Deputy Governor of Imo State, Rt. Hon. Gerald Irona says the state Authorities determined to arrange an investigative panel to look into the administration of the Imo state Oil Producing areas Growth Fee-ISOPADEC following experiences of mismanagement of the Fee by earlier administrations.
The Deputy Governor gave the reason whereas receiving a delegation of stakeholders from Ohaji, in Ohaji Egbema Native Authorities Space below the auspices of Ogbako Ohaji, a socio-cultural organisation, led by Chief Goddy Obodo.
“Few weeks before the last administration of His Excellency, Rochas Okorocha left, over Four Hundred and Twenty Million (N420m) was released on the orders of the former Governor to buy vehicles. The funds were not for ISOPADEC use, but for other uses. The funds were ISOPADEC funds. The salary wage bill is a little over Forty (40m) million and they were receiving about Ninety Five (95) million. There were a lot of issues. We now insisted that we must look into what has transpired. We are not witch hunting anyone. We just want to get things right.”
“The government set up an investigative panel; a panel of enquiry to look into how the Commission was managed in the past years. We need to know how much was received by the Commission and how the funds were utilized. We need to know what they did with our money and who played what role. We want ISOPADEC to work well.”
“We must ensure that ISOPADEC functions properly as an interventionist agency. It is unacceptable that till date, communities in Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta do not have portable water and electricity. The new ISOPADEC management must rise to the challenge of addressing the needs of the people. We constituted an ISOPADEC Advisory Council to be able to guide and encourage the new management, with a view to ensuring that the spirit and letters of ISOPADEC are strictly adhered to. The era of sharing ISOPADEC money is over.”
Talking on funding, the Deputy Governor assured that the Fee shall be funded in response to the regulation establishing it, whilst he charged the brand new administration on accountability.
“ISOPADEC must be accountable. It shall be funded according to the law establishing it. Funding will not be an issue. The issue will be how to manage the funds. It calls for prudence. There must be consultation, transparency and accountability.”
Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Irona with a cross part of the Ohaji delegation in the course of the assembly
He additional assured the delegation that Adapalm Nigeria can be correctly managed within the curiosity of the residents.
Talking earlier, chief of the delegation and former lawmaker, Chief Goddy Obodo expressed gratitude to the federal government of Chief Emeka Ihedioha for contemplating Ohaji indigenes in political appointments, assuring him of their continued assist.
He described the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Gerald Irona as an important reward to individuals of the realm, promising that individuals of the realm is not going to disappoint.
“We are here to identify with you. Carry our message of gratitude to Governor Emeka Ihedioha. We are here to express our happiness. Within one month of our administration, we are already feeling a wind of change. We are here to tell you that we are happy with the government. As long as politics is concerned, be rest assured that Ohaji is solidly behind you. Call us anytime, any day, we are for you.”
“For Eight years, ISOPADEC was almost closed down. For eight years, no one from Ohaji benefited anything from ISOPADEC. The people of Ohaji that have so far been given appointments are tested and trusted. They will not fail you.”
Talking on Adapalm, Obodo acknowledged: “Adapalm, at some point was in someone’s pocket. Today, the government has set up an Interim Management Committee to turn it around. Ohaji people are standing by you.”
On youth restiveness, Obodo argued that youth of the realm had been deceived into thuggery, urging the cooperation of all to alter the narrative.
“They deceived Ohaji youth into thuggery. That is not our character. We are disciplined, honest and hard working people. Please, help us to change this narrative.”
Different members of the delegation had been: former Commissioner, Barr. Golden Nwosu, Chairman, Interim Administration Committee of Adapalm, Dr. Anthony Kerunwa, ISOPADEC Chairman, Barr. Magnus Obido, member of ISOPADEC Board, Hon. Emeka Alihie, Imo State Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Celebration, Hon. Damian Opara, amongst others.
Walter Duru, Ph.D
Adviser, Communications to the Deputy Governor