Ndifreke P. Akpan (Govt House)
In line with his promise to pay attention to manpower development to enable indigenes of the State to be part of the emerging industrial revolution pervading the State as well as fill extant State’s quota at the Federal level, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State yesterday announced the creation of a full fledged Ministry to oversee Labour and Manpower Planning.
He has also appointed a renowned academic, Professor Victor Bassey Inoka as pioneer Commissioner.
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Governor Emmanuel made the promise during the swearing in of 19 commissioners and 2 special advisers as members of the State EXCO at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Uyo.
” I intend to create a full ministry to handle manpower planning for the State in general and we have a whole lot of people to train”, the Governor averred.
He said that “with the new airline, Government must go outside the country to look for Akwa Ibom indigenes who studied aeronautics engineering to come and undergo on the job trainings with experts from Bombardier so that they can take over as engineers of Ibom Airlines”, adding that a lot of manpower development and trainings are required in the State.
On the evolution of the new ministry, the State Chief Executive said, “Let professionals also come into the ministry. Today, you are impressed to see engineers even in the ministry”, noting that government must function effectively .
He urged stakeholders to know that as they play politics, they must look at manpower.
Governor Emmanuel who lamented the gradual erosion of sons and daughters of the State in many services including the Police, Airforce, among others stated that “So we have a whole lot to do in terms of manpower as we play politics in our State” .
The Governor who also lamented the fact that as a State, Akwa Ibom has not filled its own vacancies at the Federal Level to fulfill the requirement of the Federal Character Commission submitted that “these are some of the things we must begin to look at as a people, we must rise and fight for ourselves and make sure we get a few things done”.
Mr. Emmanuel took a swipe at those engaged in cutting corners advising that there must be a reorientation of the mind to bring about the much needed discipline.
“It is only one word that can take us from where we are today… that’s discipline.
Once we get that right, I think a lot of things would follow “, Emmanuel noted.
He pledged that he would not relent in his drive to make the State one of the greatest in the country.
On his pledge to support local initiatives and local contractors, he relived a story of how he went to inspect a job handled by a local contractor and told him of public criticism which opined that he (the contractor) would not be able to do the job, positing that what he saw (Governor) will give an answer to that insult.
“The result of this road and how enduring this will be, will give an answer to that insult”, Emmanuel stated with assurance.
Governor Emmanuel who said that they are several roads done by engineers from Akwa Ibom wondered why he should go to Germany to bring a contractor when he has contractors from Akwa Ibom State.
“How will I build my own people to reach the same height”, the Governor queried.
The State Chief Executive who pledged to continue to support local initiatives and patronise enterprising Akwa Ibom people concluded thus: “As a leader you are a fighter, who must fight for the cause of your people ”