Akpabio is not Gambling with Development
27 Jul 2010
My Vision for Akwa Ibom state is an empowered Populace and a Private sector-driven economy, acting as a catalyst to Nigeria’s Industrial revolution. I desire to create dynamic prosperous populace where equal opportunity, justice, social, political harmony prevail among all ethnic nationalities and geopolitical zones in Akwa Ibom State. These are the words of passion expressed by Chief Godswill Akpabio some three years ago when he ascended as Governor of the state. These words are still echoing, a brief survey into his administration reveals the place of his vision.
In evaluating the growth pattern of any nation or state in which Akwa Ibom is one, it becomes necessary to understudy certain words that have become common in the vocabulary of its populace. Some of such words includes; ‘Sustainable Development’ and ‘Good governance’ and of course ‘Industrialization’.
The present administration did not stumble into governance, it was not an accident. The vision of Chief Akpabio has become a focal point of reference of this administration; it has brought to the state development that is unprecedented. The development is sustainable in every assessment, transcending the present and also meeting the needs of the future in the state, Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea.
Sustainable development is a policy approach that has gained quite a lot of popularity in recent years, especially in international circles. Being a pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs could be met not only in the present, but also for future generations, that is what the present administration has been doing for the past three years. Described by the Brundtland Commission, sustainable development is development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own need”. This means that any leader who brings sustainable development to his people is first patriotic, and then focused.
To Edidem Timtingiko Papaudo Enodien, Paramount ruler of Eket and Chairman, Akwa Ibom council of Chiefs: A lot of development has happened since the state was created in 1987 but what has happened in the past three years with Chief Godswill Akpabio in the saddle has been unprecedented. This has been the consensus of the generality of the people within and outside the state.
Through the Inter-ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee, government has brought governance to the door steps of the people in the state. The reconstruction of roads in the three senatorial district of the state is one of the first steps taken towards bringing sustainable development. The 648 inter-ministerial projects commissioned from 21st January to 6th July, 2010 is a crucial dividing point on how enduring the administration resolves at wiping out the disheartening condition of facilities in our local communities. Several roads has been started, completed and commissioned within this three years but the recent award of Uyo-Aka Nung Udo road for reconstruction would not go unmentioned considering the state of the road before now. So far over 205 roads covering more than 600km have been constructed not to mention the flyover construction to ease traffic and many others. Akwa Ibom is waxing great in the quality of roads and flyovers it possesses.
An instance of another edifice of sustainable development is the state’s e-library which is near completion. No one can pass this great edifice without a nod of approval to the concept and quality. From the understanding that there is a need to pay attention to education for a sound society, yes, the e-library which the heart of governor Akpabio pants after, defines the intentions of the free and compulsory education proclaimed in the state.
At the declaration and implementation of Free and Compulsory Education, the world stood to salute Chief Akpabio. He has many awards to this honour like the Emerging Tiger from ThisDay Newspaper, which he dedicated to the Akwa Ibom child and said he looks forward to them emerging like Tigers in their generation.
World biggest multinationals are getting increasingly comfortable to do business in Akwa Ibom and with the state; their eagerness to invest in the state is becoming evenly pronounced. So far the present administration has done a credible job of crisis management. It has succeeded in fostering peace and unity among the ethnics of Akwa Ibom state. The ex-militants are not left to their fate rather they are undergoing series of training in skill acquisition.
A total of 5,000 hectares of oil palm plantation have been raised in the State under the Community Project Development Scheme in order to boost Oil palm production in the state (CPDS). As the highest producer of palm oil in Nigeria, Akwa Ibom has pledged to stop at nothing in ensuring that it maintains its leading role in the production of oil palm for export to other states in the country as well as countries of the world.
The Community Project Development Scheme (CPDS) in Akwa Ibom state was established in 2004 to assist private oil palm plantation owners with funds and general farm input. Presently the state government has resolved to partner with the AgriNexus International of Malaysia to ensure that oil palm plantations and factories are rehabilitated in order that optimum result is achieved. Akpabio’s administration has shown earnest interest in the agricultural sub-sector of the state economy and assured investors of their maximum protection and free operational atmosphere in the state for them to carry out their business.
Government raised the game in the agricultural sector with empowerment of 620 youths with N500,000.00 each under the Integrated Farmers Scheme in 2009 and approval of 910 participants for 2010, this is aimed at addressing poverty, by enhancing economic growth in our developing economy. Efforts have been made in the state to enhance industrialization as a vehicle to achieving the above goals, the state Procured 180, 000 metric tons food storage and processing infrastructure at the cost of N1.5billion under Akwa Ibom Food Reserve Programme, Procurement and distribution of over 26,000 metric tons of assorted fertilizer at 60% subsidy to farmers in the last 2 years, Partnership with the Federal Government for the on-going Itu irrigation drainage and flood control project which is aimed at developing up to 2,000 hectares of land for an all year round agricultural production .
Rising economic activities in any state comes with challenges like shortage of housing since shelter is among the basics of man’s need. The state governor therefore in keeping to his promise, in providing modern and affordable houses to the people of the state, envisions about 10,000 modern and affordable houses in Akwa Ibom. This is the efforts of government to develop more sectors of the state’s economy.
Relentlessly climbing up the value chain of development in many ways, the Ibom Airport has also placed the state among those who dream big dreams and achieve their dreams. It’s all about the new face of Akwa Ibom. A visit to the land of promise as it is fondly called would leave you with no confusion on why the people clamor for the return of Governor Akpabio in 2011. Driven by a mixture of ambition and fear, resulting from the familiar fact that a people may never appreciate what they have until they lose it, the women, the youths, the aged, the royal fathers, the clan heads, the teachers and the market women have held open endorsement of Chief Godswill Akpabio.