the AFRIEXIM Bank deal and Okorocha's connection

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Governor Ihedioha's media handlers have flooded the blogosphere with news of a purported deal with the Afriexim Bank, which they said was secured by their principal towards revamping Imo economy. While there are some gaps in this piece of news, I shall give the purveyors and the present Imo interregnum the benefit of doubt, assuming therefore, without conceding that such a deal exists.

According to the report, the helmsman of the Afriexim Bank noted that Imo is the most strategically positioned State in the entire Southeast to attract investors from any part of the world. This statement justified Governor Okorocha's achievements in making Imo a destination of choice for investors, because it is practically impossible for a governor who hasn't fixed a single brick anywhere in the State, in the 25 days he has been in power as the governor of Imo State, to make the State as viable and strategically positioned as the Afriexim helmsman was reported to have confirmed Imo to be.

For emphasis, it is necessary to point out some of the criteria that could qualify a State as a strategic and viable for investments. Some of them are; viable infrastructure, security, economic buoyancy and a record of profitability by investors. Governor Ihedioha, by his own admission, hasn't done anything in these areas, since assuming office, and it could have been the achievements of his predecessors in these areas that earned Imo that accolade from an internationally recognized and credible financial institution like the Afriexim.

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His Excellency Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha would not concede to these realities, but he went to Moscow to pitch for investment with the achievements of his predecessor. One of the major selling points for Ihedioha at the Moscow summit must have been the International Cargo Airport, initiated and completed by the Rescue Mission administration. There wouldn't have been anything to pitch for investment in Imo with, if Owelle Rochas Okorocha hadn't made the necessary infrastructures available and set in place a conducive environment to bolster investors's confidence.

However, it is advised that while the governor goes around with proposals for investors to come to Imo, he should make deliberate efforts to sustain these legacies by his predecessor, else, these investors may arrive Imo to see a dilapidated State, and may turn back without investing a pin. Chief Ihedioha should also not shirk investors' confidence by attacking and destroying other investments already attracted by his predecessor, and there are hundreds, if not thousands of such investments. No investor would want to invest in a volatile environment. Every business savvy investor would want to study how earlier investors were treated by the government before bringing his or her investment to that environment. If a government wooing them to bring their investment to the State has a record of revoking lands and not keeping to earlier agreements reached with previous administrations, they will not be guaranteed that there own investment will not be destroyed by the administration that will succeed the present one.

It is hoped that with this trip to Moscow, Governor Ihedioha has realized that his predecessor actually handed over an economically viable and investment friendly State to him. He should therefore get to work to maintain these legacies and improve on them where necessary.

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By the way, why did our governor have to go to Moscow to interface with fellow Igbo men and women over an investment drive, when he can invite them to the People's House, Owerri and agree on the same issues over some cups of fresh palm wine and porridge cassava flakes? And there were just about five people on the table with him, including his political adviser. Is Afriexim Bank coming to invest in the politics of the State? What happened to our governor's economic adviser and others who should understand best, the terms of the anticipated investments? Some people are already claiming that our governor used the Moscow trip as a decoy to open new channels for laundering our money. Our governor shouldn't allow these people to keep suspecting him of such things.

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By ONWUASOANYA FCC JONES

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