#Udom3YearsOfTouchningLives: Gov Emmanuel Attributes Feats To God, Akwa Ibomites
By Umoh-Obong Kingsley |
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, has credited the achievements recorded by his administration in the last three years to God Almighty and to the good people of the state who graciously entrusted him the sceptre of leadership, saying that the years had witnessed and enjoyed amazing periods of God’s protection in the State.
Describing the oath of office he took on assumption of office in 2015 as a sacred covenant, which vouches irrevocable, uncompromising and resolute commitment to do good to all manners of people, he stated that with irresistible evidence, soaring hope and inspired faith, the event was not his triumph, but the victory of Akwa Ibom State.
In his 2018 Democracy Day speech, Gov Emmanuel stressed that it was the beginning of a revolutionary renewal, not the end of a race for the State. “Like the 28th American President Woodrow Wilson said, ‘the object of love is to serve not to win.’ Though I was elected massively in 2015, I believe the real victor in that election was the ordinary Akwa Ibom man and woman.
“Consequently, my duty has been to render selfless, transparent, integrity-laden and Christ-centric service to you, my beloved Akwa Ibomites, and thereby justify the confidence reposed in me by our Heavenly Father and your good selves.”
The Governor noted his administration came prepared to win and not to make excuses, to secure the future based on the strength and promise of yesterday and the goodness of heart and ingenuity of the people, which have won accolades and commendations even from leaders and institutions of the opposing political party, such as the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) who early this year, gave him the Integrity and National Service Award, right inside Aso Rock.
It could be recalled that Gov Emmanuel had, during his oath of office, promised to be a servant-Leader, to transform the economy of the state through industrialization, consolidate and expand infrastructure, secure lives and property, empower men, women and youths and to give all Akwa Ibom persons a sense of belonging.
He also vowed to undertake rural development and integration, to have good working relationship with all the other arms of Government, to boost tourism, commerce and trade, and to build on the foundation laid by his predecessor among other promises which he graciously delivered within his three-year administration.
Over 1,701 kilometres of roads and 35 bridges have been constructed and commissioned across the state opening up the hinterland; menaces in the society have been made to face the full and merciless wrath of the law; his transparency in government has received national acclaim; workers are paid promptly and regularly
It is noteworthy that the Udom-led administration does everything against the run of play, defied the odds and the circumstances and thrived in turbulent waters and steered the ship to safe harbours. Akwa Ibom soared even when the oil prices dropped and were elevated when the nation had hyper-recession, to becoming the second State with the most Foreign Direct Investment as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics.
ROADS AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Over 1,700km of roads have been commissioned or at various stages of completion, 35 bridges have been completed; and the State Secretariat Annex has been completed. Other projects include the 21-Storey Office Complex which will house the International Oil Companies and change the skyline of Uyo metropolis; the ongoing construction of the 2nd Airport Runway and the upgrade of the Airport Main Runway to Category 2.
It is noteworthy, Akwa Ibom is the only state to own and maintain an International Airport. Additionally, flood control project at Nsikak Eduok Avenue, Uyo, has checkmated the flood menace, which led to occasional traffic gridlocks in Uyo.
The State Government has invested huge resources conscious of the fact that the children must be prepared to compete with their counterparts in an increasingly shrinking globalized and highly competitive world. The Free and compulsory basic education in public schools; recruitment of 4,761 quality teachers; and provision of safe, and conducive learning environment for pupils and students are paramount.
Akwa Ibom pupils and students study under the most welcoming of surroundings, and plans are underway by the Inter-Ministerial and Direct Labour Committee to refurbish and refit a few buildings that are not in an acceptable state. Over seven (7) community secondary schools have been taken-over and turned into model and modern schools, equipped with modern amenities; constructed and renovated 400 school blocks and we have undertaken 700 intervention projects.
Strategic interventions have also been taken in tertiary institutions – roads, equipment, academic blocks, etc. Subventions have been paid, free text books and other educational materials procured and distributed to public primary and secondary schools; over N600 million WAEC fees paid for children in public secondary schools annually; The Akwa Ibom State College of Arts & Science, Nung Ukim, Ikono has been upgraded to a College of Science and Technology, as well as provided significant support for the establishment of the Nigerian Navy School in Oruk Anam and Army School in Etinan.
The Power Infrastructure has been raised to meet international standards with the construction of three Injector Stations to complement the Ibom Power Plant. This forms the bedrock of the industrialization drive with Ibom Deep Sea Port as a pivotal project alongside the logistics hub, the industrial city and international Jetty.
The Syringe Manufacturing Factory (the Largest in Africa), the Electric Digital Metering Solutions Manufacturing Factory (the best in Nigeria) and the Pencil and Toothpick factory, are already in operation. The Peacock Paint Industry has been resuscitated and it is now in full operation. The Plastic Manufacturing Factory, the Fertilizer Blending Factory and Rice Processing Mill are ready for commissioning. New street lights along Oron Road, leading to the Airport have been mounted. Other projects which are in the offing include the Flour Mills and Coconut Refinery.
With kin determination to diversify the economy from over-dependence on oil, the state government under the leadership of Gov Udom Emmanuel, has made huge gains in agriculture. To date, work is on-going in the 11,000 hectares Coconut Plantation; and 16,000 hectares Cassava Plantation projects in 15 LGAs. 450 youths have been trained in cocoa maintenance, shedding and pruning and they are using these skills to grow cocoa all over the state.
It has also subsidized fertilizers and given oil palm and cocoa seedlings to farmers all over the State. Other projects include the Akwa Prime Hatchery, which produces 10,000 day old chicks weekly; the cultivation of over 100 hectares of rice, and the Free Improved Corn seed distribution program for farmers. We have constructed Vegetable Greenhouses which are ready for commissioning.
Constructions of 33 Cassava Micro-Processing Mills are ongoing; and the Training of 300 youths under the Graduate Unemployment Youth Scheme (GUYS), and all graduates in the state will be empowered with one million naira each to embark on any agricultural enterprise. Cassava Processing Factories at Ikot Okudom, Eket LGA; Nung Udoe, Ibesikpo/Asutan LGA and Ikot Ekang in Abak LGA have been refurbished and leased to private operators for the production of high quality garri, odourless foofoo and cassava flour. Over 600,000 bags of fertilizer have been produced for farmers in the State.
Over 300 rural development projects across 31 Local Government Areas; over 400 Inter-Ministerial Rural Intervention projects spanning all the 31 local government areas of the state; and rehabilitation/construction of over 500km of rural feeder roads are on-going. For the records, there is no local government that does not have more than 10 on-going intervention projects in.
A healthy population is a productive population, therefore, in the health sector, over 50 Containers of state-of-the-art medical equipment have been delivered and are currently being distributed to various hospitals; construction and upgrading of secondary healthcare facilities across the State; reconstruction and equipping of the General Hospital, Etinan; and the ongoing reconstruction of Ituk Mbang General Hospital. The Ikono General hospital has been completely renovated and equipped with the first of its kind digital medical records facilities in the State. Also noteworthy is that the state is building the Best Trauma Centre in Nigeria in a joint effort with ExxonMobil, which will come on stream in the next 18 months.
Other ongoing projects include rehabilitation of Ikot Okoro General Hospital; Awa Cottage Hospital; Relief for over 4,000 mal-nourished children; free screening and treatment of over 15,000 people for various eye diseases undertaken by Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Path Initiative (FEYReP), a pet project of the Governor’s Wife, Mrs Martha Udom Emmanuel; training of 20 Biomedical Engineers; provision of residential quarters for 48 House Officers in the State Hospitals and 50 in the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH); accreditation for Schools of Nursing, with 272 Registered Nurses; training and certification of 100 Doctors and Nurses in Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) with Medical Emergency Experts from the USA; and procurement of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and Electrocardiograph (ECG) Machines for use in Emergency Response (now fitted in all our ambulances).
YOUTH EMPOWERMENT & CAPACITY BUILDING
Over 20,000 youths have been trained in various skills, and undertaken the Construction of 10 Modern Sports Centres. In collaboration with ExxonMobil, state is building what would be the best Faculty of Engineering at the University of Uyo, alongside a Skills Development Centre in Ikot Akata, Mkpat Enin Local Government Area, which will train the needed manpower for the oil industry, and is affiliated with the Akwa Ibom State University, Ikot Akpaden. N2 billion interest free loan given to small scale entrepreneurs and traders. The First and Second Akwa Ibom State Youth Sports Festival organised successfully. Through sound financial planning, investment and management, Akwa Ibom has become the Football Capital of Nigeria, as it hosted the Super Eagles to becoming the first African Team to qualify for Russia 2018 World Cup with a match still to play, the first state in Nigeria to successfully host a reigning European Champion; S