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"I will not play politics with Akwa Ibom's development"
Despite criticizing enemies, Akwa Ibom Governor Udom Emmanuel is committed to implementing his five-point agenda of consolidation and expansion of infrastructure, job creation, poverty alleviation, economic and political integration, and wealth creation. Political editor of the group EMMANUEL OLADESU reported,
Udom Emmanuel, the banker-turned politician and governor of the Akwa Ibom state, may not be good at self-promotion. But observers believe he has many accomplishments for his nearly three and a half years in office. It seems that the governor is not distracted by second-term politics, especially opposition criticism. He stepped up efforts to implement his policies and programs before next year's elections.
As the oil-rich state prepares for the election, the fate of the governor is determined by his performance. Apart from the fact that Emmanuel presided over a peaceful state, he has made a name for himself through cautious spending. He has tried to fight the infrastructure struggle by transforming the state into a huge construction site. More importantly, he makes Akwa Ibom a "wonder of industrialization and investment."
The overview of the points card shows that the governor has awarded 110 road contracts. The roads cover 1,700 kilometers and 47 bridges. Many of them are completed. Some of the projects are still running. As health is wealth, the state government has made concerted efforts to renew the health care system. The flagship of the health sector is the Ibom Specialist Hospital, which is being completed by the administration. Apart from the primary attention devoted to industrialization, the government has defended education through free, compulsory and qualitative education. In many parts of the state, there is a 24-hour power supply provided by the state government's four new substations.
"I do not play politics with the development of the state, our development efforts overlapped the local government and senate districts, we are not an ethnic government," said the governor, who also recognizes the restrictions. "Our projects are of high quality, but delivery speeds may have been slow due to financial challenges," added Emmanuel.
The governor has revived the dying Peacock Paints for many years. The provision of a conducive environment has resulted in an influx of direct domestic investment. Last year, the largest syringe company in Africa, the Jubilee Syringe factory and the Electric Digital Metering Solution Manufacturing Factory were founded. The fertilizer mixing plant and the flour mill also developed. In addition, a pencil factory and a toothpick factory came aboard. It is planned to build in addition to the plastic production, which has started operations, also grain mills and coconut refinery.
Ufot Ebong, the Advisor to the Governor of Technical Affairs, spoke with reporters about the success of the industrialization campaign. There is an agreement to train indigenous people to acquire skills needed to work in the industries that are emerging, he said. The Akwa Ibom Enterprise Employment Program (AKEES) has trained more than 20,000 young people over the past three years. Ebong founded the Centers for Employment and Skills Development with the aim of promoting entrepreneurship among people. No fewer than 317,000 people in small and medium-sized enterprises are captured; More than 3,000 have been trained in the ICT sector and many of them are engaged in agricultural activities for the planting and care of vegetables, tomatoes and other crops in commercial quantities.
For the manufacturing industry, a good foundation is laid. Akwa Ibom now has factories; Cottage industry; for toothpicks, pencils, fiberglass doors and roofing membranes, and brick making. "A crafts school is in progress," added Ebong. The factory representative, Ephraim Inyang-Eyen, said, "We are creating a class of craftsmen, rather than importing plumbers, masons and carpenters from Togo and other neighboring countries."
Emmanuel's policy is based on investors. In Oku-Aback, Abak, a few miles from Uyo, Greenwell Technologies has started the fertilizer mix. In addition, the company is involved in the mix of cocoa and coconut. Company representatives explained that the incentives came from the government, which provided the land, warehouses, improved electricity and good road networks.
The Jubilee sprayers (JSM), which went into operation in September 2016, said the manager, Zubeyie Gulabi, an engineer, that the factory can produce 400 million syringes a year.
The governor described the "Metering Solutions," the factory to meet the meter requirements as a great success. "We talk about electricity and do not talk about the measurement, we try to bridge the gap," Emmanuel added.The chief executive officer, Tolulope Ogunkolade, said the factory went live on July 15 last year The production of meters will also produce plastic housings for meters, and around 200,000 prepaid meters have been delivered to Port Harcourt Distribution Company, with no less than 10 employees currently training in China, and the government of Ogunkolade thanked the government for its incentives : "The government was fantastic in terms of infrastructural support. The government also facilitated the power supply. The intervention of the government has also led to improved relations between companies and the community. "
Road construction is crucial for industrialization. The Emmanuel Administration is intensifying its efforts to complete the road projects that span the three Senate districts. The street designs include some overpasses and roundabouts. Of importance are the 25-kilometer dual Uyo / Ikot-Ekpene road, the 20-kilometer Ikot-Oku icon road, the 29-kilometer Etinam-Ndoneyo road and other inner-city streets. Because of the water permeable terrain, road construction in Akwa Ibom is expensive. Many projects are delayed due to the demand for compensation for the demolition.
The operations officer complained that once the government announced it was building new roads, some indigenous people would build new houses on the street, expecting the buildings to be demolished and paid for demolition. He accused the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) of playing politics with his projects in the state, stressing that the Commission has not tightened the rivalry, rather than engaging with the state government for development.
Inyang-Eyen commented on the stagnation of the road project: "Often there were legal proceedings for planned demolition, we had to convince the owners, we had 189 cases, we needed peace to build the road, and the governor never wanted to give up a road project Some owners used private appraisers to cause problems. "During maintenance, he said that the roads built to specifications are expected to last 15 years, adding that the ministry has always insisted on high-quality jobs.
For the Eket-Ibeno road project, the Governor of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) had to seek implementation. Eket has the longest roundabout in the state. Work has also begun on the 12 lanes of the Eket-Abeno Road double track leading to the 18 meter Ibom Deep Sea Port. Explaining the huge investment, Inyang-Eyen said, "We want to differentiate ourselves from Lagos by making roads available so we do not have another Apapa scenario along the marina, we want to prevent traffic cracking, and we'll make our efforts by December We are already filling the sand and building bridges on the 5.5-kilometer road, nine kilometers of which are filled with sand, which will be commercialized, tolls will be collected and the money collected will be used to maintain the road. "
In Eket there is a mini-stadium under construction. It's almost on the power amp. Regarding the size of the stadium, Emmanuel said it was built to guarantee minimal maintenance costs. In fact, Akwa Ibom becomes a state of sports and sports laurels. A sports center is to be set up in each of the 10 federal districts. The sports centers are to be built on the grounds of the secondary school.
Information Commissioner Charles Udoh, who praised the initiative, said the goal was to promote sports development. He also said the governor defended education as a priority. More than 500 schools have undergone renovations, he said, adding, "We have free compulsory education, people come from neighboring countries to visit our public schools, and if we educate our children and leave the children of our neighbors alone, they will later become our children We pay N600 million annually as WAEC fees and we also focus on recruiting quality teachers. "
The government is active in the health sector. "We maintain a General Hospital in each of the 10 federal districts," said Udoh, adding that they are equipped with qualified personal and quality equipment and medicines. The health commissioner, dr. Dominic Ukpomo, who led reporters at Ikono General Hospital, said the hospital is receiving patients from Akwa Ibom and other neighboring countries. "Unfortunately, it was neglected and taken over by grass, it was bad, it was not functional, but it is now renovated, digitized, we have received our supplies from" Project Cure ", a donation to states, and we enjoy exceptions from the federal government We're planning a nursing and midwifery school here. "
The Ibom Specialist Hospital, Uyo, is the first of its kind in Africa. It was founded by former Governor Godswill Akpabio. It is now completed by Emmanuel, who has a team of medical staff from Canada under the direction of dr. Harrison managed to manage it. When Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole visited the hospital, he said it would reduce the preference for medical tourism abroad. Ukpomo, who was in charge of reporters on the premises with ICT expert Joyce Ofili, recalled that a brain operation was recently performed at a hospital doctor.
Many devices highlight the hospital. The health officer called the as CTI scan (640), tele radiography equipment, which is very rare, breast scan machine, medical glass tank, medical waste incinerator, six temporary dialysis unit, 60 dialysis units proposed , automated laboratory and chemical machine. "There is also a facility for kidney transfer and transplantation," said Ukpomo.
The Akwa Ibom Airport in Uyo also highlights a major investment in the aviation industry by the state government. The airport was powered by generators for 12 years. For the refueling of the generators, apart from other maintenance costs, a whopping $ 25 million was spent monthly. Now, two large transformers – each 12 megawatts – set up outside to ensure a regular power supply. In addition, 22 compact transformers are installed at the airport.
Akan Okon, Commissioner for Special Tasks and Aviation Development, said the airport was built by the state government to strengthen the state's economy. Emmanuel recently built a commercial building at the airport. But Okon complained that the burden of maintaining the airport rests on the state government, even though aviation is on the exclusive list. "We're paying FAAN and other agencies, and there's no concession from the federal government," said the commissioner, who asked for support from the state government for maintenance.
Emmanuel, despite the obvious limitations, said he would provide democratic dividends to India's over six million inhabitants and residents. He promised to support the industrialization offensive by saying that Akwa Ibom was ahead of other states. He spoke briefly about the 26,000 coconut plantations that he believed would bring revenue to the state in the future. He promised to support the youth sports festival for talent hunting. The governor said the education will be defended, adding that the quality of the teachers will not be compromised. Emmanuel pointed out that the development of education infrastructure has led to an increase in school enrollment. "We will continue to have free and compulsory education at primary and secondary level, and we will also have educational monitors to improve the quality of teaching and learning," he added.
He scolded the NDDC for being an opponent instead of having a partner in work. In his view, the Commission's approach to the state is unfair. He warned against playing politics with the development of the state and said that this was counterproductive.
Emmanuel reflected on the preparations for next year's elections and called on those who are spoiling the war to reconsider. "We should ask them, Where are their children? They keep their children abroad and use children of the poor as thugs," he grumbled.
He told security officials not to be alert, the governor said, "Some people sew fake army and police uniforms, so if you want to serve, why do you want to kill the people you want to serve?" In 2019 he said confidently that people would know the difference between a servant leader and a camouflage. "If you are on the verge of a rescue mission, enemies will emerge," he added.
Asked about the expected battle between President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and his party's candidate, the People's Democratic Party (PDP), Emmanuel said during the 2019 election, "I know no party as the PDP."
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