With Imo State capital suffering from dialpidated infrastructure arising from poor execution of projects by the immediate past administration, fresh concern has been raised over the #37bn kept in a fund for the development of the state capital.
Trumpeta gathered that at a time in the life of the immediate past administration of Owelle Rochas Okorocha, a special fund known as “Owerri Capital Development Fund [OCDF]” was created with eminent personalities in the state as signatories.
The fund was set up under law. It was learnt that money for the fund was sourced from governmental and non-governmental entities including individuals.
The essence for the set up of the fund was for emergency situations and need to properly cater for the social amenities in the state capital.
According to findings, the fund was for the development of Owerri Capital. It had signatories that were not employees of the government or politicians. They consisted of clerics and monarchs and other high integrity personnel. Particularly, former Anglican Bishop Cyril Okorocha and Roman Catholic Archbishop Obinna were among the signatories to the fund.
An online publication further revealed that a source privy to the establishment of the fund disclosed that “the OCDF had raised a total balance of N37.5billion when the then Governor Rochas Okorocha expressed interest in accessing the fund. As Okorocha approached the signatories of the fund seeking to convince them of his intention, he was rebuffed. The signatories were not trusting or convinced of the intended purpose stated by Okorocha.
“Okorocha did not take the refusal lightly.
He quickly drafted an executive bill for the signatories of the Fund to be changed. The executive bill was then forwarded to the Imo State House of Assembly led by the Honorable Speaker, Acho Ihim.
According to the online medium, 247ureports.com, the Acho Ihim led Assembly deliberated on the Bill and decided to grant the Governor his wishes. They voted to pass the executive bill into law – thus changing the signatories of the Fund from the clerics/monarchs to others chosen by the Governor.
“The Honorable Speaker Acho Ihim confirmed to 247ureports.com that an Executive Bill was sent to the State Assembly by the then Governor. Ihim indicated that he did not know the amount saved up in the Fund but he stated that the legislators figured that the Governor needed the funds”
What may have happened to the fund and State of affairs of the finances of the fund is generating interest especially now the roads in Owerri and other social amenities are in near collapse and need for rebuild.