By Idorenyin Aniefiok
NOTHING is more inspiring and descriptive of human endeavours than Lao Tzu’s words that: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. And this aptly captures the trajectory to greatness and service to humanity of Udom Emmanuel, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State.
Ever since he got into public office after an enviable career in the banking sector, his approach to governance, which is “putting people’s need first”, endeared him to many and made him the cynosure of allies and opposition. This has earned him a reputation as one of the best performing governors in Nigeria since the return to democratic rule in 1999. This is because Governor Emmanuel ensures the good people of Akwa Ibom State are given the maximum governmental support for an impressive turnaround in their lives.
It is a common happenstance for citizens to complain about neglect by the ruling class. But Governor Udom’s administration is all about compassion, development and resourcefulness which birthed some laudable initiatives and developments for the benefit of Akwa-Ibomites.
One of such is Ibom Air which, without a doubt, has elevated the economy and reputation of the state to the “envy” of the other 35 states, including the nation’s economic capital- Lagos State. Indeed, Ibom Air has boosted the economy of the state positively. The airline, which plays a strategic role in the developmental and growth plan of Akwa Ibom State’s economy, has morphed the transformation of an hitherto sleepy civil service state to a now boisterously economic and recreational destination with unimaginable potentials. It is also strongly contributing to reducing unemployment in the aviation sector and eco-system.
Since it commenced operations in 2019 with three aircraft the airline has remained the aviation sector’s bride and pride. In everyone’s eyes, the government of Akwa-Ibom State has done right by this private sector managed, yet government-owned investment initiative. The unrelenting performing airline is reported to have further expansion plans for increasing its destinations.
Without a doubt, Akwa Ibom has been blessed with visionary leaders to date. Governor Udom with the support of his team has also shown a deep knowledge on what to do to transform the state. From his economic investment ideas to choices of infrastructural development, I dare say no other state quite compares to it. The sheer brilliance of the immediate and futuristic impact of the Ibom Deep Seaport or the Airport terminal building or even the expansion of the airport roads leads only to the future befitting for a gateway of the Gulf of Guinea. For a man widely acknowledged to be of a calm demeanour,
Governor Emmanuel is dogged as he does not back down, but sees that every task is carried out positively and with gusto. This explains the tireless work of his team in the education sector through policy and infrastructural development at par with the international level. The government also continues to demonstrate commitment to run an effective state scholarship programme as part of its social development responsibility to Ibomites.. Without a doubt, he understands that to educate the people, is to educate a nation and the young minds which when utilised would churn out positive results.
In furtherance of his dedication to improved education in the state, the government of Akwa-Ibom state under his leadership has reconstructed classrooms, libraries and hostel blocks in secondary schools throughout the state. They have also further to taken up the authority of paying WASSCE and NABTEB fees for all final year students in technical and public secondary schools over the years in addition to the free and compulsory education at the primary and secondary school levels for all children resident in Akwa Ibom state with no discrimination or exclusion of non-indigenes.
In the same breath, the health sector has not been left untouched as it can be said he places a premium on the health sector. As we all know that a satisfying mandate is an investment in workforce through providing quality health care for the masses so are his practices as a leader and he made certain of the reconstruction and fixing of health facilities in the state. The repositioning of the State Health Management Board, equipping of hospitals and upgrade of primary healthcare centres all geared towards the delivery of affordable and improved Medicare for people of the state emboldens this assertion of mine.
Another sector which has the signature of Emmanuel Udom’s midas touch is Tourism. His investment and interest in it has brought about increased revenue generation for the states through some policies and projects. The identity Logo competition which was aimed at placing Akwa Ibom state on the tourism map, an exhibition of contemporary Nigerian Arts and Craft tagged “Usoro Uso”, a series of events to mark the state creation tagged “Orange September” which showcased our indigenous foods, styles, music and pictorial exhibition of historical events and Ibom Tropicana Mall are some of the projects executed to achieve the much-desired goals.
It is noteworthy to mention that Emmanuel Udom is an ardent believer in strategising and developing distinct approaches the state needs to thrive in this present day, and he has been able to empower the young people and inculcate in them the results that hardwork brings. His pertinacity is the reason for ensuring that every agenda written down is carried out to the fullest.
He is a man who is a team player and understands team-work and his government is keen on job creation and ensuring that young people are given the needed support in all spheres of life.
Among all the projects executed in the state, there is a Tissue Factory situated in Itu Local Government Area of the state. It has also created employment for the indigenes as the state saw to the training of 33 indigenes that are to operate the tissue factory. The governor and his team believe in one goal, which is geared towards working tirelessly to resuscitate dying factories in the state.
It is worthy to note that the visionary Governor of Akwa Ibom State, working in consonance with his team, has a winning formula worthy of emulation.
Vanguard News Nigeria