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AKWA IBOM: A VIRTUOUS STATE MADE READY AT 30

By Umoh-Obong Kingsley

“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies,” (Proverbs 31). A virtuous woman is a wife of noble character.

The prime age depends on one’s mental and psychological maturity. What is important in determining the ripe age is own level of maturity and readiness, whether one has reached the legal age for marriage or not. Maturity implies powerful presence of mind and intelligence in one’s dealings, ability to safeguard one’s possessions from being squandered away and one’s prudence in spending in a judicious manner.

On 23rd September, 2017, Akwa Ibom State will celebrate her 30th year of existence since its creation in 1987. Age 30 is a period when an individual may re-evaluate the choices made in his or her twenties. It is the beginning of one’s mission. Jesus Christ began His missionary works at age 30 (Luke 3). It was at age 30 that John the Baptist began to preach. Ezekiel began to prophesy at age 30. David was 30 years old when he began to reign on Israel. Paul began his apostolic activities at age 30.

Kingship is reflected in the number thirty. Genesis 41:46 says “And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh, King of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.” The primary task of a king is to administer justice, to be the highest judge of the land. In this position, a king reconciles men to their fellow.

A virtuous state is the one who possesses the following qualities:

HEALTH
Good health and physical well being of the people are major indices that determine the health condition of a nation or state. A vibrant and healthy populace contributes maximally to the development process of government, as human resources are very essential part in the growth and expansion of all sectors.

Governor Udom Emmanuel has not relented in ensuring that all necessary facilities and programmes are put in place for the good health and survival of the people. He has fulfilled his pledge to deliver world class medical Supplies and equipment to upgrade the standard of healthcare services to the people.

In addition to the equipments and facilities provided to all the general hospitals in the state, the governor has ensured that the hospitals do not run short of qualified and experienced personnel to increase the manpower of the hospital.

Following the increase in kidney related diseases across the Country, the State Government recently organized a 4-day training programme/capacity building for Doctors/Nurses on the use of Diapact CRRT Machine, described as the best for treatment and management of critically-ill kidney patients, with a road map to effecting kidney transplants in Akwa Ibom State.

SERVICE
The state service its citizens through the provision of free medical services for children below 5 years, pregnant women and the aged; Construction of Dr. Ann Ward Gynaecology Block at St. Lukes Hospital, Anua, Uyo; Rehabilitation of Administrative Block and Wards at St. Lukes Hospital, Anua, Uyo; Construction of the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) in Ikot Ekpene; Rehabilitation of Etinan General Hospital; Renovation and furnishing of quarters for House Officers in Uyo and Oron; Free Screening of 15,350 people for various eye diseases, 1,150 eye surgeries performed, while 2,000 eye glasses were distributed; Treatment of 4,038 moderately malnourished and severely mal-nourished children.

FINANCES
Even in the face of economic downturn in the country, Akwa Ibom State, under the leadership of Governor Udom Emmanuel, has been very careful in fund management, spends money wisely and has been careful in purchasing quality items which the people of the state need. The state does not owe workers’ salaries, as workers are paid as at when due.

INDUSTRIES
Akwa Ibom State is leading the pace of industrialisation in the country. While Nigeria is still making plans to start the production of pencil in the country by 2018 as disclosed by the Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, Akwa Ibom State government has taken the lead in the industry through the Akwa Ibom Entrepreneur and Enterprise Scheme (AKEES).

The industry is of a great benefit to the state economy in the sense that it has created employment for the citizens of the state; it generates revenue to the government through tax payment and will also bring more money not only to the government but also to the people who have been engaged in the industry. It will also attract downstream businesses to the state. About 15,000kg toothpick and 20,000 pencils are produced within 8 hours of production, turning the state into an industrial hub.

Agriculture and food sufficiency being critical to the wellbeing and socio-economic transformation of the people, Akwa Ibom State has engaged over 70% of its population with the capacity to catapult the state from a consumption-oriented economy to a market-driven one.

With the dwindling fortunes of petroleum globally, it became imperative for the state to nose-dive into massive agricultural production for increased food production towards sustainable development.

The administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel, since inception on May 29, 2015, has recorded significant milestones, making impactful contributions to the lives of the people across sectoral lines. The Governor is committed to ensuring that the state produces enough food to feed the people and that the food stuffs are reasonably affordable.

To achieve this, the state re-introduced the second planting season for enhanced food production as well as the cultivation of 400 hectares of cassava multiplication farms across the three senatorial districts as well as cultivating 800 hectares of land for the planting of cassava under the FADAMA 3+ financial scheme.

Another industry is the Akwa Prime Hatchery and a host of others.

HOMEMAKING
A Virtuous state is a homemaker. With the availability of the industries, Akwa Ibom, as a virtuous state, has recorded its homemade products, some of which include AKEES Toothpick and Pencil, and Ibom Garri, including the ongoing Coconut Refinery and Ibom Metering Company which will be commissioned during the state’s 30th anniversary. It creates an enabling environment atmosphere of warmth and love for the citizens and investors; and administers hospitality to those around.

BEAUTY
The list of the most beautiful states in Nigeria will not be complete without Akwa Ibom State as it has good road networks across the rural and urban areas of the state, and the Ibom Power Plant to provide over 18-hour steady power supply.

With all these qualities, Akwa Ibom is in for better life because at age 30, you realize nearly everyone’s a joke, a case study of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Mr Ita Enang. At 30, you live to see your enemies fail, a case of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

You learn your strengths and weaknesses, and have more control over your environment; and receive free punch and pie at age 30.

Kingsley writes in from Nsit Ubium

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