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AKSG disburses palliatives to Ibom Air – Info Boss

In line with the global trend of governments providing an enabling environment for the recommencement of air travels, the Akwa Ibom state government has approved and disbursed palliatives to the owned airline, Ibom Air.

According to the Commissioner for Information, Sir Charles Udoh, providing financial assistance to the airline became necessary given that airline operations in Nigeria have been grounded for over three months, occasioning a revenue loss in the region of N4bn by Ibom Air.

Sir Udoh, while speaking to the crew of Update Akwa Ibom, explained that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected global aviation industry, resulting in many airlines; globally, requiring a financial life-line to get back to business. The palliative is to enable the airline make necessary preparations for the resumption of fight operations as soon as the Nigerian airspace is open for flight operations.

Justifying the action of the state government, the Information Commissioner added that American Airline secured $5.8 billion support, Delta Airline $5.4 billion and Air France-KLM $12billion from their respective governments.

Recall that Ibom Air in a little over one year of operations has raised the bar in aviation travel experience in Nigeria with its one time; every time departure protocol. Ibom Air continues to operate the lowest average fleet age amongst Nigeria’s airlines, a fleet strategy which is in line with the company’s vision to be a world-class African regional airline.

A key benefit of Ibom Air’s very modern fleet of Bombardier CRJ 900 aircrafts is that they all come fitted with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. HEPA filters are high-intensity filters that do not just filter dust, but effectively capture greater than 99% of the airborne microbes in the filtered air, including microscopic particles such as bacteria and viruses.

Cabin air in HEPA equipped aircraft generally pass through the filters 20-30 times per hour, removing contaminants and greatly enhancing the quality of air in the cabin.

Therefore, when the suspension on domestic flight is lifted, Ibom Air will offer one of the safest, if not safest domestic travel option during COVID19 pandemic in addition to other personal and respiratory hygiene guidelines already prescribed globally.

Post Covid-19: Agriculture as Solution to Economic Crises

POST COVID-19: AGRICULTURE AS SOLUTION TO ECONOMIC CRISES

James Edet
Idris Mabadeje

That the novel coronavirus pandemic has devastated the global community is not in question. The compelling lockdown of human activities around the world, in the bid to mitigate the spread of the virus has brought so much disorder, shocks and disruption to economies, wrecking unquantifiable havocs in many ramifications. With the continuous plummeting of economic activities, great danger lies in wait, as there are projections of even more disruptions if there are no pragmatic measures to manage post COVID-19 calamities.

Long after the COVID-19 pandemic may have been subdued, countries around the world would have to be at their bests to restore normalcy in their domains, and chief among the major concerns would be economic revival.

Today, the novel coronavirus has increased the rate of unemployment and compounded the challenge of hunger and poverty among peoples around the world. The scenario in Nigeria, is even more complicated, as the national revenue has nose-dived, in response to the sharp drop in the prices of crude oil in the international market. Thus, reducing hunger among citizens through aggressive investment in agriculture would be the most plausible point to begin the economic revival strategies of political leaders. Food is the most important basic need, which people need and will always need.
In addition to employing agriculture to fighting hunger in post COVID-19 era, the sector may also become the beautiful bride in shoring up domestic economies. Agribusiness may be the way to go, as part of measures to bridge the revenue gap occasioned by dwindling prices of crude oil.

While many states and even nations may not have kick-started their post COVID-19 economic agenda, Akwa Ibom State is already making strides that would stand her out as a leading economy in post COVID-19 era. Since the inception of his administration in 2015, Governor Udom Emmanuel he has continued to emphasize his commitment to ensuring that 80% of local food consumption comes from within the state. And, to underscore his determination in this regard, he inaugurated a Technical Committee on Agriculture and Food Sufficiency.

With about 3,240 hactres of cassava plantation across the state, cultivation of over 1,200 hectares of rice, revitalised cocoa plantation, the establishment of a fertilizer blending plant, empowerment of farmers through various loans and grants, among other laudable initiatives, the Governor has raised the bar in subsistence and commercial agriculture. Today, Akwa Ibom is on the verge of agricultural revolution that will further boost her economy.

The capability of the Akwa Ibom government to provide basic food items as palliatives for the citizens during the recent total lockdown of the state was a clear testimony to the purposeful leadership and foresightedness of Governor Emmanuel. Tons of garri, rice, flour and beans were distributed in about 3,000 villages across the state. It is imperative to note that garri, rice and flour were all produced in Akwa Ibom state. One can only imagine what could have happened if state was not capable of meeting her own basic food needs.

Although the coronavirus pandemic is still raging, Governor Emmanuel, in his forward thinking characteristics, apart from ensuring that immediate challenges are adequately catered for, has gone ahead to inaugurate a post-COVID-19 Economic Reconstruction Committee, comprising members who have proven their mettle in different spheres of economic endeavours. The import of this initiative is that Akwa Ibom would not come out of the COVID-19 era blank and empty, in search of what to do or how to begin.
A major agenda for the Committee is the development of workable templates for the diversification of a mono economy dependent on petrodollar, to a more sustainable economic expansion programme anchored on the rich agricultural resources of the state and the allied agro based industrialization initiatives.

There is no doubt that with the foresight, ingenuity, humongous investment and the enabling environment that Governor Udom Emmanuel has brought to bear in his agribusiness vision for the state, Akwa Ibom people can now look ahead for a better and  more secured economic future, in spite of the raging COVID-19 pandemic, and the attendant economic crises the world is currently witnessing.

18,000 Seater Eket Sports Complex for Commissioning, May 27

The Akwa Ibom State Government has assured the elders and stakeholders of Eket that the ongoing 18000-seater Eket ultra modern sports stadium complex will be completed by May 27 this year.

The State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Sir Monday Ebong Uko said the commissioning of the project will form part of the first year in office anniversary of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s second tenure in office.

Leading some leaders of Eket, including the Chairman Frank Archibong, Paramount Ruler Obong Etim Abia, the leader of Eket Senatorial District, Chief Nduese Essien, President General of Ekid Peoples Union Dr. Samuel Udonsak and that of Afigh Iwaad Eket, Pastor Godwin William among others, Commissioner Monday Uko said that Governor Emmanuel was passionate about enhancing sports activities in the state.

He maintained that the sports center which comes with a football pitch, tartan tracks, basketball and tennis courts, among others, is being constructed with the best standard facilities and specifications, adding that the major equipment and facilities for the edifice had been imported from the best producers in the global sports industry.

“As you can see, work in the facility is on course and before the rains set in, we would have been done with the roofing and laying of the turf and tracks.

“The Governor has given us directive to ensure that we deliver this project on May 27 and we are also bent on ensuring that we do not compromise the standards.”

Sir Uko maintained that despite series of negative criticisms, he has remained focused in his assignment to execute a world class facility in line with the vision of the Governor, adding that the best way to answer to such attacks is to show results.

The Eket leaders who were shown round facilities at the stadium expressed appreciation to the Governor for the project and urged that the stadium be complimented with ancillary facilities outside the complex.

Chairman of Eket Frank Archibong, said he had always been confident of the sincerity of the Governor towards the project, adding that he has always paid impromptu visits to monitor the quality of work and has never been disappointed.

“Since the state has more than one football team in the elite division, we would like one of the teams to make Eket its home ground to afford Eket people access to quality top flight football”, Mr Archibong added, maintaining that he will also institute sporting activities for school children and youths of the area.

The façade, the astro turf, the tartan tracks and seats are ready to be installed at the stadium, the Commissioner said while showing the stakeholders round the facility.

Others in the delegation were renowned Professor of Communication, Desmond Wilson, former House of Representatives member Bassey Dan Abia jr, former Commissioner Ita Umoh Udoh, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Nsudo Nsudo, state PDP Treasurer Akpadiaha Ebitu, Eket PDP Chairman, Emmanuel Mbong, among others.

Ibom Deep Seaport Has Met Standard Requirements, Says Ministerial Committe

The Ministerial Project Development and Steering Committee (MPDSC), has commended the Akwa Ibom State Government for compliance with all the requirements needed for the establishment of the Ibom Deep Seaport.

The Chairman of the committee, A.D Suleiman gave the commendation during a meeting with members of the Akwa Ibom State Technical Working Committee for the realization of the Ibom Deep Seaport at Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo.

The chairman explained that the purpose of the meeting was to update members on the progress so far achieved for the Ibom Deep Seaport project.

He said one key factor that necessitated the meeting was to provide an avenue for the adoption of the updated Full Business Case for unward submission to the Federal Executive Council.

Mr Suleiman expressed gratitude to the Akwa Ibom State Government for the level of commitment shown towards the actualisation of the port, assuring that the project will soon receive final approval from the Federal Government for commencement of operations.

On his part, the Director General of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Engr. Chidi Izuwah, opined that, with the level of success recorded by the Akwa Ibom State Technical Working Committee on the realization of the Ibom Deep Seaport, it is time to break grounds for take off of the project.

He urged the committee to be target driven in order to achieve the task

The Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Technical Committee on the realization of Ibom Deep Seaport, Mrs. Mfon Usoro, affirmed that with the support received from Infrastructural Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Nigeria Port Authority(NPA) and the Federal Ministry of Transportation(FMOT), the Committee has been able to go through all the internationally accepted procurement processes that will lead to the actualisation of the port.

“We have also completed works in the Full Business Case, a part of why we convened today with the Federal Ministry of Finance, ICRC, NPA, and the FMOT, was to agree on work-plan between now and end of first quarter of the year, 2020 so we can have final approval from the Federal Government on the project which is the Full Business Case”. She opined.

Mrs. Usoro disclosed that “the Committee had carefully followed the Federal Government laid down procedures for port development and the process has earned the State a reputable and biggest terminal operator in Africa with the Bollore Power China Consortium as the preferred bidder”.

While thanking the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel for putting everything in place for the implementation of the project, the Chairman assured Akwa Ibom indigenes especially host communities that they will be carried along at every stage of development.

She emphasized the need for them to acquire and upgrade themselves in the requisite skills that would be needed during construction and operations of the port.

On his part, the State Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, Mr. Akan Okon, also applauded Governor Emmanuel for his passion in developing the State.

He also thanked members of the committees for the efforts put towards the actualisation of the Seaport project.

Mr. Okon asserted that upon actualisation, the port will create lots of employment opportunities for the teeming youths as well as increase revenue for both the Federal and State Government.

 

Completion Agenda will change the fortunes of rural and riverine communities –Info Commissioner

Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Information, Sir. Charles Udoh, has assured that the Completion Agenda of the state government will change the fortunes of people in the rural and riverine communities that have long been neglected.

According to the Information Boss who spoke with journalists recently in his office, said the Rural and Riverine Development component of the Completion Agenda was designed to address the needs of people in those communities because they require urgent attention.

Sir Udoh explained that the government’s approach to changing the fortunes of people in the rural and riverine communities would start with the development of water transportation as well as provision of critical infrastructure to open up those areas for economic activities to begin to thrive.

He explained that development of water and riverine transportion was part of government’s overall plan to provide alternative routes in and out of the state, considering that the administration met most roads in rural areas in a state of disrepair at its inception in 2015.

According to him, “creating alternative routes will ensure that the planned economic programmes of government are not derailed”, adding that enhancing the economic agenda of the administration also accounted for government’s decision to establish Ibom Air to provide easy air access to the state.

He regretted that because of many years of neglect and absence of the required infrastructure, people in rural and riverine communities, especially fishing communities, were unable to make meaningful profits from their business activities, noting that off takers took advantage of the desperation by fishermen to dispose of their fishes to offer prices that did not leave much in profit to the fishermen.

The commissioner further explained that part of the rural and riverine development programme was to provide the kind of infrastructure that would present fishermen with two alternatives, namely, preservation of their catch in frozen form and drying them. This, he explained, would allow them enough time to sell the fishes at prices that would allow them change their boats and fishing nets when necessary and also enhance their standard of living.

Sir Udoh revealed that government would take advantage of the 129 kilometer coastline of Akwa Ibom State, the longest in the country, to create opportunities for the establishment of various industries that would tap the enormous potential in the area.

He listed some of the projects being planned by the government for the communities to include electrification, development of marine fisheries and fish farm projects, procurement and establishment of seafood processing facilities that would target domestic and export markets, as well as fish production.

Charles Udoh reiterated Governor Udom Emmanuel’s dream of seeing rural and riverine areas develop to the same standard with other parts of the state by the time he completes his eight-years tenure in 2023.

US sues for collaborative efforts on Health Care delivery in Akwa Ibom

…congratulates Udom on his Victory at the poll

The United States of America has congratulated governor Udom Emmanuel on his reelection at the polls and other elected official from the state to various legislative Houses.

The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington who led a delegation of USAID and CDC to government House on a courtesy visit to the governor,  said Emmanuel’s reelection places a great responsibility on him to continue to serve the people of the state and nation.

Symington who commended the governor various strides made in health care delivery and other infrastructural amenities in the state said he was looking forward to seeing the elected officials work to serve the men and women of Akwa Ibom.

He noted that among the reasons of his visit was to launch the most important efforts in medi-care that the US has ever made anywhere in the world to save lives first, otherwise other amenities put in place by government  would come to naught without a healthy family.

He sued for collaborative efforts between the United States Center for Disease Control and Government of Akwa Ibom state in the fight against HIV/AIDs menace and other diseases in the next one year.

In his remarks, Emmanuel expressed appreciation to the delegation  for choosing Akwa Ibom State as one of the states for the lunching of  the efforts ever made anywhere in the world for safe people, safe city, not only in terms of security but also in terms of healthcare.

He said his government would like to know the level of collaboration in terms of funding and equipment being brought in to the state by the American government in comparison to what the state has done.

According to the Governor Emmanuel, “whatsoever investment is made by the United States government; I will love to see transparency in accounting for those investments. That will encourage us to actually believe whatsoever is put across.”  Said he “So if American Government is going to invest a lot more, let’s see that transparency, Let’s be a partner not just in the target you’ve set, but to also know how the funds came in, how they’ve been spent and what they are being spent for.”

Speaking further, the governor said “I believe that at the end of the day when we take stock of what we have achieved, you will also be proud of what we have done and we also will be proud of what you have done, adding, “ I want to say here that we want to partner with you and this effort.”

Assuring the delegation of the government support, Emmanuel said, “I want to assure you we will not leave it entirely for your own people. We have a role to play, not just at the few hospitals you’ve been shown around, we are developing a whole lot of secondary healthcare facilities and we are going to make them well equipped to achieve our goal.”

Cultism: Governor Emmanuel Reads Riot Act to Uniuyo Community

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emanuel has charged students of the University of Uyo to uphold discipline and high academic standard in which the institution is noted for, assuring that his administration is committed to the provision of conducive learning environment as well as ensuring the security of lives and property within the academic community.

Governor Udom Emmanuel stated this when he led some members of the state Executive Council and other top government functionaries to worship at the Town Campus of the Victory Chapel, University of Uyo.

Mr Emmanuel decried the prevailing moral decadence in academic institutions and questioned the rationale behind students indulgence in cultism and other vices, explaining that cultism does not guarantee a meal ticket but self destruction .

Hear him: “if any one has come to deceive you that being enlisted in a cult group is the gate way to achieving success in your endeavour, I’m telling you today that it’s false . You are actually moving yourself into condemnation”.

He advised the students to work hard to ensure a good future for themselves and justify the investment of their parents on their education, warning that the ban on cultism in the state is in force and that government would not hesitate to clampdown on erring students .

“…don’t think government will not get at you, I assure you that I will do everything within my power to make sure that I protect the life of the residents and citizens in the state. I’ve signed the law banishing cultism in this state .The day you’re caught, no body will intervene for you and that will be the end of your educational pursuits”, he stated.

Mr Emmanuel noted that students who indulge in crinminal activities while on campuses risk bringing down the wrath of God upon themselves and particularly congratulated the Vice chancellor and management of the institution for their commitment to upholding academic excellence.

He condemned in strong terms Lecturers who are members of cult groups and wondered the legacy they are bequeathing the younger generation as mentors , saying that God entrusted the youngsters into their hands for them to mold them to become useful citizens.

” if you are a Lecturer you should be a mentor but if at night you find yourself in a ravine with your own students in the name of cultism what are you mentoring the students to become. A day will come when God will demand an account of how you mentor the students in care”.

He reiterated the determination of his administration to take the state to another realm of economic development for the prosperity of the younger generation and carpet naysayers who criticise activities of government, saying “herein after the critics will come to full realisation of the gains of the programmes of this administration” .

The Vice Chancellor Prof. Enefiok Essien expressed gratitude to the Governor for being a father and thanked him for the advice given to members of the university community.

Earlier in his message, the Chaplain, Rev. Dr Iniobong Udoh who preached on the theme “When the Men are absent” taken from 1st Samuel chapter 30 verses 1 through 10, called on all to acknowledge God in all their dealings and to refrain from all acts of sin to attract more divine blessings.

The Governor was accompanied to the church by the Head of Civil Service, Elder Effiong Essien, members of the state Executive Council, Board Chairmen and Permanent Secretaries.

Present at the service which climaxed with the presentation of a souvenir to the Governor by the Chaplain, Rev. Iniobong Udoh were the Vice Chancellor, Professor Enefiok Essien and other officials including the Provost School of Health Sciences, Professor Augustine Umoh and Dean of Student Affairs, Dr Aniekan Brown.

 

I will uphold merit, not pressure from office seekers – Governor Emmanuel warns

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has restated his stand to promote excellence and merit in appointments and has warned Akwa Ibom stakeholders and political leaders to refrain from putting pressure on him over political appointments.

Speaking during the swearing in of newly sworn in Head of Civil Service and Permanent Secretaries at the Banquet Hall of the Government house, Governor Emmanuel said he may retain most members of the immediate past Executive Council because of the numerous projects he needs to complete under their supervision.

“Don’t come and tell me that this person didn’t work during the election and should be dropped, because everybody worked and they all supported me.”

“If you attempt to blackmail anybody, that will even spur me to reappoint that person.”

The Governor who charged the newly sworn in Head of the Civil Service, Elder Effiong Edem Essien and Permanent Secretaries, to raise the bar of excellence in the discharge of their responsibilities, also announced that more permanent secretaries would soon be appointed.

“Like I always say, nobody should send me text to lobby for any candidate because that is the surest route to the disqualification of such a person.”

“Once I receive a name of any director from a stakeholder, it means the person is not qualified and lacks self confidence.”

He expressed his desire to spread the appointments across the Local Government Areas of the State, but decried the absence of qualified personnel from some Local Governments Areas, an issue he said should be of serious concern to stakeholders in such areas.

While congratulating the new appointees, the Governor expressed optimism in their ability to deliver and further urged them to exhibit a high level of professionalism and tolerance in the discharge of their responsibilities.

He urged the new Head of Civil Service, Elder Effiong Edem Essien to maintain a good relationship between the labour unions and government for a robust industrial harmony in the state.

The Governor further used the occasion to appreciate the immediate past Head of Service, Mrs Ekerebong Akpan for her meritorious services to the State and the improvement witnessed in the State’s Civil Service.

Governor Emmanuel said Mr Effiong Edet Ekpenyong, Mr Inyang Inyang Jameson and Mr Imoh Bassey Inyang the new Permanent Secretaries were selected on merit from among the various directors and deputy directors who he personally interviewed.

He further charged the newly sworn in Permanent Secretaries to abide by the oaths they have taken and ensure that their personal interest does not overide the discharge of their official duties.

“People should understand that appointments as Permanet Secretaries are not promotions that come automatically because one has reached Grade Level 17, and so cannot get to everybody,” the Governor stated.

The newly inaugurated Head of the State Civil Service, Elder Effiong Essien who spoke with Journalists shortly after his swearing in, appreciated Governor Emmanuel for finding him worthy for the appointment and pledged to selflessly discharge his duties in the interest of the state.

The event was attended by the Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo, the State PDP Chairman, Obong Paul Ekpo, former Governor, Idongesit Nkanga, the PDP National Legal Adviser, Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem, past and present government officials as well as families and friends of those appointed.

Ndifreke P. Akpan (Govt House)

GOV EMMANUEL ASSURES ON NEW MINIMUM WAGE, CARPETS NBS’ UNEMPLOYMENT RANKING

The Akwa Ibom State Government has concluded plans towards implementation of the National Minimum Wage of Thirty Thousand Naira to its workers.

Governor Udom Emmanuel who announced this during the May 2019 Workers Day celebration held at the Uyo Township Stadium also faulted a recent statistics that ranked Akwa Ibom one of the highest in unemployment in the country.

Governor Emmanuel who carpeted the report wondered how a state with the highest Foreign Direct Investment outside Lagos could be so rated and attributed the report to fifth columnist who want to sow seeds of discord.

Mr Emmanuel urged the workers not to be distracted by such mischievous publications and assured of his workers friendly disposition.

The Governor assured the workers that the state government will implement the new minimum wage signed by the Federal Government, “after necessary documentations have been effected.”

He charged members of the committee set up for the implementation of the new minimum wage to expedite action on its computation and documentation to avoid any form of delay.

The State Chief Executive while congratulating the workers on the celebration, thanked them for the Industrial harmony enjoyed in the state and their endorsement which enhanced his reelection.

He reiterated his commitment to the welfare of Akwa Ibom workers through the provision of necessary social services, prompt payment of salaries and pensions to the retirees.

“I stand here to tell the Union leaders who asked me to make pronouncements (during their speeches), that in the areas of Workers’ Welfare, I concur!
“You may recall that one of the first things I did shortly after I resumed office was to extend our intervention especially to those that gratuities were owed since 2002, I will be paying. Each month, I will allocate something for gratuity.”

“About Four years ago when I assumed office as the Governor of the State, the economic frontiers were hazy and marred with uncertainties, the nation was going through severe economic challenges and abilities of the newly sworn in Governors to fulfill primary obligations such as payment of salaries became a huge nightmare, but to the Glory of the Only God we serve and Worship, and through prudent management of the lean resources available to us, we were able to not only pay salaries but we went ahead to pay pension.”

Earlier in her address, the Head of the State Civil Service, Mrs Ekereobong Akpan, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Comfort Archibong, congratulated the labour friendly Governor and other members of his team on the Electoral Victory and thanked the workers for their solidarity and support.

She extended the gratitude of workers to the Governor for his prompt and timely payment of salaries, gratuities and pensions and also for the ongoing effort to clear the backlog of gratuities and pension arreas and annual increment of all workers salaries.

She applauded the Labour Unions for sustaining a harmonious relationship between the State Government and the Workers, further urged them to continue to offer their selfless services to the development of the State and Nation in general.

Earlier, the new Chairman of N.L.C, Comrade Sunny James described this year’s workers celebration as symbolic being the last May Day in the Governor’s first tenure and the first since his reelection which also coincides with the new NLC leadership in the state.

 

He said that the theme: “Another 100 years of struggle for Jobs, Dignity and Social Justice” was very apt and saddening in this 21st century.

He expressed confidence that the labour movement in Akwa Ibom State is spared the agony experienced in other states of the federation where workers are owed several months of salaries.

Comrade James applauded Governor Emmanuel for his readiness to pay the National Minimum Wage and the prompt payment of salaries to all categories of workers and urged other employers of the workforce to follow suit.

The Labour leader also expressed gratitude to the Governor for his continued intervention in various industrial issues within the state among which are the former Metro Hotels Staff, and that of the College of Education, through payments of their outstanding entitlements.

Comrade Sunny James thanked the Governor for the rapid industrial transformation of the state, sign posted by the various industries such as the Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Factory, the Metering Solutions Company, Coconut Refinery and the resuscitation of Peacock Paint among others.

On his part, Chairman of the Trade Union Congress in the State, Comrade Akamba Awah, said the friendly disposition of the Governor towards labour issues informed their adoption and endorsement of his candidature during the 2019 Governorship Elections.

He called on leaders in the state to adopt policies that will promote the emergence of a just and egalitarian society in pursuance of the common good.

Also speaking, the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Barr. Onofiok Luke, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to adopt a bipartisan approach in tackling the lingering insecurity problems in the country, adding that party lines must be secondary in fighting the deteriorating security situation.

Similarly, the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Godwin Abraham, represented by Justice Ekerette Ebenye, Congratulated the entire Workers of the State on the occasion of the May Day Celebration, and pledged that the judiciary arm of government, is in solidarity with the workers.

He applauded the Governor’s show of love to the workers and urged the workers to reciprocate by putting their best to the service of the state and the nation at large.

In his remark, the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekwuwem, while noting that the Governor given the Dakkada philosophy and his industrialization policies, has totally transformed the state into an industrial hub, charged the workers to take due advantage of the many opportunities and projects that has been provided by the state government.

The Commissioner for Economic Development, Labour and Manpower Planning, Barrister Ekong Sampson said there was need for the development of some kind of social dialogue at all levels to promote implementation of Government policies and programmes and also enhance a seamless partnership that will enhance effective service delivery and good governance.

While appreciating Governor Udom Emmanuel for his support to the labour unions, the commissioner assured that the state government will continue to foster an atmosphere of peace and industrial harmony for increased productivity, wealth creation and the economic development of Akwa Ibom state.

The event also featured March Past by different Unions and Goodwill messages from other government functionaries and labour leaders.

#UdomCares

Text of the 2019 Easter Broadcast by Governor Udom Emmanuel

BEING THE TEXT OF THE EASTER BROADCAST BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MR. UDOM EMMANUEL, GOVERNOR, AKWA IBOM STATE, GOVERNMENT HOUSE, UYO – APRIL 18, 2019

My dear AkwaIbomites,

My wife, Her Excellency, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel, and I wish you a Happy Easter.

Easter is a season of sacrifice; of circumscribing one’s interest, desires and needs for causes that are greater than ours; it also symbolizes victory over the forces of hatred, betrayal, anger and vile temperaments. No one epitomises this selfless quality than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Our Saviour endured excruciating and harrowing pain; was put through the most dehumanizing treatment and torture ever meted out to man, was derided, taunted and abused. He had the power and the capacity to confound and defeat the evil plot of his traducers and tormentors, but because of the love He has for us, because of the need to fulfill the Scripture which is so eloquently expressed in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believed in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” our Saviour elected to sacrifice His life so we may have ours. Three days after making the ultimate sacrifice, He rose gallantly and triumphantly, cleansing us of our sins. Today, we are considered worthy inheritors of His grace, love, sacrifice and blessings.

Therefore, as we celebrate this great day of sacrifice and spiritual renewal, I want to enjoin you my dear brothers and sisters to follow the footsteps of our Lord and Saviour- Jesus Christ. I want you to make a solemn pledge that going forward, all ancient animosities, the anger and vile dispositions we may have exhibited against our brothers and sisters, all forces of disunity of division we may have entertained and helped push, all the ill-resort to malign, blackmail or the urge to pull your brother and sister down in order to advance your personal growth; the zero-sum tendencies, the galling feeling of betrayal and back-stabbing that have unfortunately defined our daily engagements with each other should give way to a season of love, of kindred spirit and a renewal of our soul and essence in line with what our Saviour did, at His death and Resurrection.

We have just concluded an election cycle where the chords of our brotherhood and amity were severely tested. Even though some of our political gladiators had likened the contest to going to war and had unfortunately invoked certain metaphors of war and violence, the battle has been fought and won to the glory of the ONLY GOD we worship and serve.

The time therefore, has come for us to close ranks and show love to one another. We went to the polls as sons and daughters of Akwa Abasi Ibom State joined together by shared hopes and aspirations for our State and our people. My opponent and I were both motivated by the need to serve our people and advance the cause of our development, but the people have spoken and made their choice. We must respect the will they expressed in my capacity to lead our people for the next four years.

Let me again use this opportunity to thank you, our great and wonderful people for reposing your trust in my humble capacity to continue to lead and move this State to an enviable height of peace, security, development and growth. I am truly humbled by the faith you have shown in me, and I promise you again, that I will not sacrifice the trust; neither will I treat this confidence with levity. I will continue to pursue the development of this State with renewed vigour, passion and faith in our common good and common essence.

In the spirit of Easter, I am again inviting my brothers and sisters on the opposite side of the political divide to join hands with me to build a prosperous, safe and secure State where our people will continue to rise and claim the faith of their greatness. This should be no time for mutual recriminations. Let us show that politics can and must be more ennobling than how certain people may make it appear. Let us begin to build a new vista of understanding of what political contest is all about: that a winner must emerge and the loser must not be treated with contempt or derision. I remain dedicated to promoting and projecting this beautiful virtue – politics that is played without bitterness as the Second Republic politician Late Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim had preached. Today, I urge you again to celebrate all that is good and ennobling in us. We are great people, of great heritage, and we must stand ready to work together to ensure and sustain a great future for ourselves and our children.

This broadcast is significant in many ways: it caps the last Easter of my First Term in office and the preparation for what will be my continuous impactful Second Term in office which you – my dear people had so enthusiastically given me on March 9th, 2019.

About four years ago when we came in, the economic horizon was darkened by the thick clouds of uncertainty. The price of oil, our mono- foreign exchange earner was at its all-time low.
In spite of the turbulence on the economic horizon, we went to work and armed with our Five Point Agenda of: Wealth Creation, Economic and Political Inclusion, Poverty Alleviation, Infrastructural consolidation and Expansion and Job Creation, we were able to fulfil against all odds, the cardinal electioneering campaign promises we made to you.

Today, AkwaIbom State remains the reference point in good governance, a State where accountability, probity and transparency remain the hallmarks of governance.

In almost all the areas we had highlighted in our Five Point Agenda, we have touched and impacted lives greatly. From healthcare delivery, to infrastructural consolidation and expansion, aviation development to education, to power sector, industrialization,wealth and job creations, we have raised the bar on how lean resources could be applied to get the most for the people.

I do not intend to go over our score-card in this broadcast, you have, already so kindly and against all the lies that were told, believed in what we have been able to use your resources to achieve for you my dear people. It was based on this conviction that you so massively returned us to continue the good works we started so well in our First Term. You know we don’t tell lies to achieve political mileage, you know we do what we say we will do, and not engage in a vain-glorious dance just to receive applause but rather are on the course for sustainable development.

In our Second Term which we are gearing to commence on May 29, this year, we will work twice as hard to sustain and expand the layers of good governance, touching lives, challenging our people to further rise to the faith of our greatness and show as I have always emphasized, that government can indeed be a force for good and not one for ill.

We will, as enunciated in our 2019 Manifesto, dedicate ourselves to the Completion Agenda predicated still on massive industrialization push, infrastructural expansion, more investments put into ensuring our children are prepared through quality education that will get them ready for the 21 Century, our health care delivery will continue to expand, agriculture and tourism will receive the necessary boost, we will work to provide power for all, build human capacity, expand our job opportunities and wealth creation mechanisms.

We will continue to engender in our youths an entrepreneurial or ownership mind-set and ensure that our women are encouraged through soft loans to expand their businesses of trading and other small and medium scale businesses. In short, we will work to build a State whose economy will be the envy of all. I urge you as always to continue to pray for us and support our determined efforts to use our resources to build a solid economy for our people.

Let me end this broadcast by quoting the inspiring words of the 6th United States President, John Quincy Adams “if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, you are a leader”.

May our actions beginning from this Easter celebrations and beyond inspire us to love more, be more united and do more to advance the interest of the great and wonderful people of AkwaAbasiIbom State.

Happy Easter once again!
Akwa Ibom Edakkeda,
ami mmedakka-nda!

Akwa Ibom Professionals Warn Politicians On Security

A group of Akwa Ibom Professionals in different sectors in Nigeria have warned politicians to abhor inflammatory comments capable of heating up the polity, and to see election as a game which should not be used to destroy the people and unity of the state.

They have also described the return of peace and safety of life and property as the greatest feat of the Governor Udom Emmanuel led administration in Akwa Ibom State.

In a courtesy call on the Governor in Government House, they said with the advent of Governor Emmanuel, investors and indigenes alike were able to come in freely and invest in the state’s economy.

Mr. Udeme Ufot, the leader of the delegation who spoke on behalf of the delegation, maintained that despite the challenges the administration is facing in the deficit of resources, the Governor is satisfactorily implementing his five point agenda, industrializing the state, and most importantly his pursuit in the peace and security of the state.

He further commended the Dakkada philosophy enacted by Governor Udom Emmanuel; an ideology which he revealed has changed the mindset of the Akwa Ibom sons and daughters to build their dreams and to rise beyond ethnicity and embrace unity in the state.

He said the Governor has encouraged good neighbourliness among people in the state by championing a unity project and also deliberately fighting cultism in the state.

The professionals declared their support towards the Governor’s re-election, quoting Martin Luther King Junior that the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moment of comfort but where he stands at times of challenge and controversies.

The Governor in his reaction, lauded the professionals for their support to his administration since inception in 2015.
“Let me also thank most of you inside this place that offered to help. Not that we have anything to offer, yet so many of you made sacrifices.”

He said his technical committee on the deep seaport project has made significant progress, which he has not been willing to publicize.

Despite the success story at the seaport project, he said his government is establishing another logistic hub to push oil and gas downstream businesses to Ikot Abasi, “we have had reasonable investors who have started all the surveys and so on.”

The Governor said challenges are everywhere and his administration was no exception, with one springing up in each sector and sub-sectors of the state.

He disclosed that despite security and economic challenges in the country, his administration in the last three years have brought about sustainable result in the areas of industrialization, infrastructural development, human empowerment and wealth creation.

He echoed the agriculture sector which has yielded result, such as Garri which was sold 2 cups for 200 naira now 12 cups for same 200 naira, the Rice Processing Mill built in Ini, producing 3 tons per hectare in the first batch, with plan to increase to 5-6 tons per hectare in the second batch.

He also opened up on the concept of the Green House project by his administration, saying this has enabled the state to produce several fruits and vegetables, despite the weather.

Governor Emmanuel thanked the professionals for their kind words and show of solidarity to his administration, noting that their concerns on security were receiving considerable attention from his administration.

Governor Emmanuel Seeks Airforce Presence, As Combat Games Ends In Uyo

Ndifreke Akpan (Govt House)

The third edition of the Nigerian Airforce Inter-Command Combat Sports Competition tagged, Uyo 2018 has ended with a call for the establishment of an air-force operational base in Akwa Ibom State.

The week long event at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo was declared closed by Governor Udom Emmanuel who stated the willingness of his Government to partner the Nigerian Airforce to establish its presence in the state.

Governor Emmanuel announced that Government had already secured land for the Airforce to establish an Air Operational Base in Akwa Ibom State and explained to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar, the efforts he was making to achieve that purpose.
“When you see me struggling to even do a taxi way that can also serve as a second runway at Ibom International Airport in case of any emergency, it is because of your promise that you will give me an Air Operational Base here”.

The State Chief Executive commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the release of resources used to enhance professionalism within the Armed Forces describing it as a good development.

He expressed appreciation to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Abubakar for the choice of Akwa Ibom as the venue for the NAF Competition and noted that it was a great honour and show of brotherhood.

Mr Emmanuel further commended the Chief of Air Staff for creating a workable and pragmatic vision for the Nigerian Airforce explaining that the key element in his leadership approach is to reposition NAF into a highly professional and discipline force through capacity building initiative.

This, according to the Governor, is for effective, efficient and timely employment of Air Power in response to Nigeria’s National Security imperatives.

The Governor further stated, “I am convinced that the first and the last key drivers of his vision which are human capacity development through robust and result oriented training for enhanced professional performance as well as focused on comradeship, regimentation and inter-service cooperation is the reason for this sports competition.”

Governor Emmanuel who presented Trophies and Medals to the overall winner, Ground Training Command with six gold and three bronze medals, applauded the team and other participants for being part of the week long event.

He also extended words of appreciation to the Armed Forces and other Para-Military Agencies for collaborating with the state to ensure effective security but encouraged them to do more.

The Governor however observed with dismay the non-availability of any project executed by the Federal Government in Akwa Ibom State being the number one oil producer in the country and enjoined the contingents to take out time and ground the state to see what his administration was struggling to do.

He stated that the State Government was building infrastructure, economy and the people and emphasized that the primary responsibility of any government was the social contract of protecting lives and property; an aspect taken as a sacred responsibility with very serious approach by his administration.

The third edition of the NAF Sports Competition saw Team Logistics Command emerged second while Team Tactical Air Command secured the third place.

At the event, the state Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar and Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, retired also presented Medals to the winners.

Sister agencies who took part in the invitational combat relay also went home with Medals as the Nigerian Army took first in that category followed by the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp and the Nigerian Police on the third position.

Combat boxing, swimming, obstacles crossing, taekwando, relay race, tug of war and marksmanship were some of the events competed for during the 2018 NAF fiesta.

Cultural display, match past by the seven contingents and 4 × 400M combat relay were some of the highlights at the closing ceremony.

Senators, serving and retired military officers, Commissioners and Special Advisers, other top politicians and many other prominent citizens joined the Governor as he declared the competition closed.

2018 Easter Broadcast By His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, Governor, Akwa Ibom State

BEING THE TEXT OF BROADCAST BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MR. UDOM EMMANUEL, GOVERNOR, AKWA IBOM STATE ON THE OCCASION OF EASTER CELEBRATIONS, 2018

 

Fellow Akwaibomites

Two thousand years ago, an innocent, sinless and righteous man offered himself as a sacrifice for all man-kind, including his enemies, and became the ransom for the world. Today, as we join the world to celebrate this amazing and defining story of selfless love, hope, and renewal, my wife, Her Excellency, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel and I share the joy of Easter with all Akwa Ibomites and residents of Akwa Ibom State.

It is my firm belief that as we celebrate God’s greatest gift to mankind through the sacrifice of His Son, we as a people must recommit ourselves to building the walls of our State with the bricks and mortars of love. Let us celebrate this Easter with the firm conviction to serve a purpose that is higher and greater than ourselves.

Christianity did not come to us on a silver platter; it came at the hands of stomach-turning torture and harrowing moments of extreme stress and strain. It came at the hands of the most painful form of public execution ever devised by man, and the worst betrayal of a righteous man by an entire nation including those he healed. But while the disciples were in mourning and women came to embalm his body, God turned their mourning into dancing with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Let the lesson go forth to all Akwa Ibom people that, we will never abandon ourselves to despair. That same Spirit which quickened Jesus from death to resurrection is moving in this blessed State and quickening our march to greatness.

And so, my fellow compatriots as we celebrate His resurrection and ascension, let us ask ourselves this simple but profound question: Can we serve a cause that is higher than OUR immediate gains like our Saviour did?  Do we show love to one another? Do we wish our fellow compatriots well in their undertakings, irrespective of their political leanings?  Do we care for the poor, the infirmed, and the downtrodden and give our little so these people may have a reason and a cause to hope and dream?

Do we love our State, our Leaders, our institutions, and respect our common values and the things that define us as people?  Have we come to that point where we collectively say to ourselves: Akwa Ibom is our dear State, and I will sacrifice all that I can, to make her a proud land of great people united by shared values and aspirations?  As you ponder over these questions, let us remind ourselves that sacrifice has one underpinning attribute, and that is love.

The reason for this season, therefore, is that we should show love to one another irrespective of our cultural or political leanings. We should not allow political differences come between our bonds of brotherhood. Let us be reminded, as I have always said, that politics will come and politics will go, but our common essence will remain an enduring attribute of our shared identity.

In this season of love, let us reach out even to those who, like the muckraker in the masterpiece, The Pilgrims Progress, could not look up or around them to see the blessings of our State, but instead dwell on pulling down their brothers and sisters. The late Myles Munroe stated that there are three categories of persons in the world: those who make things happen; those who talk about what is happening; and those who do not know what is happening. We call on all Akwaibomites to join us and make things happen. But if you chose to remain in the category of those who talk, please season your communication with honesty of purpose, integrity of heart and the salt of righteousness.

You entrusted me with this office to make things happen and my commitment to that task is total, irrevocable and uncompromising. We came, with love, to lay a future for posterity, and provide our people with the best infrastructural amenities possible.  We came with love to ensure that our education remains free and qualitative; to boost our healthcare delivery; to rapidly industrialize this State and create wealth and job opportunities; to challenge and galvanize our youths with fresh ideas and tools to make them productive citizens. These are the cardinal points of my Governance Agenda and from this we would neither retreat nor surrender.

We are running with this vision. Industrialization is a process; it takes time for all the components to come together. But the cheery news is that we are delivering on our campaign promises. Therefore misguided posturing and propaganda by certain individuals with muck rakes will not deter us. If any tries to deceive you with wicked propaganda, tell them Akwa Ibom is marching on.

All over the world, megaprojects take longer to come to fruition, but the foundation must be laid for them to eventually blossom and flourish. It is like planting a palm tree. This is an unchangeable and unvarnished fact. Delay in project implementation is not denial, but a process. We are not playing politics with development; those who do this in their campaign of calumny betray their minds for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Tell them Akwa Ibom is marching on.

My fellow Akwaibomites let us be proud of our achievements. While most States cannot pay the salaries and pensions of their workers, we pay as and when due. While most States are not executing capital projects; our entire landscape, across the three senatorial districts, has become a construction site.

Our road projects are opening up the hidden treasures of our State. Consider the internal roads we are doing in Ewet Housing Extension and Shelter Afrique. Consider the over 1700 kilometres of road with 35 bridges spread all over the State, these are not just regular routes, these are enduring, durable and economically viable roads. Good roads are the engines of economic activities. My compatriots, I am laying a solid foundation for tomorrow.  And our State is marching on.

My dear Akwaibomites, most States don’t set aside 600 million Naira to pay WAEC fees for their citizens. This responsibility belongs to the parents. But because we want to create a level playing field for equal opportunity to our children, I make this amount available yearly for our dear children. Think about what this means to those parents who may not have the means to pay these fees for their wards. We don’t just provide free education; we provide opportunity for all our children to rise to the faith of their greatness.

Last month, I gave out interest free loans to our traders, elsewhere, this is not done. But because I preach sustainable development, development that is not just about today, but conserving what we have for better use in the future, we have provided these soft loans to our traders, and from the testimonies they have given, they have expanded their businesses. Our developmental plans are geared towards things that connect us to the needs of today while planning for tomorrow. That is why this State is marching on and the gates of propaganda cannot prevail.

We have diversified our economy and put accent on agriculture. We are cultivating over 16,000 hectares of land under the FADAMA III scheme, our vegetable Green House is helping us produce best-in-class tomatoes, our farmers are busy at work in the rice fields in Ini, over 600,000 thousand bags of fertilizers have been distributed to farmers across to the State to ensure higher yield of their crops; our Dakkada garri ensures that this staple food remains affordable. We are doing everything thing possible to put food on the table of our people and our State is sure marching on!

We have refurbished our hospitals in line with our determination to improve the healthcare services especially at secondary level. Etinan Hospital, the General Hospital at Ituk Mbang, also at Ikot Okoro, the General Hospital at Ikono, all have been remodelled and provided with some of the equipment that can compete with the best in the world. Added to this, my wife, Her Excellency, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel, through FEYReP, has sponsored the screening of over 15,0000 people for eye ailments, high blood pressure and diabetes. FEYReP has educated our people on changing their lifestyles in order to reduce  the spread of these deadly diseases.  Our 25 containers having State of the art medical supplies had arrived and are currently in use. Efforts are in top gear to get the Ibom Specialist Hospital To take-off full steam. Last month, I inspected the dialysis machines at the Hospital as well as the ambulances. We are investing in our health and wellness, and Akwa Ibom is marching on.

We are building a befitting International Worship Centre. This State is a wholly Christian State. If anyone tells you we don’t deserve a worship centre as we have in other States, tell them they should not use God’s name to play politics.

We are committed to our industrialization program. The Syringe Manufacturing  Company, the Metering Solutions Company, the tooth pick and pencil making company are in operation.Our fertilizer blending company,  flour mills, and the plastic making company will spring  up soon. We are building a State where posterity will look back to this time and say this was the golden era of our history.

Once again we appreciate the love and cooperation of all Akwa Ibomites. We should be thankful to God for providing us with a leadership that is selfless, Christ-centric and people-centric.

Our achievements have been noted and applauded throughout the whole nation. The Nigerian Television Authority, (NTA) the official mouthpiece of the ruling party, throwing partisan politics aside and celebrating success, recently honoured me with the Integrity and Service Award. The event took place inside Aso Rock and the presentation was made by the Secretary to the Federal Government, Mr. Boss Mustapha. That award I dedicate to all Akwa Ibomites. This is what our country needs – people and institutions that rise above political leanings to celebrate the best in us. It is noteworthy that I was the only PDP Governor so honoured. When Senator Babafemi Ojodu, the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters devoted a whopping 32 pages of the President’s Mid-Term Report praising our administration for our spectacular performance, he was stating the facts. This State is marching on and we should be proud of ourselves.

When I was voted the Best Sports Governor, 2017, the reason they gave me that award was because of our visible and fruitful investments in sports and youth development. Through our massive support and the creation of an enabling environment, our Super Eagles qualified for World Cup, Russia 2018 with a game remaining. Our commitment to sports development is total and it is our hope and dream that in no distant time, our State will become the sports capital of Nigeria.

Let me end this broadcast by again appealing to my fellow citizens to keep the peace. As the political season dawns on us, let us play politics with a human face, let us not see and regard politics as blood sport; we have enjoyed peace in this State and my recent proscription of cult groups in the State is geared towards deepening this peace and addressing security concerns that may have occurred in one or two spots. There is no political office that should cause the spillage of blood; no ambition should cause us to shed the blood of our dear citizens.

In this season of love we reach out to the communities where some misguided youths have disturbed the public peace, and tell them that we stand by them. Those who are still involved in this criminality should lay down their arms. They should know that you can run but you cannot hide. Iso Akpa Afid could not hide. We will either bring you to justice or take justice to you.

We remain committed to fulfilling the major requirement of the Social Contract which is the protection of lives and property. We will not abdicate this sacred responsibility.We will release and deploy the appropriate sanction against those who cause the disruption of public peace. Akwa Ibom State must remain safe and secure for investment and development, and as long as I remain your Governor, this is an article of faith.

Easter is about sacrifice, about love and peace. May the peace of the Risen Christ be with us all, in Jesus Name. With the Risen Christ, Akwa Ibom Edakkada, Ami mme dakkanda!

God bless our State, God bless us all and happy Easter to you all!

Gov Emmanuel Restates Commitment To Development

…ENDORSED BY CHRISTIAN FATHERS FOR 2ND TERM

Governor Udom Emmanuel has again stated his dedication to ensuring the prosperity of all Akwa Ibom people saying that the state is on the right track to achieving divine mission with God as the guide.

The state Chief Executive said that in spite of the lean resources, over 1,202kms of road and 35 bridges are at various stages of completion, and reassured the people that the protection of lives and property is the most critical components of the social contract he has with them.

The Governor stated this shortly after being anointed for a second term in office by Christian leaders and fathers of faith in a prayer converge organised by the Akwa Ibom Christian Assembly on Thursday at Ibom Hall Grounds, Uyo

Governor Emmanuel said he will not be distracted by the noise of the naysayers neither will he give in to the blackmail, lies and the machinations of those who do not wish the state well.

The Governor used the opportunity to remind the people that the main thrust of his 2015 campaign was predicated on the need to urgently industrialize the state as a way of creating job opportunities for the people and submitted that his administration was still on course for the economic development of the state.

“Our Syringe Manufacturing Company is running and the naysayers who said it could not be done have been proved wrong, our Metering Solutions Company is in full production and again our critics have been proved wrong. The Peacock Paints is producing and expanding its operations, the Flour Mill is in the offing, as well as Plastic Manufacturing Factory and Fertilizer blending Factory to be located in Abak are also in the offing”.

He said the state Government’s investment in power has attracted commendation from the Minster of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babtunde Fashola during his recent visit to the state, and told the people that his government had upgraded the main runway at the Ibom International Airport to category 2 while the construction of the second runway is ongoing.

According to him, the flood control on Nsikak Eduok which had previously rendered that area impassable has been fixed, State Secretariat Annex was completed and inaugurated while a 21 storey modern office complex is under construction in Uyo.

The Governor said that the State Government earmarks at least 600 million naira annually for the payment of West African Examination Council, WAEC fees for final year students in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom in addition to ensuring free education, maintaining that his administration will always invest in quality education as a bedrock to development.

He told the congregation that his administration had refurbished and equipped some hospitals in the state with facilities that can match the best in the world explaining that already, 25 container loads of state-of-the-art medical equipment were delivered to the state for installation in hospitals.

As part of strategic plans to move away from over dependence on oil, Governor Emmanuel said the state has invested heavily in Agriculture. “We are currently cultivating over 2,000 hectares of cassava under the World Bank assisted FADAMA 111 scheme, our Vegetable Green House project is producing tomatoes that have been acclaimed to be of a very high quality. 4,929 rice farmers are currently at work in the state especially in Ini L.G.A”.

He explained that over 300 rural development projects and over 400 inter-ministerial direct labour intervention projects were undertaken across the 31 L.G.As by the state government in addition to the training of over 20,000 youths in various skills for personal development.

The Governor also highlighted government’s investment in sports and youths development which has led to the state virtually becoming the sporting capital of Nigeria.

In what seemed to be an account of stewardship, the Governor further pointed out that in the area of social welfare, government has provided grants to widows and through FEYReP, houses have been built for them while the Child Rights Law has been enforced.

He stated that his administration had, on assumption of office, settled a 10 year backlog of pensions and gratuities to retirees and that government is strongly committed to the regular payment of salaries and gratuities in spite of lean resources.

He charged Christians to embrace politics and with one voice and one body change the layers of engagements in governance saying that when God-fearing people refuse to participate in politics, they will remain the losers in the long run.

Governor Emmanuel reminded the people that countries that have held God aloft as the symbol of their authority and the fulcrum upon which governance revolves have prospered beyond words called on the Christian community not to overlook such attributes while making a choice of who to vote for.

The Governor thanked the Akwa Ibom Christian Assembly and Fathers of Faith for the endorsement for re-election next year and expressed appreciation to them for continuous prayers for him since assumption of office in 2015.

Presenting an address on behalf of Akwa Ibom Christian Assembly and Fathers of Faith, Arch Bishop Cletus Bassey said the church was involved because one of their own, a man after God’s heart and a worthy ambassador of the body of Christ was involved.

Arch Bishop Bassey stated that the church could not remain silent in publicly supporting the Governor’s second term bid to continue the good work he started.

According to the man of God, “let the word go forth from this place to Akwa Ibomites at home and in the diaspora, to men and women, to the young and old, that God has arisen in his church and we will no more be silent”.

He said that Governor Emmanuel had played politics with the fear of God and has performed creditably in the development of infrastructure and investments.

The Governor, according to the Fathers of Faith, was made for a time like this to build an altar for the Lord among other landmark achievements.

In a sermon, Dr Mensa Otabil from Ghana charged Christians not to allow themselves to be overwhelmed or play second fiddle while seeking political power.

Dr Otabil referred to the theme of the event which is Dominion Mandate Conference and noted that every Christian is endowed with Dominion mandate.

He blamed the lacklustre approach of Christians to politics on attitude and urged the people to arise to a renewal of focus, thoughts and attitude in order to attain greater heights.

The Minister commended the Governor for working in partnership with the church and for his commitment to infrastructure development and industrialization, explaining that his landmark achievements will enhance his second term bid.

In the same vein, Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo said Nigeria needed young men and women who have vision to be in governance stressing that the time has come for Christians to be involved in politics and governance at all levels.

Pastor Ashimolowo made prophetic declarations for sons and daughters of the state to arise and make a difference at the global scene.

In a goodwill message, the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayo Fayose congratulated Governor Emmanuel for the endorsement by the Christian Assembly for a second term in office and described him as a man on a mission in Akwa Ibom.

Governor Fayose charged Christian leaders to be courageous, condemn evil and exalt righteousness stating that anything without Christ will end up in crisis.

The event had in attendance Ministers of the Gospel, top government functionaries, politicians, men, women, youths and other worshipers within and outside the country.

Governor Emmanuel To Engage New Admin Consultants In Ibom Specialist Hospital

Ndifreke P. Akpan (Govt House)

A new specialist who understands hospital administration, hospital records system and hospital ICT systems will soon be engaged to manage the affairs of the Ibom Specialist Hospital in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Governor Udom Emmanuel disclosed this to journalists shortly after inspecting the new dialysis unit and other equipments at the modern quaternary health center.

He said the duty of administering a quaternary center required specialized training, lamenting that the former management’s capability was questionable, hence the downward fortune in the hospital under their watch.

“We cannot put up this kind of facilities and give it to anybody to run. We want to bring people who are experts. These are people who are real hospital administrators. I don’t intend to go and bring a cardiologist and turn him to a hospital administrator overnight.”

He maintained that he was undaunted by the blackmail peddled by the former consultants in a section of the media, as he was committed to doing the right thing at every point in time irrespective of propaganda.

Governor Emmanuel said he is expecting some consultants on the 19th and 20th of this month from United States of America, saying they are proven experts that have actually gone through the quaternary health delivery system overtime.

“They have the experience, they have the technology and they have what it takes, they have the skills. We need to bring them in here and make sure this hospital is fully functional and I want to see that everything is on ground and then we are back to full steam”

The Governor expressed happiness that the dialysis unit is functioning exceptionally well, and maintained his desire to see to the immediate functioning of the Oncology section of the hospital to check the issues of cancer treatment.

He said he heard mixed stories about the new dialysis centre, but on his arrival, he saw a patient being treated and all the machines were in good working condition.

“Right now, we have 5 machines that are brand new, newly installed, newly commissioned that are working so well.”

“Oncology is something that I really really crave to start here because I know how much I spent every month on these facilities outside this country. The machine is not a problem. We’ve actually priced the machines. It’s the consultants now that we are actually trying to recruit.”

He assured that the new consultants are from Africa and other parts of the world who have the zeal and are interested to work in the hospital.

Earlier, the Acting Chief Medical Director, Dr Iniobong Etukudo who had conducted the Governor round the facilities said there was no dialysis equipment until the intervention of the Governor and commended Mr Emmanuel for his passion in improved healthcare delivery in the state.

The commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong, Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Udoh, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Uwemedimo Nwoko and the House of Assembly member from Onna, Mr Nse Essien, were among those in the Governor’s entourage.