*By Bisi Ezekiel*
After taking oath of office on the 29th of May, 2023 as the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Umo Eno assured the entire people of the state irrespective of political party or ethnic affiliations that when he was contesting, he desired power not for himself, but in order to be of service to the people.
Truth to his promise, he hit the ground running from day one in office and in less than 100 days in the saddle he has been able tob prove beyond reasonable doubt that his aspiration for the most exalted office in the state was not for himself but purely for service.
Being part of the last tenure of the immediate past governor, Emmanuel Udom, continuing on programmes and policies of the last administration to the benefit of the state and her people becomes seamless for Governor Umo Eno.
Determined not to abandon projects inherited from past administration in the state, the Governor, alongside his Deputy, Secretary to the State Government, and esteemed officials, embarked on a comprehensive tour of Akwa Ibom State’s government facilities and projects.
An average Akwa Ibom indigene both within and outside the state are not in doubt the Gov. Eno has maintain the good work left behind by his predecessor and has been keeping the flag of good governance which is the hallmark of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flying.
He approached governance with a private sector mindset, 24 hours is barely enough for the workaholic Governor as he spent every single minute of the day in office aside when he was on trips within or outside the state.
At the centre of his administration’s vision is how to further give his people better lease of life through social, health, educational and infrastructure development.
Within just one month in office, he struck a foreign direct investment partnership deal with the Turkey Embassy for the betterment of the state, engaged in the establishment of Akwa Ibom Medical City, a combo medical and hospitality corridor between the Ibom Multi – Specialist Hospital, Uyo, and the Four Point By Sheraton, Ikot Ekpene was initiated.
Recall that establishing a medical corridor within that location was one of the campaign promises of Pastor Eno.
This, he said was aimed at maximizing the Ibom Multi – Specialist Hospital and the Four Point by Sheraton Hotel and to create job opportunities for Akwa Ibom people.
Governor Eno’s commitment to ensuring food sufficiency and developing the full value chain for major crops in Akwa Ibom State is not in doubt. He inspected and started process of uplifting the Ibom Green House Technology facility along Airport Road, Uyo.
The Governor said he was impressed by the level of innovation and technological advancements at the facility.
“As we prioritize agribusiness growth in Akwa Ibom State, the Ibom Green House, and other strategic initiatives will play a vital role in transforming our agricultural landscape,” he said.
The Governor has decided to anchor the economic renewal project of the state on turning around of one of Nigeria’s foremost Oil Palm plantations, the 3000 hectares Dakada Global Oil Palm Company, formerly known as Akwa Palms.
The plantation is in the uttermost hinterland of Akwa Ibom State sitting on six communities and three LGAs of Esit Eket, Mbo and Uruefong Oruko, with 200,000 stands of palm trees and 300,000 capacity of palm nursery.
Gov. Eno promised to fast track the productivity of the plantation with an efficient outgrower and offtaker scheme, as well as appoint professional hands to manage the plantation and bring in modern machinery such as PKO mills into the plantation
The Governor brought in the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, into the project to pave way for the state to benefit from the Bank’s Oil Palm Development Initiatives.
Recall that former Governor Udom Emmanuel released the sum of N200 million to facilitate the resuscitation of the oil palm plantation
“So we must thank him for the foresight that he had and the leadership he gave us to start this work. We graded all the roads leading to this plantation and met with the chiefs, community leaders and youth leaders before we started. We brought the CBN here because we wanted and still want to key into the CBN Oil Palm Development initiatives”, said Gov Eno.
Happy with the state air carrier, the Ibom Air, the Governor said his administration will do everything possible to make the airline among the best in the country.
Gov Eno has decided to tackle the challenges facing the Ibom Power Plant which he said has betrayed an unspoken displeasure.
He was determined utilize fully the importance of the power plant to his economic agenda, especially at a time the federal government has lessened its control of independent power plants.
The Ibom Power Plant in Ikot Abasi LGA, is one of the first independent power plants in Nigeria. It received a licence from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to generate electricity in 2008. The governor had thoroughly read the handing over note on the power plant, but he needed, in his words, “boots on the ground” to see and access things for himself.
Desirous of mitigating unwarranted death associated with natural disasters, the ecological and environmental conscious Governor Eno kic- started a process of resolving some of the problems by engaging key players in the environmental sub-sector where he restated his administration’s resolve to partner the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), to checkmate these challenges .
Early into his administration, while declaring open the Disaster Preparedness and Risk Reduction Strategies on the Outcome of the 2023 Season Climate Prediction and Annual Flood Outlook, the Governor expressed appreciation for the collaboration between Nigerian Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Nigerian Metrological Agency (NIMET), and Nigerian Hydrological Services (NIHSA), agencies in their service delivery, saying that the union has open a new vista towards averting mistakes that was done in the past in the area of disaster management.
He further noted that it is a common approach in the State for Ministries and Agencies to work together to achieve the same purpose and bring benefits to the state.
With the zeal to bring development to the State, the Governor expressed readiness to work sons and daughters of Akwa Ibom irrespective of political or tribal affiliations.
This collaboration, which cut across party lines, he said, must continue for the good of the people.
Gov. Eno said “we can work together irrespective of party affiliations and when it’s time for politicking, we play politics without bitterness”.
By continuously connect with the people in line with his promise to bring government closer to the people, he has earned for himself, a sobriquet ” the Street Governor” . Governor Eno do at times punctuated his convoy at different points to interact, encourage, and patronize vendors at some strategic points.
These evidently confirmed that Governor Eno is ready and willing to serve the State and not self, and has attracted ovations, which is still reverberating in unimaginable frequency across the State, and even beyond.
Highlight of Achievements Made by Governor Eno since assumption of Office
Governor Eno is determined to continue work on the housing estate project at ibom LGA
Governor Eno intervened on internal roads hostel project at aAwka ibom University
Governor Eno released N1 billion to augment money allocated by the Federal Government for pallatives
Governor Eno’s administration has released so far a sum of N2 billion for payment of gratuity.
In the area of agriculture, the Akwai Ibom government under Pastor Eno signed an MoU with Songhai Farm for speedy agriculture investment in the state.
Gov Eno bring succor to resident of Tarbanacle Road with road construction and Drainage
Governor Eno flagged off construction of more internal roads in Oron , the
2.1km Effiongand road and the 2.11km
Effiong Esung Street , all in Oron.
In Ikot- Ekpene LGA, Governor Eno has flaged off 1.1km in spring road construction project Ikot Ekpene urban and construction of 1.1km Spring road project.
He also directed commencement of construction of a model health center for ikot nkwo ibiesikpo Asutan LGA, model health care center in Urue offiong Oruko and ordered the completion of the General Hospital in Ukanafun LGA
In the area of security, Governor Eno partners with Nigerian Navy to improve security on water ways and initiated the Akwa Ibom coaster boarder security.
To boost the economy of the state,
Governor Eno patronize traders at Nwamba beach market and partners Turkish investors on green house projects
By Bisi Ezekiel