X-RAYING ACTIVITIES AT ISOPADEC: AN HOPE UZODINMA'S STRIDES

Another encounter with Chief Charles Orie - The Managing Director and CEO of the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission ( ISOPADEC )

"Our money is not meant to be given to politicians, we are using the money to work for the people - we are following due process - our monies are tied to our projects"~ Charles Orie.

*Question*: Sometime ago in September, we toured round your projects sites, how are they coming up?

*Ans*: We are doing great. During this festive period, we plan commissioning 14 of the health centres that are ready.

*Q*: How many Health Centres are you doing across the 3 local government areas that make up the ISOPADEC area.

*Ans*: We are rehabilitating 14 health centres. They are all ready for equipments.

*Q*: What of schools?

*Ans*: We are doing 24 brand new schools.

*Q*: What of full-fledged Hospitals as opposed to the Health Centres earlier mentioned.

*Ans*: We are also doing 3 full fledged brand new boutique hospitals for mother and child. With 20 bedrooms - all rooms will be self contained with amenities. We are commencing equipping all the Health Centres from next week.

*Q*: In terms of empowering the people themselves. Any activities in this direction.

*Ans*: The Governor, His Excellency Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma approved that we should be supporting the rural people by empowering them money-wise. We monthly release stipends to TROPCOM, which is the Traditional Rulers, we also give to women groups, youths and physically challenged. We have four groups that we are supporting currently.

*Q*: Are there any restiveness or agitations for lack of funds in the oil producing areas.

*Ans*: We dont have any lack of funds, we are following due process - our monies are tied to our projects. This year, we are almost spending 4 billion naira on projects. These projects I mentioned were awarded at a total sum of 2.5 billion naira. The hospitals, schools, rehabilitation of Health Centres, the roads. We are doing roads. Right now we are working on three major and important roads in Oru East, Ohaji-Egbema and Oguta local governments which are above one billion naira. Our money is not meant to be given to politicians, we are using the money to work for the people.

*Q*: When the Governor visited some of the oil producing areas, he did say that money will be tied to projects. Is that the situation right now?.

*Ans*: Yes, that is what we are doing. Our monies are tied to our projects. We are not sharing money to political leaders - we are just using the money to work for the people. So when we finish this assignment, we must leave a legacy for ourselves and for the people of Imo State.

*Q*: Can you say more about the roads?.

*Ans*: We are currently working on a 3.5 kilometres road in Oru East, we are doing 4 kilometres road in Ohaji-Egbema and a near 3 kilometres road in Oguta LGA.

We are building 24 brand new schools. We are rehabilitating 14 Health Centres and we are building 3 boutique hospitals that will match international standards.

These are verifiable projects. The people peddling rumours are not honest to themselves.

*Q*: What of ISOPADEC workers. Are you meeting up with their salary payments?

*Ans*: We are not owing any salary. What is due for payment is this November salary. This is verifiable also. There might be delays here and there but then, we are not owing salaries.

*Q*: Have the rains impacted on the speed of your projects towards completion?

*Ans*: We are working - As am talking to you now, if you move round, you will still see our workers. Contractors are working even on sundays and public holidays. We have a target. The Governor gave me a target that at the end of this year, he will want to see near completion of all these projects, and that is what I am working to achieve.