage through building resilient and flexible health systems in developing countries by effectively combining the schemes of technical cooperation, ODA loans and grant aid. JICA will support Imo State in realizing human security and achieving the MDGs, as well as providing basic infrastructure for sustainable economic growth that is balanced.”