The governor of Akwa Ibom, Mr Udom Emmanuel, has revealed that his vision for the state despite the Covid-19 pandemic is that before his tenure elapses, citizens will enjoy robust economic growth and development even after he leaves office.
The governor made this known during an interactive program with citizens of the state via electronic and social media platforms on Saturday, May 23.
Governor Emmanuel vowed that he will work tirelessly, utilizing whatever resources at his disposal to ensure the prosperity of Akwa Ibom state.
According to him, his administration is diversifying the state economy to shield it from complete reliance on revenue from the sale of crude oil, improve the average earning of citizens and make it one of the best economies in the African continent.
Under his watch, Akwa Ibom state has invested in aviation, small and medium scale manufacturing, food production, agriculture and agro related value chain as well as oil and gas.
In response to a question on the future of Akwa Ibom aviation industry, Governor Emmanuel disclosed that with its latest fleet of brand new aircraft fitted with sophisticated air filter system, the state carrier – Ibom Air, is an airline to beat in the domestic wing of the nation’s aviation industry.
He added that a plan is underway to explore opportunities for the burgeoning airline in the Sub-saharan region and beyond.
He also revealed that the state is in discussion with an investor to equip and put to use the Maintenance Repair and Overhaul, MRO section of the airport, saying the MRO is not a politically motivated project but a profit-oriented investment.
The state chief executive reiterated his administration’s commitment to agriculture, noting that “the best solution to the crash in the economy is investing in agro-based and agro-allied businesses. Agro-based businesses are the lowest hanging fruits that any economy can fall back on.”
It is for this reason, according to the governor, that his administration has invested so much on agric loans, distribution of improved seeds and other agro related incentives to farmers.
“In five years as a governor, if 80 per cent of the food I eat comes from my state then there is reason to thank God.
“Before the end of this year, I’m going to commission the coconut crude oil refinery. You can hardly see the price of this produce on Bloomberg or any business channel because the demand is so high. You can’t even see it in the market because as you’re producing there are off-takers waiting,” he added.