Akwa Ibom Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Charles Udoh has decried the lack of Federal presence in the State.
Charles Udoh who has been on a continuous media campaign on the Akwa Ibom discourse made this known in Uyo while speaking on a live interview programme on Inspiration Radio 105.9fm.
The Commissioner emphasized that, Akwa Ibom State is the largest producer of oil in Nigeria contributing to a huge chunk of revenue accruing to the Federation Account but regretted that the State has not enjoyed a consummating presence of the Federal Government.
“Akwa Ibom State is the highest producer of oil in Nigeria yet there is no federal presence. All the federal roads into the state are in a deplorable state of disrepair, there is no DPR office, no NNPC office and no office of any Oil producing company in the State”, the Information Boss stated.
Udoh went further to add that, the Victor Attah International Airport which is one of the best maintained airports in Nigeria, is fully owned and operated by the state government yet it is not relenting in timely payment of its statutory tax into the Federal government coffers.
“These much are enough indices to have attracted sufficient federal government presence into the state yet there are no good federal roads. Calabar-Itu Highway, a federal road is totally broken down and the Aba-Ikot Ekpene Road, another federal road leading to the state has remained impassable for years now”, the State spokesman stated.
He said this poor Federal road network scenario was one of the reasons that ignited Governor Udom Emmanuel to conceive the idea of Ibomair to provide alternative access into the state by tourists and investors to accelerate his industrialization-drive.
Speaking on the recent report by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, NBS that Akwa Ibom is one of the States with high rate of out- of- school- children, the Information Boss frowned at the report saying it was misleading, faulty or out rightly ill-motivated.
“I don’t want to believe that the statistics by NBS on the number of out -of-school children in Akwa Ibom is politically-motivated. If it is, then it’s sad”.
“There is no reason any child in the State will not want to go to school as education is free and compulsory in Akwa Ibom from Primary to Senior secondary school levels. Maybe the Federal government officials that made that wild claim did not know that Akwa Ibom is running a free and compulsory education system ”, Charles Udoh emphasized.
On tourism development, the state information helmsman said, the sector is experiencing an upward curve in Akwa Ibom State.
“Tourism cuts across different sectors. There is Sports-tourism, Education-tourism, medical-tourism and so on. If you take sports with football for instance, Akwa Ibom has attracted global football community than any other state in Nigeria’’ the Information Boss reiterated.
Recalling that Akwa Ibom was the only state alongside Lagos, that was selected for the UEFA Champions League Trophy Match recently played at the Nest of Champions, the state image manager said, that was a clear testimony of Akwa Ibom fast becoming a tourist destination even by global reckoning.
“Again, when you discover that it is difficult to book a flight in and out of the state through the Victor Attah International Airport due to huge traffic at the airport by influx of people, it shows tourists and investors are coming into the state in droves. That is an indication of the state gradually becoming a tourist destination. There are so many hotels springing up in the state and all are always booked full especially at weekends. This is a strong illustration of the influx of people into the state. Indeed tourism is on the upward curve in Akwa Ibom State”, Udoh affirmed.
The Information Commissioner said, the past four years has witnessed effective delivery on the 5 point Agenda of Governor Udom Emmanuel with positive revolution in such sectors like Agriculture, Industrialization and Tourism.
Maintaining that the Governor is gearing at sustainable development for the people, Udoh urged all to continue to support Governor Emmanuel in the second term for more dividends of good governance as enunciated in his 8 Point Completion Agenda.