After former Governor Emeka Ihedioha paid a counterpart fund of N500 million to the World Bank, Imo was positioned to receive a massive influx of high-end environmental intervention projects valued at over N30 billion from a World Bank subsidiary, Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP). Just before the projects were fully mobilized, NEWMAP froze the projects in Imo State and put everything on hold for reasons, Imo people have continued to ask questions about.
Not a few persons had heaped the blames for uncontrolled environmental degradation and rampant dilapidation of attendant infrastructures at the door post of Governor Hope Uzodimma for his inability to get the NEWMAP projects going.
It was later made public, however, that NEWMAP stopped their project in Imo because of the alleged arbitrary removal from office, of its State Project Coordinator (SPC), Engr. Victor Anueyiagu.
But in a bid to take the blame for his boss, the Com
missioner for Environment, Mr. Iyke Njoku told newsmen that he was the person that sacked Engr. Victor Anueyiagu and not the governor thereby inferring that the consequences of that action should be linked to him and not the governor.
However, findings by Sunday Telegraph point to the contrary indicating that Governor Hope Uzodimma was actually behind the removal of Engr. Anueyiagu which led to the stopping of the projects.
In a letter dated June 5, 2020, personally signed by Governor Hope Uzodimma and addressed to the “The Country Director, NEWMAP, Abuja, the Governor while requesting to remove Anueyiagu had alleged that the request to suspend the State Project Coordinator was in connection to a Government’s White Paper on Imo NEWMAP management and Personnel Management Board.
Uzodimma had earlier written to NEWMAP on May 6, 2020, requesting for the approval of Anueyiagu’s suspension, but the agency had ignored his request apparently for being due process deficient