Akwa Ibom State Government has approved the establishment of a 50-hectare Coconut plantation in each of the 31 Local Government Areas and 300 coconut stands in 230 secondary schools in the state to provide raw materials for the State coconut refinery.
The State Commissioner of Information, Mr. Charles Udoh made this known while briefing Government House Correspondents after a meeting of the State Executive Council presided over by the state Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel at the Council Chamber, Government House, Uyo.
He said that the decision was in line with the commitment of Udom Emmanuel-led administration to move the state from a mono oil-driven economy to an agro-based economy.
According to him , “the Council has approved that coconut plantations be established in each of the 31 local government areas of the state. The coconut plantation would serve as a feeder to the coconut refinery that the state government is also pushing as part of its industrialization agenda.
“….we anticipate that it’s easier to have more of those raw materials dotting the landscape of the state when each local government area earmarks at least 50 hectres of land for coconut cultivation”.
He added that “Exco has also given approval that the 230 secondary schools in the state should also set up coconut plantations with each of the schools having about 300 stands within the school premises. The whole idea is to ensure that the coconut refinery under construction will not be lacking in raw materials when it is fully operational”.
Other resolutions adopted according to the Information boss was the commencement of full automation of the civil service structure to ensure efficiency in record keeping and facility management as well as seamless transition from the regular payroll to a pension payroll.
Hear him : “the Council has also approved the commencement of full automation of the civil service structure. With the automation, you realise that it will be easier for civil servants to migrate from one payroll to the other.
“….that will ensure that retired workers are remunerated as at when due once they exit from the service. It will also ensure better record keeping, better management of facilities and other things that has to do with the civil service structure”.
Mr Udoh who flanked by his counterparts in Education, Prof. Nse Essien, Housing Otuekong Raphael Bassey and Commissioner of Lands Arch. Ime Ekpo, added that a position was taken as regards the restructuring of curriculum of studies in technical schools to enable the schools focus on entrepreneural development.
Speaking on the restructuring, Commissioner of Education, Prof. Nse Essien, said that government has seriously considered the curriculum of technical colleges in the state and has resolved to make those subjects and the curriculum more relevant in terms of job creation with the essence of ensuring that youths are gainfully employed after their secondary education.
Similarly, Commissioner of Housing, Otuekong Raphael Bassey and his Lands counterpart, Arch. Ime Ekpo, affirmed that government is working assiduously to ensure that the housing deficit experienced in the state is redressed.
They said that Government has concluded plans to construct a Low-Density-Housing Estate on a 167-hectare of land along the airport road.
The Estate, according to the Commissioners, would comprise four blocks of 450 units, with motorable roads, portable water supply, electricity, a central sewage system, gas supply to individual blocks, gas plant that will generate electricity and all essential services one can imagine.