Sep. 21 (THEWILL) – The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, has expressed satisfaction with his performance over the past seven years, despite the challenges of COVID-19 and the Nigerian economic situation, stressing that after conquering the aviation sector, Akwa Ibom has also become a pioneer in road infrastructure.
The governor, who expressed it on Tuesday, during a media meeting with journalists in Uyo, said that the first group of trainees were already undergoing training to provide the necessary technical staff for Nigeria’s flagship airline.
According to him, his administration, apart from urban roads, has witnessed the construction of more than 113 inland roads, while major cities in the state have been connected by two-lane roads, making travel in the state easier and safer, although the ease of doing business and evacuating agricultural products, especially from rural areas of the state, has attracted much interest.
“The type of road infrastructure we are putting in place is such that incoming governments will not repeat what we have already done, so they can channel money and effort into other areas.”
Governor Emmanuel explained that the state government has so far spent more than 1.2 billion naira to train the second batch of engineers and pilots in the state, along with aircraft manufacturers, Airbus , in a new initiative to reposition and increase the capacity of the state-owned airline. , Ibom Air.
He, however, expressed his delight at the airline’s progress in a short time, saying that the MRO facility at Victor Attah International Airport is 95% complete and will be ready before the end of the year and will help make the state the aviation hub of the region.
He said the airline’s inability to acquire more aircraft was due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, as most of the financial systems are tied to Russia, with the former Soviet Republic being however, faces trade and political sanctions and restrictions from many countries around the world.
“The state government is spending billions of naira to train and prepare the best hands of our natives for the growing opportunities in the aviation sector and especially Ibom Air. We have already sent the first batch of engineers and pilots to Airbus and the second batch is preparing to leave.
“We spend billions to train these people and that’s why I don’t care what part of the state any of the trainees come from. Airbus also does not know the local government where the trainees come from and if they find out that there are feelings in the selection of the trainees, they may decide to withdraw.
We even pray that they may evolve through their testing,” Governor Emmanuel said.
The Governor, however, said his administration has taken alternative steps to acquire more aircraft to bolster the airline’s fleet to build on the gains the airline has already made in the nation’s aviation sector.
He said the state government’s inability to achieve the progress envisaged in the construction of the Ibom deep sea port was due to foreign factors, but announced that a Korea-based developer would soon become a tenant. to help drive the development of the seaport forward.
He noted that his administration never played politics with the development of the state, the reason why the state government spent more than $34 million on the construction of the flood control project of the state. 8.4 km IBB Avenue, a facility that crossed 18 communities in three local councils. Areas of the state and carrying more than half of the flood waters generated in and around Uyo.
Regarding electricity, Emmanuel maintained that no state government has invested up to half of what Akwa Ibom has invested in the sector, pointing out that with the construction of five digital substations including one sixth on the pipeline, the state would complete its Electricity for All program. a.s.a.p.
The Governor also expressed his dissatisfaction with the PHEDC’s inability to distribute electricity efficiently, saying that the state consumes less than 70 MGW, even though the state power plant produces 115 MGW, adding that the government of the state also obtained a license to increase its electricity production to 640MGW of electricity.
“The good news, however, is that we have also obtained a distribution license using a utility company so that we can efficiently distribute the electricity we generate and ensure a 24-hour electricity supply in all parts. state as soon as possible,” he said.
Regarding education, the governor said that in addition to maintaining the free and compulsory education program, more than 5,000 educational facilities have been provided in schools across the state over the past seven years, but regretted that local vandals continued to thwart the efforts of the state government in this direction.
He maintained that the state government would not encourage the 21-story building constructed for international oil companies to be rented below its value and said he was confident that with a PDP administration at the federal level, the reluctance of CIOs to relocate to their area of operations would be a thing of the past.
Emmanuel called for supporting the state’s PDP candidate, Mr. Umoh Enoh, adding that his passion for youth empowerment and experience in business and the corporate world would bode well for the state. in the years to come.
He described recent calls for the state government to pay compensation to landowners on the Odikpani-Itu highways as unfair and immature, questioning why Akwa Ibom, which produces more than 35 percent of the country’s oil, would be considered not qualified to take full advantage of the winnings. oil profits tax, of which it remained a major contributor.
The Governor called on the natives of the state to always rise to the challenge of protecting the interests of the state at all times, adding that the state deserved more from the federal government, given its enormous contribution to the Nigerian economy.
“How do you expect a state to pay compensation to properties located on a road being built by the federal government? Who did the assessment and is it the practice? The amount of the contract for this route could have been sufficient for me to take the route to Aba.
“I call on our people not to be intimidated by anyone. Always have the interest of the state at heart,” he said.
Governor Udom Emmanuel has called on the media community and all the people of the state to do everything in their power to ensure that he succeeds in his recent appointment as Chairman of the Presidential Campaign Committee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election.
Recall that Governor Emmanuel was recently appointed and sworn in as Chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, with a mandate to deliver the party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to the presidency of Nigeria in 2023.