Minister Assures Akwa Ibom of 1500 Houses, Pledges Loyalty to Gov Akpabio
04 May 2010
The Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Chief Nduese Essien said that the federal government will build 500 houses in each of the senatorial districts in Akwa Ibom State within the next five months. The minister dropped the hint while speaking during this year’s Workers Day Celebration in Uyo.
Chief Essien said already, Akwa Ibom Government has donated parcels of land for the project, stressing that he will ensure that the state benefits immensely from this scheme. He emphasized more on low-income workers owning a house and adding that the idea to float the project for this class of workers stems from the realization of the fact that their salaries can never give them a house even after retirement. The minister however regretted that 16 million Nigerians are without shelter, but promised that with him now in office, the problem will be solved once and for all as his ministry was a new creation.
The minister used the occasion of workers day to call on Akwa Ibom workers not to stop only at the state level in their aspiration, but to also aspire to the Federal Civil Service, emphasizing that “at the moment, only one director from Akwa Ibom is there.” According to him, those who are directors and permanent secretaries should come to Abuja and pick up appointments at the federal level.
On the re-election bid of Governor Godswill Akpabio, the minister threw a bombshell by challenging those who want to venture into contesting against Gov Akpabio, stressing that they will be wasting their time. His words, “the governor is popular in Abuja, in other states and outside the country, those thinking to challenge him should have a rethink because they will meet a total failure.” He therefore called on the people of Eket Senatorial District, which is bound to produce the governor in 2015 to prepare.
Meanwhile, Gov Akpabio has advised the minister to discharge the responsibilities of his office with creativity and sense of maturity. The governor gave the charge at a special reception arranged by Akwa Ibom government for the newly appointed minister, held recently at government house, Uyo. Gov Akpabio said that the need for in-depth creativity was based on a lot of expectations from the people and government, especially as his nomination was widely accepted across board.
He maintained that the ministerial portfolio given to the state affects the overall well-being of the people, noting that it demands the continuation of good deeds and establishment of effective relationship with other past ministers from the state. The governor further stressed that it was time for Akwa Ibom people to rise up and support those on national assignments by creating lasting and strong structures of friendships for bonds of unity within and outside the state.
Chief Akpabio stated that effective interaction would afford avenues of exploring opportunities at the national level and fill Akwa Ibom quotas, rather than “over concentration” at home for fewer opportunities. “We must begin to encourage the minister by supporting him in raising useful proposals on housing data banks, lands, basin development and urban renewals. There are so many responsibilities and Akwa Ibom opportunities must be utilized.” The governor added.
In his response, Chief Nduese Essien, Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, thanked the state governor for nominating him for the ministerial position and for standing by him throughout the screening process. He said that the zeal of the governor to defend his appointment was exemplary for Akwa Ibom to be relevant in the national scene, noting, “We have by my appointment shown to others that Akwa Ibom has equal rights with other states.”
Chief Essien recalled his eight years of experience in the National Assembly, saying, efforts would be geared towards effective representation of interest across the three senatorial districts in the state. “I am available to serve and I have accepted the challenge given to me, I will be more useful to work and encourage people to move to the national scene. I will continue to intervene in issues with the support of the governor,” the minister pledged.