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Akpabio leading Akwa Ibom to economic boom

TO build a vibrant economy of Akwa Ibom State-which is the ultimate goal of this administration, the Government will play a limited but proactive role. The Government must aim at maintaining a market-oriented and business-friendly environment with soft and hard infrastructures. This will help to attract and develop talents and to boost Akwa Ibom role in the Nigeria economy.  This is why Chief Dr Godswill Akpabio is promoting sectors that will generate higher value for the State economy, including financial, logistics, processional, producer services; and tourism and local community economy which will provide more job opportunities for the people.

Among his projective visions to realize this purpose are: Ibom Power Plant, to produce enough energy to the industries, factories, and all business concerns. Without adequate power supply no economy can have rapid growth, so with IPP the State will have 24 hours power supply to energize the manufacturing machines. This informed why he pursued the completion of the project with unrestrained vigour. Another one is Akwa Ibom International Airport and MRO for over hauling of Aircrafts, as the first in Africa. This will bring all the carriers in Africa and other continents to the State for turnaround maintenance  of their Aircrafts and also create convenient freighting of cargo and personnel coming into the State.

Ibaka Deep Sea Port and  Gas processing hub with ship fabrication facility will provide more than 100,000 jobs for the teeming unemployed professionals, the port which is deeper than the Lagos Port naturally. Will serve the importers and  exporters, from the south-East and South South Nigeria , and western Cameroon, the Ibaka deep Sea Port will also provide the gas/crude oil processing companies operating in Mbo, Uruan, Eket, Esit Eket,Ibeno, Oruk Anam, Ukanafun, and  Eastern Obolo Local Government Areas  a hitch free lifting of their products to any part of the world, same to the Sea food producers, and manufacturers alike . The Port accepts larger vessel conveniently, so instead of taking crude oil in bashes to the ship in the middle of the ocean, Nigeria National Petroleum cooperation, NNPC   should avail the comfort of loading all their vessels from the Ibaka Deep sea port

Good Road network which is the number one infrastructure in consideration while building a vibrant economy is responsible for 87 percent of goods to be freighted and protects automobile from break down and also eliminates State to the lowest minimum road transport risk. This is the reason Akwa Ibom has the lowest, accident rate in the state as it currently stands at 0.5, because of her good roads network which is rated as the best in the country. Free and compulsory -qualitative Education is another step to generate enough professional man power within a targeted period for the coming economic boom, and eradicate illiteracy which could lead to idleness which leads to crime. Olympic size Stadium will provide adequate sporting facilities to train our budding sporting talents and  also host international sporting events which will yield more revenue for the State and Nigeria.

The e-Library is an institution that presents a comfortable atmosphere for students, scholars and researchers alike. When the resultant products from such researches are produced into the market it will boost the local economy and also attract foreign market and investment to the State; this will also alleviate the burden students in the Area of purchasing text books. Tropicana entertainment Centre will attract tourists around the world and also provide enabling environment for more talented musician, comedians, actors and dancers to be discovered and exposed to wider audience to widen their scope.

Already so many movies have been premiered there and the entertainment centre will also provide more than 50,000 jobs at its full completion. Chief Godswill Akpabio in his stride to leaving the state in a more solid economic footing has vowed to establish one cottage industry per a local government Area in the state. This venture will turn around the fortunes of the State, transforming it from the present civil service status to an industrial state. With the coming industrial revolution joblessness will be a thing of the past and the State economy will become vibrant  ,yielding more revenue for the government while the living standard of the citizenry will be improved. While doing this, the Government of Chief Godswill Akpabio must take into consideration the  maintenance of our traditional institution and its strengths including the rule of law and a level playing field, with clean and efficient government that allows for free flow of Information, as well as maintain low and simple taxes and good order.

To maintain and grow Akwa Ibom in the competitive edge in the high technological and biotechnological field; to increase the number of high value jobs  that will be available to our citizens, and to enhance and diversify our economy long into the future, a Board of Supervisors must be set up to support these investments in the State. Planning now for a strong, stable and diverse economic future is a Board of Supervisors' imperative with proper professionals from each sector of investment. Not to leave it in the hands of unqualified politicians  in a bid to empowering them, as this will frustrate the industrial process and return us back to ground zero, where all the hype of the industrial revolution will become a threat to government that promoted the economic boom.

That board will work closely with other business groups to accomplish their goals of a coordinated, national marketing campaign. That Board of Supervisors should establish an Office of Trade and Business Development which will accomplish a great deal in helping to entice new businesses to the State. Another key aspect that will help in maintaining vibrant economy in Akwa Ibom State is early childhood education. This is why his Excellency Chief Godswill Akpabio initiated the free and compulsory Education, for without that the state may not have enough professional man power  to fill the jobs vacancies the boom will bring to the State.

Other benefits to early childhood education include increased high school graduation rates, reduced crime and delinquency, lower rates of teen pregnancy, and higher wages as adults. The benefit for the future is that we will eventually produce more productive citizens who can contribute monetarily to the society through taxes.  Projections show that by the end of this decade, 60 percent of jobs in the state will require a college degree or career certificate.  Fewer than 40 percent of adults will have at least an Associate's degree at that same point. This skills gap will eventually take a negative impact on economic development for the State.

I understand the other side of the argument that throwing money at school systems fail to eradicate the problem of low student performance. I also agree that parents play a crucial role in their child's education and must provide a stable learning environment for them to reach their full potential. Oftentimes this debate becomes a stalemate when people decide which side they would like the blame which is the parents or the school systems.  Without question the responsibility lies with everyone. It truly takes a village to raise a child and we all should have a vested interest in making sure each child becomes an educated and productive citizen in society.

Intervention in a child's education once they reach grade school is like planning to run a marathon in May but starting the training program in April. Every child in Akwa Ibom State deserves an equal playing field when it comes to education and it should not depend on which tribe he or she is born in. This is exactly what the governor is doing.  Supporting early childhood education will be a great start into maintaining a vibrant economy and good quality of life for years to come. Another key aspect that will maintain the vibrant economy as the industry intensifies is natural resources. More attention should therefore be  given to natural resources by continually fine-tuning on farm practices as this will lead to improvements in both productivity and natural resource management.

The industrialization approach to natural resource management has four broad objectives: use resources efficiently; protect and enhance on-farm resources; minimize the industry's off-farm environmental impacts; and be recognized as environmentally responsible. Linking productivity and intensification to sound natural resource management is a key challenge to sustaining industries that depend on the resources for their manufacturing.. The government of Akwa Ibom State should   seek for partners to invest in sustainable development by implementing key actions and continually monitoring practices, for through it, the government and its partners will secure a sustainable future. In a vibrant economy, the culture of cutting down an orange tree that no longer produces fruits and not planting a new one should be discouraged in totality.

Apart from the natural resources sustainability, the government of Akwa Ibom State should hand over the management of those great infrastructures to private sector that is honest and professional in that business to avoid mismanagement  and subsequent close down of this anticipated vibrant economic facilities. It is widely believed that natural mineral resources are desirable; however, there is growing evidence that this may not always be the case. Indeed, it seems that natural assets can distort the economy to such a degree that the benefit actually becomes a curse if not properly managed by professionals. The State should therefore employ the services of Geo-scientist to assess the quantity of endowed mineral resources in the State, quantify it to know how long it would last and set up futuristic plan for companies that are exploring them.

The scientist should continually explore the State for further discoveries of mineral resources harbours in order to sustain the vibrant economy. Lastly, there should be unity of purpose among the tribes that make up the state. The masses should maintain peaceful existence in their domains  for it is only through peace and unity that the State can prosper without much difficulties. And government policies and programmes should be promoted and supported by all and sundry instead of blackmailing; the masses should forward their views to respective government quarters. Chief Dr Godswill Akpabio is uncommonly transforming the State. Let the Elites, women and the Youths encourage him by supporting his government instead of sabotaging his good vision for Akwa Ibom State.

Written by Emmanuel Nicholas (a.k.a White Bom Bom) an artiste, author, social critics and President Foundation Against Tribalism and Social Vices in Nigeria (FATSVIN) email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. web, face book crackdown newspapers, twitter crackdownnews

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