Amid the dust raised by the N18,000 national minimum wage by many states who say they don’t have the resources to pay, Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio says his state has no problem paying the minimum wage to its workforce.
Akpabio declared that Akwa Ibom was the first state to announce its intention to pay the minimum wage out of his administration’s belief in enhancing the people’s standard of living and deepening human development in the state.
The governor, who spoke with journalists in Abuja, explained that it was for the same reason of enhancing the people’s standard of living that his administration declared free and compulsory education in the state, arranged direct labour jobs for the unemployed roaming the streets, and introduced an integrated farmers scheme under which graduates are trained and given capital to start up small scale businesses.
He listed his administration’s 3,000 landmark projects to include dualised roads, flyovers, bridges, new hospitals, first class classrooms; the completion of the Uyo International Airport and the Ibom Independent Power Plant, for which Wikileaks, the global whistle blower, adjudged Akwa Ibom as undergoing infrastructural revolution.
Akpabio dismissed the allegation of non-performance leveled against him by critics.
“One of the things I said is that I will not be judged by how much I react to negative stories. I will be judged by the legacies I leave on the ground”, the governor said.
He added: “The more they criticise me, the more I commission projects. That is why today in Akwa Ibom, from a mere 39 percent, I have raised electricity coverage in the state to 85 percent”.
He linked his re-election and the massive votes delivered to President Goodluck Jonathan in the April polls to his popularity arising from performance in his first term.