Inaugurates post-COVID-19 Economic Reconstruction C’ttee
By Chioma Onuegbu – Uyo
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom has explained that the state missed out in the N43.4billion World Bank Assisted States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme for result-fund recently shared to 24 states by the federal government due to delayed passage of the 2019 budget.
Emmanuel who was reacting to what he termed “hasty conclusions” by critics of his government, explained that that the immediate past Assembly (the sixth assembly) couldn’t pass the 2019 budget early enough due to the political the crisis that engulfed it then.
The governor who spoke during the inauguration of the Post COVID-19 Economic Reconstruction Committee at the weekend in Uyo recalled how three state Lawmakers who had defected to the All Progressives Congress, (APC) schemed to take over the leadership of the state House of Assembly.
He explained that the SFTAS had required that only states which passed their years budget early enough were qualified to benefit from the grant, and urged concerned members of the public to make or in-depth findings on the matter rather than mislead the people with erroneous information.
Addressing the Post Covid-19 Economic Reconstruction Committee chaired by Prof. Akpan Hogan Ekpo, a former Vice-Chancellor, University of Uyo, Emmanuel said there need to chat new ways to boost the economy of the state as the Covid-19 pandemic had seriously affected the price of crude oil in the global market.
Noting that the Committee has one month to submit its report to him, Emmanuel added “This committee will develop sensitive Policies that will lead to identifying low hanging fruits, stability, and prosperity for all.
The committee will also state measurable sources indicators of sustainable socio-economic growth and development of Akwa Ibom state with little or no reliance on revenue from oil”
He stressed that the committee was expected among others to guide the state government in the formulation of policy framework necessary to create a viable Post Covid-19 economy
“The Committee is to identify and explore ways and means of sourcing funds and attracting investment partners with comfortable terms, locally, nationally, and internationally in the realisation of every identifiable revenue-generating project.
” The committee will also state the frame or gestation of each of the income generation projects and establish the interconnectedness apart from providing input materials from one to another in the value chains of each of the projects”, he added.