The Akwa Ibom State Governor, His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has clearly stated that the outcome of his meeting last Sunday with the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Akwa Ibom State Chapter in meeting the set guidelines for congregations would determine when worship centres in the State would open as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown and subsequent relaxation of the lockdown order.
Speaking on a live interactive session across all the broadcast networks in the State over the weekend, Governor Udom Emmanuel said the right steps must be taken in ensuring that the lives and safety of the people are protected in order to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in the State.
He said the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Akwa Ibom State (CAN) whose submissions on their proposals to adhere to the guidelines would be studied and a decision would be taken that would be in the healthy development of the State.
The State Governor further stated that decisions on burials, traditional marriages and other social activities would be reviewed but not at the same time with the opening of worship centres.
‘’ When the leadership of CAN meets with me on Sunday, I will look at their submissions and we will discuss but be rest assured that the overall interests of the people of the State will be addressed. We know we are predominantly Christian State and our people are eager to go back to church, but the right things must be done to ensure safety of our citizens’’, Governor Emmanuel said.
He said that so far, the State has achieved 99 percent success on contact tracing as efforts have intensified towards the implementation of an aggressive testing procedure on contact tracing. He charged the people of the State to adhere to the guidelines on the Covid -19 protocols emphasising that recent tests results have shown that patients now do not show the symptoms before testing positive and urged the people to have faith above fear during this period.
The Governor while speaking during the programme appealed to medical personnel who are treating patients privately in their facilities to reach out to government medical personnel on time as there will be no mercy in accepting ‘’ dead’’ cases at the designated government facility treating the pandemic in the State.
Itung Mbang Isolation Centre Ready For Commissioning This Week
He also said the the Ituk Mbang Isolation Centre will be commissioned this week as it has the state of the art facilities, while urging residents of the State to avoid sharing masks as it increases the risks of contacting the pandemic.
Governor Udom Emmanuel said that the State will continue to build on her success stories under his leadership in all sectors as he charged educational institutions in the State to come up with research that will provide a cure for the pandemic, emphasizing that ‘’ we need African solutions to Covid -19’’.
On the rejection of vehicles donated by Exxon Mobil to the State Government in curbing the pandemic, Governor Emmanuel said that the vehicles were rejected because they would not withstand the rigours of contact tracing in various areas in the State and that the ambulance was accepted even though it was refurbished and the beds which will be designated to the Primary Health Care facilities of the State.
He assured the people of the State that every money donated towards the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic will be accounted and that the Akwa Ibom State Government has a cordial working relationship with Exxon Mobil and having come from the private sector, he will continue to attract investment opportunities in the State.
Brace Up For Tough Times Ahead
On the economy, Governor Emmanuel said the people of the State must brace up for tough times in the post Covid-19 era as the price of crude oil, the mainstay of the economy had dropped, while tasking the people to tighten their belts in the face of the coming economic challenge which has affected all facets of the state economy.
He stated that the economic reconstruction team recently inaugurated by him will set new templates towards the recovery of the economy as so many things will never be the same again in the post covid-19 era.
He appealed to the labour workforce in the State to show more understanding with the present economic downturn posed by the pandemic as there must be some meaningful allocation of scarce resources to various sectors. He further said the recent slash in salaries of his appointees was an economic decision that would build governance in the coming months.
On the performance of his administration in the last five years, Governor Udom Emmanuel said a lot has been achieved as he commended the people of the State for their steadfast support during the 2015 and 2019 general elections.
He said in 2015 when he came into office, he was faced with litigations till he got his victory at the Supreme Court, in 2016 and 2017 the recession across the country hit the State and in 2019, the next general elections which ushered his second term.
He charged the Federal Government to local its presence in the oil sector in then State as the newly completed 21storey building which has been completed can accommodate the oil sector departments like the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the establishment of an oil depot remains important in the growth of the State.
IOC’S To Get Five Year Free Rent At 21 Storey Building
He said the administration was willing to give a five year rent free office space for Exxon Mobil , the DPR and others to have offices in the State .
On the state of roads, Governor Emmanuel commended the spate of road infrastructure under his administration stating that the Uyo-Ikot Ekpene Road which was awarded before his tenure at N29b was inherited with a whooping N72billion being spent.
Coconut Refinery Ready by December 2020
While on the Coconut refinery, the Governor said it will be commissioned before the end of the year and that a lot of funds have been invested on health care infrastructure under his administration.
On the pace of work at the Victor Attah International Airport, the governor assured that the taxi way is 80percent completed as the terminal building when completed will be the best in Africa with the state of the art facilities, security details ICT compliant and other features.
He said currently work is on going at the phase two and three of the airport development as the phase four will handle the cargo section.
Ibom Air To Take Delivery Of Fifth Aircraft Soon
On Ibom Air, the State Governor said the newly acquired aircraft is virus free having undergone all necessary tests. The aircraft was manufactured in May 2014 which makes it brand new. He stated that Ibom Air will make Nigeria proud in the aviation industry and that the fifth aircraft will be delivered soon.
Governor Udom Emmanuel thanked all health personnel as well as the media for their overwhelming support in fighting the pandemic. He urged the people of the State to adhere to all the set guidelines in curbing the pandemic as new indications have shown that new patients are asymptomatic.