Akwa Ibom State Governor, His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, last weekend tasked members of his newly constituted 22-man Executive Council to hit the ground running at a strategic retreat held in Lagos.
In his lead presentation at the retreat, which was meant to key the executive members into the agenda of his administration, Governor Emmanuel who congratulated the new appointees, said that despite the dwindling fortunes of the country, his government was thinking strategically in order to deliver on his campaign promises to Akwa Ibom people.
Reviewing the economy, the Governor mentioned that according to the National Bureau of Statistics, the nation’s GDP stood at 509.9 billion (rebased) and a growth rate of 5.0%; while inflation stood at about 9%, crude oil hovered at about 57 US Dollars, as at July 2015.
Mr. Emmanuel who noted that the situation posed a great challenge in sustaining comfortable livelihood for the citizens of the country, said the scenario called for States to look inward in order to create the requisite economic buffer that will help sustain infrastructural and social services like education, healthcare and roads development.
He said his administration was determined to stimulate industrial development and Foreign Direct Investment, as well as encourage local participation and engagement that will create economic activities, which will translate into jobs and better livelihood for the people of Akwa Ibom.
Already, according to the Governor, over 20 foreign investors have indicated interest in coming to set up shops in Akwa Ibom State. This, in addition to other strategic efforts of his government, he said, will create more employment opportunities for Akwa Ibom people.
The Governor therefore, called for support from all citizens, stakeholders and partners in the new drive towards economic development and charged his executive members to take the driver seat in their portfolios, in order to stimulate concrete positive actions targeted at the realization of his agenda for the State.
He emphasized the resolve of his administration not to compromise quality and excellence in project delivery, and consequently charged the Ministry of Works to ensure that all street lights in Uyo are in good working condition, with a view to reducing fuel usage on them.
The governor who charged the EXCO members to properly connect with people at the grassroots for effective representation of his government, said the continued development of Akwa Ibom International Airport has commenced with work on the Taxiway, and assured that the new terminal building will soon follow.
Governor Emmanuel assured that all ongoing projects will be executed to completion, and disclosed that a Due Process Office, that will be rules based, has been established to ensure seamless process in processing projects and requests.
Also, he announced the commencement of Human Resource Data Base for effective planning and training of human resources in Akwa Ibom.
Also in attendance at the retreat were the Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo; the Secretary to the State Government, Sir Etekama Umoren and the Head of the Civil Service, Mrs. Cecilia Udoessien.