Udom Emmanuel: A Peep At That Presidential Midterm Report
By Umoh-Obong Kingsley
A few days ago, a midterm report was released by the Presidency which encompasses ‘achievements’ of the Federal Government over the period President Muhammadu Buhari has been in office. Interestingly, over 40% of the achievement listed on the voluminous document had 30 pages of information about Akwa Ibom State and achievements recorded by Governor Udom Emmanuel. This was quite remarkable in the publication, considering that other state governors, especially those on the other side of the divide, had just two pages of achievements over the same period of 30 months.
The saying that ‘a golden fish cannot be hidden’ is playing out in Akwa Ibom State under Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, a man ordained by God. It is clearly stated in the Holy Scriptures that a city built on a hill cannot be hidden; neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light unto all that are in the house.
The capacity of Governor Udom Emmanuel has endeared him to the presidency. Little wonder he has been invited, irrespective of political differences, as a strategic member of the economic team of President Muhammadu Buhari.
While other governors are still languishing in the phobia of economic crunch, forcing them to seek for bailout from the Federal Government in order to pay workers’ salaries, yet still cannot pay up to date, Governor Emmanuel is being appreciated for his superlative achievements in the state even without bailout.
Testimonies across Nigeria, West Africa and all over the world sign-post the fact that Akwa Ibom State has a Governor who is leading in the right direction and in the line of international prosperity. He was recently in the entourage of Mr President to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, to represent the country at the just concluded 5th European Union-African Union (EU-AU) Summit.
His credibility made the South-South/South-East Governors to appoint him as Chairman of the Forum comprising governors from different parties. That is a huge responsibility and a clear pointer to the fact that we have a leader who is leading us right, and people beyond the shores of Akwa Ibom State appreciate his leadership quality and the strides he has brought into governance.
Akwa Ibom State Government, under the leadership of Mr Udom Emmanuel, has the fastest growing economy; has attracted more industries than other states; attracts the largest volume of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in Nigeria today, outside Lagos. The state has built more roads than any other state of the federation despite the challenges of a dwindling national economy. It is one of the few states that civil servants don’t have to worry about salaries, payment of school fees for children, provision of free medical care for pregnant women, children between 0-5 years of age and aged parents; as well as WAEC fees for their children.
The free, compulsory and qualitative education policy of Governor Emmanuel is absolutely a thing of joy to school children, their parents and teachers. The infrastructures at which the students study under have been unprecedented across the country.
Every year, the government pays over N600 million for West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Business and Technical Education Board (NABTEB) fees for graduating students of all public schools in the state. The government pays subventions to all public primary and secondary schools in the state and has so far rehabilitated and renovated over 350 schools across the three senatorial districts of the state. With civil servants receiving their salaries as at when due teachers habe no reason to remember how it is to go on strike action. This were among reasons the school children recently assembled at the government house to pray and thank God for a Governor who has insured their future through education. The children, cut across the 31 local government areas of the state, gathered in great numbers in appreciation of the many things that the government is doing.
Since Independence, Nigeria has been battling with power supply but in Akwa Ibom State today, it has been proven that it is not rocket science to have constant electricity supply as some parts of Uyo have an average of 18 hours power supply, which was practically unthinking of the past. The decision of the government to take the bull by the horn in setting the pace has ended the era of people dying as a result of suffocation from generator fumes in the state.
Everything is working in the favour of Akwa Ibom State, pointing to the fact that the state is getting to become the centre where development around Nigeria is being propelled.
People are beginning to tag the state as Nigeria’s emerging football capital. It was tug of war when Nigeria tried looking for well-maintained plain pitches with natural grass to play football. The National Stadium in Abuja is in a state of disrepair due to poor maintenance, while what used to be a national stadium in Lagos is now an eyesore. Today in Akwa Ibom state, there are two of the best playing turfs in Nigeria – the main bowl of the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium and the practice pitch. Other states are moving from natural grass to artificial turf. The investments in youth sports development and creating of 10 sports academies in the state is already setting its mark among the children.
Today, Akwa Ibom is gradually becoming an agricultural food basket of Nigeria where food is being produced and processed in commercial quantities. The garri processing plants in the three senatorial districts, the fish processing plants, palm oil mills, and other agricultural implements have rekindled the interest in farming among Akwa Ibom people. The state also has an interest free loan to empower traders and market women with a loan scheme of 100 to N500,000.
In the last 30 months in office, Governor Emmanuel has made significant impact in all aspects of Akwa Ibom economy, little wonder he has been currently endorsed by the youths, women and other segments of the state.
Finally, fellow Akwa Ibomites, in one of the epistles of Apostle Paul, he told the church in Philippi that, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, let’s think about such things…” towards achieving our ultimate goal, Project Akwa Ibom.
…Kingsley writes in from Uyo