Demonstrating his administration’s resolve of venturing into agriculture as a gainful enterprise for diversification of the local Government economy from over-dependence on derivation revenue, the Executive Chairman of Essien Udim Local Government Area, Hon. Elder Raphael Isobara has flagged-off the first phase of 500 stands of coconut plantation at Afaha Ikot Ebak, the Headquarters of Essien Udim Local Government Area.
The official flag-off ceremony of the much heralded coconut plantation which is sited at the council secretariat complex took place last week.
Hon. Isobara at the occasion presented official vehicle to the Vice Chairman of Essien Udim Local Government Area and also laid the foundation stone for the construction of Essien Udim Traditional Rulers Council Secretariat Complex, respectively.
In his welcome address, the executive chairman, Hon. Isobara made it known that his administration is connecting with the completion agenda of the Governor Udom Emmanuel’s vision, hence the need for coconut plantation in Essien Udim that shall go a long way in boosting Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the Area.
He observed that presently, the economy of Akwa Ibom State is dominantly thriving on agriculture and industrialization, adding that government’s recorded giant strides in the agricultural sector has contributed immensely to the prevalent food sufficiency in the State and identified coconut as one of the major agro-based products that supports the State’s industrialization policy.
He commended the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel for embarking on coconut planting that is complementary and enhancing the Coconut refinery in Mkpat Enin and other neighbouring host local Government Areas.
The Council Boss further elucidated that; “diversifying from oil palm plantation and production venture and embarking on coconut planting project in Essien Udim community is necessary as it is a imperative, if we must develop and improve the socio-economic fortunes of our people beyond the current status, and also keep Essien Udim at speed with true developmental pace that characterises the five (5) point and eight (8) point completion agenda of Akwa Ibom State Government”.
Speaking on provision of an office complex for Essien Udim traditional rulers, Hon. Isobara said the office complex when completed shall avail the custodians of traditional values and customs the required atmosphere for meaningful deliberations on traditional related matters.
He the chairman pledged his determination to maintain an improved welfare package for traditional institution of the area and called for co-operation and appreciation of government genuine intentions by all stakeholders in the progress and development of Essien Udim local government Area and Akwa Ibom State as a whole.
In his goodwill message; the political leader of Essien Udim Local Government Area, Obong Michael Afangideh described the executive chairman, Elder Raphael Isobara as a pacesetter in the developmental history of the area and called on other political office holders from the area to initiate programmes to shall add value to the lives Essien Udim people.
He congratulated the Vice Chairman of the Council for her official car offer and urged her, councillors and supervisors at the council to sustain the existing peace and cooperation at the council while he called on the traditional institution to contribute their quota to ensure, peace, and unity in their respective domains.
Also, the triple ceremony received goodwill messages from outstanding sons and daughter of Essien Udim Local Government Area among whom were; Hon. Obong Emmanuel Umanah, a one time Commissioner in the then Cross River State, the immediate past State Accountant General, Mr. udo Isobara, Akwa Ibom State PDP Deputy Chairman, Mr. Suyiekekere Inoka.
Others were: Obong (Dr.) Emmanuel Abraham, Propriator, Topfaith Schools, Director, Divine Mandate Campaign Organisation, Essien Udim Local Government Area, Barr. Imo-Owo Okpokpo, Clan Head of Afaha, Okuku Augustine Akpan, PDP Chapter Chairman Essien Udim Local Government Area, Mr. Cyril Peter, and Essien Udim PDP Woman Leader, Mrs. Mfon Udo-Ima
However, as part of their contributions and support to the ongoing wind of development orchestrated by the executive chairman of Essien Udim, the political leader, Obong Michael Afangideh, the Proprietor of Topfaith Schools, Obong (Dr.) Emmanuel Abraham and immediate past State Accountant General, Mr. Udo Isobara made financial commitments towards advancement of the 500 stands of coconut plantation and completion of the traditional rulers office complex.
Climax of the ceremony was the formal presentation of official car to the Vice Chairman of Essien Udim, plantation of coconut seedlings by the Essien Udim political leader, the Council Chairman and other stakeholders and ground braking/official laying of foundation stone of Traditional Rulers Council Secretariat Complex by the Executive Chairman of Essien Udim Local Government Area, Hon. Elder Raphael Isobara.