The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has advocated the establishment of a petroleum depot in the state to ameliorate difficulties experienced by petroleum marketers in the haulage of products from Calabar and Port Harcourt depots for the consuming public in the state.
Governor Emmanuel made the advocacy during a Town Hall Meeting hosted by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, for the South South Zone of the country at Le Meridien Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo.
He said it has become imperative for the Federal Government to build a petroleum depot in Akwa Ibom State, being a leading oil producing state and called on the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, to assist in that direction.
On the decaying federal roads infrastructure, Governor Emmanuel pointed out that the East-West road is yet to be completed and that other federal roads suffer extensive neglect.
He said: “The State lacks federal presence and this cannot continue and should not.
“The East-West Road is yet to be completed while other federal roads suffer extensive neglect.
“We have intervened over the years to fix some federal roads in this State and we are being owed billions of naira and we appeal to the Honourable Minister of Works, Housing and Power, His Excellency, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, to help us in this regard.”
On environmental degradation, the Governor said: “Erosion is a major problem in this State, but we have made some significant interventions and still need the Federal Government to come to our assistance in checking this menace.
“Calabar-Itu Road, Uyo-Ndon-Ebom Road, a large patch of land at the Anua Hospital may cave in to the ravine, even though we have intervened here, we need permanent solution, which can only come from the Federal Government through Ecological Funds.
“Our environment has also been polluted and we need government to do some clean-up exercise as was recently done in Ogoniland.”
The State Chief Executive used the occasion to commend the Minister of Transport And Aviation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, for ensuring that the Maritime Academy in Oron Local Government Area of the State remains a Degree awarding Institution and called on the National Assembly to expedite the process of providing the right status to the Academy.
He assured of his administration’s commitment to the realisation of the Ibom Deep Seaport Project and called on the Transport Minister to assist in that regard.
He expressed appreciation to Mohammed for the choice of the State for the meeting, urging them to savour the serene ambience of the State and expressed optimism that decisions reached would galvanise confidence of the people in the administration towards addressing various challenges in the Nigerian project.
Emmanuel said: “The Town Hall meeting you are having here today is a huge task.
“When the people are regularly engaged and their inputs on the mechanics of governance sought, challenges explained and solutions proffered, apathy and alienation are eliminated and the net gain is that the populace becomes better informed about the workings and direction of governance and this may help steer them to have a more optimistic view of their government and its capacity to meet their expectations and hopes.
“This is what democracy, being the government where the interests and desires of the people trump all other impulses is all about, and I want to commend you again for this great initiative.”
On the programmes of his administration since assumption of office, Governor Emmanuel said: “In spite of the dwindling resources, we have kept our eye on the ball and have endeavoured to fulfill our obligations to our people.
“My campaign platform was predicated on a bold Five-Point Agenda of: Wealth Creation, Economic and Political Inclusion, Poverty Alleviation, Infrastructural Consolidation and Expansion and Job creation.
“So far, we have applied the lean resources available to fulfill our campaign promises.
“My major preoccupation is to rapidly industrialize this State and wean our people from over-dependence on government as the only means of self-actualization.”