By Amos Etuk
It is the season of political consolidation across the country. It is that season where history beckons on the people to make a choice that would chart the course of their future under the present political dispensation of our struggling nation, Nigeria.
It is that season where leaders, visionary leaders see beyond the horizon of the landscape of the future of the society they govern as new templates usher new hopes, new possibilities, new beliefs and policies that will give the people a firm belief and faith in leadership to chart a prosperous future.
For Akwa Ibom State, the Land of Fulfilment the laudable strides in superior performance in governance under the leadership of His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel is a committed approach in making decisions that has enhanced long term policies directed at yielding positive results for human development and the successful implementation of life touching capital projects.
The dawn of this new foundation in Akwa Ibom State is hinged on the five point agenda of job creation, poverty alleviation, wealth creation, economic and political inclusion and infrastructural consolidation which today has turned the State into a desired destination for investments and industrial hub expanding and exploring new economic frontiers that over the years have increased the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the State economy.
In over three years of leading the people of Akwa Ibom State and driving the vision to meet the set targets of the Akwa Ibom Project, Governor Udom Emmanuel has delivered beyond expectations of even his greatest critics and despite the challenging economic dynamics affecting the nation, has positioned the State on the right track of a rapid economic transformation.
For the people of Akwa Ibom State, there can be no other choice when the gubernatorial polls will hold on March 2, 2019 as an overwhelming majority have a firm faith on the amiable leadership strides of Governor Udom Emmanuel to continue the lofty programmes he has initiated for the people.
Perhaps, the greatest focal point of his administration in the past three years has been the dawn of a sustained peace upon the State which has transcended into every sector. That Akwa Ibom State today is referred as Nigeria’s peace model State with an ambience that has given the people new hope can be attributed to the calm mien of this great leader whose sincerity and upbringing has made him focused that the unity, peace and love happily sustained under his leadership follows the path of the visions of the founding fathers of the great State.
Investments in Akwa Ibom State over the past three years have been encouraging and the industrialisation drive of the Governor Udom Emmanuel administration have left new legacies in the landmarks of the State with 14 industries fully established, changing the economic fortunes of the people and laying a new prosperous future for the brighter horizon of future generations.
Some of the industries established so far under the present administration include the Pencil factory at Etinan Local Government Area, the Syringe and Metering Factory at Onna Local Government Area, the Rice Mill at Ini Local Government Area, Fertilizer Blending Plant at Abak Local Government Area, the Prime Hatchery at Uruan Local Government Area, the Plastic Factory at Itu Local Government Area, the Flour Mill Industry, Coconut Refinery, Hydro Form Block Industry just to mention a few.
Despite the challenge of a dwindling economy with inconsistent policies at the centre nationally, the visionary approach to governance has made the implementation of these Projects become a reality with a conducive a peaceful atmosphere that has attracted several investors to Akwa Ibom State and enhanced tourism development to its best potentials.
At a time the Federal Government was contemplating the commencement of manufacturing pencils in the country, Akwa Ibom State has successfully commissioned the Pencil Factory providing employment opportunities using available raw material with huge commercial turnovers.
In the ever expanding economic terrain, the establishment of the toothpick factory has been a successful channel for new window of opportunities and possible export while the Syringe Factory which has been described as Africa’s largest can adequately cater for the needs of the continent with the total number produced in huge commercial quantity.
During the 30th Anniversary of the State creation last year, Vice President, Prof.Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) described the facility as a legacy as Akwa Ibom State was offering new economic platforms that will enhance national development. The syringe factory can produce over 300 million units and it is expected that the set targets will multiply by the end of this year as it breaks the shores of the international market.
The Metering Factory in Onna which is also fully operational is meeting the challenges of the power sector across the country even as the bold steps taken by the Udom Emmanuel administration has ensured an improved power supply across communities.
The Rice Mill at Ini Local Government Area is revolutionary in the agricultural sector of the State. The very first of its kind, the Project which was commissioned last month has clearly shown the bold steps towards achieving food sufficiency for the people of Akwa Ibom State.
The agricultural renaissance in the State has seen the improved yields in seedlings for planting, improved yields in foodstuffs with reduced prices for consumers and the revolution of the AKEES programme which has made it realistic for crops like onions, tomatoes, cucumber and other vegetables hitherto thought not possible to sustain on the soils of the State now feasible with bountiful harvests and greater interests for farming especially with individuals in the urban areas.
The industrial quest of the Governor Udom Emmanuel continues to thrive as the Coconut Refinery in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area, the very first of its kind in Africa continues to offer employment opportunities for the youths. The economic prosperity of this project which has over 365 uses and the reality of the production of crude coconut oil on the international market is added revenue to the State.
The road infrastructure renaissance has continued to get more attention from Governor Udom Emmanuel as the three Senatorial Districts have had impactful presence in sustaining and expanding the road networks across the State in enhancing social and economic development.
For the records, Governor Udom Emmanuel is the very first Chief Executive of the State to have set foot at Ibaka , Mbo Local Government Area. In his second year anniversary, he inaugurated the 3.2KM road in Ibaka leading to the Delmar Harbour and Tank Farm with a twenty five year guarantee on the durability of the road especially with the influx of major oil and gas players to the area.
The health sector has continued to receive quality attention with the renovation of the St.Luke’s Hospital Anua, Uyo, the General Hospital Etinan, the Methodist Hospital at Itu Mbang in Uruan Local Government Area just to mention a few.
Education has been a major cornerstone laying the foundation of the future for generation of tomorrow’s leaders in the State with the sustained free and compulsory basic education for pupils and students’ .It is on record that Akwa Ibom State spends N600M on WAEC fees for students in public schools.
At a time when most States of the Federation failed to utilise their bailout funds in enhancing the welfare of workers, the story is different in Akwa Ibom State as workers welfare have been enhanced with a synergy and cordial relationship between the civil service and the State Government.
The State Legislature, the Sixth Assembly has worked with cordial respect and understanding with the Executive to ensure that legislation reflects a deep interest to protect the people while other arms of government including the Judiciary have implemented new reforms for better welfare.
Sports, Nigeria’s biggest tool of national unity has positioned Akwa Ibom State as Nigeria’s sports destination.
In 2015, barely six months into his administration, Akwa United won the Federation Cup. That victory, the first by any sitting Governor of Akwa Ibom State earned the team a continental ticket. In 2017, Akwa United won the maiden Aiteo Cup and another opportunity to be among Nigeria’s representatives on the continent the next football season.
The State has set the basics of going back to grassroots sports with the hosting of the Akwa Ibom Youth Sports Festival for Primary and Secondary School Students. The success of these events which have been held successively in the past two years has seen Team Akwa Ibom excel at the National Youth Games and the just concluded National Sports Festival.
The Super Eagles have found a home in Akwa Ibom State as the Road to Russia 2018 was successfully hosted by the Akwa Ibom State Government. Governor Udom Emmanuel is a proud recipient of the Award of Nigeria’s Best Sporting Governor.
In Akwa Ibom State, everyday, new opportunities, new ideologies and new beliefs drive the people in championing the course of their destiny. As a people driven by the commitment to excel in their endeavours, there is a new gateway to the new destination of Nigeria’s emerging new economy beyond oil.
It’s an election year and the people of Akwa Ibom State have a destiny to fulfill with the Divine Mandate of Governor Udom Emmanuel and with the horizon that beckons, the mandate to consolidate on the gains of the last three years has come to dawn that the future, the prosperity of this great State will fall on the shoulders of this leader whose Government has surely delivered. Truly, history beckons on Emmanuel Udom.