By Akanimo Sampson
GOVERNOR Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, one of the big oil states in Southern Nigeria, has started to unveil his second term agenda, harping on a prosperous post-oil Akwa Ibom.
Marking the third anniversary of his administration in Uyo, the state capital, on Tuesday, he said there was no better alternative yet to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). While promising to do more for the state, Governor Emmanuel says his PDP administration has delivered over 1,700km of roads, completed 35 bridges and the State Secretariat Annex.
Other star projects of the administration include the 21-Storey Office Complex which the governor said will house the international oil corporations and change the skyline of Uyo metropolis; the ongoing construction of the second airport runway and the upgrade of the airport main runway to Category 2.
‘’It is noteworthy that we are the only state to own and maintain an international airport. Additionally, our flood control project at Nsikak Eduok Avenue, Uyo, has checkmated the flood menace, which led to occasional traffic gridlocks in the state capital’’, the governor said.
In the area of industrialisation the state has raised their power infrastructure to meet international standards with the construction of three Injector Stations to complement the Ibom
According to the governor in a state broadcast on Tuesday, ‘’this forms the bedrock of our industrialisation drive with Ibom Deep Sea Port as a pivotal project alongside the logistics hub, the Industrial City and international Jetty. As at today, we have 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 which are already in operation.
‘’We resuscitated the Peacock Paint Industry 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’’.
Apparently determined to diversify Akwa Ibom economy from overdependence on oil, government is currently making huge gains in agriculture. To date, work is on-going in the 11,00 hectares coconut plantation; and 16,000 hectares cassava plantation in 15 local government areas.
Youths numbering 450 have been trained in cocoa maintenance, shedding and pruning and they are using their skills to grow cocoa all over the state. Government has also subsidised fertilizers and they have 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 programme for farmers.
‘’We have constructed Vegetable Greenhouses which are ready for commissioning. Similarly, we are currently constructing 33 Cassava Micro Processing Mills; and the training of 300 youths under the Graduate Unemployment Youth Scheme (GUYS). All graduates will be empowered with one million naira to embark on any agricultural enterprise.
‘’We have refurbished Cassava Processing Factories at Ikot Okudom, Eket Local Government Area; NungUdoe, Ibesikpo/Asutan Local Government Area and Ikot Ekang in Abak Local Government Area and leased to private operators for the production of high quality garri, odourless foofoo and cassava flour. And we have procured 600,000 bags of fertilizer for farmers in the state. We have done a lot in this sector and will, continue to invest heavily in agriculture’’, Governor Emmanuel said.
In the area of rural development, he said his administration has embarked on the following: Over 300 rural development projects across 31 local government areas; over 400 Inter-Ministerial Rural Intervention projects spanning all the 31 local government areas; and rehabilitation/construction of over 500km of rural feeder roads on-going.
‘’For the records, there is no local government that we don’t have more than 10 on-going intervention projects. We are touching lives, and improving the quality of lives of our people in keeping with my promise’’, he said.
The governor then appealed to politicians not to unnecessarily heat up the polity or fan the embers of rancour and disunity among brothers and sisters, adding, ‘’as the political
season dawns, let us remember that we were brothers and sisters before the coming of partisan politics, and we will remain brothers and sisters long after we had finished our careers in
‘’Let us show love to one another even when we don’t agree or share same political orientations. As a one-time United States President, John Quincy Adams said ‘if your actions
inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader’. May the actions of our leaders inspire us to become more loving, less rancorous, and more united and faithful believers in the immutable essence and definition of the Akwa Ibom spirit.’’