Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has inaugurated a 14-man Imo Merit Award Committee.
The committee has Rt. Rev. Cyril Okorocha, Anglican Bishop of Owerri Diocese, as its chairman, while Chief Goddy Dike, the permanent secretary, ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism as its secretary.
Other members include Chief Sir Bon Nwakanma, Barr. Mrs. Victoria Eronini, Chief J.A. Udogu , Mr. Bob Njemanze, Dr. Reginald Anyadike, Dr. Emeka Obioha, the Commissioner for Police, Mr Adisa Bolanta, the Director of SSS, Chairman of Imo NUJ, Sir Innocent Igwe and Barr. S.I. Okpara.
Speaking during the inauguration at the Government House Owerri, Gov. Okorocha charged the members to develop procedure and requirement for selecting those who should be worthy to receive the award.
According to him, the award should not be for the highest bidder nor a reward for big heads, rather it should be for those Imolites who have distinguished themselves in their various fields of calling and have contributed to the development of the state and wellbeing of the Imo citizens.
The Governor further said that the award will be extended to non- indigenes of the state who in one way or the other have positively impacted on the lives of Imo people and contributed to the development of the state.
He said that the first edition of the award will take place at the International Conference Center here in Owerri which is nearing completion, pointing out that the event would include amongst other things, lectures, symposia and cultural display that will showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Imo people.
Governor Okorocha pointed out that this would be the first time Imo people who have distinguished themselves in character, performance and excellence and in their various fields of endeavuor are being remembered.
He said that the award is in line with the National Merit Award and is aimed at encouraging hard work and excellence, adding that the State House of Assembly has already passed a law to give it a legal backing.
Responding on behalf of the other members, the chairman, Rt. Rev. Cyril Okorocha, thanked the governor for finding them worthy for the assignment and assured him that the committee would discharge the responsibility with utmost sincerity and dedication.
Those present at the inauguration include, the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Chinedu Offor, commissioner for Community Government, Barr. Lady Nnanna Okoro, Commissioner for Petroleum and Environment, Barr Emma Ekweremba and other government functionaries.