By Ademola Akinbola
In furtherance of its bid to improve the quality of life of the people of the state and its environs, the Akwa Ibom State Government under the leadership of Governor Udom Emmanuel has commenced an ambitious erosion control project in partnership with the World Bank.
The project will bring massive relief to 17 communities across five local governments and is estimated to cost about N52b, according to Comrade Ini Ememobong, the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy.
Ememobong said during an informal chat with media chiefs in Uyo on Wednesday night that through the erosion control project, the government of Governor Udom is working hard to correct the mistakes of the past by previous governments, as well as the indiscretion exercised by organizations that erect shoddy or incomplete drainage systems.
While briefing the media executives, the Commissioner also disclosed that the Ikot Ekpene General Hospital had been renovated and upgraded by Gov Udom. It is the 11th hospital to be boosted by the government in the 10 Federal constituencies of the state. The hospitals have been upgraded to the level of tertiary health institutions, with patient records administration fully automated so that doctors now have networked access to patients’ baseline data and other records.
“Prior to the intervention of this administration, the hospitals were deserted by patients due to the dilapidated infrastructure, shortage of medical personnel, and poor service delivery. Today, all of that has changed. The government has built modern operating theatres, we have employed 130 doctors and 130 consultants, with the consultants being paid directly from the Governor’s office because the current salary structure of the hospitals cannot sustain their salaries. A lot of training is also going on to upgrade the knowledge and skills of the medical personnel”, he added.
The Commissioner disclosed that Ibom Air is on the right path to being a successful and profitable airline because it is being run with a private sector model, although it is fully owned by the State Government. “The company was incorporated independent of government, so the current management structure will allow it to run profitably”, he added.
On Education, the Commissioner disclosed that the State Government spends over N800m annually on the payment of WAEC fees. So far, about N1b has been spent on education development, especially in terms of developing science and technology education, renovating and building new infrastructure, and personnel costs.
Akwa Ibom State is currently implementing a ten-year education development master plan, following the recommendations of an education stakeholders summit held in 2019. According to him, it is a non-partisan and inclusive roadmap that takes into consideration the views of all stakeholders. Emphasis has been on personnel, infrastructure, and curriculum. About 1000 teachers have been recruited for primary and secondary schools based on the identified poor teacher-student ratio. Schools have been well-fenced to protect the infrastructure, classroom blocks, provision of chairs and desks
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