Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha at the weekend said President Muhammadu Buhari’s first one year has scored huge successes in all sectors of the economy.
The governor said within a year, the President had laid a solid foundation for a new Nigeria, adding that whoever succeeds him would not grapple with the type of rot he inherited.
Okorocha addressed reporters in Owerri, the state capital, marking the first year of his second tenure in office.
The governor said it would take a man with President Buhari’s strength of character, integrity and global acceptability to rescue the nation from the current socio-economic challenges.
Okorocha, who had announced his formal withdrawal from the 2019 presidential race to support the President for a second tenure, said the President had justified the confidence Nigerians reposed in him by implementing sound economic policies to revamp the economy and restore investors’ confidence.
He said: “Presently, it is only President Buhari who can fix Nigeria. His global acceptability has restored Nigeria’s respect because a nation is rated by the character of its leader. Today, Nigeria is respected globally and foreign investors are now willing to do business in Nigeria. It can only take a Buhari to fight corruption the way he is doing. You can also agree with me that the war against Boko Haram and other insurgents has been largely successful.
“President Buhari may not have built any infrastructure in the first one year but he is laying a strong foundation upon which a better Nigeria will be built.
“Mind you, his first budget has just been passed. After the implementation, Nigerians will appreciate what President Buhari has done. This is so because in the past, no administration achieved over 10 per cent budget implementation. But under Buhari, the budget will record better implementation.”
On his own scorecard, Okorocha said his Rescue Mission administration surpassed previous administrations in providing infrastructure, security and socio-economic development.
The governor noted that in the last five years in the saddle in Imo State, he initiated and completed over 1,000 verifiable projects across the state.
Among them, he said, are over 600 kilometres of rural roads, 27 new general hospitals in each of the 27 local government areas, free education, among other projects.
Okorocha, who pledged to sustain the free education programme, despite the current economic challenges, said the programme had reduced the level of poverty from 57 per cent in 2011 to 19 per cent in 2016.
He said: “We have justifiably utilised the resources of the state in the last five years. We have also prudently managed the local government funds to develop the state.
“We are building the first-ever flyover in the state and, by the time the 27 general hospitals become fully operational, the state will be the next destination for health tourism. I have also completed all the projects abandoned in the state the military era till date.”