By Chioma Onuegbu
THAT Governor Udom Emmanuel inherited one of the best road networks in the country was not in any doubt. How he is moving the state forward is the challenge many stakeholders are now looking at which will determine his legacy.
The governor it seems may have inclined himself towards industrialisation as a legacy with which he would want to be remembered for.
Apart from reviving some moribund industries in the state such as the Peacock Paints located in Etinan local government area few months after coming into office, Emmanuel has laid the foundation stone for industrial projects such as the Automobile Assembly Plant in Itu and, LED industry also located in Itam, Itu LGA; Metering Industry in Awa-Iman in Onna LGA.
Recently the governor performed the groundbreaking of a petrochemical terminal/ Jetty in Itak Idim Nne Ekpe in Ibeno local government area.
The project is among other projects that delighted Akwa Ibom citizens especially those involved in the business and those from oil producing areas of the state.
Besides, the project is targeted at providing massive employment for the teeming idle youths of the area and indeed of the entire Akwa Ibom as well as empowerment programmes.
It will also provide training in different skills for the youths particularly those from the host community who never had the opportunity of going outside their immediate environment to look for white collar jobs due to lack skills acquisition and education.
Dr. Austin Odili, Chairman Delmar Group, was quick to note that the new terminal which is expected to be completed in 18months from the date of commencement will put an end to scarcity of refined products and the attendant security problems in the country.
His words, “People have gone through a lot just to buy fuel. So with this, there will be no scarcity anymore in the country. This is because it is going to store from 50, 000 to 150, 000 metric tons that can last Nigeria for one whole month and beyond. But the highest we have today in Nigeria is about 30, 000 metric tons. So that is a far cry. And with this there is extinction of demurrage payment in Nigeria shipping business.”
Bishop Etim Ante the South-South Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and a former Secretary of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) Akwa Ibom State branch that he had never doubted the ability of Emmanuel to fulfil his agenda to industrialize the state.
He pointed out that the ability of the governor to bring in such projects involving huge capital like the Petrochemical Terminal and Jetty despite the paucity of funds facing the present administration could be linked to his experience as a banker.
Ante added “You will agree with me that with his rich banking background he has brought in many investors who will partner the government to actualize his mission on the industrialization of Akwa Ibom State. Now all he needs is the massive support of the citizen.”
Policy on industrialization
However, the governor seems to be very much aware of the fact that Akwa Ibom people are expecting results from his administration as regards the policy on industrialization which encapsulates the five-point agenda unveiled on the day he declared to run for the governorship position.
On the day of his swearing in into office the governor had stated, “Our commitment to industrialization is irrevocable. We know that through industrialization we shall rewrite that Akwa Ibom story in job and wealth creation.”
Similarly, during the 17th Democracy Day celebration he had restated, “Our compass point remain the five point agenda of this administration namely, wealth creation, economic and