How Akwa Ibom’s Gov. Emmanuel fared in 2016

Akwa Ibom State Governor,  Udom Emmanuel
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel

ACHIEVEMENTS

  1. Kidnapping and killings – Perhaps the most significant achievement of Governor Udom Emmanuel in 2016 was the relative peace that Akwa Ibom State enjoyed, compared to the immediate past administration of Godswill Akpabio, which witnessed several cases of unresolved kidnappings and assassinations.
  2. Second Runway for Akwa Ibom Airport – Mr. Emmanuel’s administration in 2016 started the construction of a second runway at the Akwa Ibom International Airport. The runway is near completion.
  3. The State Secretariat annex – The Emmanuel administration overhauled the massive ‘10th Anniversary Hotel’ building along Udo Udoma Avenue, and turned it into the annex of the state secretariat, thereby creating office accommodation for hundreds of civil servants in the state.
  4. Akwa Ibom hatchery – The government commissioned the Akwa Ibom hatchery project, and in partnership with a private company launched an ambitious multi-million naira poultry scheme which is aimed at making the state a hub for poultry and allied businesses in Nigeria.
  5. Road construction and urban renewal – The government completed and commissioned some road projects in different parts of the state. Among them are: 1.1 km Information Drive, off IBB Avenue, Uyo; 3.5 km Ikot Udom Road, Ibiono; the internal roads at the Cornelia Connelly College, Afaha Oku, Uyo; Dualisation of 1 km Awa-Ikot Nkan Road phase 1; and some select roads – Bassey Lane, Mainland Avenue, Efiat Street, Agric Lane, Awana Esin Road – in Oron Local Government Area. The government lso commenced work on the renewal of Eket urban, Eket Local Government Area.

FAILURES

  1. Ex-governor Godswill Akpabio’s shadow – The governor still appears to be operating under the shadow of the immediate past governor, Godswill Akpabio. Several Akwa Ibom people were reportedly unhappy that Governor Mr. Emmanuel’s first cabinet was dominated by people who had previously served as commissioners, some for eight years, under Mr. Akpabio. The governor surprisingly failed the people yet again when he still brought back some of the “Akpabio’s men” in a recent cabinet reshuffle. Meanwhile, there have been reports of how infighting between forces loyal to Mr. Emmanuel and Mr. Akpabio heightened political tension and slowed down government businesses in the state. Mr. Akpabio, who is now a Minority Leader in the Senate, handpicked Mr. Emmanuel and singlehandedly installed him as governor, after his tenure in May, 2015.
  2. No water – A great majority of the people in Uyo urban area are yet to have public water supply in their homes, despite the state government’s claims to having rehabilitated water supply in the area.
  3. Education policy – It is really unclear for now if the Akwa Ibom State government is continuing with the free and compulsory basic education policy of the previous administration. Principals and the head teachers of public secondary and primary schools in the state claimed that they haven’t received subventions to run the schools since the inception of the administration. PREMIUM TIMES gathered secondary students across the state were recently forced by their schools to pay N500 each as fees for the administration of their terminal examinations. In addition to this, was the controversial termination of the appointments of 5,000 fresh teachers employed by the then Governor Akpabio. There is a drastic shortage of teachers in most public schools in the state.
  4. Agriculture – Even though the administration has come with fine ideas on poultry and cocoa farming programmes which could promote agriculture in the state, there is lack of clear policy and roadmap that could help lift agriculture and make it a major wealth-creator for the state.
  5. Budget – The Akwa Ibom State 2016 budget is still not accessible to the public. It was difficult for people in the state to monitor and make inputs on how the state government implemented the budget.

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