The Government of Akwa Ibom State identified sustainable development of rural communities as inevitable in pursuit of economic diversification.

The Commissioner for Rural Development made this known while addressing village chiefs, women and youth leaders, community stakeholders and indigenes of Ika Local Government Area at Nto Udo Enwan yesterday.

The visit was in continuation of the routine tour of villages in the State, which had earlier taken the Commissioner to Ini, Nsit Atai, Onna, Mkpat Enin and Oruk Anam LGAs, will continue until the entire State is covered. He declared, adding that tour was necessitated by the passion and willingness of the present administration impact rural communities positively. “We cannot afford to sit in the comfort of our offices to meet that.” Sampson said.

Considering the moribund economic state of the Nation, the State has been compelled to diversifying the flanking of our economy. This, he said would need the cooperation and collaboration of rural communities like Ika in providing land for agriculture and other government interventions. He acknowledged that Ika Local Government is very important and strategic in the State, being endowed with vast and fertile land.

The Rural Development Boss therefore declared that the rural communities hold the key to the much desired diversification, solicited the cooperation and collaboration of rural communities with the State Government.

Barrister Sampson, elaborating the present infrastructural deficit in the area, encouraged the people that the Government was aware of their plight as they were all captured in the Akwa Ibom Rural Development Master Plan (AK-RDMP). He added that his visit was necessary to ascertain the current status and report back to the Governor accordingly.

Highpoint of the visit was inspection of the electricity substation in Nto Udo Enwan, which according to the community was built in 2007 but never put use. The Commissioner, decrying the state of ruin on the facility, said ‘if you see Government bringing anything to your community, please take them as your property and take every step to protect them.

Responding on behalf of the Community, Chief Boniface Akpan Josiah, a former Customs officer and Secretary of Nto Udo Enwan village council appreciated the Commissioner, Permanent Secretary and staff of the Ministry of Rural Development for coming all the way to visit to the community, acknowledging it as first ever. Chief Josiah also expressed excitement on how the Commissioner was detailed on the issues of Ika, describing his words as soothing.

The spokesman appreciated the Governor Udom Emmanuel led administration for choosing their son as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry and reassured support of his community for the government in terms of land for agriculture and any programme and any project that would promote the interest of Ika people.

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