‘Imo urban renewal designed to attract investors’
Undeterred by the peoples’ criticisms on its urban renewal effort, the Imo State Government has explained that the initiatives will make the state one of the best in Nigeria and attract foreign direct investments.
Governor Rochas Okorocha said the project christened ‘Imo My Pride’, is expected to ensure that Owerri becomes dreamland for tourism and livable like other Cities in the world.
Speaking with newsmen, he said; “The issue of Ekeukwu was taken beyond the scope it represents. I still maintain that its removal was the best thing that has happened to Owerri and has brought sanity to the city”.
The Governor explained that before now, the headquarters of all Criminal activities was at the market stressing that to change the situation.“In decent societies, markets of that nature must be placed at a proper place and not right in the centre of the city where it does not only constitute nuisance but also promotes criminal activities.
“Our effort will make our State a tourist centre and will encourage investors to come into our land, we shall continue with the urban renewal as we widen the roads, distill the gutters, relocating markets and making sure that Keke Operators are no longer in the streets of Owerri City”, he stated.
On the alleged neglect of occupants of the market, Okorocha said: “To say that no provision was made for the traders is not true. Ekeukwu as it stands has about 1,600 shops; today Imo State government has provided over 11,000 shops.
“Adequate preparation was made and we have been on this thing for the past five years and traders know that they will one-day leave that place. Politicians went to court without the consent of the traders and got an interim junction which had expired over one year and the property was adequately revoked and gazetted before the action was taken”, he explained.
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