A group of captains of Industry, Intellectual academia and others from Imo State under the aegis of Imo Economic Development Initiative, IEDI, have raised an alarm over the rising domestic debt of Imo State, which they said it has hit to the tune of N93.27 billion.
The group in a statement signed its chairman, Professor Maurice Iwu, and addressed to Governor Rochas Okorocha. “We are concerned about the rising domestic debt. As at December 31, 2016, according to the Debt Management Office, Imo State was owing N93.27 billion, up from N26 billion in 2011”, IEDI chairman said.
IEDI also expressed concern that a report which profiles the viability and sustainability of states, showed that Imo State ranked 22nd in the whole country, pointing out that it was a marked decline from the 17th position it occupied on the same index, three years ago.
“We are concerned by the low level of participation by the state, in Federal Government intervention funding mechanisms, especially in agriculture, health and SME activities”, Professor Iwu said. While stating that “the state is facing economic stagnation,” the IEDI chairman however traced the situation to poor money circulation within the lower strata of the society.
“We suggest that government should ensure that salaries are paid as and when due, to minimise hardship in the state”, Iwu said. IEDI lamented that economic challenges in Imo have been heightened by banning tricycles from plying the roads, without the provision of adequate alternative means of mass transit. “We are currently ranked 34 out of 36 states. With such a dismal rank, Imo has little or no hope of attracting new businesses to alleviate the unemployment rate and generally boost the economy of the state,” IEDI noted. While expressing concern over “the obvious low activity level of international multinational funding and donor agencies’ assisted projects in the state,” the group equally recalled with glee that in the past, funds from these organisations had gone a long way in assisting the delivery of government projects.”
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