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Akwa Ibom: Better is the end of the matter

From Aniekeme Finbarr In about 20 months, one of the most significant socio-econo-political chapters in Akwa Ibom State’s history book will be written, sealed and…

From Aniekeme Finbarr

In about 20 months, one of the most significant socio-econo-political chapters in Akwa Ibom State’s history book will be written, sealed and nicely placed in the archives.

For those of us who have a fine background in literature, the ending is the most important part of a dramatic narrative. Novelists, movie script writers usually have sleepless nights on what perfect end its story should have. Why is that so? The ending is the section of the story that gives the piece its meaning – in which the theme of the overall narrative crystalizes into dramatic action. That is the point the protagonist completes the arc he has been making throughout the story. It is the point the audience expects that the comedy should be at its funniest; a horror film at its scariest; a love story at its most romantic; etc.

A story without a good ending isn’t satisfying – after watching a movie for three or so hours, you want to know if the lovers got together; you want to see the hero triumph, you want to see the falsely accused vindicated, you want to find out who committed the murder; you want to see villains defeated, obstacles overcome; and demons (inside and out) quelled and if they are not, you want to have a clear understanding of why. Anything short of that is a disappointing end.

But, alas, the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel is about to have a fantastic end; everything points to it. The demons of the past have been defeated, the state has enjoyed mature and stable leadership, in and out of a harsh economic climate, yet devoid of deafening noise and razzmatazz, peace has found a home here in Akwa Ibom State, even when many parts of the country are battling one security issue or another. The Dakkada philosophy is now rooted in the hearts of the people, entrepreneurs are now flung and scattered all across the state, doing their best to rise to greatness.

Governor Emmanuel has broken the jinx that it is impossible to build and attract industries, run profitable and expandable businesses. Take a look at Ibom Air, the nation’s pride in aviation. Look at the success, the company ethics, culture and standards, the returns on investment, the expansion and the blueprint for international domination. What a beautiful end to a story of years of false starts and vain promises.

Now, nobody can again promise 31 industries in 31 Local Government Areas, that is an obsolete impracticable promise. It is not done that way. Industries are not planted like Local Government headquarters, you plant industries only where they are needed and if you wish to expand massively, you create a hub, an industrial layout where common resources are shared.

That is why it is not surprising that the Turkish investors, have partnered with the State Government and have helped translate Governor Emmanuel’s industrialization policy as seen in such economically significant industries like the Jubilee syringe company, the flour mill, and are in the process of expanding into textile making and several other investments. A key variable in this drive, is the peace and ease of doing business which Governor Emmanuel has provided.

According to Mr Onur Kumral in a recent interview, “We have signed our preliminary contracts with our partners in Turkey again. Of course, you know Turkey is a big textile country. We want to bring that textile company to start production in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. We hope to start the construction before the end of this year. Hopefully, next year, you will see the opening of a textile company here in Akwa Ibom State. It will be designed by local designers. It will be in the quality of Turkish textile. That is what we want to achieve. Our first target will be to produce 3,000 dresses a day which will be a standard of 3000 to 5000. That will create about 5000 direct employment and maybe 23,000 to 25,000 indirect employment. This is the first target we have in 2021. When we succeed, in 2022, we will want to add some more. But we have to go step by step. We have some principles. We have to succeed before we get to the next one.”

That is not all, the Turkish investors are also planning to expand their existing capacity in the already established business lines. Onur Kumral offers more insights, “What we have planned now is that we want to raise the capacity of our Flour Mill as soon as possible. This is because the demand now is much more than supply. For the syringe, we want to add more lines to new kinds of products, not just syringes. We want to add drip lines to it. However, we want to expand on these two sectors first. Also, with our partners in Turkey, a huge oil and gas group, we have signed a deal on exclusive distribution of oil lubricants for the ECOWAS region. Of course, it will first start in Nigeria. Our first target is to start trade in oil. But the main target is to see if we can create that same success in what we have done in Kings and Jubilee. When we can create the same distribution lines, we want to start packaging.”

The completion agenda is firmly on course, contractors are busy on road sites to beat deadlines, dualized roads springing up in major cities like Uyo, Etinan, Eket to open up the state to commerce and development. Hospitals are wearing new looks like in Ikot Ekpene, Asong and Ikot Abasi and the earlier ones already done. There is no doubt that this administration under Governor Udom Emmanuel will end well. That is why succession by 2023 WILL NOT and SHOULD NOT be based on sentiments or entitlement mindset. The people, guided by God will choose a befitting leader in tune with the times and demands of the future.

It must be stated here that the Governorship position is not a compensation package or a take away pack for any politician who feels entitled to it because he supported and ‘sacrificed’ so much to re-elect Governor Emmanuel in 2019. We are talking about the destinies of millions of Akwa Ibom sons and daughters for the next 8 to 100 years. It is too serious a matter to be discussed lightly. However, anybody who ‘stuck out his neck’ for the Governor in times past and is currently experiencing pains in the neck region, that is, the anterior cervical and posterior cervical triangles or indeed any part of the cervical spine can visit any of the new hospitals built by the Governor and get an MRI scan and x-ray done and be treated on the Governor’s bill. Akwa Ibom is on the march to greatness under Governor Udom Emmanuel, with many life touching projects set to be handed over to the Akwa Ibom people. And like the wise one writes in Ecclesiastes 7:8, “Better is the end of a matter, than the beginning thereof”