The people of Nkana in Etinan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have lauded the Gov. Udom Emmanuel’s administration for job creation and poverty alleviation through road construction, industrialization and human capacity building. The community leaders who made this known to newsmen in Etinan, during a get together organised by a Turkish based company, VKS Nigeria Construction Limited, noted that the governor has not only improved on the lives and general wellbeing of the people of the area, but has diligently kept to his campaign promises of bringing dividend of democracy to the community.
In a statement jointly signed by representative of the four communities – Ikot Nsung, Ikot Ekot, Nkana and Akpasak Efa, the people expressed extreme delight at the high sense of responsibility exhibited by the management of VKS Nigeria Construction Limited in organizing a meet that will foster unity between communities and expatriates working in the area.
The statement noted that while VKS operates an all inclusive policy and adhered strictly to the local content act of providing job employment to 70 per cent of the locals in the communities, other companies have not consider it necessary to meet with host communities.
The statement reads: “We the entire youths and people of these four communities, namely: Ikot Nsung, Ikot Ekot, Nkana and Akpasak Efa, are extremely delighted to have the top management of VKS Nigeria Construction Limited here in our midst today. We jointly welcome you warmly to this arena especially as this visit will give us the opportunity to interact with one another and chat a course towards unity and cooperation which will bring about peace, development and progress in this area and the state in general.
“Let us thank governor Udom Emmanuel for awarding contract for the construction of this road. This road has remained in a very bad condition right from time immemorial and as such retarded the progress of this area.
The abandonment we faced before now as a result of the poor state of infrastructure in this part of the state could best be seen rather than explain, but thank Gov. Udom for bringing light to us and ultimately, giving our youths employment through the awarding of this contract. Most of the workers here are our children and this has given us a sense of belonging. When completed, this road will ease the movement of goods and services, as well as free flow of traffic.
“VKS has come to visit us today with gifts and words of assurance that we are partners in progress in the projects executed here. We sincerely appreciate them and hope that VKS will continue in the good work they have been doing and will not violate the social norms, customs and traditions of their landlords. We pledge our total support and protection to the personnel, equipment and materials of the company at all times.”
In his address, the Project Manager, VKS Nig. Const. Ltd, Jean Claude, expressed satisfaction at the level of cooperation and unity witness by the people of the area since moving into the area to execute projects.
He commended the community leaders, youth leaders, women and everyone living in the communities for providing a conducive atmosphere for VKS staff and promised to continually provide maximum support in any area the company is capable of.
“We are here today to meet with the people of these communities to share some thoughts and interact with them as our landlords. This is the phase 2 Onna/Etinan road project which comprises of four communities and it started about 6 months ago.
We have worked closely with the community leaders, youths and women. We have provided the youths of these communities with employment opportunity. As long as they are ready to work with us in peace, we will be ready to work with them till this project is completed.
“So far there has not been any issue. We have given employment to over 600 Akwa Ibom indigenes, including the people of these communities. The people are hard working and quite committed to seeing this project succeed. As we have promised, we will complete this project at the stipulated time and deliver quality job.”
The Managing Director of VKS Nigeria Construction Company, Mr. Onur Kumral, had earlier implored the people of Akwa Ibom State to tarry a while with Gov. Udom Emmanuel, who he believe is sincere about bringing industrialization to the people of the state. “Let me use this opportunity to appreciate the people of Akwa Ibom State for the hospitality and friendly disposition.
I want to plead with the people of Nigeria and Akwa Ibom in particular to cooperate and support their leaders in trying to bring development to them. Industrialization is huge. Industrialization takes process, resources, patience, finances, training and all of that. Mr. Udom is very sincere about bringing industrialization to his people, and this is evident in what is on ground.
“ For instance, he promised his people that by 2017 a Syringe Manufacturing Company will be in the state, where huge number of syringes will be produced and marketed both within and outside the country. I can tell you that that promise is about to be realised. Everything needed for the takeoff of the factory is set.
Akwa Ibom sons and daughters have been sent abroad for training on equipment operations. They are the ones that will manage the factory. By May this year the test-run for the Syringe factory known as Jubilee Syringe will commence, while full operations will be by August.
“Again, the first ever Flour mills in Akwa Ibom will be commissioned by 2018. This will position the state to compete economically with other states, and of course, make significant improvement in the area of internally generated revenue (IGR). These are investments that will draw huge traffic to the state and create huge employment to the citizens of not just Akwa Ibom but the entire nation.
“When you look at the state today and what the governor is doing, you will discover that his focus is on investment and industrialization which in a short while will culminate into huge economic benefit for the nation.
If you consider the fact that when the JT in Ikot Abasi is completed, the Syringe factory starts full operations, the Flour Mill hit the ground running and of course, the cargo wing of the Akwa Ibom International Airport begins, including other projects currently embarked upon by the governor, then you will agree with me that the state would have completely eradicated poverty and unemployment in the land”
By Godwin Akpan
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