It is no more news that the Acting President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is visiting Akwa Ibom on Thursday.
This is one visit that the people of Akwa Ibom have been anticipating for quite a while, the first from the nation’s seat of power since the inception of the current administration.
Renowned as a very peaceful State, the people of Akwa Ibom have often avoided the temptation of violent confrontation in the face of lack of significant federal government attention to the state.
This lack of federal presence is even worrisome, considering the role of the state as the highest contributor to the federal purse.
Earlier last month, the presidency had explained that in line with the federal government’s readiness to comprehensively address the Niger Delta situation, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, was visiting a number of oil communities across some Niger Delta States.
Prof. Osinbajo has so far visited Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers States, while Akwa Ibom stakeholders patiently waited for their own opportunity with the presidential delegation, to also share their views on the issues of the region.
In Akwa Ibom State, the Acting President is expected to lead a high-level delegation of the Federal Government that will interact with leaders and representatives of the oil-producing communities, elders, youths, women, and others.
It is believed that the presidency is fully committed to having an effective dialogue and positive engagement that will end the crisis in the oil-producing areas.
Also, that the visits would further boost the confidence necessary for the attainment of peace and prosperity in the exploited, explored and devastated oil rich region.
Apart from the peaceful atmosphere currently being enjoyed in the state which has fetched the governor commendations from several quarters, the people have witness tremendous strides with turn-key infrastructure springing up in all nooks and crannies of the state, under the watch of Governor Emmanuel.
Rather than seeing road blocks amidst aluta continua war cries, Prof Osinbajo will see an effective inter-connectivity of more than 37 roads measuring 1053km at various stages of completion, currently being executed by Governor Emmanuel.
Notable among these are the ongoing second runway at the airport, ongoing dual carriage way from the airport to the coastal area of Oron, as well as a major dualized highway from Ibeno through Eket, Etinan all the way to Uyo the state capital.
This is in line with the infrastructural consolidation and expansion programme Mr Emmanuel had promised his people during his electioneering campaigns.
Rather than young and tattered children hawking and begging on the streets, the acting president will be greeted by responsible children in their schools enjoying the free and compulsory education programme of the state government.
He will also see disciplined civil servants whose salaries are always paid as at when due.
The delegation is coming to a state where the governor understands that industrialization is an essential panacea to all-round development.
Before now, the name Akwa Ibom was synonymous with civil service, where its entire workforce struggled for white collar jobs.
However Mr Emmanuel, whose second name is Mr industrialization has put in place, key enablers that have seen to the advent of several new industries such as the toothpick and pencil factory, an Electricity Meter Manufacturing company; and activation of a couple of others like the Peacock Paints Industry.
During his election campaign tour of the 31 Local Government Areas of the state, Mr Udom Emmanuel promised to create jobs and empower the people through his industrialization agenda.
He has so far demonstrated remarkable zeal and speed in fulfilling this promise because where there are industries, jobs are created, workers earn wages, pay taxes, make savings and help circulate money through purchases.
All these have a multiplier effect on the economy as they generate revenue for the state government to foot its social responsibilities to citizens.
In the area of Marine transportation, which “turns around the economy of the people in terms of engagement, capacity building and revenue,” Governor Emmanuel has obtained a license to build an international jetty in Ikot Abasi and is also on course for the activation of another smaller jetty in Oron.
Through the strategic development, the Oron-Calabar, Oron-Cameron, Oron-Equitorial Guinea routes will be re-opened for vehicular and vessel movement.
In 2015 he appointed a technical committee for the realization of the Ibom Deep Seaport and Industrial City which is going to be one of the biggest industrial cities anywhere in Africa.
In diversification of the economy, Governor Emmanuel has invested enormously in agricultural development.
An ultra-modern poultry hatchery embarked upon by the previous administration known as Akwa Prime Hatchery, has been completed and produces tens of thousands of day old chicks each week, a move which is bound to compel every family in the State to embrace poultry farming.
With the establishment of a Cocoa Maintenance Scheme in the state, improved seedlings were imported and distributed to farmers to boost cocoa farming at Ini and Ikono Local Government areas.