Since his assumption of office on May 29, 2007 as Governor of Akwa Ibom, Chief (Dr.)Godswil lObot Akpabio, CON has left no one in doubt that he came with a mission to serve his people and re-position the State as a model in Nigeria. Within the space of six years since he was entrusted with that historic mandate, Chief Akpabio has confounded everyone with his monumental achievements that have led to the Uncommon Transformation of the State. Today, Akwa Ibom State is a MODEL in Nigeria.Through his performance; he has redefined governance in a nation bereft of leadership. His performance has made him the undisputed standard-bearer of a new and emerging generation of Nigerian leaders. His development initiatives have become the model and standard against which other leaders in Nigeria are measured; a position that has kept many incumbent and would be political leaders on their toes. The Akpabio administration has left an indelible mark that would be difficult to erase in the annals of history when governance of Akwa Ibom State is mentioned.
With his Free and Compulsory education; Free Medical care for children, expectant mothers and the elderly; a brand new Governor’s Lodge; six new General Hospitals; Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre, to mention but a few, the Governor has proved his mettle and given the State a quantum leap.
Already, the foundation for the emerging economy has been laid with the provision of world-class infrastructure such as 300 new roads and flyovers which provide a good network across the state; dependable power supply through the completed phase I Ibom Power Plant that generates 191 megawatts; easy flight access via Ibom International Airport; and other incentives, necessary for a sustainable industrial economy. The provision of N20bn in the 2012 budget as well as the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bank of Industries (BOI) for a N5bn Industrial Development Fund to be accessed by investors, is a clear indication that the present administration is ready to jump-start an industrial economy.
With a rich reservoir of human and natural resources Akwa Ibom offers a safe haven for investment in the Gulf of Guinea and sub-Sahara Africa. The abundant natural resources in the State, backed with liberal government economic policies, make Akwa Ibom State a desirable market for discerning investors.
Here is a run-down of the projects executed with state-of-art infrastructures by Governor Akpabio since he took over the reins of governance in 2007:
Still on housing, the government has built over 3,000 houses in an effort to make houses available and affordable to the teeming population in the three senatorial districts of the state.
Flooding which used to be a major challenge facing Uyo the state capital because its table-like flat surface, has since been addressed with the construction of the 1st in Africa pipe-jacking underground drainage project. A similar project was replicated at Abak local government area to safe the people of the area from being washed away by the menacing flood there.
In the area of education, governor Akpabio declared education free and compulsory for all children of school age resident in the state. The payment of subvention to the schools head as running cost has helped check imposition of obnoxious charges such as PTA and development levies that in the past denied children opportunity of acquiring education.
And to give fillip to the gesture, the Akpabio administration built the 1st of its kind e-library where millions of books, journals and other readable materials could be accessed with just a tab of the button. The edifice was inaugurated, again by Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan.
The administration has completed the Ibom Power Plant which currently generates 191 megawatts of electricity. The plant, which is located at Ikot Abasi near the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria, ALSCON is expected to get its gas supply from the now completed, Gas processing plant which the government built in partnership with a private concern. And in line with the administration’s resolve to ensure 100% electrification of rural communities before 2015, over 1500 villages have been connected to the national grid and many more are equally being linked up through the state Inter-ministerial direct labour committee.
On health, the present administration led by Governor Godswill Akpabio is changing the story of that sector. Henceforth people of the state will not be travelling outside the country to seek medical attention. To this end the government is constructing a state-of-the art specialist hospital that will be second to none in Nigeria. The government also built five new general hospitals in Ika, Ibeno, Eastern Obolo, Essien Udim and Ukanafun LGAs in addition to generally improving services in government health institutions across the state.
On industrialisation, the government is building an Industrial City that comprises a deep seaport, fertiliser blending plant, petrochemical industries among other component industries within the complex.
In a similar vein the state has set aside over 20 billion naira to build at least one cottage industry in each of the 31 LGAs of the state. The Akpabio administration has also set aside the sum of 2.5 billion naira as its counterpart funds, while the federal government paid a similar amount, bringing the total to 5 billion naira to support entrepreneurs acquire machinery for their industries in the state. All these are in a bid to provide job opportunities to the teeming population.
For those wishing to do business in Akwa Ibom State, their safety is guaranteed. With launch of the security outfits code-named Operation Thunder and the Quick Response Squad, the state becomes increasingly safe for would-be investors and other residents.
In all these, the governor is being appreciated everywhere by institutions, organisations around Nigeria, Africa and abroad, with Awards and Honours too numerous to mention, the latest being the Commander of the Order of the Niger, CON. He was recently elected Chairman of the PDP governors’ Forum in Nigeria, a portfolio he is handling to the delight of all Nigerians.
Godswill Obot Akpabio was born at Ukana, Ikot Ntuen, Akwa Ibom State on 9 of December, 1962. He attended the Federal Government College, Port Harcourt. He proceeded to the University of Calabar, Cross River State where he read Law. He completed his legal education at the Nigerian Law School before being called to the Bar. He became a teacher at the Afaha Secondary School, Essien Udim in 1982. He then joined Paul Usoro & Co, Lagos, a law firm, as Associate Partner. In 1995 he was Director, Corporate Affairs/Legal Services of EMIS Telecoms. In 2002 he was appointed Commissioner for Petroleum and Natural Resources, followed by positions in the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and then the Ministry of Lands and Housing in 2006.
In April 2007, Godswill Akpabio successfully ran for governor of Akwa Ibom State on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) platform. He took office on 29 May 2007.
He ran successfully for reelection on 26 April 2011. Akpabio gained 975,585 votes, while the runner-up John Akpan Udoedehe of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) scored 163,449 votes.
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