By Chioma Onuegbu
A keen observer of the happenings in Akwa Ibom state in terms of governance since governor Udom Emmanuel returned for a second term in office may assume that he is being slowed down by second term fatigue which appears to be a trend in the country.
Akwa Ibom citizens are particularly worried that the governor, like his predecessors, may not be able to accomplish his “Completion agenda”, following the slow pace of work at some projects particularly roads embarked upon by the administration such as the Etinan-Ndon Eyo dualization, Atim Akpeke-Eto-Ikot Okoro-Ikot Ebritam road in Oruk Anam LGA.
However, in the past two years, the governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration has made great strides in the Aviation, Health, and even security sectors.
Apart from the remodelled and equipped General hospitals (secondary health facilities) across the three Senatorial districts, the state government built a 300-bed space Isolation and Infectious Diseases treatment center in Uruan LGA and another at the Ibom Specialist Hospital Uyo to address the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
The 300 bed-space Isolation Centre which is located within the Ituk Mbang General Hospital Uruan LGA was among the projects the governor commissioned to mark his 5th anniversary in office.
The General Hospital Iquita town Oron LGA, the Etinan General Hospital, Methodist General Hospital, Ituk Mbang, Uruan Local Government, Immanuel General Hospital Eket, General Hospital Onna, have been remodelled and equipped, while the Remodeling of General Hospitals in Ikot Ekpene, Oruk Anam, Ika LGAs are still ongoing.
Also, Aviation is another sector that Udom Emmanuel has recorded tremendous achievement in the past two years with the commencement of operations of the State owned Airline, ‘Ibom Air’ in June 2019, using CRJ900 aircraft.
In less than two years, Ibom Air has been able to acquire five (5) aircraft in its fleet and has recently entered a code share business alliance with Dana Air, aimed at expanding their market presence and competitive footprint in the interest by offering more route options, schedule options as well as easy connectivity for the flying public.(200)
The Chief Operating Officer(COO) of Ibom Air, Mr. George Uriesi had disclosed that an additional two brand new Airbus A220 aircraft will be joining the fleet this month of May, bringing the number of aircraft in the fleet to seven (7).
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The COO who spoke while fielding questions from newsmen after the signing ceremony between Dana and Ibom Airlines on the codeshare alliance, last week at the Corporate headquarters of Ibom Air, at the Victor Attah International Airport, described the State-owned Airline as one of Nigeria’s fastest growing airlines.
According to him, “with the initiation of this business alliance, both airlines have embraced a key global best practice. The alliance will offer increased frequencies into common destinations as well as codeshare flights into destinations each airline does not operate into, providing more options for passengers and business retention for both airlines.
“Ibom Air has delivered a consistent average of 95 per cent schedule reliability and on-time performance since its inception. Ibom Air operates multiple daily flights between Uyo, Lagos, Abuja, Calabar and Enugu and will be launching the Port Harcourt destination from June, 7,2021”
In fact majority of Akwa Ibom citizens and residents take this particular project as the Signature project of the governor because of the visible, and significant progress it has recorded within a short period of commencement.
With the high cost of food items such as Rice , Garri, Yam, Palm oil among others, the administration’s effort in the area of Agriculture so far has not impressed especially as the impact of its support for Rice and Garri production in the state is yet to be felt by the residents.
Meanwhile, during his recent Live media-citizens interactive session, 8th series of “thegovernorspeaks”, penultimate week, the governor was quick to admit that much had not been achieved in the education sector
His words: “…I want to say, as government if you look at the agenda we set for ourselves, the 5-point agenda in 2015, the 8-point completion agenda that we started with in 2019, even though we have gone through terrible recession, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic I can say here that we have scored not less than 85percent.
“We have been able to at least weather the storm in almost all the sectors and sub-sectors that we owe as a Social Responsibility and as a right to our people. In terms of health, I think we have done very, very well. Education, we are not there yet but if you look at the foundation we are laying, I think we are on the right track.
“Then you go to the main policy thrust for our industrialization aim which started with the major three gateways of Air, Sea and Land. I think if we come to that I can even score the administration more than 90 percent. Take the Air for instance, we’ve dominated completely.
“Even our Airline won the best Airline in 2020 and we are matching forward. Very soon we are going to unveil a whole lot of our second phase of blue print on what Ibom Air is going to be”
Vanguard News Nigeria