Akwa Ibom State Executive Governor, His Excellency Chief (Dr.) Godswill Akpabio, CON, says he will end much stronger when he completes the tenure of his administration and hand over to a newly elected Governor on May 29, 2015 as he will have delivered a dynamic, productive, and prosperous Akwa Ibom people; a buoyant and flourishing Akwa Ibom economy; and rendered unequalled service to the people with uncommon integrity. The Governor stated these in a speech delivered after swearing-in 20 commissioners and 5 special advisers into the newly constituted State Executive Council (EXCO) of his administration on Wednesday April 18 at the state banquet hall in government house. The commissioners and special advisers swore oath of allegiance and oath of office to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This is the sixth of such swearing-in that Governor Akpabio has carried out since the on-set of his administration in 2007 to inject specialised professionals into his administration so as to deliver on the mandate from the people given in 2007 and again in 2011.
Describing his administration, the Governor said it is not just the beginning of his tenure that counts but how his tenure ends in 2015. That his administration abhors corruption as he desires the reward for good service to humanity, and he is not interested in personal aggrandisement or ostentatious living but to maintain the momentum of development of Akwa Ibom State and redeem the people from the shackles of poverty, ignorance, neglect, stigmatisation, and marginalisation. To achieve the objective of developing the state, her people, and her economy, the Governor stated that he has enlisted the services of trusted like-minded fellows who believe that there is need for integrity in governance to ensure that as he started strong with them in 2007 his administration would end stronger in 2015. He therefore cautioned the newly sworn in EXCO members to remember that they are in the state administration to serve the public.
In opening and calling for a minute’s silence in honour of immediate past member of EXCO and Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Pastor Oyong Asuquo, who died in a ghastly car accident on 7th April, Governor Akpabio declared that his administration has built a state that appears to have fulfilled the dreams of her fore-fathers. He said, together with members of his administration, a cohesive and progressive state founded on the principles of meritocracy, social justice, and compassion has been built. That because of the contributions of former EXCO members of his administration, some of who are in the newly constituted cabinet, the whole of Nigeria and indeed the global community has come to realise and acknowledge that something good is happening in Akwa Ibom State.
The governor reminded the commissioners and special advisers that to whom much is given much is expected, and therefore called on them to join hands with him and with the Permanent Secretaries and staff of their respective ministries, departments, and agencies to fulfil the promises made to Akwa Ibom people during the 2011 electioneering campaigns. The Governor further reminded the new commissioners and special advisers that they are sworn-in to serve the interest of the entire Akwa Ibom State and as such should be fair to all in all their actions, irrespective of tribal affiliations, consistent with the sacred oath they have just sworn to before God.
In terms of what has happened in Akwa Ibom State during the lifespan of his administration, Governor Akpabio described the change in the state as being taken a long way from where it was met in 2007 and said that no society can change unless the people who make up that society change. Therefore, according to the Governor, it is the anger of the people that has escalated into the phenomenal ‘Uncommon Transformation’ that has taken place in the state and that if the Akwa Ibom people were not ready for change they would not have had the change they’ve seen at a time when the rest of the world is going to the moon and most Nigerians cannot find the road to their villages. The Governor therefore admonished that the harsh social and economic conditions that abound in other parts of Nigeria are not normal in the 21st century.
On meeting the aspirations of the people, the Governor enlightened the people that his administration is delivering projects and dividends of democracy as a function of the administration’s commitment to the ideals of good governance and transparency in stewardship without diverting state resources meant for the betterment of the people into shady deals and private accounts. Consequently, the Governor revealed that the secret of the prosperous financial engineering that has ensured more is delivered from less is that before expected funds arrive the state treasury he ensures his finance and economic team develops robust and transparent expenditure strategies marshalled out to capture the overriding interest of the people and their aspirations for a better society. The Governor therefore said he sees governance as a very serious business and his sacred mandate as compelling him to transform the state and leave an enviable legacy behind.
On project delivery, Governor Akpabio assured that all major phases and components of the Tropicana entertainment complex will be completed this year just as the Cineplex that sprang into operation within the same complex from the day it was commissioned and is presently receiving viewers in their thousands with attendant strain on resources which is being managed. The Governor also declared that the new governor’s office under construction will be completed this year September. On electricity, the Governor stated that Akwa Ibom State will be the first state in Nigeria to enjoy uninterrupted power supply as all impediments are being resolved at the federal level to grant the state autonomy for electricity generation, transmission, and distribution. He said more major roads will be commissioned as from May 2012 with the Aka-Nung Udoe road and more works are on-going at the third ring road and other major roads in the state with flyovers. Other projects like the international terminal of the Akwa Ibom International Airport, as well as the new stadium among others are also on-going in tandem with his administration’s resolve to touch every part of the state with developments and industrialise the state with every local government area being able to boast of at least one industry.