By Amos Etuk
As Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State begins the second term of his administration, following his successful re-election, he has the set template for his legacy projects under the broad theme, ‘The Completion Agenda’. The governor is apparently already on the path of consolidating the foundation of his five-point agenda, which began in his first term.
It is indeed a new season for the people of Akwa Ibom State, a dawn that is sustained on a guaranteed future of economic prosperity and the renewed commitment as the Servant Leader. The renaissance of the leadership of Emmanuel is a renewal of commitment to hold government in trust for the people, as he serves out his Divine Mandate.
It is also that glorious season when the promises fulfilled in his first term have become reference points of excellence of global interest that has made the state a continous destination for investors and new possibilities for sustained economic development.
In four years, Emmanuel has successfully secured the future of Akwa Ibom State with an industrial policy that has berthed several industries including the Toothpick Factory, Metering Factory at Onna, Syringe Factory at Onna, Ibom Paints at Etinan, Rice Mill at Ini, Fertilizer Blending Plant at Abak and the entrepreneurial success story of agricultural growth through the establishment of the Akwa Ibom Enterprise and Employment Scheme (AKEES) which has revolutionised the sector with new opportunities that has increased the economic indices of the state.
In four years, the infrastructural development across the state has been overwhelming and surpassed superior performance with a wider reach of development in areas previously neglected by other administrations and the intervention directive in other key sectors like health which has led to the rehabilitation of the famous St. Luke’s Hospital, Anua, Uyo, the Etinan General Hospital, the General Hospital, Ituk Mbang and the education sector where the free and compulsory basic education in public schools has been sustained, payment of N600 million WAEC fees for indigenes in public schools annually and the renovation of public schools across the 31 local government areas of the state.
In four years of his sterling leadership, Emmaunuel has changed the face of sports development in Nigeria that has today made the state a hub for new talents and home to the best sporting activities in the country.
A winner of the prestigious Best Sports Governor in 2017, he made his first strike at sporting success barely few months in office when Akwa United won the Federation Cup in 2015 and that first national sporting laurel has opened more victorious outings for various teams in the state to excel as well as making the state the home to the Super Eagles of Nigeria in their qualification series for the 2018 World Cup.
The Akwa Ibom Youth Sports Festival, the very first of its kind in Nigeria has discovered budding talents that has placed the state on the medal podium of national and international meets including the National Youth Games and the last National Sports Festival where the state has been at the summit in all her appearances in the last four years.
In four years, the synergy between the judiciary and the state legislature (the Sixth Assembly) remains commendable with respect for each arm in the drive towards building the greatness of the development of Akwa Ibom State.
In four years so far, Governor Udom Emmanuel has restored the confidence of the people of Akwa Ibom State in the enabling ambience of peace prevalent that has given a renewed commitment for more service delivery as well as investment growth which has enhanced new indices for development.
The journey of ‘The Completion Agenda’ of this amiable governor whose visionary strides have been applauded began last Friday where a new dawn beckoned with the re-dedication service organised by the Fathers of Faith in the State to lay a new foundation for a spiritual template and God’s guidance for the next four years.
The re-dedication service with the theme ‘The Earth is the Lord’s’ is the very first of its kind by any administration in Nigeria and clearly shows the heart of love Emmanuel has in serving God and committing the state into His hands with the faith and re-assurances of the secured future that has been bestowed on the land.
The first steps of the next four years (2019-2023) have been taken with the milestones in the aviation sector with the reality of a state owned airline, Ibom Air changing the narrative of the industry in Nigeria and putting Akwa Ibom State as a destination of greater influx for opportunities as well as new economic frontiers with the scheduled commencement of commercial flights from the Obong Victor Attah International Airport to designated routes across the country.
The arrival of three aircrafts, a demonstration flight, the completion of sales outlets and administrative departments at various airports in the country has shown a well laid out plan to ensure the sustainability of the Ibom Air to offer services and reach destinations that will make the people of the state proud. The aviation industry in the state remains strategic in enhancing industrialization and the set targets of the next four years include the building of a main terminal at the Obong Victor Attah International Airport, construction of a power station to supply electricity to the airport and the establishment of a flight training school.
In the next four years, The Completion Agenda offers a holistic approach to the implementation of the industrialisation drive, security, infrastructure, aviation development agriculture, human capacity, small and medium scale development as well as rural development.
It will chart the course for enhancing Internally Generated Revenue, the establishment of a petroleum refinery in the state, the actualization of the Ibom Industrial City and the Ibom Deep Sea Port as long term economic strategies that will foist integrated opportunities for national development.
It will also provide the template to facilitate the process of completion of the MRO Hanger, the Coconut refinery, the modular refinery, the establishment of a Free Trade Zone as well as the emergence of more industries which will create more job opportunities.
The foundation of the economic growth presently being savoured in Akwa Ibom State lies in the strength of the establishment of small and medium scale enterprises and with the signing of the Akwa Ibom Micro Enterprise Development Agency Bill in 2017, Emmanuel has given new opportunities to teeming entrepreneurs to take advantage of easy access to capital to set up businesses that will have long term economic benefits to Nigeria.
The set targets in this sector in the next four years will be the establishment of more vocational schools, encouragement of cooperative societies as well as increase the presence of small and medium scale industries in 2023.
Rural development has been set as a primary target to connect the infrastructure to national grid. The set target is to enhance the standard of living of the people in the rural areas and the promise to tackle these challenges and deliver also sets a new definition of a fresh breathe of renaissance.
The fulfilment of the sustained peace in the state has been well channelled to be vigorously pursued in The Completion Agenda of Governor Udom Emmanuel as templates to work in synergy and provision of all dynamics in making the state secure will be provided, while the agenda to complete all road networks in the state in 2023 remains on course.
The Housing Policy for the next four years will ensure the provision of decent housing scheme to the people of the state through Public, Private Partnership (PPP), as well as the completion of the International Worship Centre, completion of the 21-storey office building complex in Uyo and other set targets to enhance the lives of the people, while the power sector which has improved in the last four years will be surpassed with projected 24-hour power supply with the construction of more sub power stations and procurement of transformers and overhauling of facilities were necessary.
Sports in the next four of the Emmanuel administration will remain at the pivot of his legacies. Already, Akwa United has qualified for the Super Six competition of the 2018/2019 Nigeria Professional Football League abridged season with very bright prospects of winning the league for the first time and qualifying to represent Nigeria at the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) Champions League next season. The third Akwa Ibom Youth Sports Festival is scheduled to hold in June this year and the Eket International Stadium has reached an advanced stage of completion.
Women have played an integral role in the success story of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration and the pivotal role and support given by the First Lady of Akwa Ibom State, Her Excellency, Deaconess Martha Udom Emmanuel through her pet Project, FEYREP, will continue to enhance the lives of the less privileged in the state, while the agricultural sector will have a new policy framework that will not only provide food to the people but also generate jobs and create wealth for the people.
It is expected that when the Seventh Assembly of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly will be proclaimed and inaugurated in the first week of June, the synergy , mutual respect, cordial working relationship and independence in the legislative functions and quality legislation will be enhanced between all arms of the government in surpassing the provision of more democratic dividends.
In Akwa Ibom State, the beginning of the second term of Governor Emmanuel is now beyond the endorsement and overwhelming mandate given to him and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the 2019 general election, it is a renewed mandate of the faith of the people in a leader they believe in and his commitment to serve with utmost humility and sincerity in giving a stronger depth and content in service delivery as well as taking bold steps, bold decisions, bold initiatives with strong scriptural values of faith to walk the path of history.
History will be kind to Emmanuel and the future will remain prosperous for generations to come. This is the Completion Agenda for the people of Akwa Ibom State and in the words of Johann Von Schiller, a playwright, ‘He who has done his best for his own time has lived for all times.’ The future is indeed secure in Akwa Ibom State.
Amos Etuk writes from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State