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How states can become major industrial hubs – Osinbajo

Having itself “spent about N8.9 trillion”, a record sum, on infrastructure and capital alone since its inception, the Buhari administration is encouraging state governments in…

Having itself “spent about N8.9 trillion”, a record sum, on infrastructure and capital alone since its inception, the Buhari administration is encouraging state governments in the country to follow suit.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said this on Friday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, where he flagged off the construction of a housing estate and commissioned the Dakkada Tower as parts of activities marking the 34th Anniversary of the State’s creation.

He said such spending on infrastructural development would not only help position the States to become major industrial hubs, but also yield multiplier economic benefits, while at the same time attracting more investors from around the world.

Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel received the Vice President at the airport, alongside other dignitaries, including the former Governors of Cross River and Benue States: Mr. Donald Duke and Senator Gabriel Suswam. Others top government officials at the events included members of the National Assembly, top State government officials, including the Akwa Ibom State Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo, the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Affairs, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu, and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta, Senator Ita Enang, among others.

Bringing with him to the State the warm felicitations of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Governor, the government and people of the State, the Vice President stated that the President “asked that I specially congratulate you, Mr. Governor, and the good people of Akwa Ibom State on the 34th Anniversary of this great State.”

The Vice President observed that the focus of the Akwa Ibom State government on infrastructure development is significantly in sync with the centrepiece of the Federal Government’s economic agenda.

“As you are aware, since the inception of our administration Mr. President has prioritised the development of infrastructure: roads, rail, power and broadband; and despite the severe economic headwinds we have experienced in the past 6 years, we have invested more than any other administration in infrastructure,” the VP asserted.

He disclosed that “as of last year, we had expended over N7.6 Trillion on infrastructure alone (and about N8.9 Trillion on the entire capital expenditure).”

Speaking further, Osinbajo stated that “just last month, the Federal Executive Council approved the Lagos Calabar rail project, which will pass through Uyo as a major station, and at the end of last year, FEC also approved the full business case for the Ibom deep sea port. These infrastructural developments are set to establish Akwa Ibom as a major industrial hub, not just in Nigeria, but in the West African sub region.”

He highlighted Governor Emmanuel Udom’s industrialization agenda for the State, noting that, “when I was here in 2019, we commissioned the Kings Flour mills, Lions Plywood and Timber Factory and the power substation. Since then, you have done far more and you have even launched an airline, Ibom Air, which has become the gold standard nationally for promptness and efficient service.”

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