A socio-economic group, Arise for Imo Tomorrow, has commended Senator Hope Uzodinma, former Governor, Emeka Ihedioha, and Afrexim Bank on the commencement of work on the $200 million Quality Assurance and Testing Center constructed in Ngor Okpala, Imo State.

While praising Ihedioha for initiating the project, the group commended Governor Hope Uzodinma for reviving the initiative rather than abandoning it, as is typical in Nigeria. It also singled out Afrexim Bank for continuing its faith in Imo State and its potential.

Recall, that, Ihedioha, as Governor, in July 2019 (barely six weeks into his tenure as Governor of Imo State), personally led a delegation to attend the annual meetings of Afrexim Bank as well as the Russia-Africa Summit, both held in Moscow, Russia. There, he made presentations and proposals to Afrexim, led by its indefatigable president, Prof. Benedict Okey Oramah.

The follow-up engagements between Imo State government and Afrexim officials led to the siting of this $200 million Quality Assurance Testing Center, intended to serve the commercial needs of the Southeast and South-South zones.

Further to this, on January 6, 2020, Prof. Oramah himself led a team from Afrexim for the groundbreaking of the center in Ngor Okpala. In the same vein, former Governor Ihedioha presented a duly signed Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) to Afrexim for the land, sealing the transactions therein. Governor Ihedioha’s tenure was truncated one week later, and the project was halted.

On May 15, 2024, the government of Imo State under the leadership of Governor Hope Uzodinma, after a trip to Afrexim Bank headquarters in Cairo, announced a significant advancement in discussions between the state government and Afrexim Bank, aimed at the revival of the project. This move culminated in another groundbreaking ceremony which took place on June 3, 2024, at the same location in Umuowa, Ngor Okpala.

Though it has taken nearly five years to recommence, we commend Uzodinma and Afrexim for reviving the project and consequent programs initiated by Ihedioha for the benefit of Imo State and its people.