By Ekemini Simon
In 2017, the National Bureau of Statistics rated Akwa Ibom State Second highest in Foreign Direct Investment. The State Government accepted the result, celebrated and harped on it to high heavens.
In 2020, the same National Bureau of Statistics rated Akwa Ibom State in its second quarter of 2020 as the second-highest in the unemployment rate in the country with 45.2 per cent. Pronto! The state Government disagrees, threatens to go to tribunal. Funny people! Yet, Imo state, the highest in the country, with 48.7 per cent unemployment rate have not argued. They hope to learn from the report and work on themselves to improve. Even nearby State, Rivers State (43.7 per cent) which is the third-highest have not coughed. They understand that this reflects reality.
But sadly, Akwa Ibom State which after Civil Service work, the highest employing job is the Hallelujah boys industry chooses to play the ostrich. Isn’t it quite disturbing that we are used to ” We no go gree” especially on matters that concern our advancement?”
Nevertheless, if we were Anambra State (13.1 per cent) ranked as the State with the lowest unemployment rate in the country, we would have been celebrating that feat on the pages of National Newspapers. The report would have doted the speeches of every politician. It is worrisome why we continue to display a certain level of insecurity when faced with the bitter truth.
If pain with the hard facts, it is time to ask ourselves: Shall we continue to play to the gallery with illusionary expectations for grace to abound in NBS report? To progress, it is time to swallow the bitter pills.