Okon Bassey in Uyo
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State yesterday explained why his state was not among those that negotiated for the bail-out funds from the federal government.
He explained that the state government did not collect the bail-out funds because he did not want to mortgage the future of the Akwa Ibom people especially the youths.
The governor gave the clarifications while fielding questions from journalists while inaugurating more than 50 internal roads as part of activities to mark the forth coming democracy day celebrations in the state.
Emmanuel boasted that his administration would continue to deliver even in the midst of challenges, as he tasked civil servants and pensioners in the state who are qualified for pension and who have not been paid to come forward with proof.
He said he would continue to plan and implement strategies aimed at building a strong economy for the state hence his reason for a strong industrialisation drive.
â€œWe have a blueprint for the development of the state and aggregating efforts towards that, and so we should have no excuse not to deliver even in the midst of challenges and constraints. We should be able to do the much we can,â€ he said.
Emmanuel said the state is blessed with much natural resources, adding that it would amount to injustice to the people if the resources are not utilised.
In addition to other industrial efforts, he said machineries have been put in place to process and package food related products with some of the products to serve as sources of material for further production by manufacturing firms that would still spring up in the state.
He said arrangements had been concluded for the building of a modern cocoa plant that would compete with others in the international market, adding that his emphasis on coconut production and processing remained a plant with over 300 uses with a live span of about 90 years.
With direct and indirect employment opportunities resulting from the multiple chains of activities in the coconut business, the governor assured his state that over 160,000 employment opportunities would be created for indigenes and residents.
He maintained that his focus on internal and rural roads was to address the socio economic challenges of people at the grassroots, adding: â€œI want people at the grassroots to also feel the impact of my administration, and though these roads are short, their summation will make much impact in the lives of the people.â€