Acting President Yemi Osibanjo arrived Uyo the Akwa Ibom state capital yesterday where he is addressed in a town hall meeting as part of his consultations with oil producing communities.
The Acting President was received at the Ibom International Airport by the Akwa Ibom state governor Mr. Udom Emmanuel as well as members of the state executive Council and top functionaries of the Federal Government.
The Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel during a Townhall meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo in Uyo, made it clear that the Niger Delta region need serious funding for adequate infrastructural development to be in place.
Governor Udom, in his words further explained, “The Ministry of Niger Delta seems a bit incapacitated because of issues of funding. If the federal government really wants to see improvement in the Niger Delta, the region should be properly funded in order to be able to carry out infrastructural development in the area”
“Let me mention the issue of local contents. If local contents law must succeed, federal government must consider skill development centres in the Niger Delta region. In the whole Niger Delta region, we hear of names of people in other places in Nigeria. Some of them have never seen crude oil since they were born, but are the ones flying in private jets with crude oil money”.
“Akwa Ibom State is interested in owning and managing oil and gas blocks. We have the capacity and technical partners to manage oil wells as assets so that we can also gain from developing the oil and gas industry. We hope if we are encouraged, we can also create wealth and the issue of agitation will be a thing of the past in this area.”
“Federal Government can create Seven profit centers out of ALSCON”
“We have a deep sea port that can turn the economy of Nigeria”
“We are willing to partner with FG to develop a logistics centre”.
Some of the demands of the communities articulated on the behalf by a leader from the communities, Chief Nduese Essien during the town hall meeting punched that since 1979, the oil companies have kept deceiving the oil communities with series of excuses which were no longer tenable adding that with the airport, roads, communication services, housing accommodation, the companies should relocate their headquarters to their operational base immediately.
“The oil producing communities of Akwa Ibom state have demanded that oil companies operating in the state should move their headquarters to the oil communities of the state.
They are also demanding that over N30billion naira spent on the construction of the Eket -Ibeno road by the federal government be refunded by the federal government to the state for application in the development of the communities.”
Other demands by the oil communities include allocation of oil blocks to some indigenous companies, commencement of the proposed Calabar-Lagos railway line project and the upgrade of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron to a degree awarding institution, as well as the completion of the East-West road project in line with the stipulated specifications.
Also, the senate minority leader, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, CON thank the president for recognizing Akwa Ibom state worthy of leadership even at the federal level by appointing Akwa Ibom sons as Aides. “Finally, I want to urge you to ensure that there is free and fair election in 2019. Allow Akwa Ibom that is a PDP State to remain PDP”, he said.
The acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo, in his remarks after been conferred a Chieftaincy title of Obong Emem Akwa Ibom by Traditional Rulers of the State thanked the people of the state for its peaceful ambiance, steadfastness and smartness, for not engaging in vandalization and violence. “this is not the time for controversy, this is not the time for conflict, it is the time for focusing on development”.