By Mceva Temofe
It is no longer news that one man with the active participation of citizens from various walks of life can build a Nation. A Nation is built on a dedication of non-corruptible leaders, its citizens, and a small amount of planning by the government. Yet to be proven beyond doubts, are a million respectable reasons, to behold a one-man’s portfolio, who has a lot to unfold and accomplish. Have we also forgotten that it is better to test the waters before one goes for a dive? There is always an exception. His Excellency, Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, it is. He is a man who knows what governance is and what nation-building entails.
Despite all these, his love to serve his people was always utmost. He believed in laying good footprints on the sands of time. That was where he desired to obey the clarion call of his people and resigned as Secretary to the State Government to contest the Governorship election of 2015, which he won overwhelmingly under the flagship of the People’s Democratic Party. As a governor, during the first 100 days in office, His Excellency had a wide landscape with the inauguration of several developmental projects across the state that will be a swift action plan for the federal level when elected. He launched a moral rebirth and self-motivation initiative, the dakkada campaign, urging Akwa Ibomites to rise to the faith of greatness and ask the people of Nigeria to key into such a laudable project. Governor Udom Emmanuel is contesting for the Office of the President in 2023 under the Flagship of the People’s Democratic Party not just to contest but a make Nigeria a habitable country for all and a tourist-attractive nation.
Governor Emmanuel’s wife, Her Excellency, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel, whose Pet Project; ‘’Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Programme’ is changing lives and giving hope to the widows and women across the state and in this belief, if this laudable initiative goes national, Nigeria would be a better place to coexist.
At the entrance into his first tenure in office as governor, He specifically anchored a 5-point agenda where his primary objectives were Wealth Creation, Economic and Political Inclusions, Poverty Alleviation, Infrastructural Consolidation, and Expansion, as well as Job Creation in doing all of these, being a president of Nigeria is just another step to achieving greater height.
In view of the Mandate of the Governor Udom Emmanuel-led administration to consolidate on the gains of uncommon transformation witnessed across Akwa Ibom State today and his commitments to completely industrialise the state is a fact that this will be achieved in the center.
In the agricultural sector alone, some notable achievements of the Udom Emmanuel led administration, including the establishment of a large hybrid rubber nursery at Ebighi Anwa, Okobo L.G.A in partnership with Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria, for distribution to rubber farmers at highly subsidised rates; the refurbishing of Cassava Processing Factories at Ikot Okudom, Eket L.G.A; Nung Udoe, Ibesikpo/Austin LGA and Ikot Ekang in Abak L.G.A and leasing to private operators for the production of high-quality garri, odourless fufu, and cassava flour; Procurement and distribution of 30,000 Hybrid Plantain Suckers to 700 farmers as well as Installation of Maize Preservation/Shelling Machine at Nung Udoe. Establishment of demonstration plots on various agricultural technologies for the transfer of improved technologies to farmers through Akwa Ibom Agricultural Development Programme (AKADEP); Planting of 500 citrus seedlings, 600 hybrid plantain suckers, and 1,000 pineapple suckers at the Horticulture Garden in Uyo LGA to mention but a few…
In furtherance of entrepreneurship development, the Udom-led administration undertook the construction of Akwa Ibom Traders’ ultra-modern market, Mbak Ikot Oku, with 25,000 shops, a Bank, Clinic, Fire, and Police Stations, and trained 200 Akwa Ibom youths trained on solar panel installation/maintenance. It also provided over N2,000,000,000 interest-free loans for small-scale entrepreneurs and traders.
As regards infrastructural consolidation and expansion, the Emmanuel Udom administration has delivered on its promises. Some of the completed projects include the dualisation of the 19.5km Eket – Ibex Road, 12.742 km Awa Iman – Asong – Ikot Edim – Ikot Emem road with 2No Bridges in Onna and Mkpat Enin Local Government Areas, Emergency Rehabilitation of Okopedi Road by Community Health Centre through Oti – Oron in Okobo Local Government Area, Construction Of Gully Erosion Control Facilities at Oron/Isangedighi Road. Other completed projects include the 6.1km Atan Offot Road in Uyo Local Government Area, the 5.1km Internal Roads in Akwa Ibom State University, Obio Akpa, as well as the 4.6km School of Arts and Science Road, Nung Ukim, Ikono Local Government Area.
During Udom’s second term in office as Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom, His agenda w was anchored on 8 points: Industrialisation, Aviation Development, Rural, and Riverine Area Development, Agriculture, Human Capacity Development, Security, Infrastructure, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises. In terms of industrialization, His drive is fueled by his desire to transform the state from a civil service state to a fully industrialised state.
Two projects that stood out were Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Company and Metering Solutions Manufacturing Services Limited. With a production capacity of 350 million, the Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Company is the largest syringe company in entire Africa. The company, which is in Awa, Onna Local Government Area of Akwa-Ibom state, was established in 2017, for the purpose of producing disposable syringes of best quality raw materials produced in different sizes, 2mL, 5mL, 10ml. Little wonder that the company, just recently, bagged the (ISO) certification for quality, having conformed with the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 13485:2016, International Standards. Located also in Awa, Onna Local Government Area is the wholly-owned indigenous company, Metering Solutions Manufacturing Services Limited, whose goal is to meet the metering needs of Nigeria. Working one shift, the company currently has the capacity to produce 1,200,000 electricity metres annually. Its capacity will increase to 3,600,000 electricity metres annually if the production shift is increased to two shifts. As a result of its high quality, there is so much demand for its electricity metres, which it now supplies to Eko, Kano, and Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Companies. Furthermore, the company exports its metres to The Gambia and Liberia. The company is exploring exports to Niger Republic and Zambia. The establishment of these companies will inevitably lead to the creation of more jobs, and positively impact the health and power sector.
In terms of aviation, Akwa Ibom is the only state in Nigeria with an airline company, Ibom Air. Commencing operations in 2019, Ibom Air currently has a fleet of seven bombardiers CRJ 900 aircraft, and currently covers 6 destinations (Uyo, Lagos, Abuja, Calabar, Port Harcourt, and Enugu). The airline which has an unmatched record of schedule reliability and on-time departure has employed Akwa Ibomites not just in low and entry-level to senior positions, but in the very highly skilled aviation professions of Piloting, Cabin Crew, and Aircraft Maintenance Engineering, numbering over 200.
A notable remark from the Vice president of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has said he is very proud of governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state for his great achievements in the area of infrastructure and industrialization in six years of his stewardship as the governor of the state. Osinbajo spoke while commissioning the 21-Storey Dakkada Towers in Uyo.
With this massive development in Akwa Ibom State, this is the right time for Nigeria needs a leader and an achiever with a work track record. This is a time of reflection, a time to develop, a time to make our economy strong, a time to give hope to our people, and a time to live in a country where we have better electricity, employable industries, and internationally admired foreign reserve.
• Temofe, Purple Hundred Company CEO writes in from Abuja