Imo State government has concluded plans to launch a tripod programme designed to provide free education at all levels, free health-care for
Imolites and ensure that no strike action takes place again in the
state.

Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha who spoke in government house, Owerri,
disclosed that the programme will symbolize a renewed commitment by
stakeholders in both education and health sectors to drive the vision
of his administration towards repositioning some critical sectors for
efficiency and optimal productivity after government approval to pay
new salary structure and other outstanding entitlements.

He stated that though he declared free and compulsory education in
primary and secondary schools shortly on assumption of office, he also
considered it necessary to extend the gesture to undergraduates of the
state origin schooling in the state government owned university and
polytechnic.

The governor explained that students in Imo State University will
receive an annual bursary of One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100, 000)
while their counterparts in Imo State Polytechnic will be entitled to
Sixty Thousand Naira (N60, 000) for National Diploma (ND) and Eighty
Thousand Naira (N80,000) for Higher National Diploma (HND).

Gov. Okorocha added that traditional rulers who also superintend the
fourth-tier government otherwise known as Community Government Council
in the state will assume the responsibility of screening and
thereafter submit lists of beneficiaries in their various communities
for payment to checkmate sharp practices.

He further explained that the sum of Thirty Thousand Naira (N30, 000)
from the amount will be given as loan from the state government while
the accumulated sum will be paid back to the communities by the
beneficiaries as soon as they secure employment.

“This policy under Imo Rescue Mission is intended to guarantee the
sustainability of free education at all levels. Don’t forget that
some99 people said free education even to secondary level was
impossible, but today we have free education in Imo state which has
been extended to tertiary level. We will continue to accord priority
to education considering the fact that education remains the biggest
industry in our state” Gov. Okorocha said.

Gov. Okorocha also stated that the second-leg of the programme is
designed to guarantee a sustainable free health-care for Imolites
under a social security scheme that will enable beneficiaries’ access
free health-care in both private and government-owned hospitals with
the state government contributing substantially to the scheme.

The governor said “Under this unique arrangement, the state government
will introduce a decentralized frame-work that will transfer
management of government owned hospitals to specialists/doctors and
provide all the necessary frame-work that will guarantee
self-sustainability in the health sector. This will ultimately address
the challenges that have eroded efficiency in the health system in Imo
state”.

He expressed the innovation represents a practical demonstration of
his administration’s commitment to restructure government owned health
institutions and further reposition them for efficiency and maximum
productivity in health-care delivery which will translate to the
actualization of the health-for-all policy of Imo Rescue Mission
Agenda.

Gov. Okorocha also explained that the agreement with the
representative of the workers is aimed at bringing to an end strike
action in government institutions, guarantee an equal commitment in
the implementation of the programme and ensure stability in the
system.

He however enjoined workers and the good people of the state to show
maximum cooperation to his administration in the process of
transforming the state through theses well-thought policies and
programmes that will uplift Imo and place it far above other states in
the country in the areas development and good governance.