Appraising Emmanuel’s 30 Days In Office | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Appraising Emmanuel’s 30 Days In Office

Posted: Jul 6, 2015 at 12:01 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Idongesit Ashameri Uyo

Shortly after being sworn into office as Governor of Akwa Ibom State on May 29, 2015, Udom Emmanuel rose to address the people of the state with this declaration: “You have kept your part of the covenant and I intend to keep my part by executing the programmes I enunciated to you during my official declaration to run for the office of governor; one of which is to transform the economy of our state via industrialization and sustainable public-private sector initiative, thereby opening up opportunities for growth and improved living standards.”



Evidently not relying on his strength and experiences to arrive at his dream industrialized state, nor lead the state aright, Governor Emmanuel decided to take yet another step with his creator by declaring a three day fast, at the end of which he, along with other men of God, presented challenges facing the state to God.

Against the common practice in this part of the society, this first time governor spared no moment to study the act of governance without action, but having made the appointment of few key persons into the offices of Secretary to state government with Etekamba Umoren; Chief Press Secretary, Ekerete Udoh, and few others, Emmanuel considered the stage set  for the covenant he entered into with the people of the state.

From his prayer points during his inauguration, Solemn Assembly and the three day fast he organized, industrialization was revealed as his obvious target and his bold step towards this direction printed on the Constitution of an 11-Member Technical Committee for the realization of Ibom Deep Seaport, with Mrs. Mfon Usoro, a onetime Director General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), as chairman.

This burning desire to achieve an industrialized Akwa Ibom also reminded Emmanuel of his campaign promise to revitalize moribund industries and boost the economy of the State. Moved by this, he paid an unscheduled visit to the Peacock Paints Industry in Ikot Ekan, Etinan Local Government Area. The Governor, after inspecting the facility, constituted yet another Technical committee to assess the current condition of the moribund paint factory and advise government accordingly and within two weeks. The report, Daily Independent gathered, has been submitted, even as the state awaits revitalization of the moribund factory, expected to engage hundreds of unemployed youths.

It is in fulfillment of the 10th point of his inaugural speech; “To promote trade, commerce and tourism between Akwa Ibom and the rest of Nigeria, and in fact, the rest of the world”. Emmanuel within his first month in office approved the appointment of an 11-man Technical Committee on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), with Mr. Gabriel Ukpeh, an internationally celebrated auditor and partner and Risk Quality Leader for Africa at Price Water House Cooper (PWC), as Chairman.

Industrialization may have been his policy, but Emmanuel is obviously not rigid about this, as clearly evidenced in his move to invigorate a 78 year old secondary health facility, St. Lukes’ Hospital Anua, in Uyo Local Government Area. Established by the missionaries and managed by the Catholic Church, Uyo Diocese, this pioneer health facility has within the last few decades exist on past glories and in dire need of such intervention to serve the people better, especially in its well known gynecology issues.

It was a shameful fact that a basic necessity as pipe-borne water was not accessible to even up to five percent of the residents. No wonder the promise and move to revamp water supply to Uyo Metropolis in a short time to ensure the availability of potable water supply to the residents of Uyo Capital City and its environs was received with applause.

While some are of the view that redesigning Uyo Capital City master plan is not as urgent as arresting the general hunger in the land, this has found itself into Emmanuel’s priority list, hence receiving attention within the first one month. The essence is to make Uyo more modern to avoid congestion of traffic in the central area.

To improve food availability as promised during the electioneering, Governor Emmanuel has also appointed a 10- member technical committee on Agriculture and Food Sufficiency. The objective of this, according to him is to make Akwa Ibom a major food exporter in the country and agriculture a mainstream of her economy.

He has, within his first 31 days in office as Governor attracted relevant attention to the landslide threatening the only linkage between Akwa Ibom, her sister state, Cross River, and the rest of the world. The Calabar-Itu highway, situated at Enen Atai Itam Village in Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, was constructed by the military administration in the 70s.

Meanwhile, worried by the threat the landslide has posed to human and economic lives of the affected states and her people, as a major economic gateway, Emmanuel promptly took remedial measures to forestall further escalation and called on the federal government to enter into Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to construct and maintain the road which serves as economic nerve of the South-South Region. Daily Independent gathered that the federal government has quickly responded by indicating interest to repair the road.

As a state, the governor has also taken up such intervention to forestall further  loss of lives and valuables through accident on the Eket-Ibeno road, which he directed, on inspection, the contractor handling the road, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) to return to site with immediate effect. With a call on Exxon Mobil and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to partner with the State government to facilitated  completion of the long awarded road.

Improved power supply in some parts of the state within the first month of the present administration confirms reports that he, the Governor had met with the management of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDCO) to discussed issues bothering on the regular supply of electricity to the state and ways the State government can intervene to arrest the epileptic power supply she was hitherto known for. It was gathered that additional 20 mega watts of electricity was added to the State supply system, hence the obvious improvement.

However, the season has added yet another area which is crying for urgent and very desperate attention as many areas within the state capital are fast becoming unapproachable as a result of flooding. Residents of areas such as Urua Ekpa road, Atiku Abubarka Avenue, IBB way, and many other parts of the state capital have been sacked by flood.

Many in the state also seem to have some level of sympathy for the abandoned Science Park project initiated by the administration of former Governor Victor Attah. Report by the committee set up by the immediate past administration indicates that the project was 90percent mobilized and less than 40percent completed.

Reacting to the state of the project, a resident of Uyo, Uwem Umoh, said: “Governor Udom Emmanuel has taken very bold and convincing steps, but for his industrialization policy to work, he must let go certain sentiments and work towards redeeming the state’s huge investment on the Science Park project.”

Mrs. Felicia Bassey, a market woman commended the state governor for acting faster than expected, but however called on the state government to promptly convert the former site of Uyo Market to useful purpose.

In her words: “I want Governor Udom Emmanuel to make use of that former Uyo market, Governor Akpabio drove us out of that place and left it to become a forest and hideout for all forms of criminal activities, right in the heart of the town. See, I would even accuse government of aiding increased crime in Uyo, look at Ibom Plaza, people used to sell whatever they can to survive, but government kept chasing people up and down. Now the market is forest, the plaza is idle, containers have been destroyed, jobs are for people with high connections, how then do you expect an ordinary person to survive?” she lamented.

Some commentators have noted that notwithstanding the few grey areas that may require urgent attention, and judging from the speed the present administration is taking off with, Akwa Ibom people must rest assured that everyone will be positively touched. As advised by the immediate past governor, Godswill Akpabio, the people of the state need to exercise patience, with the expectation that the packages the present administration is rapidly unfolding are sure to go round.