As stakeholders set to evaluate the performances of various elected officers withintheir first 100 days of office, Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, says Governor Udom Emmanuel has performed creditably so far.
Speaking with newsmen in his office, Mr. Umanah explained that Governor Emmanuel had no problem hitting the ground running because he came into governance with a clear vision of how to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.
According to the Commissioner, “in line with his promise during the thanksgiving service after the inauguration of his administration, that he would serve and be ready to work for the good of the people of the State, Governor Emmanuel has taken concrete steps to move Akwa Ibom forward.”
He recalled that the governor, on his first official outing, few days after his inauguration, visited St. Luke’s Hospital, Anua, where he indicated the readiness of his government to improve the healthcare delivery in the State. Inspecting theatre, gynecology, children, general, pediatrics wards, among others, Governor Emmanuel invited the management of the hospital for discussion on how to improve the facility.
To jump-start his vision of making Akwa Ibom the new industrial hub in Nigeria, Mr. Umanah said the governor soon after assumption of office, inaugurated a 10-man Technical Committee on the Actualisation of Ibaka Deep Seaport, with Barr. (Mrs.) Mfon Usoro, a one-time Director-General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) as Chairman.
On that occasion, according to the Commissioner, the Governor who remarked thatthe list of countries that trace their roots of rapid industrialization to seaports is endless, and that Foreign Direct Investments, emphasised “Ibaka Deep Seaport is an audacious attempt to re-write the maritime story of Akwa Ibom State. It holds the promise of an industrial revolution of our State. It holds the promise of the creation of over 100, 000 jobs. It holds the promise of a self-sustaining commercial city with oil and gas support service. it holds the promise of our finally tapping into our awesome and largely untapped maritime potentials.”
The Information Boss, while noting that the people of Akwa Ibom were blessed to have Governor Emmanuel at the helms of affairs, said “the path for the next-level development of the State has already been chatted to consolidate the enviable position of Akwa Ibom in the comity of States in Nigeria and on the international scene.”
The Commissioner who expressed his conviction that the Governor had put up a five-star performance so far, said the administration, among other milestones, had also inaugurated a Technical Committee on Foreign Direct Investment and another Technical Committee on Agriculture and Food Sufficiency.
He said the commitment of Governor Emmanuel to rapid industrialization of the State spurred him to take steps towards the reacquisition and rehabilitation of Peacock Paints in Etinan and the recent groundbreaking for the establishment of an automobile assembly plant in Itu. The plant by Mimshac Merkavim Transportation Technologies, would assemble Armoured Personnel Carriers, fire trucks, ambulances and luxury cars.
Mr. Umanah recalled that at the groundbreaking ceremony, where the Governor who affirmed his commitment to fulfil his campaign promises, described the automobile plant as “the first chapter in the book of industrialization.”
For the Information Commissioner, one of the greatest achievements of Governor Udom Emmanuel so far, is the initiative to send 1,000 Akwa Ibom youths for training in cloud computing at Oracle, the world’s largest software firm, situated in California, USA.
According to him, “the training will open up the beneficiaries to a world of unlimited opportunities that greatly establish the State as a leader in the ICT in this part of the world.” He said, cloud computing, a data management business solution, is an area where Oracle has comparative edge advantage, and in high demand by any big and modern corporations.” As such Oracle trained professionals are highly sought for lucrative employments that could fetch salaries as high as $55,000.
The positive effects of the policies and programmes of the new administration, Mr. Umanah maintained are justified by the over 20 foreign investors who have indicated interests in coming to set do business in Akwa Ibom State.
On infrastructure maintenance and development, the Commissioner said the Governor has so far proven that the he was guided by ‘infrastructure expansion and consolidation ‘ elements of his manifesto. Therefore, he said the new administration has gone ahead to intervene in the deplorable gully erosion ravaging the federal Calabar-Itu highway at Enen Atai, in Itu local government area as well as one ravaging the School of Nursing in Anua, Uyo local government area.
He said the new administration has awarded contracts for the construction of a 3.5km Ikot Udom Road, with 15m span bridge and the construction of 5km Ikot Usop-Ikot Edeghe-Ikot Ekpuk Road with 30m span bridge in Ibiono local government area and Mkpat Enin local government areas, respectively.
He further stated that contracts for the construction of 5km Mkpok-Okat Road in ONNA local government area as equally been awarded in addition to emergency works in the completion of Outfalls and Urban Roads in Oron.
For more dividends of democracy to accrue to the electorate who massively voted for Gov Udom Emmanuel during the last governorship election, Mr. Umanah said “Akwa Ibom people should continue to support Governor Emmanuel in his bid to take the State to higher pedestals of socio-economic development.” He urged them to shun divisive tendencies and remain loyal to the vision of a greater Akwa Ibom.”