Akwa Ibom State govenor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has been adjudged by immediate past Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Special Duties and Aviation Development, Mr. Akan Okon as a focussed leader whose attention cannot be diverted through negative criticisms while he serves a second term in office.
Mr. Okon who served in the State Executive Council throughout Govenor Emmanuel’s first term insists that the state’s Chief Executive deserves commendations for the many lofty projects executed and investments attracted to Akwa Ibom between 2015 and 2019.
The former commissioner made the assertions on Thursday while fielding questions from pressmen during a Thank You Dinner held in his Uyo residence to appreciate media professionals for standing up for the government during the recently conducted General Elections, which culminated in the governor’s reelection.
Underscoring Mr. Udom Emmanuel’s achievements recorded within his first tenure, Mr. Akan Okon stated that “His Excellency has provided enormous resources to ensure that Four Points By Sheraton Hotel is functional,” adding that “the 21 storey Intelligence Building being constructed in Uyo (the State Capital) is part of the government’s infrastructural projects to ensure that the economic lives of Akwa Ibom people improve.”
He further revealed that “the Lagos Government House project has been completed,” while stressing that “the airline industry is a major employer of labour and the economic values of Ibom Air (the government owned new airline company) are enormous.”
“For Ibom Air, by August this year, we will add one more aircraft to the three which are already operating and by 2023, we project that we will have at least 10 aircrafts,” he explained.
When quizzed on the level of execution of Ibaka Deep Seaport project, Mr. Okon narrated that the special committee set up by the governor in 2015 to oversee implementation of the seaport project had submitted its report, while the state government awaits approval of President Buhari to commence actual construction of the seaport, disclosing that a preferred bidder has emerged to invest in the seaport business.
“Commendations should be given to His Excellency, who upon assumption of office in 2015, knowing what could happen if such project is left under the bureaucracy of government, put in place a technical committee for actualization of Ibom Deep Seaport. This committee headed by Mrs. Mfon Usoro has highly experienced persons in the maritime sector as members. I tell you that the committee has worked so hard and with the support of the governor, as at today, we have gotten a preferred bidder which is one of the leading companies in the maritime and cargo industry. The name is Bolloré And Power Channel,” he said.
“The committee’s full report had been made and submitted for actualization of the seaport and we are only awaiting the approval of Mr. President. Once that is done, I assure you, construction will begin immediately,” he continued.
The ex Special Duties and Aviation boss also called on the citizenry, especially the media to take collective responsibility for development of the state, stressing that “elections have been won and lost and the Bible says people should pray for their leaders. So, Akwa Ibom people should pray for Mr. Udom Emmanuel.”
“We have a governor who is willing to listen to the people and consider their contributions in the development process of our state. Hence, those who wish to criticize should do so constructively,” Mr. Okon concluded.