Governor Umo Eno says Akwa Ibom state has turned from a dusty provincial headquarters of thatched cottages into Nigeria’s destination of choice for enterprises, conferences, and other major events, with a thriving social and artistic life, 36 years after her creation.
Eno, who was counting Akwa Iboms’ blessings this weekend at the Government House Uyo in commemoration of the 36th anniversary of the state’s creation by the then military administration of General Ibrahim Babangida, also stated that the performance of his predecessors has inspired him to maintain the state’s rapid development momentum.
He stated, “Thirty six years ago, Akwa Ibom, a dusty rural backwater, where the roads were narrow, at most looked like bush tracks, now enjoys the enviable position of being the sub national with possibly the best road network in the nation.
“36 years after, capital city Uyo which was a dusty provincial headquarters with homes that composed of smattering of thatched houses, now boasts of some of the most elegant estates with beautiful homes you will find anywhere in the world.
“Today, 36 years later, our children are smashing records, our reading culture has been ignited, with the recent Guinness World Record attempt by one of our great sons, John Obot for the longest hours spent reading aloud.
“Life expectancy has improved considerably, because of the improvements in Primary and Secondary, even quaternary healthcare facilities. Our State has become the destination of choice for conferences, seminars and other national events, with thriving social and creative life.”
“Thanks to our hospitable nature, peace and tranquility we enjoy, our rich cuisines which earlier this year, gained international acclaim with exploits of our daughter, Hilda Baci, who won the Guinness World Record for longest hours of cooking by an individual, our State is attracting visitors in thousands with most deciding to live and work here.
“Our State, 36 years later, is the only sub national with a thriving commercial airline, Ibom Air, that has become the nation’s most preferred airline, thus cementing our position as both a tourism magnet and a destination for investors.”
Thanking past leaders of the state for laying solid foundation for growth and development currently being experienced in the state, Governor Eno said, “It is because of the performance of our past leaders that I am daily being motivated to continue from where they had stopped.
“A little over 100 days since I was sworn in as your Governor, I can say that we have hit the ground running and God has been an ever- present Guide as we work to translate our vision into practical, measurable and impactful forms.
“Key elements of the ARISE Agenda, which is flagship programme of my administration are to open up our rural areas, provide access roads, ignite agricultural revolution and reduce the push and desire for people to migrate form rural to urban areas.”