Naija Foodie Update

Foodie Naija Update (Akwa Ibom Will Become The Hub Of Cocoa Production In West/Africa, Says Governor Udom)

In a bid to enhance wealth and job creation, the
government of Akwa Ibom is putting measures in place to
make the State a cocoa production hub within the entire West African sub-
region, targeting over 60,000
hectares of cocoa
plantations.

To fast track the project, over 30,000
hectares of improved cocoa plantations have been set up
across various local
government areas of the State, even as more than 35 hectares of palm oil
plantations are established in 15 councils of the region.

The State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel disclosed this in
Lagos, stressing that the State has about 129 shorelines that
can be turned into wealth creation for the area. “Akwa
Ibom is going to be number two in cocoa production, not
even number 10. We have evergreen area and with such, we can produce raw
materials.

By May 29, 2016,
we will bring out a day old chick from our hatchery.
Poverty alleviation involves providing basic necessities
for the people, and human development does not end with education only. Those
who are not doing well in the classroom can acquire skills,
training in football and other talents to enhance their
development in the society.”

On agriculture projects in the State, he said, “Our projects in agriculture are expanding very fast. Currently, we are
running two planting
seasons and calling on more people to key into this scheme.

Many of our youths
were sent for a special training on modern agriculture in Israel, and we are going to send another 450 people for similar training.

Those who did the
first training will go for another phase of the training, to be fully equipped in the
field. When we look at development and innovation in advanced economies, we will realise that Nigeria and African countries must come
to terms with happenings in the global economic
environment”.

Responding to question on the economic framework that government is putting in place to enhance industrialisation in the State, he said, “Three major things
drive economic growth and
development.

These include
security, reliable
infrastructure and solid legislation. In Akwa Ibom, we spend so much from our federal allocation on security to protect the people and to
secure the State for
investments inflow.

The previous government met
total infrastructure decay on ground, tackled that aspect
very well, thereby laying the foundation of development in
the State for us to build on.
We have been able to set up Technical Committees on
Ibom Deep Seaport project, Foreign Direct Investments
(FDIs) drive, agriculture and
food security.

Our plan for the
future is to establish a direct ferry to link the Republic of
Cameroun and Oron area of the State. This will boost maritime and other economic
activities through Oron waterways.

The initiative is to
enhance industrial growth. At this point in our history, it is imperative to diversify the economy into non-oil export sectors for greater growth,
like what obtains in
developed countries.

We need to ask ourselves how much
we realised from crude oil in the last 30 years and how it is impacting on the lives of our people.”
About what government is doing on medical tourism to curtail capital flight from the
State, he explained, “Today, we have a world class hospital that receives an
average of 1,230 patients everyday.

Imagine how the
government is coping with such a large number of patients coming into the
hospital on daily basis. We believe government is
continuous, as such, we are improving on what the previous government put in
place.

We have many on-
going projects in the State on human development,
agriculture, hard and soft infrastructure. Some of the projects initiated by the
current government include fertilizer plant located in
Abak, resuscitating the Peacock paint company at Etinan, establishment of
vehicles assembling plant in Itu, establishment of Blue
Marine -Light Emitting Device
(LED) factory, construction of Ibaka Deep Seaport is in
progress, introduction of the
department of investment in the ministry of commerce and industry.”

He went on, “Now, the free and compulsory education in
the State make us to have more primary school teachers, due to influx of pupils from the neighbouring
States to our schools.

Not withstanding, we are still paying salaries and pension.
We also established sport academies in the 10 federal
constituencies to enhance youth development. The
government successfully
sponsored power sector training for over 200 youths
from the State.

The water
project we are embarking on
is the standard of World Health Organisation (WHO),
because our boreholes are
500meters deep, which is the
standard of WHO. We are also running the water project
from the airport road, and moving towards the city, for people to have access to
potable water.

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