If Imo state will develop and be that dream State of the South East, it has to move away from consumption to production of goods and services.
Speaking exclusively to News Echo, an industrialist, Chief Okey Okoro noted that the location of Owerri makes it so strategic that every serious industrialist will like to have an industry in Imo. “Imo is centrally located between Aba, Portharcourt, Umuahia, Onitsha, it is so central that anything you produce, the market is within you. He added that due to the infrastructural problem, where the layout is almost desolate, industries find it difficult to situate their companies in Imo.
News Echo reports that Initially, there was about 52 industries in the Onitsha Road industrial layout, but due to bad roads into the layout, the place doesn’t even have upto 12 functional industries today. There’s no road, no light, no single government presence. The industries have to provide their own security”. There’s so much disservice in the area, no incentive to attract investors in the layout, especially that about over 200 plots have not yet developed for investors to come in.
When News Echo Editors conducted a tour of the area, it discovered that major industries have moved away to other states because of dearth of infrastructure.
News Echo reports that any serious government that wants to provide jobs, market, reduce the youth restiveness must first of all provide industries upon which income can come into the state, adding that one cannot talk about development of a state when there are no serious industries operating in the State and taking the teeming youths out of the streets of crime.
News Echo discovered that if the gas at Izombe is brought to the industrial layout that can provide power to the place, the layout will become beehive of activities. Imo cannot be said to be developed until the state goes into industrial revolution. “Building of roads is not enough to say a state is developing, it is only production driven by functionality of working industries.
News Echo gathered that some of the buildings of the Onitsha Road industrial layout are being sold to individuals for housing estate by some agents of government in the Ministry of Housing of Imo State. It revealed that they are creating Irete pocket layout, where some persons are destroying fences of the Onitsha Road industrial layout to build housing estate. There’s no way one can use a place designated as industrial layout for housing estate.
Speaking early, Chief Okoro urged the state government to create wealth by reviving the Onitsha Road industrial layout for therein according to him, lies the all round development of the state.