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PETROLEUM MINISTER LAUDS AKWA IBOM GOVT AT INT’L PETROLEUM SUMMIT

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James Edet

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Silva, has commended Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, for creating an enabling environment for foreign investments to thrive in the state.

The Minister, who stated this during his stop over at the Akwa Ibom State exhibition stand at the ongoing Nigeria International Petroleum Summit holding at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, also acknowledged the proactive engagements of the Udom Emmanuel administration, which have made the state conducive for multinational companies and other investors.

Chief Sylvia who commended the state for its huge contribution to the national revenue purse, noted that with its vast deposit of hydrocarbons, Akwa Ibom State, like other oil producing states of the Niger Delta region, remain key in the global energy transition agenda.

The Minister mentioned that the state’s participation in the International Petroleum Summit is a worthwhile venture that will make the state more visible to the major industry players in the energy sector at the global level.

‘I must commend Akwa Ibom State for this. We must participate in the industry and resources that are in abundance in our territory. I am happy that you are setting the stage for the international community to see the state. This is the right way to go. This is something that other states should emulate’, the Minister said.

Welcoming the Minister to Akwa Ibom State stand, the Commissioner for Power and Petroleum Development, Dr. John James Etim, who is the head of Akwa Ibom State delegation to the Summit, informed Chief Silva and other members of the Minister’s delegation, which included top industry executives from Nigerian corporations and International Oil Companies, that Akwa Ibom State is a one stop destination of choice for business, offering very attractive opportunities for investment, wealth creation and leisure.

The Commissioner informed the Minister’s delegation that the state Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, has gone beyond round tables and other engagements with foreign investors to create strategic infrastructure needed to support investments in the state.

He emphasized that the personal profile of Governor Emmanuel as a reputable international investment expert, coupled with the state’s massive investment in infrastructure as well as the peaceful and hospitable nature of Akwa Ibom people, have endeared the state to investors as the preferred investment destination in the country.

Meanwhile the Akwa Ibom State exhibition stand at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit has continued to remain the centre of attraction, with industry players in the oil and gas sectors from Europe, America, Asia and other African countries expressing their willingness to visit and explore the investment opportunities in the state.

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Senator Akpabio is known for buying awards- Governor Udom’s Aide to Methodist Church Prelate

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•••Prelate Uche and Akpabio’s inglorious “Large Shoes” in Akwa Ibom

By Richard Peters

There are indeed various schools of thoughts, just like perceptions and opinions are free. But, inasmuch as people do not perceive things similarly, certain constructs could help them reason alongside the path of objectivity, truth and factual realities.
The Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr Sunday Chukwuemeka Kanu Uche, at his Interfaith Roundtable on Building a Culture of Peace and Unity in Nigeria, held in Abuja yesterday, had opined that the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, “left behind shoes too large for others to wear in Akwa Ibom State”.

He made the assertion while presenting the award of “Icon of Peace and Unity” to the former governor Godswill Akpabio. “I am saying this publicly and I am not mincing words, ” former governor Akpabio and the incumbent Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, left a very big shoe behind that is still very difficult to fill,” he said.
While, the Prelate may have been justified by whatever reason in lauding his awardee, his remark about the “very big shoe” allegedly left behind by the former Governor calls for deep thoughts in the minds of Akwa Ibom people. What could have prompted such comment? Did he hear anyone say that Akwa Ibom has not moved from where it was 6 years ago? Did he see school children roaming the streets of the State or being asked to pay fees? Or was he told that his so-called large-shoe wearer gave life to people of the State who have all now died since he left?

It is even more disturbing that one who is not resident in Akwa Ibom State and totally oblivious of the developmental pace, agricultural renaissance as well as the industrial revolution ongoing in the State would have the temerity to speak in such strong terms about a State which has in the last couple of days hosted the Former Presidents of his Country, the Vice President as well as the Senate President to a project commissioning spree.

It is also unfortunate that a whole Prelate of the renowned Methodist Church is not in touch with present realities in a state where he derives more than 40% of benefits from and is not informed enough to make grounded comments about Akwa Ibom State in public “without mincing words”.

On the other hand, one can be tempted to think he was reading a script prepared by his awardee’s boys whose ability to cook-up soured stories is not in doubt, or that he was being carried away by the financial gratifications expected from the “big-sized shoe” Senator and so, forgot the ethics of nationalism.
But whatever Prelate Uche meant by “left behind shoes too large for others to wear in Akwa Ibom State”, if subjected to close scrutiny will reveal that he probably allowed his tongue slip or intentionally intended to disparage and spite the goodwill of the State in the minds of right-thinking members of the public. For all we know, the big-sized shoes he was referring to were those of misappropriation of funds, white elephant projects, reckless spending and insecurity.

Available records have it that Akpabio was given an approval for the release of N72billion naira for the construction of the 25km Uyo-Ikot Ekpene road which constructed only 3km before leaving. He is also said to have been given over N150 billion for the uncompleted Tropicana Mall which he still left largely uncompleted. Not to mention the release of N19.5 billion for the uncompleted Etebi-Enwang road that was originally valued at N5billion naira and the release of billions of naira meant for the construction of the 8-lane Goodluck Jonathan Boulevard on papers whereas in reality the road is 4-lane.

Should one mention the N42 billion paid for Ibom Specialty Hospital he left uncompleted or the N25 billion fully paid yet uncompleted Four Point by Sheraton? What about the uncompleted Airport project? What happened to the N18 billion terminal building? Is the International soccer pitch (stadium) worth the reported $360 million dollars it allegedly gulped?

Prelate Uche need be informed that Akpabio left the state with huge debt, uncompleted white elephant projects and over N30billion pension arrears despite huge revenue the State got in his time as one of the top ten highest recipients of the federal allocations.
His administration promised 31 industries in 31 Local Government Area but saw none, but the Udom Emmanuel’s administration has delivered the Rice Mill, Fertilizer blending plant, Metering Company, Kings Flour Mill, Jubilee Syringe Factory and other industries which have given jobs to the unemployed Akwa Ibom youths including members of Prelate Uche’s church.
Today, Akwa Ibom State is on the 7th position as those with high IGR nationwide compared to the 11th position it was during Akpabio’s regime and Small scale enterprises are thriving better than has ever happened courtesy of the push given by Governor Emmanuel to promote self-sufficiency and reduce total reliance on white-collar jobs; and these SMEs have subsequently become employers of labour.

Even more, Investors today are lining up for the state because of the trust for the name, Udom Emmanuel, and the peace and friendly ambience provided by the present government. Every Akwa Ibomite who lived in the State during Akpabio’s regime can attest to the killing, maiming and kidnapping escapades which characterized the big shoe-size Senator’s reign but today, we can boast of safety of lives and properties, so much that people can now sleep with their two eyes closed.

It is noteworthy that Governor Udom Emmanuel is not seeking his applause or his award for anything, neither is he in competition with anybody but is on a serious committed and calculated process of transformation. Because he believes that government is a continuum, all of Akpabio’s uncompleted projects have been captured by Gov. Udom, unlike Akpabio who abandoned Attah’s former projects. Unfinished roads and structures as well as the free education and health policies have all been sustained.

The religious leader should NEVER attempt to speak on issues he has no idea about or undertake research and ask pertinent questions if he must speak on them. There is no loophole of the past administration which the present has not filled and cemented. Akpabio’s “large shoes” were inglorious and should never be compared with Governor Emmanuel’s deeds of integrity.

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AKSG INAUGURATES ENFORCEMENT COMMITTEE ON ANTI-OPEN GRAZING LAW

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The Akwa Ibom State Government has inaugurated a fourteen-membrr committee to monitor enforcement of the recently enacted “Law to prohibit Open Rearing and Grazing of Livestocks and Provide for the Establishment of Ranches and Livestock Administration, Regulation and Control, and Matters Connected therewith” in the state.

Performing the inauguration today, at the Government House, Uyo, the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, clarified that the law is not targeted at any group of persons but was necessitated by the rising need to ensure orderly organization of agricultural activities across the country, including Akwa Ibom State.

This, he stated, would be in the best interest of the entire Nigerian populace who need both the vegetables and tubers of the crop farmer as well as the meat and dairy products of the livestock farmer to balance his diet, stressing that a healthy population makes a healthy nation.

“The typical staple food on the table of an average Nigerian is a symbiosis of livestock products and crops: the swallow such as our garri, pounded yam, amala, the meat, fish and the vegetables. …the law is not anti any person. It is to make sure that we eat balanced diet, because if cattle destroys the vegetable component of what we eat, all the vitamins will be lost.When you ensure balanced diet, the population of Nigeria will be healthy and when the population is heathy we have a productive population”.

He reiterated that, as stated while signing the bill into law on September 18, 2021, that the major objectives of this law is to promote modern techniques of animal husbandry, create job opportunities and expand the value chain in livestock business and promote the production of high quality of livestock in the state in accordance with international best practices, rather than a witch-hunt tool against anyone.

Highlighting the Committee’s mandate therefore, the Governor said it shall, among other functions and powers, develop an integrated modern livestock development and production plan for the state, develop guidelines for the implementation of an integrated livestock production policy and make recommendations to the governor, consider and determine the suitability of a location proposed for establishment of a ranch in the state, ensure that livestock are reared at permitted ranches to prevent straying, impound any livestock that is left to graze outside a ranch and encourage peaceful coexistence between the ranchers, farmers and host communities.

The functions also include to prescribe guidelines for minimum hygiene standards for meat and dairy activities in personal, commercial and general ranches, inaugurate same committee at the Local Government level, give approval to the Local Government Committee for the establishment of Ranches in the Local Government Area, collaborate with relevant Ministries, Local Government Committee established under Section 12 and Department of Livestock at each LGA to ensure effective implementation of the Law in the State and any other functions incedental to the law or as may be directed by the State Governor.

Responding on behalf of the Committee members, the Chairman and Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Glory Edet, thanked God for blessing the State with fertile soil and good environment that support both crops and livestocks farming. She commended the leadership of Governor Udom Emmanuel for ensuring peace in the State and taking steps to secure the agricultural sector in the State by protecting the interest of the various parties in the sector.

Dr. Edet assured that the committee will make the State proud by ensuring a balance of interest between the crop and animal farmers in the State, adding that the committee will work in synergy with security agencies to ensure the enforcement of the law in the state.

Also speaking, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Uko Udom, SAN, and a member of the committee, said the inauguration of the committee was the first step towards enforcement of the anti open grazing law.
He explained that the committee will soon constitute sub-committees for public enlightenment and information, monitoring and surveillance, enforcement and other functions, to enhance its effective operation, stressing that the law was vioid of any political element.

The Committee also has the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Mary Bassey as Secretary .Other members include; the Honorary Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Fubara Duke,Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Security, Capt.Iniobong Ekong(rtd.),Permanent Secretaries in the Ministries of Lands and Water Resources,TPL.Aniekan Akpan(Ag.),Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs,Elder Ini Ikie ,Environment and Solid Minerals, Nsudo Nsudo and that of Health, Dr.Patrick Essiet. Also included in the Committee are the State Surveyor- General,Surv.(Mrs)Emem Isang ,Director of Verterinary Services and Livestocks,Ministry of Agriculture, Dr.Obot Obot, Director of Animal Husbandry, Ministry of Agriculture, Aniefiok Isong,Director of Forestry in the Ministry of Environment and Solid Minerals, Etido Eyo as well as the Director-General of the Akwa Ibom State Neighborhood Safety Agency,among others.

MEDIA UNIT
OFFICE OF THE SSG
08/10/2021

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PRESS RELEASE: ITA ENANG AND HIS FOOT IN THE MOUTH DISEASE

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As key supporters and ardent believers in Governor Udom Emmanuel, our attention has been drawn to an infantile and logically obtuse outburst by Senator Ita Enang, during an appearance on a local radio station yesterday morning.

In the course of the programme, Ita Enang, a man known to suffer from seemingly incurable disease of the diarrhoea of the mouth, which often leads him to peddle falsehood and logically confounding assertions that even someone who is mentally retarded would not be associated with, lived true to his character and billing.

He is reported to have stated among other manifestly false assertions that His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel will soon join the All Progressive Congress (APC.) He went ahead to draw his conclusion for peddling this lie, because Governor Emmanuel, recently invited the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbjajo, SAN, GCON and the Senate President, Dr. Ahmed Lawan, to commission the Dakkada Tower, the Dakkada Luxury Estate flag-off and the Uyo- Ikot Ekpene road respectively. He went further to say that because of this development, he has “granted” the governor “amnesty” from his usual vitriolic attacks; and that he is now his “friend.”

We would have totally ignored Ita Enang as we always do, since most of what emanates from his mouth are not products of reasoned or rational thoughts, but from a man whose relevance in both the State and National scheme of things have all but evaporated leaving him to seek relevance as a local radio station verbal bomb – thrower.

Let us state here unequivocally, that His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel, WILL NEVER JOIN THE APC, he has never entertained such thoughts and will never even deign such, a nanosecond consideration. He is a major Stakeholder of the Peoples Democratic Party, a loyal party man and a key member in the vanguard to position the PDP as the alternative to what has befallen Nigeria in the last six plus years of Ita Enang’s party rule.

We understand the desire and desperation for Ita Enang’s party to have a Five Star Governor, in the mould of Governor Emmanuel, whose performance has drawn commendations from key members of Ita Enang’s party, be associated with them, but sorry to disappoint you, Senator, Governor Udom Emmanuel is not going anywhere, he remains a PDP member for life!

It is sad and unfortunate that Senator Ita Enang would base his outlandish claims on the fact that Governor Emmanuel invited both the Vice President and the Senate President, both of the APC to help commission projects in the state as the reason for his fantasy- filled defection talk. Perhaps Ita Enang needs to be informed that Governor Udom Emmanuel has nationalist credentials and bonafides, and above all, sees himself as a professional in politics as opposed to being purely a professional politician. He still keeps friends he knew while in the private sector even if those friends belong to the other party.

We will not also deign Senator Ita Enang a response to all his false claims and pseudo self glorifications when everyone already knows his antecedence as a greedy and self centered professional politician, whose essence of living, is merely for his stomach infrastructural consolidation and expansion. As for his so called “amnesty” allusion, we can categorically maintain that he is the one who, actually needs amnesty from political oblivion and irrelevance he is fast sinking into.

SIGNED:

COMRADE FAITH MBOHO

CONVENER,

AKWA IBOM INTEGRITY ALLIANCE

 

10/10/2110/10/2110/10/21

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