By Simdi Gloria:-
Mr. Udom Emmanuel, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State has announced bold initiatives to jump-start the post-COVID economy of Akwa Ibom State this first quarter of 2021.
These are the initiatives: efforts to revamp the State education sector, massive investment in infrastructure, further investments in the health sector especially the training of health workers, additional support for agriculture and security.
A whooping sum of #50 billion naira has been promised by the governor to be injected as an economic stimulus, beginning from the first quarter of this year.
The governor disclosed this at the Government House Banquet Hall, during the yearly Solemn Assembly organized by the State Government to usher in the New Year 2021 and rededicate the State to God, on Saturday, January 2, 2021.
“If you go to these small West African countries you see a lot of Nigerians there some of those universities they go to attend are not as neat as the secondary schools that we have here and you see a whole of Nigerians.
“When did we lose our pride? How can we be going to these smaller countries to school? We must stop it. If not anywhere, in Akwa Ibom and then try to make sure we get things right going forward”.
” In 2021, we’ve declared war on education the same way we declare on healthcare in the State before Covid-19. We have a comprehensive education agenda. We’ve education think-tank. We’ve linked up with all the Akwa Ibom eggheads across the world and we meet with them on zoom; wherever you are, once we know you have something to contribute to the development of the state, education-wise. We have been compiling and we are going to launch out aggressively.” He said.
He announced that the government will kick off with building the physical infrastructure of those schools then training the teachers, adding that all the secondary schools in Uyo must be fenced round beginning from this month.
The Governor, solicited for parents’ cooperation in providing their children with such necessities as uniforms and writing materials, while government strives to provide infrastructure, teachers’ training, and security, and other needs in pursuit of the agenda. He noted that there was a need to return to the system of setting up committees in villages to ensure the security of school properties to complement government efforts.
“Covid-19 is real. I am at the forefront of the fight. Let’s do everything possible to protect ourselves. If we painstakingly obey all the Covid-19 protocols, I will not have any reason to lock down the state. You might be strong in faith but some people are vulnerable, protect those that are vulnerable.
“Please parents, we are continuing with our first term to stop on 23rd January 2021. I don’t think if we obey Covid-19 protocol I will have a need to put those children back home. Those are young vibrant people. If I do that it will be difficult to control them, even Akwa Ibom State University (AKSU) let them go back to school”.
Promises of investment in the health sector to ensure that each of the three Senatorial Districts in the state has a training centre for nurses and midwives were made by the governor.
The agricultural sector was commended for the abundance of rice in the state during the 2020 national lockdown and promised to revisit productivity in other subsectors to boost output and ensure that the State has no reason to import food items that it cultivates within by the end of 2021.
The Governor gave the assurance that the decision of the #50billion injection into the state economy will rely on the approval of the State House of Assembly and will primarily focus on finding contractors to complete ongoing projects across the State.
“We are going to stimulate the economy very fast this January and we are going to do that very fast, in fact after this first week and the second week, we are going to stimulate the economy of the State. We are going to put in a lot of money to the contractors with that they can stimulate the economy”. He said.
The governor assured saying that “Mr. Speaker had approved for me that within this first quarter I should stimulate the economy of the state with not less than N50 billion. With this, we can encourage a lot of socio-economic growth”.
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