Akwa Ibom Governor Udom Emmanuel on a normal day rarely speaks to the press, preferring instead, for his deeds to do the talking but on Thursday marking the state’s 34th anniversary, talked on multiple issues of national bend.
The governor of Nigeria’s largest oil producer while appearing as a guest Thursday on ARISE television morning talk show programme scored his administration over 80% saying the people of oil-producing communities are not happy with the 3% from the Petroleum Industry Act recently approved by President Buhari.
” Our people are not happy and is cursing us a whole lot of pacifying our people. 3 percent is not enough by any ramifications. I hope that something will be done. Let it not be ignored. Ignoring this issue will not make it go away. Laws were meant for man and not man for the law. Those who gave the wisdom for 3% can also make it 5%. We hope that something will be done so that our people can also have a sense of belonging”.
And talking further on his stewardship in the past 6 years of his administration especially against the backdrop of his 5 points agenda, he said ” this is one government that even before we came in, we have a blueprint and alternatives”.
He said notwithstanding the two recessions experienced by the administration, his industrialization component of the agenda is still on course. Ibom Air according to him which he gets excited when talking about aviation enables industrialization component of the 5 point agenda. ” how do you develop the sector without access ways”, he said.
Ibom Air started with 3 aircraft and recently made it 7, adding an additional 4 with 2 brand new air burses-A 2300 series. ‘ what does it take to float an airline when big economies in West Africa don’t have national carriers. Today Idom Air is a success story.
He recanted the statistical data on unemployment in Akwa Ibom from the National Bureau of Statistics arguing that he does not know how it was generated. “I don’t want to sound political, maybe because of being an opposition state. The best way to create employment is in the informal sector which we are doing via our industrialization drive. Every space in the state has projects and people are working there earning income. We’ve created a youth development programme to impact youth unemployment.
Udom said, ” We are trying to rejig our educational sector. Over 4600 projects have been earmarked on education alone. We are running free and compulsory education at the primary and secondary school levels. We currently recruiting 1000 secondary school teachers. In addition, 1000 teachers will soon commence recruitment into primary schools in the state. We pay WAEC fees for students.”
The governor dwelt among others, on the state of affairs in his party, the People’s Democratic Party as well as his thoughts on the resolutions reached by the Southern Governors’ Forum on open grazing and the collection of VAT proceeds by the states.